Sunday, June 29, 2014

From the Rooftops of Casco Viejo

Skyline of Casco Viejo and Panama City

Tantalo Casco Viejo Panama City

Overlooking Panama City Panama
 The rooftops of Casco Viejo Panama

Travelling Casco Viejo Panama

The setting: Rooftop of Tantalo, Panama City. 

I have the most perfect view overlooking the crumbling facades of the somehow still charming neighbourhood of Casco Viejo. The skyscrapers of downtown Panama City stretch in front of me, their lights starting to burn brightly as dusk falls. I have a glass of red wine in hand that was served cold, surprisingly yet happily. I'm one of those rare ones who actually prefers my red wine not to be room temperature. 

Funky and contemporary jazz music plays from the speaker to my left, making it difficult to eavesdrop on the group of single women to my right who are sharing stories of travels and lost loves. When you travel by yourself, people watching and eavesdropping become common past times, at least for meThe ladies seem like an interesting bunch who haven't known each other for long, but I'm way too shy to ask if I can join them. I don't mind being alone though. I'm enjoying a quiet night to myself and the opportunity to write in my travel journal anyway. 

The beautiful yet dilapidated buildings around me are juxtaposed against the modern skyline of Panama City. When the city expanded due to the development of the Panama Canal, the former downtown area of Casco Viejo was abandoned. This authentically colonial neighbourhood was left in ruins until quite recently, and is currently enjoying a surge of development and tourism after being dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage district. I feel like I have the best of both worlds right now.

Sunset over Casco Viejo Panama

The crumbling buildings of Casco Viejo Panama

Panama City skyline at night

The rooftops of Casco Viejo Panama

The glass of wine is going down nicely. It's probably very overpriced for Central American standards but I'm paying with my credit card so for some reason it doesn't feel as tangible. The night has a slight breeze that's cool enough to warrant wearing a maxi dress. For some reason the thought pops into my head that if I smoked cigarettes I would light one right now.  

This is my last stop after travelling through Central America for three months and I'm at peace with the end of my trip. Panama has been rocky for me but I'm happy to say goodbye to the country on a high note. The clouds are rolling in and treating to me a beautiful farewell sunset. I'm ready to go home.

Despite the benefits of vacations and travelling, do you ever get the feeling of knowing that you're ready to go home?

Linking up with Bonnie.

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