Exploring the canal and Panama CityFebruary 21, 2020 in Panama ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C
Today, we decided to explore the Panama Canal because that's the most important attraction in Panama I guess. As we prefer nature over museums, we took the famous tourist train to Colon. It's an old railway connecting between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans mainly following the canal. It's pretty expensive, 25$ person for a one hour ride, but at least you get a small coffee, some snacks and especially great views of the canal, some boats, bridges, the docks and rainforest scenery. We really enjoyed the ride, as we also met Susan and Steve who sat next to us. They were a retired couple from New Mexico and did some birding in Panama. Great conversation partners as well.
Colón is a very rundown place, a pretty dodgy area. Most of the other tourists on the train were picked up right in front of the train to get driven to a couple of other tourist places in the area. We just walked to the bus station and took a bus back to the city. This was an experience in itself. The first bus wasn't working properly. After driving for about an hour in walking speed and still picking up people, the driver finally realized that the bus would not miraculously fix itself, so he stopped and we could get out to just catch the next one passing by. This one brought us to the terminal in Panama where we tried to find a local bus to our hostel with no luck. We ended up walking half way on a highway before stopping a cab to take us back to the hostel.
In the afternoon, we crossed the city to our next accommodation which was on the other side of town. On the way, we passed the stadium and some monuments, got a view of the Bridge of Americas, cycled the cinta costera, a circular road in the ocean around Casco Viejo, saw the fish market and the highrises in the back. There was also a great bikeway along the sea. In general, we quite liked the city itself, it's very diverse. Unfortunately, the bike way ran out after the center and we had to fight our way through the busy roads for another 16km.
Samuel welcomed us at our Airbnb. He is turning 19 in March and very interested in pretty much everything. He even accompanied us to the nearby mall to discuss politics, the German economy and our jobs on the way. Before going to sleep, I got a haircut. Stella, Samuel's mum, is a hair dresser and used my cut to explain the art of cutting hair in angles to her son.Read more