This Monday we went to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, a 20 minutes bus ride from Foz do Iguacu.
The bus, showing by its interior that we are going to a less developed country. We actually had to choose a seat that was not rusted to pieces in its foundation, the first one we sat down in swayed back and forth in a not too comforting way.
The bus runs from the bus terminal in Foz do Iguacu to the bus terminal in Ciduad del Este, crossing the friendship bridge connecting Brazil with Paraguay. We had to get off at both ends of the bridge in order to get stamps from both countries. Being EU citizens we do not need a visa of any kind. We got a form on the plane when flying into Brazil, this was necessary to get an exit stamp, and was left with the lady giving us the stamp. The bus waited for us on the Brazilian side, and on the Paraguayan side we said goodbye to our bus driver and continued on foot. Here we just got our passports scanned and stamped. We were officially in Paraguay!
Okay, so what are we going to do in this mysterious little city. It is more or less a city filled with people selling cheap stuff to the Brazilian and Argentinean visitors. Cheap and counterfeit stuff, and lots of scams. If this is not a place to check that what you buy is genuine, actually is inside the box, and working then I do not know what is. But you can find almost anything, cheap!
The interesting thing is that it is not only the street vendors who sell all kinds of junk, the same things fill floor after floor in malls as well!
After getting fed up with cheap strange things to buy we went to get some lunch. Our choice landed on a restaurant that had a good review on foursquare called Oriental. It was good, nothing out of the ordinary, chinese food. And they had Coca Cola in 1 liter glass bottles.
All in all, a very strange city. I bought some shisha tobacco for next to nothing and we left on foot. Below is probably on of the best addresses in the city, for some reason it is a pile of sand at the moment.
We left on foot and walked over the supposedly dangerous bridge. It was not more dangerous than any other sidewalk, maybe safer as it had a fence between us and the cars. We did not see any shady persons on the bridge, but we did see a family or two. Upon entering Brazil we had to get a new stamp, this was given in a small booth similar to the ones you pay a highway fee in. We did not get a form to fill in as we did on our first entry. We were assured by two different immigration officers that this was not necessary. We can also confirm that we were allowed into Argentina without the form.