The boat taking us on our Panama Canal Partial Transit
Basic boat with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve you a simple breakfast and lunch with unlimited sodas and bottled water.
Approaching the Bridge of the Americas which links North America with South America.
Bridge of the Americas
Entering the first of the Miraflores Locks
Inside the Miraflores Locks with the visitor center on the right.
Miraflores Visitor Center
The ascent of 9 meters in just 8 minutes.
Heading into Gatun Lake
En route we passed by the BioMuseo which opened in 2014 and is designed by Frank Gehry. The museum, located on Amador Causeway, is an explosion of color with the theme being Panama’s biodiversity and its influence on global biodiversity.
The few remains at Panama Viejo which is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific side of the Americas.
The Cathedral with a three-story bell tower which also served as the watchtower for the city.
View from the top of the bell tower of the Cathedral.
View of the skyscrapers of modern Panama from historic Casco Viejo.
Casco Viejo by night
Snow cone vendors in the many squares of Casco Viejo.
Street stalls selling souvenirs line the Esteban Huertas Promenade.
Stroll along Esteban Huertas Promenade to see the stark contrast between the modern skyscrapers in downtown Panama City and historic Casco Viejo.
Steps leading down from Esteban Huertas Promenade to French Plaza.
Plaza de Francia or French Plaza is a beautiful plaza with stone tablets and statues dedicated to the workers who died building the Panama Canal.
Iglesia de Santo Domingo has encountered numerous fires and only ruins of the original church remains today. Arco Chato, the flat stone arch, that survived all the fires, was at the time a marvel because it, being quite long and not very arching, seemed to defy gravity. This arch was supposedly a key factor influencing the decision whether to build a canal in Panama or Nicaragua. It was decided that the arch’s longevity meant there was little earthquake activity and made Panama a safer place to build the canal.
Iglesia de San Jose is one of the most famous churches in Casco Viejo with a beautiful baroque golden altar. Legend has it that when pirate Henry Morgan raided Panama Viejo, a priest had the altar painted black to hide it from being looted.
Plaza Herrera with the American Trade Hotel in the back.
Iglesia de la Merced, built in 1680, was transferred, stone by stone, from Panama Viejo to its present location in Casco Viejo.
Iglesia de San Francisco
Iglesia de San Francisco
Palacio Bolivar, now the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, was built on the grounds of a former Franciscan monastery. Inside is the Salon Bolivar which is where the 1826 congress to discuss the unification of Colombia, Mexico, and Central America took place.
We had a short and wonderful visit here in Panama City before heading onto Havana, Cuba. Stayed tuned!
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