Part 5, The Panama Canal
Alberto drove us through Balboa which is part of the Canal Zone. He showed us all of the original buildings, explained about how it was when the Americans were there, and basically just gave us a lot of trivia that we found to be very interesting. He seemed genuine in his effort to make us feel welcome to Panama.
When we arrived at the Canal, Alberto asked if he could just wait for us and take us back to the hotel. He said it would be better for us since we already knew him. We agreed, fully realizing that he wanted the opportunity to make a few extra bucks, which was really ok with us.
The entrance to the museum building is shown below:
The museum is incredible. They show the whole story of how the Canal was built. There is also a short film of about 12 minutes in the auditorium. You don’t want to miss it. To really do the museum right, you need to allocate about 1.5-2 hours. There is lots to see—also a gift shop.
The real show is outside on the Canal when the ships come through. They announce them on a loudspeaker as they enter the lock. There is outside seating in a shaded pavilion to observe the passage of the ships through the Canal. It is quite a show. I was fulfilling a life long dream of seeing the Panama Canal.
As the ships pass through, the crew members on the ships are often times on deck taking photos as they pass the Miraflores sign on the locks. It is funny, they are taking photos of us and we are taking photos of them.
Here are some photos of the canal and of a ship as it passes through the Miraflores locks.
Next-some other photos of the Panama Canal and two famous bridges