Panama Canal – Up close

On our way to Cuba from Peru, we extended our stopover at Panama City to 3 days and 2 nights.  Unless you intend to visit other places on the Isthmus (which I can’t pronounce to save my life), it takes a few days to tour the entirety of Panama City OR a day if you’re a non-mall-rat-visitor-on-steroids.

The main attraction in Panama City is the grandiose Panama Canal. The Americans took over the French’s unfinished business and completed the construction in 1914.

Sorry mall rats, the malls between the towers and hotels in the modern part, in my mall-ified (I’m from Dubai, what can I say) opinion are just typical malls. Meh. We hopped on the hop on/off tour bus, perfect alternative to public transportation and haggling with taxi drivers, and headed out to Miraflores, the last stop on the Panama Canal route. Interested in the construction details of the canal? Well, my brain doesn’t absorb engineering no-nonsense easily, but… pictures are cool?

30 minutes away from Allbrook Mall, (this one was special, it overlooked the domestic airport), we passed by the city of Knowledge (Ciudad del Saber) and entered the Miraflores Locks Visitor center, at the canal-zone. We paid $8 entrance fee, skipped the 30-minute video tutorial at one of the exhibition halls (prior reading done – quiz me), and spent an hour in awe as we watched two ships (since there are two transit lanes)  head out to the Pacific at the lower terrace of the multistory observation center. Transit details below:

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An Enthusiastic audience


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