Our Journey to Torremolinos

This is an odd post for me to get right. We were planning an adventure to southern Spain when my dear sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ruenitz, passed away unexpectedly. In my heart, I carry many memories of her on this trip. No pictures, just some memories: her subtle sense of humor, how she and my daughter shared their favorite Tom Lehrer songs, the care she gave the cats and my brother, and the tributes from her co-workers at the FDA. It worked out to add a week in Atlanta to our plans to celebrate Elizabeth’s life with my brothers and other family members.


Sometime in the 1980’s I read Michener’s fantasy novel, The Drifters, that relates the lives of a group of youngsters that intersect in Torremolinos in the 1960s. When we decided to look for Spring in Europe, I wondered what might remain of the young free life. Our final destination would be Malaga on the Costa del Sol of Spain. First, we would explore Torremolinos and some southern points.

Here are some images to carry with me from Kuala Lumpur to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to Atlanta. Then, a week later, Atlanta back to Amsterdam. After a day in Sloterdijk neighborhood of Amsterdam, we flew down to Malaga Airport, heading 10 km south to Torremolinos.

Our take on Torremolinos. The youngsters left and came back when they retired, like us. Many retired British and German expats here along with Spanish jubilados who find the weather less harsh in the winter.

Covid-19 concerns. Before leaving Malaysia, we were already limiting our social engagements. Getting together with my family, Wife and I used the Indian bow and greeting of Namaste, and did not touch or hug. No reason for us to take chances as we are all on in years except for my grand nephew who has just turned one. So far, so good.
We are staying indoors in Malaga Spain now during the State of Emergency. Its rainy and cold on the Costa del Sol so no big deal. We have an apartment for 4-6 weeks with several small grocery shops just up the street. Out of the little kitchen come Soups Stews, Salads, and Olive oil with fresh “pan integral”, whole wheat bread baked locally.

Netherlands without Amsterdam

We flew from Busan, South Korea to the Netherlands arriving at 06:00 AM in the dark at Schiphol Airport. In the airport station, we purchased tickets direct to Amersfoort. Five stops and 45 minutes later we were in Amersfoort station waiting for our host. The compact city allows for exploration on foot. we walked everywhere. With a day trip to Spakenburg, there was no need to consider Amsterdam. Wife and I have visited so many times it really holds little interest. When I worked in ‘s-Hertogenbosch for a year in the 1980’s, almost every other weekend found me exploring new haunts of Amsterdam. Here are some impressions of Amersfoort captured on a crisp autumn morning.

One of the dual canals reflects the autumn in Amersfoort
Art (not a giant abacas) outside of Piet Mondrian’s family home. In such a pastel world, is it any wonder he loved primary colors?
The Mondrian theme can pop up anywhere.
The sun rises late in Autumn
Toadstools along the city walls
Is it sculpture? Is it a bench? Why is Thursday’s pillow at the end?
Bicycles and bicycle racks play important roles. Street repairs along bicycle paths wreak chaos.
As a practical joke, a squire got the citizens of Amersfoort to drag this boulder into the city in the 1670’s.
Other countries (such as Canada) have been fooled to send boulders also.
What is the Netherlands without pannekoeken?
You know I like a good library. This was exceptional.
Our street.
Spakenburg port connects to the IJsselmeer for both traditional and modern ships.