Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Red Devils

Panama transportation system is having a complete overhaul. It began a few years with new high speed tolled highways, and now with the buses. By 2014 is expected the subway to make its maiden voyage.
Buses are an iconic representation of Panamanian idiosyncrasy. Specifically the old buses, still called "Diablos Rojos". The name is an infamous one, since they were named that way, because of the high toll of casualties they have provided to the Panamanian society due to crazy driving and over speed. The buses are extremely uncomfortable, noisy and pollute a lot, but they are the cheapest way of moving around Panama City, so they are still used by the less fortunate.
The new Metrobus system, although far from perfect, are way more comfortable, with air conditioning, specific stops and high availability. The last one depends highly on the time of the day and the location, since there is still lacking on drivers. Maybe to low wages, but the government is taking matters into account.
Our subject for today is the Red Devils, crazy driving, but high colored, lights all around, specially colorful at night, as you may notice.
I plan to take more pictures of Diablos Rojos, since one day, they will cease to annoy with their open exhaust and nerve wrecking horning.

Diablo Rojo at dusk

Diablo Rojo and Full Moon on Martin Sosa street

Early Morning coming out of Jungle Road

Colorful, but sometimes creepy graphics

Collectors are the singers of the routing

El Tiburón!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Screw

This is a most unusual building in Panamanian skyline. One of a kind, a modern art engineering achievement. Is named the "Revolution Tower" (whatever that means, since we Venezuelans have a rash for anything resembling revolution), but locals calls it The Screw.

The beautiful architectural array gives the impression that is not really straight, at the same time thinking about how can it remain standing.

Casco Viejo

Panama City most notable sightseeing and Street Photography Extraordinaire, a UNESCO World Heritage location.

Main entrance to Casco Viejo

Early 20th Century Architecture
This neighbor building caught my eye, contrasting colors with chaos.

National Flag, on the way to the Presidential Palace.

In Casco Viejo you can find very fine dining at affordable prices. The Art Deco decoration is evident on many buildings.

Kuna lady selling artisanship and jewelry

One of the entrances for the Concert Hall

Lots of fabric, and lots of colors are around the Old Town square and plazas.

Some buildings are in the process of renovation, while I think some are left as they are, since it retains the centennial aspect of the whole environment.

Kid glancing out of the door.

There are many families still living in Casco Viejo. They are reluctant to leave the place, even though many are offered small fortunes to leave.


Main Cathedral in Main Square. On weekends you can see many tents selling mostly artisanships, apparel, hats, artisan jewelry and street treats.

Photographic Challenge. Getting a picture of a Kuna lady like this one is really a challenge. They don't want their picture taken. They hide or wave you out when you point your camera at them. I had to use a long lens to capture these, and still, they noticed me and hide.

Is kind of an odd reaction, so why dressing so colorful?

This poor old doggy was barking at the birds and tourists. Not really annoying anyone, but kind of saying: Hey! I'm here. Don't step on me!

Detail of the Cathedral cross

This is really a strange place. They don't sell anything, but they have these weird animals adorning the building. Pintoresque. at best.

A local, waiting for customer.

Contrasting the lady tourist colorful dress, with the bars.

Another view of the balconies.

There are many churches. This one in particular is being renovated completely.

Inside the church, through a hallway to the internal patio.

Main square Cathedral through one of the allies.

They guys keep flying over the bay, fishing and doing air shows to peasants.

Vertical Neighborhood.

Fisherman on the bay

On this image, you can see the Presidential Palace and the cuppola of Main Square Cathedral.

On our way home, in a Metrobus.

Double Speed


Poverty is present in every place we go. This image looks like coming out of a poem by Dante Aligheri, Edgar Allan Poe or Frank Kafka.

This picture was taken from a bus, riding below the Balboa Avenue bridge, right in front of Plaza Cinco de Mayo, in the vicinities of the General Assembly. The contrast with the modern city with skyscrapers and fancy cars is breathtaking.

Calidonia III

Following my commute over Calidonia.
Awaiting for Mercy

Mango Vendor

Old Building and Umbrella

Waiting Customers

Panama Canal Railroad

Panama's only railroad transport people and containers from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean. Very colorful.

Miraflores Locks Building in the Background

One Landscape, Many Colors

Panama is well known for astonishing sunsets, when is not raining, which is most of the time, sadly. Or thankfully, depending on your liking for rainy weather. I for one like it, but not as much as here.
Rainbow over Costa del Este

Many views from Albrook Bridge to the city skyline, at different sunrises, and different days.