The spectacular fountains outside the Belagio Hotel and Casino.
Yee hah!!! Sin city, the entertainment capital of the world, huge casinos, million dollar slot machines, $12 all you can eat buffets, and hookers staight to your room for $35 dollars!! Not that we went for that last one, but the option was there!!
We fell off the Greyhound after a 5 1/2 hour drive from Los Angeles, and fell right on two Aussies who were heading for the same hostel as us. We all shared a cab and arrived at our 'USA hostel' around ten, too wrecked to be doing much the first night so we just had a meal in a nearbly restaurant. We stopped off at a casino on the way back (where I was told I couldn't play as I didn't have my ID and was told I looked little over 16!), winning $30 on one of our first spins and then pumping it all back in to end up with nothing.
We were gonna do the deed here, but didn't have a car...(or the desire to!)
That's Vegas for ya.
Day one we went from Downtown Fremont where we were staying to the strip, deciding to start at the bottom and walk it to take in all the sights. We got about twenty feet from the bus when some guy bounces over and starts trying to talk us into going to some hotel to listen to a two hour presentation on some time share scheme, which they would then try and sell us. We were about to say no when he mentioned we'd get free food there, two free all you can eat dinner buffets vouchers for one of the major casions, 100 dollars worth of casino plays and 50 dollars in cash!! Sold!! Half an hour later we are in a bus being shipped out to a resort they are building a few miles outside the city.
Outside the Luxor hotel and casino.
The poor sod shows us round, really nice bloke who'd been to Oz so gave us loads of advice for there, and then tried to sell us $26000 worth of timeshare!! No chance of course, so after half an hour of telling him so (while muching on the free food and drink!) we were sent packing with our money and vouchers. We got off at the top instead of the bottom of the strip, by MGM Grand, and worked our way down, taking in the casinos as we went. We saw the fountain show at the Bellagio, which shoots water 100 feet high and dances to music with lights illuminating the water from below. The song was aptly sung by Welsh songstress Catherine Jenkins, belting out a great piece of classical/opera. It was really touching and brilliantly done, something you'd surely have to pay for anywhere else in the world.
In the Fremont Experience...The world's largest video screen overhead and the famous cowgirl in neon lights.
We then went on to see the volcano show outside the mirage, which was also cool. We ended the night chilling in the hostel with tired feet after walking two miles of the strip that day.
The next few days were more of the same. We went to the free show at Cesears Palace, which had robotic gods larking about, and the show outside of Treasure Island, which was two pirate ships fighting each other. We paid to see the Blue Man Group in the Venetian. The Venetian casino is a stunning recreation of the center of Venice, complete with gondolas floating in the circling canals. The Blue Man Show was mind blowingly good, an absolute visual treat with awesome music. On another night we went to see Cirque Du Soleil perform their show "Love", which sees them performing to a number of Beatles songs (a must foor me being a huge Beatles fan).
That was also spectacular to say the very least, and had a smashing score of course. On what was supposed to be our last day we went to the Grand Canyon, leaving at 6 in the morning for the long drive having got up at 4.45 am!! It was amazing, so big it's impossible to really tell what your looking at, like looking at a magic eye picture. Even my fear of heights didnt cause a problem, probably because its impossible for your brain to register the heights and depths you are looking into. We didnt get back to our hotel until 10.30 so we were knackered, but it was worth the effort.
We decided to extend our stay by another 5 nights, which says it all about how good the place is. After exhausting the strip we decided to spend more time on the street we were staying, which is where Las Vegas originated.
This was just as good as the strip, the highlight being the Fremont Street experience, which is a street completely covered by a curved canopy roof. It has 2 million lights which put on a different show each hour, which was also hugely impressive. One of the other best things about Vegas was the food, as most places do all you can eat buffets for around 12 dollars, which included your drinks and desserts. The food was brilliant, from beef dinners and ribs to pork chops and chinese food, with as much fruit and desert as you could manage. We got a taste after the first two free ones we had thanks to the time share trip, and went to a good few others before the end of the week. After having a dodgy tummy for two weeks in Mexico I'm back to being nicely rounded! We also enjoyed the Bellagio fountains a few more times, and of course gambled a bit, having no luck whatsoever on the blackjack and roulette tables.
We were a bit luckier on the slots but were only breaking even more than winning anything. We went to the cinema, went to a huge games complex where we raced eachother a few times, and we went to see the "Chapel of the bells" where we were married. Only joking. All very cool though, the drive through Chapel in particular.
All and all we couldn't recommend the place enough. If you got the dough for shows and to play the tables you'll enjoy everything the entertainment capital of the world has, and if not you'll still enjoy the brilliant ambience and great free shows and cheap food on offer. Go, book the tickets, pack right now. No, I'm not working for the city now, its just that bloody good!!