Panama City - Get ready to see muchos gringos y los agentes de bienes raíces carving out beachfront properties because it's one of the top retirement destinations in the world. I didn't like many of the retired Americans that I met down there, they had a superior aura about them, as if the country belonged to them. I don't think most of the Panamanians appreciated them either by the look of it. They sure were a grumpy lot!
Paul Lukacs sums it up for me. Panama City is packed with high rises and the beaches towards the eastern side of the city are not to be walked at night. It was so humid and hot in September I couldn't wait to leave and get to the beach.
On December 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush ordered the U.S. military into Panama to 'protect U.S. lives and property, to fulfill U.S. treaty responsibilities to operate and defend the Canal, to assist the Panamanian people in restoring democracy, and to bring Noriega to justice.' R-i-i-i-i-i-ght. This is where the troops landed, and I was warned it was a pretty dangerous area to go walking around, even during the day.
The Libreria Argosy Bookshop, owned by Greek immigrant Gerry Kanelopulos, was right around the corner from where I was staying at Anita's hostel. This old fart knew absolutely everybody and had signed autographs all over the walls of the store. It was one of the most fabulous bookstores I've ever visited, you could wander around in there for days. He signed a postcard for me "To Nancy - the Greek bookseller wish her a very good trip to South America. Gerry."
The Panama Canal - the only reason to visit to Panama. It's super impressive to get up close and personal with the massive ships that come through the narrow locks.
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux