Panama had always appealed to me. The biggest hurdle of the outward journey was the mismatch between the masses of tourists arriving at night and the limited staff capacity at the airport in Hamburg. Changing planes in Amsterdam and Madrid was comparatively unproblematic. In the evening, I finally landed at the Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen in Panama City and was able to check into my hotel.
The next day, I first explored the area around the hotel and, after crossing the Panamericana (Avenida Interamericana), walked to the Bahía de Panamá, which is part of the Gulf of Panama and thus flows into the open Pacific Ocean.
For the second week, I had planned a land excursion to the mountains. An Uber taxi took me to the city airport Aeropuerto Internacional de Albrook Marcos A. Gelabert. After a 45-minute flight, I landed in David and took a rental car to drive to Cerro Punta en Chiriquí. The highest village in Panama is at 2000 to 2300 m and has a year-round spring climate. From there, it is only a few kilometres as the crow flies to Costa Rica. My Airbnb accommodation was very pleasant and I spent the days in beautiful nature among hummingbirds.
I then drove on a scenic route to the eastern side of the 3477 m high Volcán Barú (also Volcán de Chiriquí, the highest mountain in Panama) to Bajo Boquete. At 25°C noticeably warmer than Cerro Punta but still a spring-like garden landscape with water in abundance, Boquete is much more touristy.
I spent the last few days before my return trip once again in the capital, where I was once again fascinated by the buildings.
Shortly before the end of my stay, I experienced another surprise that caused me to terminate my vacation ahead of time. But that is a whole new story.