Today’s edition brings the three part series of the trip that Rose and I made to Panama City to a conclusion. Now aren’t you just pleased about that!
On our first full day there we attempted to cover the massive Albrook Mall. We gave it a good shot – in fact Rose gave it a very praiseworthy shot – but failure is failure any way you want to put it.
For our second day we visited the fish market and the old town but we had the saved the best till last. For our third and final full day we were going to see the Panama Canal which has been named by many as the 8th wonder of the world. Not by me though. It’s good but that nomenclature can only be used to describe Thierry Henry when he was in his pomp at Arsenal!
OK I’ll be serious.
After breakfast at our hotel we took a leisurely stroll to the nearby Iglesia del Carmen Metro station where we took the train to Albrook. We had a few hours to spare and we were determined that it would not beat us. We would get around all of it. We gave it a good go but I started to lose the will to live. Rose? She looked as fresh as a daisy. Little doubt that the fairer sex is made of much stronger stuff!
Succumbing to my impassioned pleas of “No mas” we took our leave of the mall and headed to the bus terminal and joined the queue for bus to the ‘Canal. After around 10 minutes our bus arrived.
Unfortunately it wasn’t one like the brightly coloured one above. No, we got to travel on a rather bland beige coloured bus. I was so looking forward to sitting on a psychedelic one for a magical mystery tour (OK, so we knew where we were going but …).
The journey took around 25 minutes – with plenty of passenger drop off and boarding stops along the way- and all for only 25 cents using our Metro card. We had arrived. At the Miraflores locks, the set of locks on the Pacific Ocean side of Panama.
Entrance to the museum and th canal viewing stations.
Our timing was nigh on perfect – we arrived just at 13.50 hours- the film was going to be shown at 14.00 hours. So we went straight to the theatre and settled down in really comfortable seats.
The film lasts around 30 minutes and provides a very informative history of how, over time, Panama has been used as a means of getting goods from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Initially using horses and mules, moving on to a combination of horses/mules and the river, to a railway and ultimately the construction of the canal. A project that took 10 years and involved around 250,000 people.
We then proceeded to work our way through the museum which hosts some really interesting exhibits and provides a wealth of facts and figures. I didn’t time our tour but I think it probably took us around 90 minutes. This included some time in a mock up Bridge which simulates the movement of a ship along the ‘Canal and through the lock system.
Our ‘ship’ moving along the ‘Canal.
We then found a position on the veranda to watch a ship (I’d checked the shipping schedule so that we would get the timing about right) enter the locks.
A feat of engineering excellence .
By the time we left it was around 17.30 hours and we thought we would have time to return to the hotel to shower and change before heading out to dinner but the no bus showed up for over an hour and there was a distinct absence of taxis do we revised our plans. Let’s go straight to our chosen venue for the night, the Blarney Stone (c’mon there’s an Irish pub everywhere).
I chose the Irish stew made with lamb (and very good it was too) and Rose had the beer battered fish and chips (chips as in British chips ) nicely washed down with
and a glass a Chardonnay for Rose.
The rain was hammering it down outside so we were ‘forced’ (told you earlier that I have no willpower) to have a few more each). Common sense took over in the end though and we ordered a taxi back to our hotel. We had a plane to catch the next day!
Panama City. A very interesting place to visit.
I’m now busy planning our next trip which we will make after Christmas and will probably be to Colombia.
The headline for today’s edition is the same as for the previous two editions. Yes, that’s right it’s the single released in 1984 by Van Halen.