Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"My buddy Mo"

We had another day of culture and eating planned for Monday. We started at the British Museum looking at the Rosetta stone (much larger than both of us imagined) and the mummies; then it was off to meet a colleague for sandwiches in Hyde Park.

Next it was off to Harrods, where we managed to not cause any pain to our bank accounts (amazing!) I’m not sure whether I prefer Harrods or KaDeWe. Each has its charms. KaDeWe has the more impressive main entrance and cheese counter. But Harrods is opulent beyond belief!

But all of that is neither here nor there, because the true find of our visit occurred when we were riding the escalator up to the top floor in the Egyptian hall. Amid a gaggle of people stood Mohamed Al-Fayed, owner of Harrods and father to Dodi (need I say more.) He had as much security as the President! Katie and I calmly perused the sporting goods dept. but decided it would be more fun to try to catch another glimpse of Mohamed (or “my buddy Mo” as Katie now affectionately refers to him.) As luck would have it, Mo was just coming out of his meeting and we hopped on the escalator right behind him (well actually behind a security guard, but in front of the rest of his party...but don’t worry, we did it with a great deal of grace.) Being the innocent-looking stalkers that we are, we nonchalantly followed him all the way to the second floor where he stopped to show his guest hand prints in the hieroglyphs that decorated the wall.

The most bizarre part of the ride was looking down at him and then up at a sphinx decorating the hall and realizing that the face on the sphinx was his. The funniest part of the ride was watching other people’s faces as they rode the up escalators and realized whom they just passed. We couldn’t quickly think of a reason to stay on the 2nd floor so we headed out of the store and off to high tea. (Katie practically sprinted through her worst nightmare, the cosmetics department, running the gauntlet of people waiting to spray her with perfume.)

Unfortunately the place that Erica and Rachel had recommended for high tea was being demolished, so we ended up at The Capital hotel for a fantastically snooty and fun time. The maître d' gave us the once over when we first walked in (irritating me almost to the point of walking out, but you can’t let people like that win.) But after that, the experience was lovely. We were served English breakfast and mint tea and a tower of finger sandwiches, tarts, scones, macaroons and pudding. We enjoyed reflecting on our trip, solving the problems of the world and eavesdropping on the table of 4 British ladies who tried to figure out what was in each “lovely” sandwich and sweet.

So now the trip has ended. I’m bringing back a couple of souvenirs, probably a stone or two (how much is a stone anyway?), and a million fun memories. London is certainly not the cheapest town for Americans at the moment, but definitely worth the trip!

More picts tomorrow!


Blogger Erica said...

Wait, by "demolished" do you mean rennovated or actually demolished?

8:50 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

actually demolished!! I thought the hotel looked a bit quiet as we approached, but we were quite bummed to see that the only signs on the door were those announcing the hotel's "demolition." Unless demolition somehow means gut renovation in Brit English (the Germans actually have different words for rennovate and gut renovate.)

9:16 PM  

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