Before Christmas and the journey further south I decided to visit my friends Natalia & Scott in Panama. What can I say – I love this place. Panama is definitely worth a trip! A highlight already the view from my homestay.



Panama City basically has two different areas in the city – the newer business district with many high rises and the old quarter called “Casco Viejo”.

View from the old fish market over the new part of the city


Casco Viejo – the old quarter


That’s where we went for the first evening. For one thing Panama feels very safe. The walkway along the shore is great and Casco Viejo is fantastic. It has a great vibe. The mixture between old, rustic, partly torn down and new & fancy has it’s own character. The streets are full of live at night and from the bars and restaurants you can hear music and people enjoying themselves. Also a lot of people on the streets. I really enjoyed it. It has a bit of the life in a Spanish or Italian city. Until not long ago it used to be a part of the town which you did not want to visit – especially at night…


Saturday Scott and I had an important date – a yoga class at 11h. Now I have to say that my link to yoga has been extremely limited so far. In my first yoga session I got kicked out after two minutes because I couldn’t stop laughing. And maybe a couple more during seminars – but I have never gone to a real class after my first session. So a big thing for me 😂. I guess I am more mature and I again more open for new stuff – I didn’t get kicked out and really enjoyed it. My hiker legs are stiff and inflexible…

After lunch we wanted to visit the Panama Canal. What can I say. Lunch, a few beers, a few beers more and when we were ready to go the visitor centre was closed already. So we decided to call it a day and went for tapas, and finally a nice chicken wings and Football session. I would definitely recommend the “blain hot” wings – others that night would probably not… 😂

The will (the sign) was there – the execution (the missing part) in that restroom needs some more effort…

Sunday we went to the Islas San Blas. They are about 360 small islands in the Caribbean Sea very close to the northern coast of Panama. Our driver picked us up at 5.30 and on the way to the Islands we were witnesses of what to do when the police in Panama stops you because your headlights don’t work – you just get out of the car and hit the fender twice until they work again… 🤘

The islands are amazing. Crystal clear water and fine sand beaches. My first time to the Caribbean. If you ever go on a trip to San Blas, a few recommendations:
1. A perfect time to change into your swimming pants is before you go on the boat! You are gonna get soaked on the way out in the little boats.
2. Make sure that your tour makes a stop in “La Piscina” which is a very shallow sandbank where you can stand on in the middle of the ocean and it’s ground is covered in star fish.
3. Try to limit your tour to max one or two islands on a day trip or you end up hopping on and off the islands constantly without having time to enjoy.

I guess the pictures speak a clear language on how awful it was…









The next day I spent in exploring the city during daylight again. Just a few impressions of Casco Viejo again and the beautiful scenery. Nice little bars and cafes everywhere which invite you to rest for a bit and get out of the sun.









Of course I couldn’t leave without visiting the Panama Canal at the end. Since we only almost made it on Saturday I started a second attempt today. The new Miraflores Visitor Centre is definitely worth a visit. They have a very interesting and interactive museum providing a lot of information. They also have many miniature models of the ships, cranes and other tools they have used to built the canal. And of course you – if you are lucky and/or wait for a bit – get to see a ship passing through the locks getting lifted up or lowered down.



Next morning we head out to play a round of golf with Christian and Barry. The course layout was quite spectacular with a lot of elevation, dog legs, water and other challenges which needed to be considered. Unfortunately the maintenance and condition of the course were rather poor. Quite a shame for such a beautiful spot, nested in the rainforest. But nevertheless it was great to go out and be able to bet the crap out of the little white balls again. I just love this game! Reminded me again of one of my most used phrases in my work life: “A bad day on the golf course is still better than a good day at work!” 😂

Natalia, Scott and I rounded my “vacation” up with a nice dinner and a few drinks in Casco Viejo.


What can I say – a completely different program to the nature focus in Costa Rica the last weeks but just great. I can definitely recommend Panama for a visit! Put it on your bucket list.

Thank you Natalia & Scott for hosting and taking care of me!! I really enjoyed my time in Panama. Also thanks to Christian and Barry for taking me out and the great laughs. I will come back for the chicken wings challenge!