Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time Zones: Andalucia, Spain, & Morocco

Last Day: Sunrise at Costa del Sol, Marbella, SPAIN.
Travel journal   
This feature is a significant geographical departure from my home here in Ellicott City's Historic District. When AHI Tour & Travel offered a week-long tour to Southern Spain (Andalulcia) with a short side trip to Africa (Morocco), I signed up for it. That was in April, 2011. In September, I set out alone from BWI Airport to meet the group at Málaga Airport in Spain. Many times, the best travel plans go awry through no fault of the traveler. I concluded when things go wrong is exactly the time I  learn, survive, grow, change, get tough (maybe)...not when things work out, especially when someone else does it for me.  SO, this is a day-by-day journal of the tour week--obviously interpretive--written in a traditional Japanese form, Senryu. (5/7/5).  Reading the entries as a whole following the trip, I noticed the recurring themes of angels, prayer, death, and gratitude. That was a surprise, at least to me. Although the surface of travel was often frenetic and a bit stressful, it was always humorous--and joyful.

This documentary features the amazing art work of MARGARET SCOTT. Although she was not with us on the trip, many of these episodes resonated with her, as they did with me when I wrote about them.  Please join us now as we re-board the first plane and set out on a wonderful adventure, or, in some cases, a misadventure!
Where are we going?  Ellicott City, Baltimore, Halifax, Frankfurt, Brussels, Málaga,  Marbella, Málaga, Morocco, Mijas, Granada, Ronda, Málaga, Newark,  Baltimore, Ellicott City. What time is it in Spain now? I don't think I care.

Angels...Protect me on this journey.

Departure from BWI Airport     9.26.11

I’m bored already!
Visit duty-free two times—
Fossil watch, Angel.

Angels I don’t see:
Protect me on this journey.
Can you make me see?

Toronto, Canada, Airport

No customs, walked through
to a salad bar, drank wine—
Sleeping to Frankfurt.

Diverted to Halifax...
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Airport         9.27

Passenger gets sick;
Diverted to Halifax;
Missed my connection.

Going to Brussels,
then flying to Málaga.
The group has gone on.


Arrive Málaga,
but luggage is in Frankfurt.

What more can happen?

But luggage is in Frankfurt...


Should not have asked that!

Deficit of Euros now

And I need a cab.


Credit card saves me.

Taxi ride to Marbella!

Fuerte Miramar!


Marbella, Costa del Sol,  Fuerte Miramar Hotel – 

To My Room,  Meet Guide, Emiliano Rio    Evening,   9.27



Our soccer-playing leader,

There to answer ALL!


Hotel Reception,

Many alums, mostly old.

We grow young with wine.


 Sea View/Sound from the 7th Floor, Hotel Fuerte Miramar       9.28


Same View by Margaret Scott.

I spent as much time as possible, given our jam-packed itinerary, looking out at the view and listening!


Costa del Sol sound –

Waves rolling into the shore:

Such gentle music.




No Luggage or Money


Recalling Wendy,

You have everything you need.”

Ocean, flowers, friends.


Go get some money,

US coins in Fossil Box

Will get me enough.        (They didn't. Still no Euros)



Balcony of the Virgin

Breakfast Buffet,

Hotel Fuerte Miramar


One of the dishes,

Potato and onion pie –

Spanish tradition.



Marbella Old Town

Chapel to Restaurant

Flowers; stone streets. What?

“Balcony of the Virgin,”

Now a pizza place?





Above: Mopping; Below: Walking

Tile and Stone Mopping


Spotless entryways

to small shops with trendy clothes!

Women mop and mop. 


Dog Walkers


In the city streets,

Spanish women walk their dogs - 

Much artful design.


Walk to Glitzy Puerto Banús Marina,  Marbella New Town


 Built in May 1970 by José Banús, a local property developer, as a luxury marina and shopping complex for the rich and famous.


  Huge yachts in a row,

  not what I came to see!     

  Eating an apple.


Euro NO!    Third Try...


Cash, another try.

Machine rejects me again.

Listen to the waves.


How to solve this now?

I e-mail my bank, asking,

Did THEY block my card?   

Not my Style!

“Wary of fraud Yes,

THEY tried to protect you there.”

Angels!  Not my style!     (Bank card unblocked; get the Euros.)



Missing Cats & Friends


The days come at me

like a series of rolling waves.

No time to miss you.


Alone in my room,

thinking about that smile:                                                                      

Your face in a wave.                             



Hotel Soap   Green/White


About one-inch square

Oh, that transporting fragrance!

The glycerin soap.




Breakfast    9.29


Sunny-side up eggs,

Bacon--and potato pie!

See me smiling now?


Sitting at a “deuce”

Hoping no one will join me—

Time to think and write.


Going to Málaga, Old Town - Picasso Museum


Picasso Museum 

I can’t recall now –

Someone was to pray for me.

Now, I feel grateful.


Lost my dark glasses

so have to borrow a pair –

I will buy my own!


Expensive, but cool!

Just maybe I won’t lose them.

Satin drawstring “case.”



Evening Talk by Retired Bullfighter


Topic: EL TORO!

Killing him explicitly.

Laughter in the room.


Far too many words

and all with macho gestures!

See plastic swords - leave.



Wine, Stress and Resolution


Did not sleep at all –

Woke up with swollen eyes, too!

Now, all seems better.






Afternoon Thrill!


Luggage came today!

Clothes choices so much harder –

Better without them?





Anticipating Morocco on 9.30


Trip to Morocco

With a long bus and boat ride –

Em says, “the real thing.



Ferry Crossing to Morocco, AFRICA   9.30.11


We see Gibraltar

shrouded in mist and dark clouds.

Suddenly, the sun!



Morocco  Tetouan    Medina   

Maze of winding streets,

Everywhere with food vendors –

Women with hats or scarves.


My camera is out!

Their beautiful fruit

Beside that dark poverty –

Sorrowful contrast.


My camera is out!

After taking many shots,

I feel deeply sad.


Pray five times a day,

Hearing that call to prayer now –

I want to go in.



What Was Joyful in Morocco? 


These two men, I think:

Water man; fire dancer.

My jaw dropped open.



Water Man in Street
Fire Dancer in Restaurant.

























The Medina cats

Are plentiful, accepted:

They sleep in doorways.



Hard Sell!


Moroccan Rug Seller


A strange end, indeed!

We sat on wooden benches –

Heard that shrill “hard sell.”   



Marbella Again:  Hotel Solitude   Free Day!     10.1.11


Up and to myself.

Coffee, writing, nothing else.

Old Town” attracts me.   


Picasso post cards –

I will write a few, then stop.

Alone, seek, go home.



Lecture/Books by David Searle from Mijas


His book on Mijas

makes me want to go there now!

See art galleries.


Solo Taxi Ride to Mijas


...Doubt your driver?

Why would you go there,

Then start to doubt your driver?

It makes no sense.



No galleries, but

Some colorful pottery

wrapped in bright paper.



Wine, wind – and that view!

Suddenly, it’s time to leave.

Just enough for now.


From Mijas, Fast Taxi Ride Back to Costa del Sol, Marbella


When it’s time to die,

The universe will tell me –

Not today, it seems.


              The universe will tell me -

Evening, Marbella Ocean Front


Bar with “Glendale Girl,”  

then Tapas and wine galore! 

Marbella DT’s?                                                 



GRANADA       10.2


No time for e-mail –

“But this is a vacation,”

as Barbara says.




Sitting together –

Whose need is that, I wonder?

Is it yours, or mine?               


Granada calls us!

ALHAMBRA paradise soon,

I can hardly wait!





Gardens and Alhambra


Our guide said, “Jasmine,”

How we remember those scents

from our childhood on.


I look out, then in 

to find some meaning of place –

Elusive water.

Intricate designs.



Gardens, Muslims, Christians – wars!

Intricate designs. 


More than I came for,

but how to receive it now?

Do you hear that voice?




Lunch in Granada


How could we ignore the pork,

melon soup, fig mousse?

It was wonderful!





Ronda     Mountain/Valley      October 3






Safety of setting:

High up, with those sheer rock cliffs.

For us, it rings true.




Walking Tour with Ignacio


Followed the guide,

But then three of us turned left,

went out on our own.



Getting Lost & Found

Bridge into Old Town.

I’m not sure how we missed it –

We trusted Keisha!


Plaza de Toros de Ronda


Historic bull ring –

peaceful now with no fighting.

The air is cool, sweet.


Incredible day

Framed by shopping and red wine

How shallow am I?


You get out of it

just what you put into it –

breath by breath by breath.



Leaving Hotel Fuerte, Miramar, Marbella, Costa del Sol

Málaga Airport    10.4


Going home today,

Málaga, Frankfurt, Newark –    

How unpoetic.


'Bye Facebook Friends!

Checking Out of  Fuerte Miramar Hotel


Where to leave a tip?

I connect Euros with a name.

Thank you, “Ana. P.”


Getting Off the Hotel Computer


Facebook mostly. ‘Bye!

Faces I know by heart now.

They never left me.



Our bus to Málaga Airport leaves at 10:30 a.m.

Hurrying, I get off on the wrong floor!



Does each of us hold

the seeds of our destruction?

I just watered mine.


Yes! Made the Connection to Newark!


Catch plane in Frankfurt

by running, and loaded down –

leg muscles still hurt.


How I miss my cat.

Flying, an unknown:

Space and time combined with fear.

How I miss my cat.                                         


Can’t think in the air!

This trip included so much!

Time will sort it out.


Ellicott City, Jet Lag, Clean House     October 5


Crazy intense self, 

“zombified”, but must work, clean.

See? I broke a glass.


What brings us back to earth

when we swirl out of our heads?

Sweeping broken glass.



Home with Cats     October 6


The cats are good art –

Spain and Africa a week,

wonder who I am.                                                                                      


Asleep, yet furtive.

Will she go somewhere today?

Gray intelligence.




Oh!  What have we here?

An intestinal surprise

of some magnitude.


Explosion of sorts!

Would have preferred some romance;

Glad to be alive!

Paying Bills.


Paying bills, still sick -

It will end soon I believe,

but my journal’s done.



Not Quite Done    October 17, 18.

My stomach gave in
to all those Time Zones traveled.
It is in ONE now. 

Ellicott City Historic District, Maryland.

Kay Weeks & Margaret Scott: A Collaboration
October 18, 2011


Denee Barr Art News and More said...

Que Bien!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Kay! This time I got onto the blog site but could not post. not much to say except that I really enjoyed a unique travelogue......Welcome home.


Anonymous said...

Your likeness in the drawings is spot-on!

David Curtis
Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kay. Yes, quite an adventure! It looks beautifully warm.

Paula Davidson

Anonymous said...

Yes, you've told the whole story there... and what a lot you survived to find the gems!

Wendy Webb, UK

Anonymous said...

Amazing what happens when great minds get together....and I especially love it when these two do!!!! Yes! Thanks so much for sharing, it's great...Hope to see many more of your collaborations!!!

Ann White Matthews

Anonymous said...

Words and art are so lovingly done, along with the joy of travel. I want to GO !! Thank you for sharing, Margaret - and Kay.

Judy Cobb Woods

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay,

Very nice! I am happy that you were able to experience such a
beautiful adventure.

Welcome back!

Ellicott City

Dodie said...

What a wonderful presentation of a fantastic trip. The irony for us was that we have experienced so many of the "devils" (lost luggage, bank problems, etc.) along with the "angels" during our world travels.

We did this trip 30 years or so ago and it was great fun to "go" again with you and Margaret.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs Kay,



Anonymous said...


Very lovely as I have come to expect from you. I' m happy that you enjoyed your trip despite the initial set backs! J___ and I stayed in Marbella in the old town at least twice. The first time we stayed in the most wonderful and charming small hotel at a price, I believe, of $8.00 a night for two! No wonder we could travel so much in the 70s and even the 80s!

We loved the town and I still remember the fresh sardines roasting at
outdoor cafes and the scent of orange tree in the old town. We also drove to Ronda, which we liked, too, but I don't remember a bullring. But that was a long time ago.....

What a convoluted flight itinerary you had! No wonder your luggage was
lost and it is quite amazing you got it back. That is why I travel now only with a carry-on bag...

Washington, DC

Anonymous said...

Hola Amiga!! So nice to hear from you. I enjoyed your journaling with photos- many good memories...I do miss the tapas, wine and paseos.

We were busy in Madrid and went to both Toledo and Escorial (2 great UNESCO sites). Of course, we spent nearly a day at the Prado and the Museo Reina Sofia...

Mary Jo Ferrell
Glendale, California
AHI Traveler

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay,
I do think that Margaret Scott did capture a lot of your travel journal. I really enjoyed it. Thank you. You had an eventful trip and certainly took everything in stride! Thanks for sharing it.

Elaine Bane

Anonymous said...

hi kay...

I'm still re-hashing your blog...it's an absolutely amazing reader's adventure...I can see why it took 9 hours!! Your memories and the detail...so perfectly captured for those of us living vicariously!

Sharon Crain
Catonsville, MD

Anonymous said...

Dear Kay, It is interesting that your friends who responded to your Andalucia, SPAIN,Morocco adventures were enthusiastic about your experiences. I happen to get sick thinking about every one of your challenges. For me, nothing could be worth even one set-back from your trip. You survived every inconvenience, hardship,quandary, monetary problem, lost luggage, etc. etc. conceivable. Your patience and endurance are qualities to be admired, but I feel sorry for anyone who has to endure this kind of torture.


Whidbey Island, WA

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Carolyn Gimian

Anonymous said...

Finally found the right time to "join you" on your eventful trip - enjoying all the wonders vicariously and being ever so grateful that I was not experiencing the downsides. Great that you emphasized the positive and what an insightful collaboration! Mary B

Anonymous said...

Amazing Kay!! I'll send you some Senryus from Paris where we are headed Nov. 1st. I hope we arrive uneventful, unlike your trip. Although you do learn a great deal about yourself when you travel and have to make adjustments.

Barb Bednarzik
Columbia, MD

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay,

That was so fun reading your blog, although what a start to your trip! Were you calm, cool and collected? Whew, I don't know how I would have handled it. Anyway, it was great fun reading about your experiences.

First of all, the drawings were superb! Loved them! Especially your black hair.

A sick passenger? Lost luggage? You've got to be kidding...

Karen O.
Washington State

Patricia Watson said...

Kay, dear one! Your Senryu format was as succinct and inspiring as your calm reaction to the missed flight, lost luggage, etc., etc. For one who panics all too easily, (me!) you were a role model of quiet acceptance and realistic "deal with it" posture. (SO happy to have been able to help with the "toiletry" loan!!) You are high on my list of "Unforgettable Travel Mates"! - - - We joined Lee and Mary Jo in Madrid for dinner, Toledo, and the Prado. (MJ and I were on our feet for six determined hours!) Would have enjoyed that last night in the bar with you and MJ! - - - Repeated thanks for your lovely trip description! Pat Watson

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay- I finally got a chance to read your blog of your trip! loved it! As I write it struck me that it's written like an adult cat in the hat.... the illustrations, short, poetic funny sentences!!!!

xo Peggy San Francisco

(From e.mail to me)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for including me. It looks like it was a wonderful trip and I hope
you enjoyed it.

And of course I enjoyed the reflections. How amazing that you put it in
this form. Poetry, as Coleridge said, is "emotion recollected in
tranquility," and I would bet that you will remember the trip more
forcefully and richly as a result of creating poetry out of it!

Michael J. Auer

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