Friday 23 June 2017

Panama City-Old, New And The Canal


Panama sits between Costa Rica and Colombia withe Caribbean Sea to the north and Pacific Ocean to the south, the famous Panama Canal that connects both and Panama City in the middle that has half of the countries 4 million people.

we stayed at the 

This was a centrally located hotel in the city and had good access to restaurants and transport,
 Panama was inhabited by local people until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century and Panama broke from Spain in 1821 and joined up with neighbours such as Granada, Ecuador, Venezuela and it became the Republic of Gran Colombia but this dissolved in 1831 and Panama became part of Colombia. With the help of the US Panama separated from Colombia in 1902 which allowed the Panama Canal to be built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914.In 1977 the ownership of the Canal transferred from the US to Panama. The Canal remains a prominent driver of the economy.

  The visit was essentially to see the Canal but there was far more with the old city of Panama and equally fascinating place to visit. The guide books advised care and safety was to some degree and issue although no issues were encountered the place beyond the normal tourist areas had a 'grittiness' to it. There were advised NO Go zones on the outer areas of the old city. Accommodation was in the new part of the city which was a modern high rise and there were plenty of good options. Our choice was the Marriott downtown.

Getting Around
A good way to get around and see the Canal and the Old City was by using the Hop-on Hop-off bus that provided a very economical two day pass. This was cheaper and safer than a taxi.

The Canal
Go early as it gets busy and stay long enough to watch a ship going through the canal lock which tales about an hour. There is excellent viewing from the Visitor Centre.

A View Of A Ship Proceeding Through The First Lock

The Old Town
From the drop-off point just walk the streets of the Old Town and take in the views . There are many churches, old ruins, cafes and restaurants and old buildings and historical places.

A View Of The New City From Near The Canal Entrance

Some Of The Old Church Ruins

The Old City From The Waterfront 
Some Of The Slum Areas Of Panama City

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