Paraguay’s Encarnacion is a simple colonial city bursting with local culture. Situated on the nation’s southern border beside Argentina, The city was founded by the Jesuits during the early 17th century.
Because of its location, the city of Encarnacion is just a short local bus ride away from Posadas Argentina. The city has become a shopping spot for a number of Argentines because of its cheap and low-taxed goods. Encarnacion offers a relaxed atmosphere and compared to other major cities in South America, as it definitely belongs to the off the beaten track category.
The city has two distinct parts. The section closest to the edge of Rio Parana is the colonial part of town. While walking in this area, you will get to see the oldest buildings in the city. Some of the notable landmarks are Casa de la Cultura, Cathedral de Encarnacion, and the Plaza de Armas. If possible, plan your visit to Paraguay for January or February when the city hosts the nation’s most famous and extensive Carnival celebrations.
By Robert Yost
(SEATTLE, WA)-We always stay the night before and after a cruise in the port city of embarkation and disembarkation. So for our recent Seattle based Alaska cruise on Holland America, we looked for a fun, affordable boutique property in the city. We stayed at the Hotel Andra, which is an excellent boutique hotel in downtown Seattle and comes highly recommended. The lobby is chic while at the same time warm and welcoming. Front desk staff are great and the rooms are spacious with sleek and attractive interior design. The original building’s interior was virtually gutted and redesigned to ultra modern standards. Location is everything and the Andra is well within walking distance of downtown shopping and tourists attractions like the Pike Place Market. We loved this hotel and look forward to staying their again before or after our next cruise departing from Seattle!
By Arie Boris
With a new president at the helm for just 30 days prior to departure, I did not know what to expect as I checked in at the Seattle cruise terminal for the 2013 RSVP Vacations cruise to Alaska. Stepping onto the beautiful Holland America ship, we encountered one of the numerous RSVP hosts onboard and knew this cruise experience would surpass expectations. We were welcomed, as if by an old friend, asked if we had any questions and invited to have a fantastic week. Hospitality and personal attention does not get any better than the RSVP approach. We felt, as we have on past RSVP cruises, genuinely welcome and a part of the family!
Historically, RSVP made its mark by initiating the first all gay and lesbian charter cruise over 20 years ago. Their reputation has always reflected a superior approach to customer service, lots of activities, fabulous t-dances on deck, and bringing their own superior entertainment. Over the past year or two, rumor had it, things were adrift. After meeting Randle Roper, the newly appointed president of RSVP, during the cruise, I am confident any negative rumors about the future of RSVP can be put to rest. His genuine style and interaction with guests speaks highly of his commitment to making RSVP Vacations better than it has ever been!
Slovenia’s Soca River is perceived to be one of the most picturesque in all of Europe. This 140 kilometer river is situated in the country’s western section, beginning at the Trenta Valley in the Julian Alps and runs over northeastern Italy. It passes through a couple of cities like Nova Gorica, Bovec Kobarid, and Tolmin, as well as the region’s highest peak, The Triglav Mountain. Finally, the river’s journey ends as it enters the Adriatic Sea.
The Soca River Valley is known as the “Emerald Beauty”, and the visitors who set foot in this area, have always confirmed this description. The river is so beautiful with its emerald green water and surrounding mountains that you can sit by the riverside for hours and be content. In fact, the river’s uncanny beauty and consistent color have inspired many famous and classic Slovenian poems. Like the Soci (To the Soca) of Simon Gregorcic.
However, Soca River is not only a place for the poets and artists; it has become a playground for the outdoor enthusiasts and the thrill seekers. One of the most popular activities in this region is rafting. Some sections of the river generate fantastic whitewater waves and strong torrents, which allow you to put your rafting skills to the test. At most bends, the river is quite calm. Thus, Soca River is generally an ideal rafting spot for both experienced and novice rafters.