Seeing and Experiencing Spain

© Fernando Caracena, 2019

When I was 24 years old (just a kid) I spent about  month in Europe. I had been stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground at the Ballistics Research Laboratories as a scientific programmer on the ORDVAC digital computer. This was part of my military stint after having been drafted away from my work at White Sands Missile Range, where I started my career after gaining a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. We called the base, 'the campus'; and the area, during hot summers, the armpit of the nation.

I am a Westerner, and being east of the Mississippi, I took every opportunity while in the Army to visit the sights back East. My goals on graduating from high school were: to be  renaissance guy; to go for a PhD in physics; and to see some interesting parts of the world. My interests beyond science, were classical music, literature, fine arts, and history of the western world, going back to pre-history, such as in cave art. Of course, I went to  the Smithsonian in D.C. and visited various galleries, including the Guggenheim. But I also did ordinary stuff, such as eating at a deli, or at the Horn and Hardart, and going to off-Broadway plays. Having done all this, I found out that there was opportunity to do much more than this. I could go to Europe by Military Air Transport (MAT) flights. My ticket was the uniform and orders cut by my company captain that would allow me to go to Europe. The result was that I spent about a month traveling in Europe, sometimes by rail, sometimes by air, and often by automobile (a red Porsche convertible), see post, "From my Journals--A trip to Europe."

During my European trip as a young man, I made a couple of jaunts to Spain, first to Barcelona, then to Madrid. The first trip is described in my post, "On to Barcelona". Someday, I may write a few things about my experiences then in Madrid. Since those early days of my youth, I have visited Spain several times during professional travels, and I have written a number of posts about later experiences n Spain. Looking back over the blog offerings, I see that I have written quite a bit about Spain and related items. If you are interested in reading these entries, just follow the links below: .

My initial interests in travelling in Spain joined naturally with later interests in genealogy. Interests in family history motivated me to study the history of the Spains, Spain, and the Spanish Empire. In subsequent posts, I may discuss more the mechanics of touring in Spain, which would perhaps be of more interest to the average reader.

Recently, my niece Kathy walked the "Camino de Santaigo", or Way of Saint James that extends from the French side of Navarre to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This is an ancient pilgrimage route that many Europeans have traveled  since the Middle Ages. I wish that I had traveled this way as a young man. The movie starring Martin Sheen called, The Way, is a great way to experience some of the excitement of this pilgrimage. If you have more active interests, go there and travel in Spain yourself. If you want some more ideas on what to do there, look at the following website: .


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