The Breadbaskets were sad when it came to leaving Revelstoke – but I won’t ramble on about how much we liked this incredible place; I’ll leave that to a later post.

That said, after almost three and a half months the Breadbaskets jumped into the bad ass truck, drove back to Vancouver and hopped onto a plane to Houston to catch the connecting flight to Panama City. Well, not quite. Bad ass truck – check. Drive to Vancouver – check. Thanks to an overly qualified member of United Airline’s ground staff, who, within a little bit less than 45 minutes, managed to figure out that the reason why she could not check us in was our missing ESTA application (that is an online pole dancing session every visitor to the world’s most paranoid nation has to perform so that all aspects the visitor’s life can be scrutinised – I hope you notice my desperate attempt to stick to British spelling. The strip has to be performed even if you don’t want to visit the country, but just change plane in one of its airports. Did I mention that you get asked whether you intend to commit terroristic acts in the land of the free? Hail Drumpf!) we missed our flight to Houston. Thus, we flew to San Francisco, from there onwards to Houston, stayed overnight and caught the connection to Panama City in the morning of the following day. What an unexpected piece of travel adventure! Or unnecessary?

Anyway, eventually we’ve arrived in Panama City – and we like it! Our choice of hotel, the TRYP Wyndham Panama Centro, was fortunate – a very pleasant place with a superb roof top pool:

Relax at the roof top pool
Much desired pool session after a chaotic trip from Revelstoke to Panama City. The little Breadbaskets are happy, the big ones, too.

The next three days we spent exploring the city and relaxing at the hotel pool, which was a good balance between the elder Breadbaskets’ curiosity to explore a new country and the younger Breadbaskets’ desire to play and swim. Travelling with kids is “slower” than our pace from old times. Experiencing the kids curiosity, astonishment and puzzlement is very rewarding, though. Equally rewarding was our first visit to the Panama Canal:

Panama Canal: Miraflores locks
The Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal, looking from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It felt as good as hoped to see this engineering masterpiece.

Seeing the ships being lifted in the lock to reach the higher water level in the inland was impressive. The Visitor Center showed a well made 3D movie with some information around the Panama Canal – more targeted towards the kids, to be honest, but for Molly and Max the movie was more exciting than watching the ships!

Little sources of excitement can be found for all members of the family, wherever we are:

The jungle is everywhere: playing with aerial roots
Hides and seek in aerial roots at a tree in Panama Viejo. That was Version 1.0 of Panama City, which got pillaged by Sir Henry Morgan – and I thought pirates got hanged and quartered, not knighted.

Not far from the tree the big Breadbaskets found something to admire, too:

National Symbol: Cathedral in Panama Viejo
The old cathedral of Panama Viejo – symbol of Panama’s independence and endurance or durability found on stamps and coins.
Church Tower in Casco Viejo
Church in the Casco Viejo – after Morgan ransacked the old Panama City the town was newly built on a peninsula near the original settlement, now called the Casco Viejo.
Office Tower from Casco Viejo
Spanish architecture meets modern towers. View from the Casco Viejo.
Banking District from Casco Viejo
Panama City’s skyline seen from the Casco Viejo. The bridge shown is a ring road around the peninsula, where the old town is located. It maintained it’s UNESCO status despite the ugly ring bridge – makes you wonder, why Dresden’s Elb valley lost the status due to a significantly less intrusive bridge?
Mobile phone tower in Casco Viejo
Why not place cells for the mobile network onto a decaying building?
Graffiti just outside of Casco Viejo
Graffiti – Panamanian style. Nice.
Cables just outside Casco Viejo
It’s a miracle that phone calls and electricity arrive where they’re supposed to arrive.