From the BlogConnect On Facebook

Archives for August 2014

New Look On Day With Kaye

2 announcements to make today:

1) Day With Kaye has a new look! Browse the site and check it out =)

2) Day With Kaye has a Facebook Fan Page! Click on the “Get Social” button to like the page, and to get updates on the blog.

Happy travels friends!

 

Panama: The Historic Quarter, Casco Antiguo

After getting back on the City Sightseeing bus, we stayed on to reach Casco Antiguo, the historic quarter also known as the Old Quarters (Old Town) or San Felipe. The town was set on fire and looted by pirate Henry Morgan. Since then, many buildings have been in the process of restoration since the town had become overpopulated and the people moved into the modern day Panama City.

On the pamphet we received when we initially got on the hop on-hop off bus, there was a small map and a suggested walking tour of Casco Antiguo, which found to be a good guideline for what to see in that town. Here’s a sample image from TripAdvisor:

city-sightseeing-panama

Understanding that some of the churches are undergoing restoration, it caused us to pass by a few churches because we couldn’t find the entrance to it at all, even after circling the block.

One church we did see, but not go inside was Catedral Metropolitana, one of the largest churches in Central America. It was built in late 1700’s using many of the stones of its original structure and pretty much abandoned until 2003, when there was a major renovation. The exterior of this building is beautiful with the entrance being adorned with pearl shells from the Pearl islands, but then it contrasts the simple wooden doors.

DWK_ptyCatedralMetropolitana

This building was initially a Jesuit convent and church. Eventually, more structures were added and because the first university in the city. When it burned down, it was never rebuilt. Then an earthquake had come and damaged the building more. Today, it is undergoing restoration.

DWK_ptyJesuitchurch

DWK_ptyJesuitchurch2

There wasn’t too much activity in the town. Since the FIFA World Cup 2014 was happening, there were many people at the bars watching the TV screens. You could hear all the TVs and radios tuned to the games. That would explain why there weren’t many people out and about. As we waited for the bus to come back around, there were kids playing soccer (fútbol).

DWK_ptycity

DWK_ptycity5

With the town being in such disrepair, there were a lot of graffiti markings on the walls, stray animals, and very few shops in town.

DWK_ptycity3

DWK_ptycity4

You could tell though what areas have been restored just by looking up at the buildings.

DWK_ptycity6

DWK_ptycity7

They did have a market in the plaza and also had a few stores selling Panamanian hats. However, the hats that mister and I brought with us on the trip looked like the ones they were selling.

DWK_ptycity2

Homes that originally stood at that very location were destroyed in the 1756 fire. The empty lot was deemed the Bolivar Plaza, after the respected hero throughout Latin America, Venezuelan general Simon Bolívar.

DWK_ptyplazabolivar

 

DWK_ptyplazabolivar2

Alongside the plaza was the first Franciscan church, Iglesia de San Francisco. The plaza was initially named Plaza de San Francisco, so perhaps that’s where the church got its name. However, the fire destroyed the church and was rebuilt in the beginning of the 1900’s.

DWK_ptyiglesiadesanfrancisco

The last building we walked by in Casco Antiguo was Palacio de las Garzas Presidencia de la República, the official residence of the President. Many armed security measures were taken. We even needed to go through a metal detector to walk on the sidewalk that the house on. But, here it is!

DWK_ptypalaciodelapresidencia

DWK_ptypalaciodelapresidencia2

We had some time to wait for the bus, so we walked on over to the fish market. More than just fresh seafood, they also had a kiosk where they made fresh ceviche, and you could order it right there. Yum!

DWK_ptymercadodemariscos

DWK_ptymercadodemariscos2

DWK_ptymercadodemariscos3

DWK_ptymercadodemariscos4

Happy travel friends!

Panama: Panama Canal

We visited at the end of June, which is considered its rainy season time. The opportune time tourists visit is dry season (December-April), but as you should know by now, that’s not how we travel.

For the 2 days we were there, Panama was especially humid in the morning since it would downpour at night. The humidity was more bearable than Singapore, but exiting from a taxi cab with air conditioning resulted in the foggy glasses effect. Now, if glasses wipers existed, this could be avoided…

humid_weather_panama_city_panama_day_with_kaye

We went on our own using the double decker sight seeing bus that appears to be a popular way of getting around in different cities in Europe.

You choose between 24, 48, or 72 hour access of using the bus to get around. The time begins when you board the bus for the first time. For our short stay, we chose 24 hours, which was more than enough time to see the sights we wanted to see.

city_sightseeing_panama_day_with_kaye

There were 12 stops on the route, and it was perfect how it was laid out because we were able to see some sights along the way to the Panama Canal.

France was chosen to begin the work on the canal in the late 1800’s because of its success with the Suez Canal. However, the work stopped because of illness spreading among the workers, such as malaria and yellow fever. The United States then continued to work on the canal in 1904 with workers coming from all around the world. To fight against illness and disease, they had to build a new town from the ground up.

panama_canal_miraflores_day_with_kaye miraflores_lock_panama_canal_day_with_kaye jumping_panama_day_with_kaye

Then came an understanding of creating locks instead of one long canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

panama_canal_locks_chambers_information_day_with_kaye panama_canal_diagram_day_with_kaye DSC06729-1024x576 panama_canal_chamber_opening_day_with_kaye panama_canal_chamber_opening_2_day_with_kaye

We got to see the Panama Canal from the Miraflores locks, which is the last set of locks before entering the Pacific Ocean. The time it takes to journey through the entire canal takes 14 hours.

panama_canal_locks_day_with_kayepanama_canal_chamber_opening_3_day_with_kaye

While constructing the canal, more than 60 million pound of dynamite to excavate and blast open the ground and then a train would carry all the debris out.

panama_canal_excavation_train_day_with_kaye panama_canal_excavation_train_work_day_with_kaye

When some of the bigger ships go through the locks there is a rope/chain attached to a train car on either side of the ship that guides it through the locks since there isn’t much wiggle room.

panama_canal_train_car_guide_day_with_kaye panama_canal_train_car_guide_ships_day_with_kaye

They are in the process of creating a new set of locks next to the existing locks (behind this building in the photo) and those won’t be completed until 2016. They will be wider to accommodate the bigger ships that would come through the canal. So,  that gives me a reason to come back to check it out in the future.

panama_canal_100_years_day_with_kaye

Happy travels friends =)

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Noteworthy Dinner

They sure have an interesting way to say, “Hey have some dinner at our restaurant!” in Buenos Aires. They have the meat next to the fire to keep the meet warm.

dinner_buenos_aires_argentina_day_with_kaye

If that put your taste buds off, then you’ll love how they decorated the restaurant with mounted animal heads on the wall. Classy.

While I wish I could tell you specifically what each of these dishes were, you can eat with your eyes. And let me tell you, it tasted much better than how these dishes were photographed. The meats were very tender, and the sauces were very tasty. Unlike the BBQ at the ranch, the meats were more in proportion to the sides. Thank goodness for that. I needed to have some greenery in my life on this trip.

dinner_meat_sauces_buenos_aires_argentina_day_with_kaye dinner_sauces_meat_buenos_aires_argentina_day_with_kaye

Stay adventurous. Happy travels friends.