Merry Christmas and Panama

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Central America Caribbean » Panama
December 17th 2007
Published: December 17th 2007
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Old Church and Watch TowerOld Church and Watch TowerOld Church and Watch Tower

Thanks to the photo from John because it was raining I didn´t take my camera - turns out it rains every afternoon.
Well this is weird, 2 weeks out from Christmas and just starting to see decorations going up and I don’t have a clue who I will be with? At least last year away from home I already had a new work family and plans for the week. Anyway, this isn’t about me.
It is to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year.

Panama, much more than a canal!
By first accounts after having a huge headache on the plane, it was a nice city. Stayed in backpackers and felt safe walking around town. Checked out the Ancient City and was quite cool, even though it was a rainy day, and saw Punte del Rey, the oldest bridge in the Americas. The next day walked to Old City area (where the AncientCity moved to) and checked out a couple of museums, one with stuffed animals which for a USD1 can’t go wrong (it was air conditioned), the Canal Museum, the National Park and finally the Miraflora Locks of Panama Canal. Had some more cheap food and headed home. At one stage, the taxi
Oldest bridge in the AmericasOldest bridge in the AmericasOldest bridge in the Americas

Puenta Del Rey, thanks for the photo John
and oncoming traffic changed to driving on the right side of the road??? Still don’t know what went on there.
Now, I might have to change my mind about a safe city. I still feel ok but looking back on some weird things…. 1 - a guy slipped in behind safety door at hostel I think following a lady looked very suss, 2 - a local warned us walking around old city ‘mucho peligroso - mafia’ ie very dangerous mafia, then taxi driver taking down side streets next to suburb where (hand signals) we would get shot in the head, he would get shot in leg and money stolen, 3 - saw two police arrests within about 10-20m, one with guns, 4 - another guy acting really suss following us closely walking around. Maybe any of these could’ve been bad with let wits or a bit more wrong place wrong time.
Bottom line, met up with couple of Aussie guys and did self touring so saw heaps more than just the canal. Was very cheap city even if we were apparently getting ripped off by taxis, and didn’t have anything bad happen so I rated it.

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Panama Simon Bolivia memorial y Iglesia San FranciscoPanama Simon Bolivia memorial y Iglesia San Francisco
Panama Simon Bolivia memorial y Iglesia San Francisco

Simon Bolivia united Panama down to Peru Bolivia and Brazil into Gran Columbia before it was separated again later.
Panama Union HousePanama Union House
Panama Union House

Was then used for Panamanian Defence Force Club until ruined in 1990 USA bombings. See the ships queuing for the canal in the background!
Panama Punte de AmericasPanama Punte de Americas
Panama Punte de Americas

The bridge that joins the Americas!
Mmmm ice blocksMmmm ice blocks
Mmmm ice blocks

Made like when I was a kid. And Brendan, one of the Aussies I met enjoying one.
Panama Flat ArchPanama Flat Arch
Panama Flat Arch

This arch was reportedly a decisive factor in the Canal being in Panama because it hadn´t collapsed so they musn´t have earthquakes....
Finally the CanalFinally the Canal
Finally the Canal

Miraflores Locks.

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