I finally made it to Panama! It was a long journey, especially since I had to drive up from San Diego to Sac, and then I stayed with my parents for a couple of nights, but now I am in beautiful Panama City, so it was well worth it.
I got in last night around sunset, and I'm staying in this cute little hostel, Luna's Castle, which is filled with shirtless european guys, some older hippies, and a whole bunch of young travelers and surfers. For now, I am by myself, but tomorrow evening my bosses are coming up to meet me (and taking me out for a BDAY DINNER!) and they'll stay with me here for a few days before we all head back down to our house in Chitre for the rest of the summer.
Here are some pictures of the hostel where I'm staying:
|The reception desk area (sorry it's blurry)|
|Ping pong table and book exchange|
|Looking out from the bathroom window over the bar area (where I'll soon be ringing in my 21st!)|
|One of the few lounge rooms (I spent quite a few hours in that hammock today! :))|
|LOVING the lanterns and the map|
|The hostel just has 3 guitars and someone is always quietly playing while everyone reads|
|The view from the balcony of the cityline|
|Night view-- The white square light is an electronic billboard that plays ads 24/7! Usually it|
says "Panasonic" and it's completely legible from the hostel balcony.
|The city from a little bit closer|
This morning I went for a walk around town and ran some errands (bought a new sim card and charger for my phone and familiarized myself with the area) and passed through the local fish market! Then I read for a few hours in the hostel (finished the book I brought-- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and went for another walk in the evening around the older, more historic part of town. I can't wait until tomorrow and the next day, when I can explore with my friends/coworkers, since there were a couple of times when I felt a little uncomfortable on my own (in the evening).
Panama City, Panama:
|Cute old local fisherman pulling in his boats for the day |
(it was noon when I was here-- LATE in fishing terms!)
|"Whole octopuses $3.50"|
|"Large shrimp $6.50"|
|Those are some big freakin' fish! The guy was telling me all the names of|
the different kinds of fish.. but I forgot them all...
|The nicest McDonald's I've ever been in..|
|At the very least, I could come home with some LEGIT hipster |
outfits by the end of this summer.. heh.
|"City Fashion Outlet" ..loving the Spanglish!|
|Apartment buildings in the city... must be hundreds of people living in this one|
|Casco Viejo ("the old quarter").. the hostel where I'm staying is on the right side|
|Super cool old church!|
|Inside another church which had this awesome gold alter thinger|
|The streets are so colorful and covered with some cool murals!|
|Here's another mural with some history.. I didn't really get it, but it looked cool!|
|Most of the old part of town looks like this-- basically falling apart, but still adorable. :)|
All in all today was a good day. Nice and relaxing, even though I walked pretty much all over the city (minus the business-y downtown part). It's kinda fun to be in a more touristy area than I'm used to, since people are always SO IMPRESSED by my Spanish-- they're used to people who come visit without speaking a word, I guess..
Can't wait for tomorrow! My 21st birthday in an awesome city with some awesome people.. Better be fantastic.