Oh Panamá…. what a country. Nowhere we travelled so far we experienced the gap between rich and poor so badly like in Panamá. Especially Colon was a sad town. Run down and dirty.
The traffic is also horrible. Too many cars and lots of construction.
We headed to the miraflores locks of the Panamá Canal. The miraflores locks are the first of three locks of the canal coming from the pacific ocean. At the end of the 19th century the French tried for about 20 years to build a canal in Panamá, to shorten the travel time between atlantic and pacific ocean from 10 days to about 10 hours. Unfortunately they failed. At the beginning of the 20th century the US and Panamá signed a deal. The USA helped Panamá to gain independence from Columbia. With this they constructed the canal which was then opened in 1914. The deal also gave the USA the right to administrate the Canal for 100 years. In 1999 Panamá was able to take over again and to benefit from the huge financial value of the canal operations which boosted the economy.
After the Miraflores locks our next stop was Panamá City. Once again a very impressive skyline!
Panamá City has an old town which Haß many old and beautiful buildings but not as beautiful as Cartagena. Nevertheless it was worth to wander around for a while.