Friday, December 30, 2016

Dinner at the Canal

Okay. One of the best kept secrets I know is the Visitors Center at the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal. It is four stories with observation platforms on the second and fourth floors, a fantastic interactive museum and a lovely restaurant on the second floor with dining on the observation deck. I'm just going to post up the photos and narrate as we go.

This is Robinson. He was our waiter last year and it was s delightful surprise to see him again. There is really something nice about re-encountering someone you met far away and never expect to see again and remembering each other (poor sentence structure, yeah, I know).

The sheer size of the canal and the ships that pass through it is difficult to comprehend. Photos do not do it justice. The operation for locking a ship through is unbelievably complicated and yet proceeds ever so smoothly.

This is a photo of the escape vehicle (think "lifeboat") for the crew in the event of catastrophic ship failure. Again, think of the scale here.

The restaurant is really lovely and is a surreal juxtaposition of an upscale eatery with an engineering marvel.

Yeah. That IS a ship in the Panama Canal outside the restaurant window.

And the food is actually very good. Tonight was a buffet which included Sancocho, the traditional Panamanian soup, various salads, numerous entrees (I had the tamal de oalla, a chicken tamale served en casserole) and, yes, plantains!

They have added new exhibits to the museum detailing the third channel and locks. We didn't have time to see it all but here are a few highlights.

The new channel currently transits about 6 ships per day and unfortunately cannot be easily sen from the visitors center. However, you can see a ship in the lock in a long-distance shot I took.

Oh. And here's a flower for color.


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