Route 66 - 2 Germans on Mother Road

Atomic City, Little Boy & Fat Man, Rio Grande, Bandelier National Monument

Today we left Route 66 for a while to take a detour and visit Los Alamos in the New Mexico Mountains, at an altitude of about 2.000 Meters. Los Alamos is of course the remote site that Robert Oppenheimer and General Groves once chose for the "Manhatten Project", the development of the first atomic bomb, which was later tested only 200 Miles away in the desert of Alamogordo. As a boy I read the biography of Oppenheimer, mainly covering his role in "Project Manhatten" and his later live during the McCarthy era. I always wanted to see the place where it all happened and being so close we could not resist to go there. The National Laboratory is still operating and is nowaydays mainly focussed on research related to the existing stock of nuclear weapons. The Bradbury Science Museum gives a pretty good (although somewhat naive and quite opinionated) overview about the project. For us the most impressive artefacts where the reproductions of the two nuclear devices used in Hieroshima and Nagasakii, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man". The size of the devices was shocking, as you could more of less load them onto a simple pickup truck. They where actually MUCH smaller than you would expect given their devastating power. The drive through the fascinating landscape of New Mexico was of course great contrast to the Atomic City. At a Vista Point near White Rock we had a fantastic view over the Rio Grande, hundreds of meters below us. We visited the Bandalier National Monument, a site of ancestral Pueblo culture. The Pueblo had lived in the region for over 10.000 years but around 1150 they started to build and live in caves as well as larger building structures. The whole scenery reminded us of our honeymoon trip to the mountains of Oman. Not only looked the landscape quite similar, also the caves and building structures of the early Omani looked quite similar. During a hike through the mountains, we came across a Roe Deer ("Reh") that was suddenly standing not 25 Meters away from us, looking at us (see pic on Flickr). Quite a magical moment ! After the hike we drove on through the Jemez Reservation to Albuquerque where we decided to stay for the night. Tomorrow we plan to visit the Petroglyph National Park where a lot more of ancient Indian Rock Paintings ("Felszeichnungen") are preserved. So stay tuned for more... Auote of today: "Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds." Robert Oppenheimer after the successful Trinity test in Alamogordo. Quote is actually taken from Sanskrit

20.6.15 03:45

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