I went into the trip not really wanting to visit the Canal. It just seemed to cliche and too many people only think of the canal when they think of tourism in Panama. I wanted to help show a different side of the city and country to let people know there is more to do there than spend a day watching boats on a stopover with Copa. Although I can be a control freak, I hate planning trips so when some of the other hashers told me their plans in Panama City the two remaining days I had I tagged along and ended up learning more than I ever planned about the canal and probably seeing a good chunk of information (I guess that’s what I get for following engineers!).
In trying to come up with posts to change you all I was actually changed myself.
Panama *IS* the canal. For better or for worse the main differentiation for Panama over any other Central American country is a result of the canal. Whether it is being able to flush toilet paper or the international relationships and immigration due to the construction and continued use of the canal, or even just the revenue the canal generates for the country it would probably be a much different story for Panama without it so for me to go in and tell you to ignore the canal and try to experience real Panama would only tell a fraction of the country’s story.
So I’m starting at the end of my adventure to tell you the moral of my story. Stay tuned the rest of the week for the rest of my experiences including the two different Canal museums, the old town, and of course some food pictures.
I should probably make it clear now that I have not received any compensation from any tourism agencies, hotel chains, or anyone else for this trip. This was completely self-funded.