Lived in Paris for 18 years, never went up the Eiffel Tower; lived in London for a couple of years, never bothered with Big Ben; lived in NYC for 28 years, never made the time to visit lady Liberty but I sure as hell wasn’t going to be in Panama and miss that damned Canal!


I must say that as usually arrogant and blasé as I arrived, I could not help but be floored by witnessing human achievement of this magnitude. I mean THE BALLS on the French to even think they could dig a channel from ocean to ocean, let alone approve it, let alone finance it!! Sure, then they failed and America came to the rescue, again and not without much difficulty and finished the gargantuan project, but the courage of the idea was simply astounding.

To learn all about it, the politics, the lives lost, the building of a city primarily to eradicate malaria, the engineering that it took to finally persuade the powers that were that a system of locks, as opposed to a sea-level canal, was the only way through, all the while actually seeing with my own eyes a GIGANTIC merchandise vessel go through what Leeloo called “water stairs” was astounding…

I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Miraflores locks if you’re around, don’t let this pass you by. The canal operates 24/7 so that our iPhones and Danielle Steel novels can get to us quicker but the observation tower does not, so call ahead.

The first lock at Miraflores.
The first lock at Miraflores.

That thing went up and down like it was a leaf!
That thing went up and down like it was a leaf!
Zoel pretending he was a sea traffic controller for a minute…


…and our day was made.

We concluded with the ruins of the Spanish forts in Panama Vieja, which Captain Morgan destroyed in 1671



…before going home and processing all that we had witnessed. Awesome.

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