In the Old City

Published: February 5th 2014
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Truly an Engineering Feat. Currently, there's a fight going on over the funding for an expansion.
Tom and I left Tennessee during the aftermath of he surprise January 2014 snowstorm. We shuttled the luggage to the Prius at the paved road, then Tom drove the truck (in 4WD with chains) the mile back to the house and walked back down to the road to join me. To avoid an early morning slip-n-n slide trip, we spent Friday night at the Hilton by the Knoxville airport and escaped on Feb 1 to Panama City -- the real one, not the one in Florida.

We are staying in Casco Viejo (translates as "the old shell"), the second oldest section of the city. It was started by the Spanish in 1671 after the earliest section was destroyed by Henry Morgan. Yes THAT Morgan, who was a pirate, privateer or British admiral, depending on your point of view -- or rum salesman. The casco is now a world heritage site. Our lodging dates for the same time and was at one time a nunnery or school. The walls -- and the walls of most of the buildings around here -- are 2-3 feet thick and made of stone and mortar, much of it taken from the old section destroyed by
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I love this building. By the way, there's a Trump building.
Morgan. The place is called Los Cuatro Tulipanes, and is surrounded by small restaurants and neighborhoods, the presidential palace, the French embassy, crumbling buildings, some slums -- it is being gentrified, but has not (yet?) lost its genuine nature.

We've been to Costa Rica several times and Panama appears to be much richer and more "Americanized" -- no surprise, due to the length of time the US occupied the country. The skyline, to us Tennesseans, looks like Manhattan. However, there are areas in the city that look Caribbean and some slum areas.

Oh, before I forget: at passport control, we were handed a brochure telling us every tourist gets 30 days of free medical care. Interesting ...

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Beer, ice, and lime juice.

Much work is going on without losing the character of the area.

6th February 2014

Very informative
Great blog. Beautiful place and interesting. I was there many years ago and would love to go back.

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