Celebrating 100 Years!
We visited Panama Canal again August 15, 2019 with our adult daughter, one day after their 100 years celebration.
Viewing Panama Canal through her eyes made a significant impact on me. Her contagious enthusiasm enthralled me with a new appreciation of Panama Canal’s impact on world economy.
The Canal’s now been expanded to add a second canal. Ships sail both east and west at the same time,saving time for all. Expansion also creates additional revenue for the Panama Canal Authority. Shipping goods via the Canal creates better management for shippers. Cosumers benefit with getting their goods more timely.
Statistics about the Panama Canal:
48 miles long.
Not straight east to west; south then east.
Opened August 14, 1914.
Started by Frenchman Fedinand Lesseps, Suez Canal builder. 800,00 lives lost.
Penicillan’s discovery eradicated killer malaria, caused by mosquitos, rampant in Equatorial jungle.
Completed by USA. Given to Panama in 1999.
Wonder of the Modern World.
Shortens trade routes for ships, which don’t have the long trip around South America.
The parking area expanded. Now accommodates more vehicles. The viewing area remains the same. It’s updated and looks closer to the Canal. It almost seemed ships were close enough to touch.
We watched a freighter being raised and lowered through the Miraflores Locks. Mechanical “tugs,” attached on either side, guide/pull the ship as it goes s-l-o-w-l-y through the canal. A specially trained captain boards the vessel to guide it.
Costumed in 1800’s clothing. workers entertained visitors. Free popcorn delighted visiting school children. We ate lunch purchased at an expanded kiosk.
An IMAX theatre with Morgan Freeman narrating the story of the building and history added to our delightful day. Even though during August’s rainy season poured rain the day we visited, our spirits remained sunny.
Our 35th wedding anniversary takes place next year. What fun it would be to board a ship and travel through the Panama Canal. We would see it from that vantage point.