La Paz Travel Blog› entry 61 of 92 › view all entries
La Paz is a really great city, which helps to explain why I stayed so many nights there in total.
Mostly it is the buzz of the markets in the centre that help to create a wonderful atmosphere, where locals buy all manner of goods and food and tourists are able to browse and purchase excellent-value artesania (jewelley, fabrics, scarves, flags and just general tat!). The colours of the goods are amazing, only bettered by the great feeling you get from picking up a bargain.
And there are also a number of stalls which make up the ´witches market´ selling all sorts of charms that are used by locals, in particular weavers looking to gain good luck for their forthcoming tapestries. The most interesting and gruesome thing to be seen are the array of llama foetuses (see photo) which are surprisingly large and developed, and which I´d have bought as a gift for someone if I´d ahve thought you could get it back into the country!
La Paz also has some pretty wealthy areas, which I was able to visit briefly courtesy of the flat with Lyn and Ady were staying in (Lyn´s cousin´s) which was a very plush 19th floor affair in a modern towerblock overlooking a charming square.
Apart from the markets, the best thing I saw in La Paz was the Modern Art Museum. Apart from the great Guyasamin museums in Quito, this was the first truly great modern art museum I´d come across in S America. Firstly, it actually had some art in (unlike the one in Cusco) and secondly it had lights which were working so you could see it (unlike Arequipa!). There was a good variety of work by 20th century S American artists, paintings and sculptures, and as with everything in Bolivia it was a bargain to get into (approx 60p!) so I ended up spending more in the museum´s shop. Highly recommened for those heading to La Paz anytime soon!
La Paz was also where we said goodbye to the Kumuka group I´d been touring with for the past 3 weeks.