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The City of Old and New - Panama City

Our downtime and luxury before heading off on our sailing trip.

View Central & South America on chellebelle's travel map.

We arrived into Panama City at 5am from our overnight bus. It was 5am so of course we were tired and just wanting to head to our hotel.
After realising we couldn’t catch a bus and already buying a card to use, we managed to get a security guard to help us get a taxi at a reasonable price. We got to our hotel to find we couldn’t check in for another few hours. My response…what is your wifi code. Haha. I spent the next couple of hours using wifi and sleeping on Lewis shoulder.


We also walked down to the waterfront to see how massive the sky rises were in our area. We had opted to stay in a nice bank area with all of the international hotels. We needed some luxury…aka air-con, good wifi, a gym and a rooftop pool! When we arrived back we were given our room. It was straight to the shower and a 30minute power nap turned into a three hour sleep. We awoke for search for brunch before going back to sleep in a food coma.


That evening we headed across the road for desert after looking at the city lights from the roof. The desert was heavenly and the plating fantastic. Ita, the Italian restaurant across from our hotel was amazing! We were impressed. The next day we jumped on the metro after an early morning gym session to explore the old town. The public transport in Panama is a breeze to use and should be used by tourists more frequently.


We arrived in the old town which is a crazy mix of crumbling buildings next to new ones that have been done up. It was a complete mis-mash that somehow seemed to work perfectly. After a couple of hours dealing with the heat we headed past the fish market where I gagged numerous times form the smell while we tried to escape.


We headed back to our hotel for the much needed air-con. The next day we were off to the Panama Canal nice and early again to see the ships. The ships only go through at certain times of the day. In our case it was 8-10am and the lock opened at 9am. We caught the metro and then a bus to the lock. It was simple and cost us in total 55cents each! Crazy! We then had to pay 15 to get in to see the boats. Luckily we were one of the first in and had prime viewing of the procedure. It is complex and to consider it is exactly the same procedure that has happened for over 100 years I was impressed. Basically how it works is the barge helps the boat into the first lock. The water rises and the next gate opens. The ship moves through and the gate closes then the water falls to the height of the river, the gate opens and it sails right through. Obviously the opposite happens for the other direction. We ended up missing the bus back to the mall so after waiting 30mins in the heat we opted for the taxi back to the mall. It was time to get supplies for our sailing trip that was happening tomorrow.


That evening we decided that we were going to blow our budget and have the Ita for dinner. It was a great choice. After ordering arancini, pizza and pasta and chocolate fondant we also got free entrees which were delicious and consisted of lentils and pork with onion. The plating was immaculate. Next was the arancini which was perfect and then the pizza, crispy crusted from the wood fired oven with just the right amount of mozzarella, the past was fresh…we saw them cut it. The bolognese sauce out of this world. It was meaty and not overly tomatoey or herbed.


Lastly we had the chocolate fondant…yet again it was a perfect mix of bitter melting chocolate with tangy passionfruit and salted crushed pistachios. Heavenly. The taste just stayed in our mouths.
We were off for an early night. The next day we had to get up at 4am to get our jeep to our boat and the much anticipated sailing trip. I was nervous!

Posted by chellebelle 10:33 Archived in Panama Tagged boats beach views hotel town metro city panama canal old luxury ita contrasts

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