We landed at Terminal 1 and were told we needed to pick up luggage and do customs and immigration at terminal 2.
We must have walked 2 miles from one end to the other. Whew was a long stretch, but the paperwork at customs was nominal, and we got stamps in our passports. This is so unusual these days.
We found a taxi and got transportation to our hotel located in Central Panamá city.
We decided to have food and drink at the hotels rooftop bar. which was a lovely experience except for the 90 % humidity.
Next morning, we decided to take a tour of the Panamá Canal, and the city it was great tour of the canal with an Imax 3 D movie narrated by Morgan Freeman. My partner Maximo adores this actor because of all the different types of characters he has portrayed.
Then we got to actually see the canal at one of the large gates at Miraflores locks on the Pacific side.
This canal is really the 8th wonder of the world. To see these huge tankers/freighters transiting the canal is daunting. The amounts of goods that travel thru the canal daily on 32 ships is huge. They transit the canal daily, 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. The number of ships using the canal will drop down to 30 as the lack of rainfall water that is used to fill the lake in the middle of canal is dropping lower.
Still something amazing to watch and is crazy to think of the building of the canal at the turn of the 1910.
Since that tour, we have gotten to know Panamá City. In scale its not very large especially the sections of town that we want to visit…centro, the old city and the walk along the harbor.
Last night, the cuidad antigua turned on its holiday lights. We were up on the 4th floor of a restaurant/ bar and got to see the celebratory fireworks too.
The old city has approx 4000 buildings and the restoration process has renewed about 80 percent of the city.
In many ways, this city is reminiscent of Havana, Cuba with its old Spanish style architecture as it was built at roughly the same time as Panamá City
Most of the buildings have terraces that face the street as is the tradition in spanish architecture
The streets are very narrow, barely accommodating a cars and busses are not allowed.
These narrow streets recently renovated with red bricks instead of cobblestones.
At night the city is very lively, with most of the restaurants and shops staying open late.
At 9 pm on a Sunday night, families are walking around, singles walking hand in hand and older folks concentrating on just trying to stay upright while walking on the uneven pavement.
We had a mission that night to buy a nice shirt as a present for a friend. Returning to a shop we had visited 2 days before, the shirt we wanted was already sold. We continued walking and remembered another shop a few blocks away. The walk was quick with an occasional solicitation of “Come and eat at our restaurant” in two languages.
Mission accomplished as we found the store and bought a fantastic cotton floral shirt without paying $ 120 US dollars!!!
Today we take a ferry to the island of Tobago to enjoy the beach and swim in the Pacific Ocean. Should be fun, as the day is warm, about 84 with 75% humidity. The 30-minute ferry leaving at 9.30 am will drop us on Tobago. Once on the island, we will get an island tour, beach chairs complete with umbrella, lunch, and a return to the city at 4 pm.
Yrs today was another marvelous day in Panama city, as the excursión we booked was filled with laughter, water, food, and sightseeing.
I wholeheartedly would recommend this company for their quality of work and for the kindness of all the employess.
Playing tourists in a new country can be filled with trepidation, and when in actuality, it is filled with new adventures, different experiences, and food.
This is also true for Panamá the country. Sure, there are always places one should never go for personal security, but when exploring a new country, you can go solo and also try a local tour company as we do.
The results can be just the experience you were looking for.
And we experienced Tango here in Panama city as the Milonga is on Wednesday nights at a local restaurant.
It was very charming, as the beginners lesson was well attended and most people stayed for the Milonga. This milonga is growing as Tango is just starting here.
The restaurant where the Milongas was held is called Restaurant la Milonga. Small intimate bar restaurant space with a tile floor.
Was a great experience as we met many people in the local community who knew people we knew all over the world.
The small wonderful welcoming world of Tango.
And we will return to visit this country again.
Abrazo y besitos 💓