November 25 – Panama City
Even though we have been through the Canal several times, we have never landed in Panama. After exiting on the Pacific side, we docked at the Port for Panama City at about 8 pm – too late to go into town.
The next morning we were able to see the ship next to us, the Seabourne Quest, and the skyline of Panama City in the background – a much larger city and more modern than I imagined.
Since the cruise terminal is under construction, we had to take a shuttle to a nearby hotel and find a tour or taxi from there.
We engaged a driver at the hotel to take us into the the Old Town which dates from the 1700s, and is also the home of the Panamanian parliament. Like many places around the world, these early communities have been preserved and are fascinating to visit. Visiting the skyscrapers downtown holds no interest for the group today.
We decided to walk the area and do some sho
Sally wanted to shop for “Molas” which are colorful cloth pieces of art, made in the San Blas Islands of Panama which we visited several years ago, and sold only in Panama. She found several shops that carried them – she did the selecting and I did the negotiating.
We passed what appeared to be the Panamanian Parliament – based on the guards present.
We spent some time in the square across from this church.
We caught a taxi to head back to the ship, but since Zaga, our Spanish speaker, took a different taxi, we had a little communication problem and had to double back to get to the drop off point. I forgot that I had taken a picture of the spot, and if I had just remembered and shown the driver it would have been quicker.
On the way we passed the former U.S. military facilities which are now abandoned, with some sort of plan to turn the area into housing.
We also passed the Bio Museo- a natural history museum.
The skyline of Panama City is impressive – even from this quick shot from the taxi.
Back on board – we began pulling out and heading for our next port – Manta, Ecuador.
These are a few of the dozens of ships waiting their turn to transit the canal to the Atlantic side.
On to Ecuador