As I mentioned on flickr last week, I went to Asunción, Paraguay for the weekend. It was a long journey. We left Londrina at 5:30 a.m. and arrived in Foz do Iguaçu at noon.
There we had lunch and left the car at a hotel’s parking lot. it’s not safe to go inside Paraguay by car. Why? Because from 1964 to 1870 there was a war… Paraguay against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguai.
Yeah, that little country was shed into smithereens and they still blame us for ruining their country. You see, just because 70% of all male population (11 years old to 70) was decimated and the entire country still looks like it was raided by zombies, they use that as an excuse to hate on us and to exploit us and black mail us all the 300 kilometers from Ciudad del Este (bordering city to Foz do Iguaçú) to Asunción.
“Policemen” stay along the entire road (there is only one) coming up with the most ridiculous excuses to give you a ticket that would set your heart to an arrest, but all can be settled right then and there, with a *little* kickback.
Very well, we crossed the gross Ciudad del Este’s entrance and got to the bus Station and on we went with our trip.
There were lots of miserable small villages along the road that wouldn’t strech farther than a couple of hundred yards from the road. Sad sad situation, ugly scenery.
The three snap shots bellow were taken from inside the bus, and the two first photos display houses that were quite big compared to the others I saw along the way. There were some really impossible small ones, some around 2×2 meters!!
Did you notice the “fog” in the last photo? Weird, huh? I was quite puzzled too, because it was hooot was the fifth circle of hell, and it was around 4 in the afternoon.
Only when I got to Asunción Jota explained to me that Asunción (and pretty much all the neighboring villages) is actually one of the most polluted cities in the world.
All that with near zero industries in the whole country. How come that is possible? Jota told me that Asunción is a convergence center of air masses, aka smog drain. Just it’s not drained. It is stationed atop the country until it rains. It has been 2 months since it rained the last time.
There aren’t many tall modern buildings in Asunción. But Renata and Jota live in one of them, at the seventh floor. The photos below are the view from their flat.
This haze, my friends, is a heavy thick unhealthy layer of the purest pollution only the burning forests of Bolivia can gift Paraguay with.
The yellow building, with a colorful roof is a brothel.
The building with chairs on the roof is a nightclub. This view if of the “little center”, the old part of the city, which ends at the lake. There is the modern center, which is actually beautiful in its “beauty islands”. Asunción is this all around. A beautiful building here, and then ugly ugly ugly ugly around it. Another beautiful building and then: ugly ugly ugly ugly.
As I had predicted, we didn’t got out much for sight seeing. I wasn’t happy with it… at all, but I knew that I was lucky to get anything at all. We only went out saturday morning…
The photos above were taken at the Pantheon, where the bones of some soldiers are buried. These are from the Chaco War. A war between Paraguay and Bolivia and the only one that Paraguay actually won, so they give it a super important status in their history… lots of things in Paraguay are named after this war.
There are many squares in Asunción and most of them are beautiful and well kept. Nearly all of them have Ipês, a tree that flowers furiously as spring approaches. There are many colors, and this time, the pink ones were showing their glory.
On the photo above, can you see a stain of “brown air” near the cathedral? I can never get over the pollution of the city…
This pink building is the city hall, which has a museum inside of it. Right behind the city hall there is the biggest slum of Paraguay.
These photos were taken inside of the city hall.
I looooved these colorful toys 🙂
That’s one of the entrances of the slum, right in front of another official building.
This is the Government Palace or Lopez Palace.
And ships being fixed right by it…
This was the last photo I took, on the way back from Ciudad del Este to Foz do Iguaçu, from inside a taxi. I hope you have enjoyed peeking at my snap shots 🙂