Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Miraflores Locks

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November 22, 2009 | After visiting Ancon Hill, our taxi driver drove us to Miraflores Locks.   It was a relief to be in the air-conditioned museum.  Entrance fee was $8 per person (for non-Panamanians).  For $5, we could have just seen the viewing deck and passed on the museum.  The museum was very informative.  After walking through the floors, we went to eat at the restaurant in the building.  We were lucky enough to see some sailboats pass through the locks– it would have been cooler to see a cruise ship or some other big boat, but the next one wasn’t scheduled for another couple of hours.

You can see the different water levels and one of the gates in this picture.  Once a boat is in the locks, the boat is navigated through the locks by people located on both sides of the locks with ropes.  It’s really not a beautiful location or anything, but the canal is an amazing man-made project and definitely worth visiting.

Interestingly enough, it was William Nelson Cromwell (of Sullivan & Cromwell– the law firm my sister works for!) that was hired to lobby the US Congress to build the canal across Panama instead of Nicaragua.  At the time, Panama was part of Columbia and Columbia wanted a lot of money to let us build the canal.  Turns out there was a Panama separatist group and guess what the U.S. did?  We supported their movement, and before you know it, Panama was independent.  And that was how the U.S. came to build the Panama Canal!

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Written by Jessica

January 29, 2010 at 2:01 AM

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