There are so many fun things to do in Panama City, so we knew we shouldn’t go it alone. We asked the drivers outside of Trump Panama, the gorgeous hotel we were staying in. At first, we got excited — they said they’d be happy to take us around for $30! Luckily, Leora clarified. They meant $30… an hour. We walked down the street and asked the bored yellow cab driver who was parked on the corner. He got stressed out when we said $30 for three hours, but he easily agreed to $40. Deal! We were so excited to tour the town — first stop — the Canal of course!
If you’re going to see the Panama Canal, make sure you get there pretty close to opening time, or you might miss getting to see a ship go through. It was quite the spectacle! Once the ship makes it to the lock, it actually zooms through pretty fast. There’s a little museum inside and a movie, which covered the history, including why the US had control of it until fairly recently. The enormity of digging so large a canal reminded me of the Hoover Dam, which I went to again recently. At the Hoover Dam, the problems lay in how much hard, dry earth they had to get through, while at the canal, the problem was all of the water rushing in. Part of me can’t believe either worked!
Even though it was overcast, the Causeway still caught our eye as our stop for photo ops. (See above pic of the two of us.) We stayed there for awhile, gazing at the skyline and watching the boats come in. There was so much activity on the water! It was fascinating to see what all of those ships carry, and from all over the world.
We ended up spending the good part of the next hour looking for the ticket office for our early morning trip the next day to the islands of Contadora. We were so tired, and had used up our three hours, so we told our driver to skip Casco Viejo. After all, we had spent every evening there on our food tour, and we had plans to walk around there on our own. But he was such a good Catholic boy, that he absolutely would not take us back without showing us the church with the famous golden alter at the Church of San Jose. We’re glad he did!
I love a good day of touring!
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