This post is part of a series called Panama City & Guna Yala Feb 2017
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Decided to go to Panama to attend Sara Zomer’s wedding and to take a little time and visit Panama. Arrived at 4PM, to 33C (91F) weather, perfect for us as we were coming from 5C (41F) weather. Landed and took an Uber to our hotel in Panama City to change and freshen up. First stop was at the Atlantic & Pacific Co Restaurant at the Miraflores locks on the Canal, for Sara’s Pre-wedding dinner for family and out-of-towners. This restaurant is right on the lock, where we ate great seafood and saw equally great close-up views of the huge container ships crossing the locks. The locks are a truly incredible marvel of engineering feats and a great view, especially at night.

Great patio of the Atlantic & Pacific Co. restaurant overlooking the Miraflores locks

Miraflores locks closed up and water levels raised, to allow another ship to enter

Huge container ship going through Miraflores locks

Just past the Miraflores locks

and on its way to the open seas. Note the width of the Panama Canal (Panamax) which is the width the ships were built to, so they could navigate the Panama Canal.

Next day was sightseeing in Panama City; so we bought the subway (metro) pass, loaded it up, and used the subway to get to Casco Antiguo (or Caco Viejo), the old original town of Panama City. Got off at the Cinco de Mayo station, and started walking to the old town. On the way, there were multiple barber shop, so I had to get my $1 haircut from the street barber, after bargaining him down from his $2 asking price 🙂

Obligatory haircut stop

We started at the Mercado De Mariscos in the old city; the fish market. Saw all kinds of Shrimps, fishes and all kinds of other seafood on sale; some of the fish were huge.

Mercado de Mariscos

All sizes of shrimps

Good variety of large fish

Right outside the fish market, was the fishing port, where the boats brought in the daily catch. And alongside the market, were many open air local restaurants serving all kinds of seafood fresh from the fishing port. Decided to have a snack of ceviche here, and then come back for dinner of fried Red Snapper in the evening.

Then crossed the road and walked over to the Casco Antiguo, which was about 10 minutes away. The old town was being fixed up everywhere, since this real estate had become very popular in the past few years. So there were multiple buildings that were completely renovated with fashionable shops (expensive) and there were other buildings next to them that were in complete ruin, and yet others that were in various stages of renovation.

Welcome entrance to Casco Viejo

Some renovated and remodeled buildings on narrow, cobblestone streets

Streets of Casco Viejo

Decide to stop at Tantalo restaurant for a coffee; this place was half full with locals and had a very nice décor inside.

Inside Tantalo restaurant

Bar at Tantalo restaurant

Tantalo restaurant 

Then walked deeper into the old town and saw may interesting places

Old Cathedral being fixed up

Newer Panama City from the Casco Viejo

Note the picture windows

Interesting, preserved architecture

Renovated, next to needing renovations

Interesting 3D model of all biblical places in the San Francisca cathedral

Old but functional apartments

Ruins of an old church

More Casco Viejo

After some time here, it started getting hot, so we decide to go to the Bio Museum, which we had heard a lot about. Called an uber, who dropped us off at this Museum. Architecture of this Museum is quite unique, and the museum is all about the land formation, history, peoples, culture and bio-diversity of Panama. A very interesting and fascinating place; well worth spending a few hours here.

Bio Museo

Panama city skyline from the Bio Museum

After the Museum, went back to the hotel to rest, catch up and then headed out to the Mercado de Mariscos, for dinner. When we got there, all the open air restaurants were packed with locals having a nice evening out. Stopped at one such popular place for local beer (Panama Beer), fried yucca (mogo) and hot salsa, before we went to the open air local restaurant few doors down that we had picked out earlier for whole fried Red Snapper; yummy.

Fried Yuca (Mogo) and cold beer

With our friendly waiter, fried Red Snapper, patacones and salad. More Panama beer of course.

Headed back to the hotel, tired from a nice day. More exploring next day.

Great night-time view of the Panama city skyline

 

This entry was posted in Central America, Panama Feb 2017

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