I asked my wife if she wanted to go to Las Vegas to celebrate our 25th Wedding Aniversary and she said “Yes”. I didn’t know that much about the place, even though I am a Travel agent, so I don’t know why I suggested Las Vegas, so I started planning the trip. I like big and brash cities, but I wanted to know more about Las Vegas and I wanted to know if there was more to the city than just bright lights. The only way to know was to go myself. I booked flights from Manchester with BMI and United via Chicago. I booked 7 nights at the Luxor Hotel because I liked the shape of it. I pre-booked a flight from Las Vegas, on a small 20 seater aircraft, to the Grand Canyon. And, finally, I booked two seats for Celine Dion at Caesars Palace. It was November and we arrived very late in Vegas because our flight was delayed, but the next day, still feeling the effects of the nine hour time difference we set off exploring the city.
I can only describe Las Vegas as a feast for your eyes. There are neon lights, wide roads, big lavish hotels with thousands of rooms, restaurants every few yards, huge casinos, a half size Eiffel Tower, a replica of Venice complete with gondalas, shopping malls like I could never imagine, theme parks within hotels, call girls handing out their business cards on every corner and lots and lots of people.
The photograph below is a picture of the famous Las Vegas strip facing north.
Every hotel in Las Vegas has a casino and they are huge. People seem to play all night and even when we were heading off for breakfast there were people playing on the “slots”. I can see how gambling becomes addictive. I started off winning, and then got too confident and ended up losing.
This is a photograph of the casino inside the Luxor Hotel.
Las Vegas has some truly magnificent hotels. Many of them are “themed” hotels. New York New York is based on the city of New york of course, the Luxor is built in the shape of a pyramid and everything inside has an Egyptian theme. Caesars Palace is built in Roman style. The shopping mall attached to Caesars Palace is called “The Forum Shops” and is magnificent. The Paris hotel has a half size Eiffel Tower and The Venetian is Italian in style and has a replica of the Grand Canal. Just to give you an idea how huge these hotels are here is a run down of what the Venetian features – more than 4,000 all-suite luxury hotel rooms, 1.9 million square meteres of meeting space with 270 function rooms, 19 restaurants, over 80 shops in the Grand Canal Shoppes, a health spa, Madame Tussaud’s, a theatre with 1,760 seats and a 120,000 square foot casino. Finally, don’t forget the Venetian canals where you can take a gondala ride.
One of the most magificent hotels that you will see anywhere in the world is The Bellagio. This is the hotel where the George Clooney and Brad Pitt film Oceans Eleven was filmed. At the front of this huge hotel is where you will find the famous Bellagio fountain and light show which happens once an hour. This is a photograph I took of the Bellagio Hotel at night.
We stayed at the Luxor hotel whilst we were in Las Vegas. It is situated at the bottom end of “The Strip” and it is quite a walk upto where the main action is although you can catch a taxi and the monorail stops outside the Luxor which will take you two blocks up. You then need to cross the road to catch the main monorail which runs up the main part of Las Vegas Strip.
There is no doubt that Las Vegas is a destination I would highly recommend. It is not all about gambling, far from it. Las Vegas has turned itself into an entertainment capital and an “adult theme park”. Las Vegas is all bright lights, but as my photograph below shows it is also a gateway to one or two of the US’s “must see” places, including the Grand Canyon. It takes about an hour to fly to the rim of the Grand Canyon and when I arrived I couldn’t quite believe that I was there. It really is one of the natural wonders of the world and was the highlight of my holiday to Las Vegas.