E- El Camino Real
Between 1683 and Between 1683 and 1834, Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established a series of religious outposts. Given the lack of standardized road signs at the time, it was decided to place distinctive bells along the route, hung on supports in the form of a high shepherd's crook, also described as "a Franciscan walking stick."
Tradition has it that the padres sprinkled mustard seeds along the trail to mark the windings of the trail's northward progress with bright yellow flowers, creating a golden trail stretching from San-Diego to Sonoma. The Camino Real provided a vital interconnecting land route between the Spanish missions of Alta-California.
The State highway that skirted the ocean for most part of our road trip was curiously dotted with iron bells that read ‘El Camino Real’.
One could not miss them. Even when cruising at a 100 miles an hour along the vineyards, the open green fields and mountains of California. These tall iron poles that slanted into a Bell intrigued us.
We decided to stop by the next El Camino Real sign post and check it out. A little fresh air and time for a stretch break would do us some good while vetting our curiousity.
The 600 mile ( 965 kilometer) road connects the 21 Spanish missions in California from just above the San Francisco bay and ends somewhere at the southern tip of San Diego.
The Modern ‘El Camino Real’ is one of the first State Highways in California. In earlier Spanish colonial times, any road under the direct jurisdiction of the Spanish crown and its viceroys was considered to be a camino real.
Our trip started at the tip of the north of Sanfrancisco Bay. The Golden gate Bridge was where the missionaries were stopped and that is where the El Camino Real ended.
We were driving on the opposite end of the original ‘El Camino real’ trail. The 600 mile trail started from San diego up until the San Francisco Bay.
The modern day El Camino real passes through state highways and freeways along the ocean and the mountain alike, dotted by small towns and cities.
Our next stop was at Palo Alto where we stopped by the see the Computer history museum and also caught up on Lunch. The Computer history Museum established in 1996, is home to the world’s largest collection of artifacts related to the history of computing. Heavily sponsored by the Bay area giants of the information technology industry it does strive to maintain its neutrality as a computing history museum..
Even if you are not a Geek or a history nerd, the place amazes you with the carefully preserved original Babbage engine , the Turing machine and the punch card operating IBM machines of the bygone era.
Here is where I was first introduced to the English Mathematician Ada lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron. As a woman , living in a regressive Victorian era she managed to break all the boundaries and prove her mettle in the world of mathematics and computing albeit a little late in life since like many women before and after her, she was consumed by the duties of marriage and motherhood in the prime years of her life.
Ada is arguably ‘the first programmer’ and therefore should ideally be bestowed a ‘cult’ status for the millions of them who followed her trail over the course of the next century or so.
After a Pizza lunch at the museum Café we drove along to the NASA research park .
This research center in Silicon Valley is a shared use R&D and education campus for industry, academia non-profits and the government.
It meant we could relive our childhood dreams of becoming Astronauts along with the other children who really aspired to be one.
We had booked ourselves into a motel off the beaten track in a seaside town that was a few miles off Palo Alto for the night. It was a very educative day of our pilgrimage.
The Silicon Valley ‘s corporate tech houses were on our agenda for the next day. It was a tour that had been conceived, planned and detailed out using google maps.
It was the core of our pilgrimage and the excitement about the day ahead of us was unbearable.
Stay tuned for
F - Facebooks, Googles, Intels and the Mentals