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Did what may be the most famous guest to ever stay in the old quarter of Panama City’s Canal House like to be served martinis that were shaken, not stirred?
Well, if Daniel Craig lived up to his most famous role’s image while he was in the Panamanian capital he may well have.
The British actor is best known for taking on the James Bond role in several movies, including Quantum of Solace, which was partly filmed in Panama, and guide Rosalba Mathews reports that Craig stayed at Canal house – a 19th-century mansion that rents rooms – during his time in Panama City.
Canal House is found in Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old quarter, which has seen its colonial architecture structures carefully restored and today is a popular tourist draw that’s known for trendy restaurants and bars.
Among those restaurants is Casa Duran, owned by former boxing champion Roberto Duran, a national hero in Panama. His eatery is in another structure that reflects the district’s long past.
“Restoration has to blend in,” says tour guide Rosalba Mathews, adding authorities are determined to preserve the ambiance of Casco Viejo, now seen as a particularly attractive part of Panama City and is home to the French embassy.
Spanish and other architectural influences can be seen.
Mathews notes Panama City has had a lively history, having hosted the likes of Spanish conquistadores, the engineers who oversaw the building of the Panama Canal and unwelcome pirates who included Henry Morgan, who pillaged much of the city in the 17th century.
But Mathews points out that Panama City has a modern side that includes the Bridge of the Americas, which straddles the Panama Canal, and which she labels the “bridge that joins the world…Our city is a city of transit.”
Meanwhile, Mathews says nature enthusiasts will be in their element in Panama, which, among other things, has over 1,500 types of orchids and chose the harpy eagle — known for its two-meter wing span — as its national bird.
Panama also has seven Indigenous groups, she adds.
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