Being aware of the rainy season in Panama, we could not find until March 2012 for Royalton Panama All Suites Resort (now Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca). Being first timer to Panama we were excited and apprehensive. Landed at the airport and boarded a transfer bus, while our luggage was taken by a truck. Royalton was 2 1/2 hours away, via crowded and slow mountain highway. First we were impressed by the fresh looking new Resort, except that “suites” were just hotel rooms, no match with the description that led many Canadian to jump on the deal. Whole line of customers complaining about their assigned rooms were at the front desk, so were we at the end of the line. However, Manager and her desk staff did their best to please everyone. We had to change room twice until we found an acceptable solution. Thereafter, there was no complaint.
The Resort comprised of three blocs, arranged in U shape, all with balconies and very refreshingly appealing. Central garden is a beauty to enjoy, water channels in a very artistic design and modern furniture and decorations all over.
Buffet Restaurant was pleasant, lots of variety in salads, fruit and desert and hot dishes at lunch and dinner. Specialty restaurant was well appointed and pleasing, food was very good. Staff was very friendly. Rooms were clean and well supplied with bathroom amenities. Two trips: “Valle d Anton” and “Panama Canal & the Colonial City” were very informative and enjoyable. We strongly recommend to all visitors to Panama.
Instruments of torture during the slavery era in Colombia and/or other countries (pictures with permission of the museum)
“As one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, Aleppo has long been the urban, commercial, and cultural center of northwestern Syria. Aleppo‘s role as a commercial hub and a trade center that began in the 2nd millennium BC and reached its peak during the 16th-18th centuries AD. In the center of the ancient city, the Aleppo citadel rises 50m above the surrounding area and dates to the 10th century BC or earlier, and stands on the remains of Hittite, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ayyubid period buildings. The surrounding walled city dates to the same periods, with still standing structures and architectural remains. Surviving remains include medieval gates, 6th century Christian structures, Roman period street plans, Ayyubid and Mamluk mosques and schools, and many Ottoman period homes and palaces. One of the most well-known cultural sites in Aleppo is the Great Mosque, which was founded in the Umayyad period and rebuilt in the 12th century with a Mamluk minaret dated to AD 1090. Next to the Ummayad Mosque is a Byzantine cathederal that later became the al Halawyah Madrassa–a Koranic school. The Ancient City of Aleppo was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986.” (Source: “Expactify.com Navigating the Major Cities of Syria“)
“The city’s significance in history has been its location at one end of the Silk Road. According to many historians, Aleppo was the most developed commercial and industrial city in the Ottoman Empire after Constantinople and Cairo.”
OUR VISIT TO ALEPPO
In 2001, on the invitation of our close friend, Professor (Dr.) Ahmad Yusuf al-Hassan, Dean of School of Engineering and later President at the University of Aleppo, we visited and stayed in Aleppo (for a week) and enjoyed Dr. Hassan’s mother’s hospitality, a real Syrian food dishes.
View of Aleppo from the Citadel
View of Aleppo from the Citadel
Gate of the Citadel facing Aleppo
Entrance Lobby of the Citadel
View of the Steps to the Citadel
Great Mosque, which was founded in the Umayyad period and rebuilt in the 12th century with a Mamluk minaret dated to AD 1090
Aleppo Downtown Clock Tower
Restaurant in Aleppo
Grand Bazaar in Aleppo
Aleppo Old Downtown
Orange Orchards on the railway route to Latakia
Orange Orchards on the Railway route to Latakia