New Year's in Colon, Panama

Colon, about 40 miles from Panama City, on the opposite end of the Panama Canal, was where we decided to celebrate the  New Year.  We had resolved to have one last adventure before the year's end, and the area didn't let us down.  We finally saw ships pass through the canal, wandered around a deserted US Military base, explored the ruins of an old Spanish fort, and slept in a building that was once the school for some of South America's most infamous dictators (but now is a all-inclusive resort).   Happy New Years, Panama!  What an exciting adventure it has been.

Watching a ship, pass through the canal and it was magnificent!

Even more amazing than seeing a ship pass through the lock, is to actually drive over it yourself!  Only at the Gatun locks, can you drive across the dam, as there are bridges for the traffic in Panama City.
Reminders of its previous life as The School of the Americas, gave our hotel little choice but to decorate the former cannon with a happy,  holiday penguin.
Sadly, many of the buildings in Colon, are abandoned and look like this one.  There are whole neighborhoods of buildings like this.

Ruins from a Spanish Fort overlook the Caribbean and Lake Gatun.    Both Captain Morgan (the original!) and Sir Francis Drake slept here.