Thanks to an email from a couple of friends (Chris/Pauline you know who you are!) I found myself staying in the old town in Panama City and I loved it. I was staying at Luna’s Castle, which was a fantastic hostel perfectly situated in between the maze of side streets and the fish market.
The Old Town is seriously eclectic. In such a small space of the City there are so many contrasts. Let’s start with the fact that the President of Panama lives here and then about 100m away there are rundown buildings with very suspect people living inside. There are “slums” (I don’t like this description but a better word escapes me) located around the corner from plush new renovated town houses and boutique hotels. While sitting in the park a very well to do lady can pass being hounded by two opportunistic children pestering for charity and then a chap with a crack pipe can approach and ask for some money to help buy a hair brush. The restaurants vary from small local eateries to fine dining.
The streets are narrow, the doors large and the colours cover every spectrum of the rainbow be it door colours, flowers in window boxes or underwear hanging on makeshift clothes lines. It’s one of those places you can get lost in but then never describe perfectly. There is no one description that works because every excursion throws something completely different.
If money was no option this is definitely somewhere I’d like to buy a property. It’s an ever changing canvas and I am sure will be for many years to come. Definitely worth a visit.