Panama City, Panamá - Visit to the Panamá Canal & more

Panama City Travel Blog

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Panama City, Panamá - Monument to Balboa

Good thing we took it easy in Boquete because our journey to Panamá City was a LONG one!  We didn’t think we’d make it in one day, but we did! 

We’d prepared ourselves mentally, saying "it’s gonna be tough catching a ride . . .," but to our pleasant surprise, it wasn’t. 

We made it to the capital by nightfall and the whole trip cost us a whopping $2!!  Good deal!  And since we didn’t want to take any risks getting mugged or anything, we just went straight to Ken’s place and called it a night.  By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!!

The next day, we set out for some sightseeing around the city.  I expected it to be somewhat developed, but not so much.

Panama City, Panamá - Neat statue
 

Panama City is quite a wealthy city, with fancy malls all over the place, and big buildings dotting the city’s skyline; but oddly enough, the poverty is still very much out there.

It’s a bit disturbing to see such wealth on one hand and then all the ghettos on the other.  ¡Bienvenidos a América Latina!

Of course, we’d been warned that there were places we shouldn’t step foot in, so we tried our hardest not to end up in those neighborhoods. 

So, there we were wandering around the streets of the Casco Viejo, a more touristy part of Panamá, then suddenly the scenery changed.  We’d gone into one of the "forbidden" areas!  Now what!?  

We just asked for directions, and as it’s been the case for us ’til now, people were lovely.

Panama City, Panamá - Salon de Coiffure à la panameña!
  Folks went out of their way to help us out, as much as they could.  Even in the hood!!

Again the rain hasn’t let up one bit!  Supposedly the rainy season should be over by now, but it just doesn’t want to go away!  We had intended to visit the Canal that day, but we had to hold off until the following one, due to the storm.

Good thing we did because the weather was a whole lot better.  So we checked it out and I gotta say it was impressive to see how the ships are raised and lowered through the Canal’s locks.  Check out the video . . .

Sightseeing in Panamá City was ok, but what I particularly enjoyed about it was watching all the people. 

Panamá is such a diverse country, a big melting pot, or better yet a sancocho pot, as they call it here.

Panama City, Panamá - Taking a stroll on the pedestrian street near Plaza Cinco de Mayo
 

In the capital itself, you have your Afro-Panamanians, the Mestizos, the Indians of Panamá - including the Kuna, the Emberá, and the Wounaan, all the expats from Europe and the US, and you even have a large Asian community.  Lots of diversity here, all contributing a different flavor to the city.  Gotta love it!

Panama, une ville un peu chaude, avec des quartiers peu recommandés pour les touristes, des gratte-ciels qui poussent comme des champignons, le vieux quartier avec ses ruines, ces fameuses hojaldres (un pain frit), un canal connu dans le monde entier.

On peut dire un grand merci à Ken qui nous a hébergé 2 semaines dans son appart, avec ses 2 chiens (qui chies et pisses partout !!!).

Panama City, Panamá - Le vigil du magasin

Un mec super qui malheureusement travaille beaucoup, qui nous a bien conseillé pour des endroits à visiter.

Le canal était impressionnant, je dois l’avouer, mais je le voyais autrement, je ne sais pas je pense que je le voyais avec plus d’amplitude, voir vidéos ou photos.

Pour le reste, je dois vous dire, c’est l’endroit le plus galère pour aller en Colombie, sauf bien-sûr si tu veux payer 500$ avec l’avion!

On voulait prendre le bateau pour aller à Cartagena, quelle galère, pas de bateau, pas d’horaire, pas de port .........Incroyable !

C’est pour cela qu’on est resté aussi longtemps, on ne trouvait pas de moyen de partir! Finalement on a trouvé un vol pas cher, et ya !

esterc1019 says:
hey, nice pictures, so what happen, your not going on the ship, well call or write back. be carefull, I'll be waiting on you.
Posted on: Dec 03, 2007
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Panama City
photo by: Biedjee