We arrived in Asuncion by bus at around 00:30 at night, and the entire city looked really scary. The bus station was horrifying, but we managed to find WiFi and ordered an Uber.
The Isla Francia hostel did its job to offer a clean, safe space to sleep. We even had crepes in the morning - every morning - #crepes party yoohoo! We fell in love with the two hotel's cats, Melita and her daughter Boba (silly in English).
We met the volunteers in charge of the hostel, the most notable one being Sergei - he was born in Russia but his parents were backpackers so since he was 7 they traveled the world and spent a few years in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia. He is now 42, he is an electrical engineer who volunteers at Isla Francia hostel and treats it as his own place and he has a great interest in history. Sergei is a very interesting person that knows a lot about the world and enjoys sharing his experiences.
However, if you remember the article about our amazing experience at Rio Carnival, there we mentioned Laura who offered to take us around Asuncion when we get to Paraguay. And she did!
Our journey with Laura in Asuncion, Paraguay
Lido Bar & Costanera
Laura took us to Lido Bar, where we tried all types of traditional foods - read more in this article about Paraguayan food. After that, she took us to Costanera which is Asuncion's river coast. The coast is packed with people on Sundays and the atmosphere is very relaxing.
Later, we went to a sky bar on top of a hotel (15th floor) where the views of the city were stunning. Then, Laura told us more about herself. She is a dental surgeon, orthodontist, and cosmetic beauty surgeon (everything related to botox, hyaluronic acid, and so on). This is a woman in her 40s with a tremendously young spirit. Just a small inside: 4 kids, 2 boys aged 15 and 18, and two girls aged 23 and 25. She even has a grandson who is 2.
We found Laura an exceptional example to follow: she has 4 beautiful children, a successful career, she is also a painter and travels the world on every occasion! - Thank you for everything
We felt so lucky to have met her - she told us all about the Paraguayan culture and how the war affected the country. Then she told us more about the people, the buildings, the art and nevertheless the guarani language - that 97% of the Paraguayan population speak.
Fact: guarani language sounds nothing like Spanish!
Best meal in Asuncion, Paraguay
The next day Laura invited us to her home and cooked a Paraguayan Assado for us to taste. Her beautiful daughter Araceli, her two sons, Martin and Joaquin, and also her younger sister Monique were there. Oh, and let's not forget her cat Ari and two dogs Cookie and Skol (yes, like the beer) were also part of the group. We were so well received and cannot be grateful enough for this wonderful experience.
We spoke in Spanish with Laura and her family all the time, which got Chris out of his comfort zone. He used Google Translate to help him communicate with others. We talked about the Romanian music and even made a demonstration; I know some of you will wonder what music we played - it was some popular music (hore), manele :)), and Inna.
We also discussed with Araceli about her new shop, she is a designer and makes beautiful pret-a-porter clothes. Her business is KAVAQueen - Kava in guarani means wasp. If you're ever in Asuncion and need beautiful clothes, make a visit to KAVAQueen!
Then we went on and discussed with Monique about her career and hardships as a military. Then she also told us about her side business as a photographer. So if you ever need a photoshoot in Asuncion Paraguay, try Monique photography!
The colorful Lomo San Jeronimo
During our third and final day in Asuncion, we met Laura again and visited Lomo San Jeronimo. This is a small neighborhood located on a hill filled with colored houses and walls. We went on the rooftop of the bar Ko'Ape (it means here in English), where we tasted a Pilsen beer made with sugarcane honey. It was delicious!
Finally, wishing to see her again we said goodbye to Laura and invited them all to Bucharest as we would be more than happy to see her and her family again.
Muchas gracias por todo, Laura Ramirez! Escribimos este artículo en tu honor! Thank you very much for everything, Laura Ramirez! We wrote this article in your honor!