Panama etc.

“TRAVEL becomes a strategy for accumulating PHOTOGRAPHS.” – Anonymous

We get a different saying on a card every evening along with our chocolate on MS Amsterdam.  This is one of them.  And this blog page is a reflection of that aphorism.  I don’t really have much of a narrative. I just have some pictures I want to post on my blog.

In Panama City there’s a lot to do, or at least a lot I wanted to do with limited time.  I decided to drop the idea of taking the Panama Railroad or doing a self-guided walking tour of old town Panama and opted for two activities, seeing the visitor’s center at the new locks and visiting Frank Gehry’s BioMuseo.  Since the visitor center is on the Atlantic side we had a logistics problem.  I had hoped we could get there by train.  But the schedules didn’t work.  I looked at other public transportation.  We were tendering into Fuerte Amador, which is at the very end of the causeway/breakwater protecting the Pacific entrance to the Canal.  That would mean a bus to the transportation hub a transfer to the Colon bus and a cab to the visitor’s center.  Time just didn’t work if we wanted to see the BioMuseo as well.  I looked into hiring a cab for a half day but the price was high.  We opted for the tour.  I mentioned in an earlier post that The Amsterdam was having trouble with one of its tenders.  Well in Fuerte Amador it was having trouble with two of its tenders so we waited almost an hour before getting off the ship.  The plus side of that was that we got to the New Locks Visitor’s Center in time to see the full locking procedure for a giant LNG carrier.  On the minus side we had less time to spend with Frank Gehry’s building.  Overall we won because even a little time at the BioMuseo is marvelous.

But in the process of coming and going, including walking along the causeway toward the museum, I took some pics I want to share of the Panama City Skyline, especially a shot where the old city sits at the skyline’s base.  Last time through the Canal we didn’t get off but as we sailed by I called Panama City “Dubai on the Isthmus.”

There was also a picture of a small but expensive boat in the harbor with an intriguing name and a couple of pictures from Balboa, the former administrative center of the Canal Zone.   We drove through on the way to the new locks.  There is a monument to George Washington Goethals, the Chief Engineer during the completion of the Canal, and a plaza with palm trees planted to the dimensions of the Gatun Locks.  I wanted to post some pics of frigate birds so this page does that.  Finally there was this sunset over the causeway at Fuerte Amador.

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