Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Call that a hotel? This is a hotel!

It only rains in Abu Dhabi on 2 or 3 days a year, tops, but on Monday it rained.  It actually rained on Tuesday as well, so that's it for the year then!  But we didn't go to the Emirates Palace Hotel on Tuesday, we went on Monday.

We would have done more but made it to Joe the Grocer's nearby for breakfast at which point it simply chucked it down with rain even more, so we couldn't leave and drank even more coffee.  Nice breakfast too but the coffees were the highlight.  Single bean, premium type coffee.  Viv's was from India, mine was from Rwanda.  Both firsts.  I bought some Indian to go with the Arabian coffee pot I'd bought the previous day as it was nice and mellow.

Artistic cappucino

We then walked to the Heritage Village at the end of the man made point facing the apartment, next to the world's largest free standing flagpole.

It was very small with a few wood faced stalls selling tourist stuff and a few archaeological artifacts together with some examples of typical Bedouin villages.  I expected more though.  Everything else seems to be big and well done, this was anything but.

The old with the new in the background.  I'd expected a bit more but perhaps that's all there is it to it.
This couldn't be said of the hotel though.  Wow!

Huge domed lobby area where a security guard told me that the dress code did not permit shorts of the length I was wearing -- namely Bermuda shorts.  But fortunately, he said, the concierge keeps loaners for dumbkopfs like me (he didn't say this but thought it).  So I traipsed back to the concierge who gave me a pitying smile and trundled off and brought back a perfectly ironed set of white trousers which I put on over the top of my shorts.

The dumpkopf's loaners, beautifully ironed.

So ready to go, we reproceeded through the lobby area and found THE only ATM in the world that dispenses gold bars.  It turns out that they weren't gold bars but tags that you put on a bracelet or use on a key chain.  I'd expected chunky bars but realistically gold is a heavy metal so it makes sense.

I spotted one of these at the airport too so its not the only one
Time for tea though.

I'd had my mind set on this since I'd read about it and it was the real thing.  Small perfectly crafted sandwiches with crusts cut off, small scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream (also lemon curd and rose petal jam for some reason, maybe its a local thing) and some fancy pastries, many chocolate.

Coffee with gold dust.  Whatever next?  Actually it tasted like sugar.

We both agreed we'd have preferred more sandwiches and no fancy cakes but still with a couple of glasses of champagne each it was a more than pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Some hotel!!

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