Saturday, May 2, 2015

The multi-colored Biomuseo

El Biomuseo
Next stop. Biomuseo. Also known as "Museo de la Biodiversidad en Panama," or if you prefer, "The Museum of Biodiversity in Panama."

No smooth lines these
There are plenty of reasons for me, Robert P. Spretnak of Las Vegas, Nevada USA, formerly from Beaver Falls USA, to hate the Biomuseo, First of all, it's a Frank Gehry monstrosity.

Not as colorful looking up
Frank Gehry is a "star-chitect" who specializes in extraordinarily ugly buildings (think the Brain Building in downtown Las Vegas) that jarringly contrast with their surroundings and, simply, just don't fit in where they are placed. But that's OK here.

Still colorful in the outdoor interior of the museum
It is on the Amador Causeway, comfortably away from the rest of Panama City. It's jarringly bright colors do stand out, but there's nothing to nearby to make for the requisite Frank Gehry-nails-on-chalkboard clash.

Located way-faraway from the downtown skyline of Panama City
And it does have a section of the museum dedicated to that evergreen idea that humans are destroying all life on the planet as we continue to wipe out species. But that's only section of the museum. And while they mention, they don't dwell on it. So that's nice.

But there are two sections of this museum that make it absolutely fascinating. First is the discussion of plate tectonics and how the Isthmus of Panama was formed. (SPOILER ALERT: islands south of North America arose from volcanic activity and as the North American plate and South American plate moved closer together, the islands became a solid landmass connected to the continents.) Second is an awesome discussion of the clash of species immediately after the Isthmus of Panama was formed and, suddenly, there was a culture clash between the North American species and the South American species (which were especially weird -- Australia-like weird -- due to what had been extreme isolation of that continent). Saber-toothed tigers (from North America) suddenly came face-to-face with giants sloths (from South America) in an epic battle royale largely fought on the Isthmus of Panama. Something to which I really hadn't given much thought, until I was in appropriate space to think about it.

Rear view, or canal-side view
It was time to leave and I decided to take the walking trail alongside the canal -- what amounted to my canal trip for this tour -- headed back for the Country Inn.

Bridge of the Americas (L), Biomuseo (R)
I decided to take a walk along the canal-side.

Experimental selfie with new camera where I can't see the screen while I selfie
I was accompanied by a few of many chins.

I did find some honorific statuary. Yay!

Gabriel Lewis Galindo in the form of honorific statuary
This is Gabriel Lewis Galindo, a Panamanian diplomat who was significantly responsible for negotiating the treaty with Jimmy Carter turning the canal over to the people of Panama. Quite appropriate that his honorific statue looks out upon the canal.

Stuck in pagoda
And I walked past a concrete pagoda. Why, you may ask, is there a concrete pagoda?

A token of South Korean/Panamanian friendship
It was a gift from the Republic of Korea to Panama.

And what's that I see lying still in the waters of the Panama Canal?

Artsy shot of the canal
Boats!  And they aren't moving. Must be some of that "low water" I heard about. (Or, if you are reading this in reverse chronological order, as is standard for blog posting, you WILL hear about.)

Large container ship behind the smaller boats
However, that said, there was a large container ship that appeared to be traversing the Panama Canal at a rather fast clip.

Bridge of the Americas
But as the Bridge of the Americas got closer, it meant I was back at the Country Inn. Time to rest up after a long day of walking across Panama City instead of floating on the water at a leisurely pace.

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