At the Crossroads of Two Oceans and Two Continents
We leave behind Guatemala towards our last stop in this trip, Panama. From an incredible array of historical places, through the jungle and volcanoes, the second largest barrier reef in the world and turquoise waters, we end our trip in this rich country where it’s capital could well be anywhere in the booming new cities of the Middle East with the difference the richness are not coming here from petrol or gas reserves but from an unlimited source instead, the Panama Canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
With some sort of similar feeling to when I was in Dubai, the main differences are first of all the weather not so hot and terribly dry, the language and religion. As for infrastructure, new architecture and urbanism both are pretty much similar. Both do also share the frenetic unstoppable construction with towers reaching higher and higher.
But not everything is new. The city is, in fact, three cities in one. Panama Viejo, the original settlement chosen by the Spanish to build the first city in 1519. Thereafter destroyed by pirates in 1671 and ever since then in ruins. The Casco Viejo, the second colonial city built after Panama Viejo was destroyed, where you can still marvel today as one of the best preserved Spanish colonial cities in Latin America; and lastly, the shiny new city mushrooming along the coast with never ending construction. The former 2 are listed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. (more…)