One of the greatest ever-built human works lies at about ten kilometers from Panama City. Started by a French company and ended by the Americans at the beginning of the 20th century, it's more than 200 millions tons of rock which were excavated to build the Panama canal. We may pay tribute to the workers, mainly coming from the West Indies, without whom, the achievement of this Pharaonic project would be remained in the head of some megalomaniac leaders.
The canal counts 2 lanes of 3 giant locks. And to go through, the hull of the ship must respect the Panamax norm that is to say about 300 meters long and 30 meters wide. A size which seemed unreachable when the canal was opened, almost one century ago. But the elements changed and the Panamanian government, who took back the sovereignty over the canal on the 1st of January 2000, plans to invest several billions of dollars in its extension in order to double the capacity of container ships and to make sheep's eyes at the shipowners to cross the country.
Today, a cruise liner gets into the first lock, the Miraflores lock. No less than 2500 people on board and a lot of onlookers appreciate the play of the sluice gates which makes the sea colossus go up and down. A relatively short stop which will cost the modest sum of 275 000 $. A drop of water into an ocean like the land immensity that surrounds the canal.
Sunday 14 December 2008
By dorian on Sunday 14 December 2008, 15:32