Monday, November 17, 2008

Panama City Continued

anI have learned a few more interesting facts about Panama City while I've been here.

Panama City was established by the Spanish in 1519. In 1671, pirate Henry Morgan plundered the city and burned it to the ground. The city was rebuilt in 1673 about 5 miles away what is now the Casco Viejo Neighborhood. Pictures below are of the ruins of the old city (Panama Viejo).

Scenes from the latest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, were filmed in Casco Viejo (doubling for Bolivia). Pictures below are from Casco Viejo. I don't know if any are recognizable in the movie.

Panama is a narrow "S" shaped country. Due to its location, Panama City faces the Pacific Ocean to the Southeast. So you have the unusual phenomena of being able to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. Below is a view of the Pacific harbor with ships off in the distance waiting to cross the canal.

I got a new camera and, as you can tell, I've been using it with vengeance. I'll put up more pictures on Picasa when I get to a faster internet connection.

Public transportation within the city consists of old, retired American school buses. They are individually painted and tricked out by the drivers. Many of them have loud sound systems blaring reggaeton music. They cost 25¢ to ride. The routes are a little confusing, as are the streets in general, but I managed to get around on them.

I went to see the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal. Miraflores is one of three sets of locks that raise and lower ships so they can cross the canal. I saw a cargo ship and a cruise ship pass through the locks. Two old ladies on the cruise ship flashed the crowd.

I'm glad I got to see the canal. I wanted to take some video, but the ships were raised and lowered so slowly that it was hard to tell they were even moving.

I went to the dentist this morning. I found the Clinica Arango Orillac on the internet ( It seemed pretty nice and most of the dentists on staff were trained in the U.S. Today was the earliest appointment I could get. The office was nice - nicer than my dentist's office in Nashville. It was in a really nice neighborhood near a Trump building. The dentist spoke English but the hygienist did not. I had a cleaning and had a dentist check out my teeth. The cleaning was just as dreary and painful as a cleaning back home. Even though I still didn't totally have the feeling that the floss was reaching all the way to the gum, she said it was fine. I'm glad I went. It was a good experience on par with any dental visit I've had in the states. It even cost like a dental visit in the states - $80 for a cleaning and an examination.

For those of you wondering if you would be able to get good food abroad, this picture should set you mind at ease.......or scare you to death.


Heather said...

I'm glad to see you now have a camera so we can live through you now. Keep posting...I'm caught up now and excited to see what's next :-)

Ozzy Nelson said...

They have blocked your picture site, so I've got to catch up at home. Panama sounds cool. Are you making friends with the people there?

toomuchcountry said...

pics blocked for obvious reasons. McD's, Pizza Hut, and KFC - pretty offensive content to be certain.

Glad camera #3 (or is it #4?) is in hand. Put it to good use.

Has ipod #2 been purchased since the burglarly? If so, were you able to trade out any MP3s with the reggae blaring bus drivers?

Anonymous said...

Those busses look like something you'd see at a Grateful Dead show.

Hope all is well.

Greg O.

Anonymous said...

I want a bus like that!