I have referenced it so many times, but I realized I have never posted about what it is like to transit or take a cruise ship through the Panama Canal.
Overall, Panama City is an impressive modern city. Unfortunately, on our day of transit, it was a little foggy and rainy and it was hard to take a good shot.
Now, the most interesting topic is how does a ship actually go through the Panama Canal. Needless to say, the space is very very tight and you can almost touch the sides of the canal from the ship.
You can barely see it in the previous picture, but in this one, the dedicated units that attach themselves to the ship with long cables and they PULL the ship through each stage of the canal.
Depending on the direction you traversing, you (ship) is pulled through numerous lock stages where the water is pumped in and out (to raise and lower the water). It is hard to believe but the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are at different levels on each side of Panama.
I don’t know if it is finished yet, but when our ship went through the canal, you could see where they were building an expanded/widened canal for large ships that cannot pass through the canal today.
It is a slow trip and it takes a full day, but you do get to come across a large number of sites and local creatures. Yep – this crocodile was just hanging out near the canal and watching the giant ship go by…
Last, but not least, once we reached the Pacific Ocean, we got the opportunity to check out the local area around Panama City. What did I do? I went running of course! I was able to run across the bridge across the Isthmus of Panama. That means I was able to run across two continents: South and North America. This is a picture of the Bridge of the Americas.
If you have not figured this out yet, I run everywhere around the world. This is some of my other favorite spots:
- Suzhou China
- Dominican Republic
- St. Lucia
- Casearea, Israel
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Hakone, Japan