RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Asunción. The City for Brave Hearts and Adventure Seekers…

Asunción. The City for Brave Hearts and Adventure Seekers…

Author: 05.05.2018 | travel
Located on low hills, this country hides in tropical rainforest in the very center of Latin America. There are no beaches and modern concert halls yet it amazes with its access to wild nature. Some come to Paraguay to explore territory of the Indies, others – to get excited with ancient colonial erections, some – for shopping.

Most often guests begin their acquaintance with Paraguay in Asunción. Lined, as if ruled, it was initially designed as a military fort. Some call it weird. Some crinkle their noses in a finicky way passing by its slums, others are charmed inhaling odor of tea that lingers all over the city. Some do not keep words of amazement and halt now and then by ancient buildings that haven’t changed much since conquistadors arrived at this land. There are no crowds of tourists wondering Asunción. It is more like brave hearts and adventure seekers come to Asunción as well as those who need to visit the capital of Paraguay on business. One won’t find too many landmarks in Asunción. There are several museums, monuments dedicated to heroes of numerous wars, small quay not settled-in by tourists, a botanic garden and a couple of large markets where one can purchase souvenirs or stock up on goods. It is worth mentioning that they are hearty eaters while meat and fish aren’t as expensive in Paraguay as in the rest of Latin America.

Photo wordpress.com

Asunción is a city of contrasts. There modern buildings neighbor with tattered houses across the street. One of such districts, by the way, is located directly in front of the Parliament of Paraguay. Once, citizens came to the walls of the elective body to demand better life. They promised not to leave until material fortune descends upon them. As time went by, the plugged into the parliament’s electricity network and stayed to live there, directly on the square facing it. AmongimpressivebuildingsthereisPresidentialPalace. Previously it was fatally dangerous to look at it. In times of dictatorship guards of Palacio de Gobierno even had a right to shoot every gaper who stops by the building. Times have changed and tourists are free to take pictures near the erection and twice a week willing ones are allowed to go in and see how the Palace is equipped on the inside.

Photo bloomberg.com

On weekends Asunción scares tourists. The thing is that its center is deserted in this period. Citizens of the capital prefer leisure at trade centers, cinemas, sports grounds, bowling clubs, ice arenas and cafés located right there, in shopping malls. To the contrary, on weekdays business part of the capital is teemed with autos. Remarkably, there are a lot of expensive import cars in the country. The thing is that they are cheaper there than in other parts of South America due to preferential customs rules and even non-wealthy citizens can afford to buy a car. Buses strike one’s eye in Asunción. They look more like museum exhibits and drivers seem to compete in who decorates own four wheels brighter. Characteristic feature of public transportation there is that people can stop it anywhere they feel like. All they need is to wave a hand.

It is hard to have some coffee in Asunción. Herbal tea mate is iconic there. To brew it, they gather leaves in their own country. Paraguayans are very proud of their beverage, they attribute a number of healing properties to it and emphasize not without pride that genuine mate only grows in their area. Citizens are nearly crazy about it. Each of them constantly carries a special thermos or a cup filled with this unique drink. Mate is sold in the street, at cafés, they take it with them going for a walk or on business, and a man inviting a lady on a date offers her to share a cup of mate with him. It is recommended when not feeling well and to lift up spirits. This herbal tea is consumed hot and cold, sweet and bitter. Scientists insist that it contains numerous microelements and a reach group of vitamins. Just as its fellow, coffee, mate invigorates yet doesn’t prevent sleep and “works” several times longer than coffee.

Still, it is not the only thing that Asunción is ready to surprise you with. Festivals are often held in the city, accompanied with loud feasts and dancing in the streets. Paraguayan polka especially strikes people. Women dance it with bottles of champagne on their heads. As a balance against such “dizzying” dance there is music. It is slow and heartfelt, consisting of a cocktail of Brazilian, European and African melodies. Guitars and harps are most popular instruments during festivities there. In evenings, when darkness settles, one can see boys rolling a fireball in the yard. This is local football. Teams spray rags with petrol and set it on fire. They keep pushing the ball till the fire goes out. And there is an explanation to such a risky game. There were times when for predecessors of Paraguayans, Indians, such fireball symbolized sun and pushing it – daily sunrise. A soup that they offer to try in Asunción strikes travelers just as much. The thing is that it is supposed to be eaten with hands. It is made of pretty common goods, is a bit thickish and baked in an oven. Locals admit, that the dish they lure foreigners to restaurants with was invented by accident. Simply, a kitchen maid who cooked the dish for guests once baked it in an oven for too long to bring it to the state of a pie. They liked the product ultimately. But probably the most striking thing for visitants is the fact that in Paraguay it is possible to challenge an offender to a duel. Truth be told, there is a chain of conditionalities that need to be followed. First of all, both involved parties need to be listed as donors. Second, the winner must provide medical assistance to the injured on own expense.

Photo meine-urlaubsziele24.de

Experienced travelers recommend not to stay in the capital for too long – not because someone may throw you the glove down. There are a lot of bright and fascinating places around Asunción. Thus, there is a small town Luque where they make musical instruments, Yaguarón, famous for its orange groves, and Caacupé, religious center of the country. Paraguay has own eco-resorts where Paraguayans escape from rush of the city and to learn horse riding. However, many come to Paraguay to visit Ciudad Del Este. It is called Hong Kong of Latin America, where one can purchase literally everything. It is Paraguay’s second largest city; it is located on the border of three countries: Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. In its due time the government proclaimed it a free trade are – and it was worth it. Nowadays the city ensures greater part of the country’s GDP and is the third in the world in terms of goods turnover. Silver jewelry with semi-precious natural stones gained special fame there. It is a very multinational populated locality. There are not as many catholic temples there, but pagodas and mosques can be seen all over it. Large expatriate communities of Chinese, French, Russians and Ukrainians live there. As a rule, foreigners inhabit the city in groups therefore while walking around it one can see many signboards in languages other than Spanish. Reverse side of Ciudad Del Este is piles of garbage that emerge daily by the end of working hours. For that peculiarity foreigners jokingly nickname the city Armpit of Latin America.

Photo atlasandboots.com

Encarnación in the south-east of the country looks well taken care of and even cozy in European way. This city is located on the bank of Paraná River and is notable because large Ukrainian expatriate community lives there. On its initiative Prosvita organization operates in Encarnación, there is a Ukrainian football team and a dancing crew. All in all over thirteen thousand ethnic Ukrainians live in Paraguay, many of them are high in the social scale.

Main photo strawberrytours.com

It will be interesting:
A trip to Transylvania: Intriguing places of Romania
A visit to picturesque Transylvania is akin to mystic extravaganza that takes place in reality. But laymen rarely know for sure what to visit in Romania aside from the famous Bran Castle, residence of Count Dracula. OUTLOOK solves the problem and offers an opportunity to personally choose an exciting route – its history may not just surprise but also stir your blood.
Dallol: Bright glory of Ethiopia
Countries often flaunt their natural beauties: they invite tourists allowing them to examine closely every detail of jewellery coined by the nature. Among beauties, there are some that are the most extravagantly bright, showy and bizarre, and sometimes even wild for our eyes. African Ethiopia grabbed one of the most beautiful accessories - Dallol volcano.
Only sky is a limit: Worlds's highest observation decks
Nature bestowed our planet with many sky-high peaks, which at any moment give visitors the feeling of boundless freedom. Cities build skyscrapers boasting to one another and, to satisfy high aspirations, they add observation decks at the height of the bird's flight. Travelling from continent to continent, with bated breath we will admire the world's loftiest views from the summits of supertalls.
Postcards from Bulgaria
Having taken the passport and good mood, go on May holidays to the so-called "Near Abroad" - Bulgaria - the country where ancient architecture is successfully combined with a relaxing sea breeze. Do not you believe? But OUTLOOK is sure that Pavel Khomenskyi through his photos will be able to convince you! Bright and in its own way majestic Sofia - this is a must see on these holidays! Let's go with us!
Banned to leave handling kiwi. Customs bans on export
Tourists with their eyes full of tears because statuettes, shells and other stuff bought “as a souvenir” are being shaken out of their bags – is a continual occurrence at customs. For you not to become one of those tourists, OUTLOK suggests you check out a selection of (sometimes weird) objects forbidden to be exported from different countries.
Guinea Bissau: Expensive downshifting
People on holiday can be divided into two types: “tender creatures” and “adrenaline addicts”. Former ones will trade passive sunbathing and comfortable hotels for nothing. The letter ones prefer even cabins to annoying all inclusive and suites. “Cabins” are the conditions Guinea Bissau provides you with.
Sentosa – The whole Singapore in one island
To fully experience a country with the territory of over 700 square meters in merely a couple-of-days-long walking tour is very much possible. And no superpowers like teleportation or ability to move at light speed are needed for that. It is enough to head for Sentosa Island that pertains to the Republic of Singapore and completely reflects its specialties. And all that against no more than 100 dollars!
We were there: Sopot
European coast of the Baltic Sea can boast of neither warm waters nor lasting beach season – this however does not prevent it from being a popular resort area. Great number of cozy coastal towns attracts tourists first of all with fresh and curative air as well as with the opportunity to “heal the eyes” looking at the cold sea and amazing landscapes. Sopot – main Baltic resort of Poland – exhibits all of these advantages to the full.
Oman is a country with aroma of incense
This country became open for tourists only in late 1980s although its port cities were considered windows to the new world in past. It is now famous as a producer of most expensive perfumes, world supplier of incense and a keeper of copper pits that used to be a source of the metal for ancient civilizations!
Postcards from Batumi
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
On the Road – Own Way
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
"All inclusive" and even more: amazing hotel service
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
World transport: Vertical Lisbon
Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Europe, however, its territory is difficult for living and building due to its steep hilly terrain. Portuguese metropolis is situated on seven densely populated hills. That's why its hallmark is three funicular railroads and the elevator, without which tourists and residents would be much in trouble moving around the city.
History of the street: Bagdad Avenue in Istanbul
If all the magnificent Istanbul is considered as the heart of regional trade, one of its most luxurious streets, Bagdad Avenue, is, certainly, the main artery. Having appeared there, even rejecting shopping with the whole heart, one feels hardship while trying to keep him balanced and not succumb to temptation to go to the ships and markets. Even though, apart from that, there is something to do here.
Around the world. Top of the most unusual world travel
Traveling has long ago become a part of human life. There have always been bravehearts and madmen who headed off up hill and down dale, took risks and eventually discovered new lands. Today, when the world map has a very accurate outline, we offer you a couple of stories about trips around the world that contributed to its creation.
Rainbow-colored Flower
Everybody remembers a child’s fairy tale about the magical rainbow-colored flower that could make wishes come true. But some of us don’t know that it actually exists. Not so much in the shape of a flower but more like in granular state. We mean the sand that one of the villages on Mauritius, called Shamarel, is covered with.
South Goa with the eyes of Kira Kondratenko
Depression and lack of new ideas? Head to Goa! It was the rest in Goa that helped business lady Kira Kondratenko build up energy and ideas for the implementation of an interesting project once. Today she shares with us her impressions of the island while calling it nothing short of Heaven on Earth.
Belgium with the eyes of Marina Orlova: How the belgians live
Marina Orlova is a project manager in a cultural and public organization. Working on one of her international projects, she met her love - Wim, a guy from Belgium. She succeeded to visit his country only when Ukraine obtained visa-free regime and Marina shared with OUTLOOK her observations about how the Belgians live, what they eat for breakfast and how they relax.
Varanasi: Crematorium City
Some call it the city of temples, some – created by gods and others call it crematorium on the Ganges River. Today we speak about Indian city of Varanasi where no one is scared by death and the latter one has long ago become business. This metropolis with a million and a half of population, situated in the north-west of the state, was, according to legends, founded over five thousand years ago by Lord Shiva.
Touristic disillusion: From France to Macedonia
The Eiffel Tower, according to Guy de Maupassant, is just a huge iron freak in the centre of Paris. A romantic Shakespearean Venice, they say, in fact, is a solid dump with a sharp stench of sewage throughout the city. Can the glorified and famous countries, cities, and attractions be so disgusting? We asked experienced travellersabout the most disappointing destinations in their long journeys.
Close
Outlook facebook page