Off we went back to the mainland to cross Panama. The landscape was fascinating and it seemed to be abandoned. Just think about it, Panama has a population of 3.6 Mio. On 1 km2 you have 54 Panamanians whereas in Germany you have 225 people living on km2. Half the population lives actually in Panama City.
When we arrived at the Albrook Terminal which is attached to a big Mall, we jumped in a taxi and searched for our hotel. Since we booked our room online we got a special deal. Unfortunately the hotel didn’t know anything about the promotion and it took a while to sort it out.
It was just a very strange way they did it – unfriendly, not really talking to you, so we waited but finally we got the price. Quickly we realized that this atmosphere of serious, not smiling people was all over in Panama.
It is strange when a waiter just puts down your drinks without looking or speaking to you, no smile, nothing. I would say they don’t belong in Service and in another country they would have been fired. Even the kids didn’t smile back at you and we never had this before in any other country.
Well since we were a bit disappointed about the frosty people we focused on the sights. For sure we went to the Panama Canal to check out this wonder of engineering. With 3 locks and an artificial lake it connects over a length of 80 km the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the hardest and longest projects in engineering history.
At the Miraflores Locks we could see the lifting off those big ships live and the movie and museum was very informative. Annually over 14 000 ships bring their goods via the Canal, so we can enjoy a Chilean wine, a Columbian coffee or can buy an Asian car. The project to expand the canal is full on since only smaller vessels can use the existing locks.
There seemed to be a lot of money involved with those canals so a company from Hong Kong plans to start another canal in Nicaragua. Let’s see if they will really do it. And for sure they say with the least impact possible for the nature. Whatever this means. Sad that when it comes to money nature doesn’t count.
Back in the city we strolled around the old town. There are still a lot of ruins and renovations going on but all in all it is a beautiful area. Afterwards we followed the water front to the newer suburb with its modern skylines. Just in time we found shelter in the fish market when it rained cats and dogs. There are better places to get stuck.
In the evening we met up with Megan with whom we studied together at the Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. We checked out the Microbrewery in old town and enjoyed three Pitcher. Since we got a flight to catch we had an early night. Let’s find out why all the travelers love Colombia so much.
Accommodation: Hotel & Hostel White Lion, Panama City
Price: US $ 30, private room, own bathroom, WiFi, incl. breakfast (a lot of sausages)
Comment: breakfast is not the best but the location is good. On weekends they have After-Parties so
make sure you pack your earplugs.