A Travellerspoint blog

Panama

PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT


View GRAND SOUTH AMERICAN ADVENTURE 2013 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We waited our turn at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. The ship's schedule for each lock was planned, mighty fees were paid, and our minds were brimming with the fascinating history of this incredible work of engineering - all of which I will share with you right now - just kidding!

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Seriously, we've had lots of lectures and even a special canal guide on board to give us more information as we make our transit.

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The French were the first to attempt to dig the 47 miles through the isthmus of Panama - they were forced to abandon the project because of disease and money problems - this cut is what can still be seen of their failed attempt.

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A crocodile decided to get out of our way.

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The lines from ships to locomotives that keep the big ships from bumping the sides of the locks are still brought to the ship by row boat, a very dangerous job.

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Hi to everyone!

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It is well worth looking up the history and operation of the Canal if you are at all interested. They also have webcams so you can watch ships pass - did anyone see us?

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Two of our ship's photographers were catching guests' waves from shore.

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Workers on the cargo ship don't see cruise ships in the Canal very often since most of the traffic is commercial.

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Here is the Bridge of the Americas as viewed from our balcony located just below the Serenity's bridge. You can see construction on the new locks to accommodate larger ships that are being built on both ends of the Canal. This is the Pacific end. We had a sunny, beautiful day for our 8 hour transit. Tonight we will lie at anchor outside Panama City. By the way, thanks to friends who have been following us on Facebook. Your comments are appreciated.

Posted by Swenigale 14:31 Archived in Panama

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA


View GRAND SOUTH AMERICAN ADVENTURE 2013 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We started our tour of Panama City, the capital city of the Republic of Panama, by revisiting the Panama Canal, this time to observe the Miraflores Locks from land.

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At a local museum our guide explains some of the history of Panama City. Today we would see its three incarnations. First, as it was founded by the Spanish in 1519. Next, rebuilt in 1673 8 kilometers away, and the present day modern city.

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These boys are setting up their playing field near the old road to the 17th century settlement.

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Panama City is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It was destroyed by Henry Morgan in 1671, and ruins of churches, convents, palaces, etc, are being preserved and protected.

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Modern Panama is said to be among the top five places for retirement in the world.

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Buildings keep rising. You would never suspect that the city is surrounded by a belt of tropical rainforest.

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Our walking tour of Colonial Panama (El Casco Antiguo) was about to begin.

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Restoration work is being done all over the place. French, Spanish and Italian architecture are all mixed together in a beautiful blend of styles.

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Posted by Swenigale 17:41 Archived in Panama

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