Bob and Jose at the beginning of our Casco Viejo walk
Jose is yet another of the "connections" that seem to be a hallmark of our lives. The husband of my Spanish teacher--originally from Venezuela--plays on a softball team with Carlos from Panama whose best friend from childhood is Jose. Jose met us at our hotel on the Sunday after our arrival on Friday night. He drove us around most of the day giving us a tour of food, culture and history that really helped us to see Panama through the eyes of a Panamanian. Before Casco Viejo which literally translates as the old shell of the city AKA old town, he drove us through the rasca cielos (sky scratchers) of the financial and business area of downtown Panama where he pointed to the one where he works as a partner and CPA in a financial company. He then took us to Panama Vieja where we saw the ruins of the old Panama which was burned to the ground by the pirate Henry Morgan who pillaged the Inca gold that was traditionally transported through Panama.
Ruins of the cathedral in Panama Vieja.
Tomorrow I'll continue our tour with Jose.