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// MARCH 2016
We feel blessed
Havana
Panama City
Managua
Granada
Leon
Managua
Cartago
Chachagua Rain Forest Hotel
El Castillo
San Jose
Mexico City
Visitor Centre Miraflores
Panama City
Laguna d' Apoyo
San Jorge
Ometepe Island
San Jorge
Matagalpa
San Jose
Tarcoles
Atenas
Poás Volcano N.P.
Los Chiles
Tilaran

Panama City


20th of March 2016
Landmark of our world...

Today’s mission was: to see the Panama Canal, the old city and to buy Panama hats.
First stop at the historic Panama City quarter, the City Viejowhich is a Monument of Universal Heritage, protected by Unesco. 


After that, we went to see the two bridges over Panama’s Canal: Centennial Bridge and Bridge of the Americas, along with the lock gates which are allowing the ships to enter and exit the Canal.

Miraflores Visitor Center is the ideal place for someone to observe canal operations. From its large balconies, and while the lock gates were opening and then closing again on different levels, we watched how a ship starts and completes its journey, through the Panama Canal. It is the second Canal in the world, from an international maritime trade point of view, after the Suez Canal, since it unites with locks of unequal heights the North Shore of the Atlantic Ocean with the South Shore of the Pacific Ocean.  



 

We left for the end of our exploration the San Felipe, district, the old Panama City also known as (Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo). 
This historic district has managed to keep its traditional characteristics unspoiled and today is an area with a unique atmosphere, surrounding the central square, Plaza de la Independencia.

Built like a checkerboard, an urban  style particularly used by the Spanish Colonists, it combines beautiful public buildings, well preserved houses of the 17nth and the 18nth century, churches, palaces and squares in an harmonic blend, which has rich elements of Spanish, French and Early American Colonial architecture.

Colorful and beautiful, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997.

While walking on the cobbled little roads of the old town, in between the renovated buildings, the cafes and the little shops shelling souvenirs, while enjoying the views of the skyline at the modern district with the skyscrapers, you realize that you are at one of the landmarks of our world.
 


Casco Viejo is a main pole of attraction for most of the tourists and also the place that you will definitely find and buy a Panama Hat. We did so too, a Montecristi type specifically…
 

Panama hats!!!

Panama hats are a trademark in the world of hats, due to their exceptional quality, since they are made of palm tree fibers. They were originally produced in Ecuador.
During the construction of the Panama Canal, Ecuador started exporting them to Panama, since they were widely used by the people working there, in order to be protected by the sun. Ever since, the hats became world wide known as Panama Hats. 
They are famous for their extreme resilience when it comes to inflecting, since they don’t loose their original shape. Moreover, I must add, they are ideal for travellers for exactly the same reason… We had to… attend a whole seminar, after all, so as to learn how to roll them properly. I will not mention here in details the bargaining for their price, but I will say that we bought two for the price of one… So, when we will visit Ecuador we will be fully equipped already!!!


 

During our last hours in the city, we visited the fish market, the Marisco Market. There were people everywhere enjoying their Sunday promenade.

Frozen beers and a delicious fried haddock accompanied with salad seasoned with hot chili left us with the best of the impressions for the city, before going to the airport so as to catch our flight to Nicaragua’s Managua. Our beautiful meal, though, was not capable of deleting the picture of the miserable, poverty stricken barrios, right next to the skyscrapers…

Panama Mission Accomplished. 

 

 

Country: Panama
Date: 2016
Route: Panama - Nicaragua - Costarica
Cities: Havana, Panama City, Managua, Granada, Leon, Managua, Cartago, Chachagua Rain Forest Hotel, El Castillo, San Jose, Mexico City, Thessaloniki
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 4.032.135
Rating:
comments
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comments
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Country: Panama
Date: 2016
Route: Panama - Nicaragua - Costarica
Cities: Havana, Panama City, Managua, Granada, Leon, Managua, Cartago, Chachagua Rain Forest Hotel, El Castillo, San Jose, Mexico City, Thessaloniki
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 4.032.135
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Panama
Date: 2016
Route: Panama - Nicaragua - Costarica
Cities: Havana, Panama City, Managua, Granada, Leon, Managua, Cartago, Chachagua Rain Forest Hotel, El Castillo, San Jose, Mexico City, Thessaloniki
Duration: 10 days
Difficulty:
Population: 4.032.135
Rating:
comments
VIEW