This is part 2 of 5 part series about our Panama Vacation. You can check part 1 clicking here.
Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo, is one of the coolest places to visit in Panama City. The narrow brick streets are filled with buildings of different architectural styles. Some of them have been restored and now house museums, restaurants, shops and elegant residences. Other buildings stand in disrepair with peeling walls giving a high contrast with the remodeled ones just next door.
We had the opportunity to visit Casco Viejo twice during our stay in Panama City. We spent Saturday morning and afternoon exploring the area when we were there for the first time. We decided to not visit any museums or churches and just wander the narrow streets appreciating the atmosphere of the place, the restaurants and cafes.
In both occasions, I took only the Fujifilm X100 with me, I really enjoy the freedom of walking very light with no bags. The only thing I missed was a tripod when I was there at night for a couple of shots.
In case you’re wondering how I geotagged my photos, since X100 doesn’t have a GPS module, I’ve used an app on my iPhone called geotgr. It tracks my location and saves a GPX file which I can import in Lightroom later to tag my photos automatically based on the capture time. It works very well and I use it from time to time when it will be hard to remember exactly where I was to tag them manually.
Casco Viejo is also a great place for street photography. There is such a variety of people, from tourists to fully characterized indians, that you will be overwhelmed by the photo opportunities. That’s said, I’m still struggling to approach strangers in the streets and ask for a photo. There was an occasion that I made eye contact with an indian, she smiled back but as soon as I raised the camera she tried to hide herself, I respected her and walked away. There is no easy way to do this and it’s something that needs practice to gain confidence.
We had such a great time in Casco Viejo that we planned a second visit at night for dinner three days later. A little piece of advice here, for safety reasons don’t wander around at night beyond the places with more activity. Fortunately, nothing bad happened to us, not even close, but we didn’t have the same safeness feeling as we had during the day.
In part 3 we are going to explore Panama Channel and Amador Causeway.
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