Monday, May 19, 2008

A Bear and His Oasis

"... an oasis in a busy world"

As a freelance Good Will Ambassador, I make it a point of honour when I travel to stay in fairly modest accommodations. For one thing, I had my fair share of 5 star (and higher) hotels in my international fashion model days and I'm also concerned about propriety (or at least the appearance of propriety), and I just don't think that people - even philanthropists- should flaunt their wealth unnecessarily. Besides, I am a freelance Good Will Ambassador and my bipedal attendants are a bit of a drain on my finances, so I have to count my pennies.

I decided that my bipedal attendants - who have both been fighting virulent colds for the past 2 weeks - could use a little R & R, so I took them to the Rock hotel in Gib for some much needed pampering. Built 76 years ago by the Marquis of Bute, the hotel still has that old-world charm of a bygone era. Two years earlier, he built the El Minzah Hotel in Tangier. He did have a knack for creating stunning hotels.

Amazingly, all the rooms at the Rock - which itself is nestled into the side of "the rock" enjoy fabulous views across the Bay of Gibraltar, the mainland of Spain and Morocco's Rif Mountains. The views were certainly conducive to sitting on the balcony and enjoying a glass of sherry or scotch - which were provided, compliments of the hotel.
I was really pleased with the luxurious bathrobes supplied in our room because there's nothing a bear likes more than a soak in a tub. Except maybe a long snooze in a cave.

The Rock also graciously ensures that a family of ducks (well, rubber duckies) resides in every bathroom so it made my bath time especially fun. But that may have had more to do with the sherry. And the scotch.

Many famous people have stayed at the Rock, including Sir Winston Churchill, Sean Connery, and the Two Ronnies! My bipedal attendants had to explain to me who the Two Ronnies were but I don't think their style of comedy really jives with Bear Humour. In any case, you can ask to see the guest book but it's very old (well, 76 years old) and you have to be very careful with it. If you do ask for it, you can see my paw print. Yes, Abdelaziz our waiter recognized me!

In turns out that booking rooms at The Rock was a stroke of brilliance because the health and spirits of my bipedal attendants revived greatly. They especially enjoyed drinks and lunch on the wisteria covered terrace of the Barbary Bar where they dreamed of being rich and be able to indulge in such luxuries as a way of life. You can also take a full English tea with cucumber sandwiches, scones and teacakes there but, well, they had John Smiths on draught so there was little chance that the bipedal attendants would be drinking tea.

Unfortunately, the disadvantage of little perks like a weekend at a grand colonial hotel is that it leaves people with a taste for more. *Sigh* I remember when warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery at Marks and Spencers (on Main street in Gib) was a big enough treat for my bipedal attendants. They can be so trying! One of them even stole some of the hotel's stationery and I actually had to put my paw down when it came to taking the ducks!

If I do take them back to the Rock - and they've already begun whining and dropping hints - I'll have to remember to book directly from the hotel website. Rates are almost 50% less if rooms are booked online. Not that I'm cheap or that my bipedal attendants don't deserve it - but like I said earlier, as a freelance Goodwill Ambassador, I have to count my pennies. Not all of us are Angelina Jolie.


H-Face said...

Excellent blog GB!!

You look cool in that bath robe. How was the complimentary sherry??

Grey Bear said...

Thanks hap ... the sherry was sublime! And so were the complimentary lollipops!

Anonymous said...

Dear Grey Bear
Is it true that Gibraltar is like a little bit of England?
Do they really have Bobbies there or is that just a story?
Do people ask you for your autograph?

Grey Bear said...

Hi Anonymous,
Gib is a little bit of England with bobbies, fish & chip shops, curry takeaways, red call boxes and Union Jacks. They drive on the right side of the road although many cars are right-side drive.

People the world over stop and ask me for my autograph but I don't mind. That's the price I pay for being famous!