Wow, it’s been a couple months since I’ve posted! 2015 is over and January is practically over! Crazy how fast 2015. It’s been a busy last few months with personal and work priorities to handle. But I’m back and I wanted to finish this travel series since people have been talking about vacations lately; it made me reminisce about this trip!
Surprisingly, we loved Panama and was our favorite destination we visited. It was just beautiful and still had that Spanish feel with a modern twist. Much of the city is still being rebuilt, but it was amazing to see the old with the new. So many churches and the architecture of the new buildings is just beautiful (I have no other words to describe it!)
Panama City reminded me a bit of Florida since the ocean was right there and was very humid. We explore a town called Casca Vieja. With my research, this was the place to explore and was not too far from the port. We took a taxi into the city and walked around the town with no real agenda. English was used here, so it was easy to communicate and get around the city.
So many restaurants and shops as you walk along the city, but the one thing I really wanted to find was the Ace Hotel, which was called American Trade Hotel. WOW, the design of this place had this very old Spanish feel, but still modern with an Ace Hotel feel. It was open and airy and I loved all the furniture! And of course, they had to have their hipster coffee, which was so good!
We also stopped by one of the breweries there and we had to get a growler to add to our collection! After a long day of walking, we headed back to the ship for a quick nap and to freshen up. We decided to have dinner back at the American Trade Hotel. It’s even more beautiful at night. There was a harpist playing top 40 songs. He was amazing!! We then ended up at a lounge where they played reggaton (of course) and we just chilled there for a bit and headed back to the ship.
We had an overnight here before we sailed along the Panama Canal. So we were able to explore the nightlife!
The next day, it was an early start since we will be sailing along the Panama Canal. Back in school, I never really remembered learning about it in history class, just that it was man-made and one of the seven wonders of the world, no big deal right? But who can say they sailed along the Panama Canal before? So I took in this whole experience and it was great to see all the other guests hang around as we go through each lock.
To keep this short, it took us the whole day to get through the canal and by the end of it, thunderstorms started, which they warned us would happen by the last lock. Within each lock, you have to go into each chamber. From there, the water will drain or fill up depending which chamber you are in and once that’s done the next chamber opens so the ship can pass through. Each chamber opens and closes until the ship has passed through. So it is quite a process. A lot of the machines are still very old school, but upgraded. So I can imagine back in the day it would probably take twice as long to get through.
As the day went by, we were sailing across the canal and you can see all the trees and just the views were breathtaking. We were able to enjoy the sun and the pool before it started to rain. It was quite an experience that I will never forget.