Blogs from Panamá, Panama, Central America Caribbean - page 3


Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá October 26th 2018

The first hotel we stayed at was in the modern part of the city, the financial district. What struck us was the skyline. Very tall buildings with interesting and unusual designs. My favorite was the one our taxi driver referred to as the screw (but our guide called it tthe corkscrew. We then moved to a hotel in the Casco Viejo to join our tour group. This is the older part of the city, my favorite part. A little bit of history first. The following descrption I found on the internet as I do not have the writing to describe these accurately. Panama Viejo Founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila, the city of Panamá was the first European settlement along the Pacific. For 150 years it flourished as Spain exported ... read more
Panama Viejo-Cathedral tower
Ruins in Panama Viejo
Presidential Palace in Casco Viejo

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama Canal October 26th 2018

Ray and I have traveled through many locks in the world including the big one on the Yang Zhi River. The principle behind locks is quite ancient and simple - the river is dammed up and the locks are used to raise and lower boats by gravity. What makes Panama Canal unique is its strategic location and its history. The book of 'Path Between the Seas' by David McCullough is highly recommended for anyone who is interested and planning to visit this area. In the early 16th century Spaniards started to transport precious gold found in South America to Europe, the idea of a short cut through the Isthmus linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was entertained. The French began to built a canal in 1880 but landslides and tropical diseases (yellow fever, malaria) killed 22,000 ... read more
First view of a cruise ship
Our Discovery
Gatun Lake

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City October 19th 2018

We took the Grand Circle tour ’Panama - A Continent Divide, Oceans United’ which highlighted the Panama Canal. However, in addition to the canal, we also had opportunities to learn about the history and culture of the Panama people. We stayed in the old part of the Panama City and the Colonial style buildings around us all are in different stages of restoration - from dilapidated ruins to newly minted modern hotels all mixed in together. Our tour guide warned us to bring walking stick as the streets and sidewalks are very uneven with lots of pot holes. We walked around the old town and visited historical sites and churches. I noticed a statue with tear streaking face - a saint for loneliness with such a sad expression. Part of our tour included discussion of controversial ... read more
Fish boats in the harbor
Fish Market
Ray with his walking stick.

The only thing we want to do in Panama is see the canal and fortunately that’s pretty easy to do from Panama City as it’s only 5km from the main bus station to the Miraflores lock visitor centre. In order to see something interesting we need to hang around for a couple of hours, but are then rewarded by the bulk carrier “Pretty Sight” and the car transporter “Courageous Ace” heading south through the locks towards the Pacific. The viewing platform is next to the original locks built in 1913, but there are now a new and larger set about 1km west of where we are built to take longer and wider vessels. Panama City is quite unlike anywhere else we have been in Central America with an impressive skyline of modern tower blocks. There is ... read more

Donnerstag, den 10. Mai, kamen Rebecka und ich nach einer langen und ermüdenden 10-stündigen Busfahrt um 4h morgens in Panama City an. Zum Glück hatte Rebecka darauf bestanden ein Bett im Hostel für die Nacht vorher zu buchen, so dass, als wir gegen 5h ankamen, wir sofort ins Bett gehen konnten und noch ein paar Stunden schlafen konnten. Am nächsten Tag bin ich gegen 8h30 aufgestanden und - zu meiner großen Überraschung - saß am Frühstückstisch Nathalie aus England, die ich in Copán, Honduras, kennengelernt hatte. Wir haben zusammen gefrühstückt und dann hat sie mich begleitet, einen Ort zu finden, an dem ich meine nächste Tollwutimpfung bekommen kann. Wir sind zu verschiedenen Apotheken und Krankenhäusern gegangen, aber die Antwort war überall die gleiche : die Tollwutimpfung bekommt man nur im Gesundheitsministerium. Frustriert sind wir dann zum ... read more

It's about 6am and almost light outside. There are a number of large ships off our starboard side. They appear to be just sitting in the water, probably waiting for permission to enter the Canal but we are rolling right along. We've been through the Panama Canal back in 2012 on the Zuiderdam and we understand the operation of this transport system but it's a fascinating piece of history I'm eager to revisit. Karen can't understand such excitement this early in the day but quietly prepares for the day. I'm out the door and up to Deck 9 aft to take a few pictures of the new bridge crossing the Atlantic end of the canal, the Centennial Bridge. The one at the Pacific side has been there for many years, part of the Pan American Highway. ... read more
Centennial Bridge Nearing Completion
Entering the Canal
Our First Lock

Today’s blog, day 16 will be added to as we go because else it takes hours to upload photos etc. We’ve been through the americas bridge and now just got through miraflores lock. Photos and videos so far. Now we are in Pedro Miguel lock. It’s 9:35 here 14:35 in uk 10:10 am and we are through Pedro Miguel lock on way to centennial bridge. 10:20 we are now passed under centennial bridge . Photos added xx 11:15 passed through the cut and on our way to gatun lock. The cut was beautiful, you could clearly see were the land has literally been cut away by man. It’s crocodile infested waters too! Just passed the huge crane called Herman the German. 12:10 - we are in Gatun lake- still headed toward the Gatun lock. This is ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá March 16th 2018

We are sailing again, folks. Get your life jackets tightened up. Our cruise ship is going to go through the new Panama Canal today....with all of us onboard. That is unless some of you decide you want to be ambitious and do the breast stroke along side the ship. Tugboats pull and push our ship through the locks so if you get tired, I suppose you can grab hold of one of them and they could tug you along, too. Today is Wednesday, February 21st. Lulu is so excited. She so wishes she could wear a bathing suit just in case she fell overboard. No fear, I keep her close to me to prevent any danger coming to her. She has to be protected......she is a fearless fool at times. If you haven’t traveled through the ... read more
 Pilot boat brings local pilot to our ship
Tugboats circle around our ship
 One of the tugboats

I bet you’ve been checking the obituaries looking for my name since I have being absent for so long. I’m alive! I’m alive! Our daughter, Kim, called us today to make sure we hadn’t been stuffed and left in a suitcase somewhere. Nope....just caught the rotten flu (yes,I had a flu shot) then acute bronchitis and still not quite 100% myself but much better than I was nearing the end of our cruise on Thursday, Feb.22nd. That’s when I positioned myself and Lulu onto my death bed. Cory got sick once we were home but struggled and fought and recovered from his ailments so much faster than me. He’s a strong man! The horrible senerio with me will come later in these blogs. First, we want to share our annual cruise with all of you. We’ll ... read more
 Closer to the cruise ship
 Carol, Cory, Lulu, me and Bev
 Carol, Cory, Lulu, Sandy, Bev

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City February 3rd 2018

After Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí province I was back in the bustling, cosmopolitan capital: Panama City. With about one million inhabitants and besides its famous Panama Canal it's also known for its skyline with many skyscrapers. You could already guess: The traffic often gets ugly but fortunately the city has a new metro-system (subway) which opened in 2014. It currently has one line and the second is being built. There is also a more modern bus-system which made the majority of the typical coloured "diablo rojo" buses disappear from the streets. For many in Curaçao, Panama City is well known for its many shopping malls such as Albrook, Pacifica, Los Andes, MetroMall, Los Pueblos etc. What I like about Panama City is that you can get into the rainforest and do some hiking very close ... read more
Panama City
Parque Municipal Summit "Bamboo passage"
Panama City

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