Concomitant with soaking in the healing sun far from grey Denmark, my sweetheart Jette and I witnessed important developments as we traveled through Spain the first two months of 2017.
We observed ancient grave sites and geological peculiarities, and hiked mountains inhaling the rich botany. We lived in or visited the south, east and north from Fuengirola, Mijas, Antequera, Granada, Málaga (Picasso’s hometown) to Almería, Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Guernica, Burgos-Atapuerca, and Madrid.
We spoke with people involved in the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna/Basque Homeland and Freedom) as it was surrendering its weapons 58 years after its formation. Three Catalonia’s political leaders were sentenced for disobeying Spain’s constitution by calling for a symbolic referendum just. The judges also warned the new Catalonian regional government against any such referendum. Podemos—suddenly the third largest political party with 21% of vote—emerged from internal debate with a united leadership pointing in a reformist direction.
Moreover, we learned of amazing scientific discoveries of Europe’s earliest identified people, Homo antecessor (Explorer), found at Sierra de Atapuerca. Fossils were also found of the uniquely caring Homo heidelbergensis, and a 1.3 million year-old jawbone of an as yet unidentified hominid. Many of these fossils are on public display in the nearby Burgos Museum of Human Evolution.
Table of Contents
1. Costa del Sol, Hating America, Muslims, Corruption, Dolmens
2. Art, war and peace
3. Almería and Podemos
4. Barcelona, Catalonia sovereignty, and civil war
5. Basque Country: Bilbao, San Sebastian, Gernika
6. Atapuerca UNESCO world heritage site: Who are we?
7. Madrid and conclusion
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Cover image: Heidelbergensis people likeness 400,000 year ago, Picasso’s Guernica massacre, Viscaya Bridge, Cabo de Gata cliffs into sea, Jette and Ron ready to swim, Spanish wine grapes, Cervantes Don Quixote, student general strike.