Tag Archives: Nevada

USA ’17 – Day 13 – Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is nuts, there is no getting away from that fact, but it is also tremendous fun. This is my second time here and I feel the same as I did the first time – this is an adults equivalent of Disneyland.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and spent some time trying to orient ourselves in our hotel – Caesars Palace. These places are huge, Caesars apparently has 4,000 rooms, and so making your way from one area to another takes forever. We got lost a couple of times and had to ask for directions!

When it comes to entertainment there is one big hitter in town – Cirque du Soleil. They have seven different shows playing and last night we went to see ‘O’ at Bellagio, what I consider to be the classiest of all the hotels on the Strip.

Like most things in America the theatre and the show were huge. Many times larger than the London theatres I have been in and not just the seating area but the stage itself too. This one went back and up seemingly forever.

‘O’ is water based and so the stage is a giant swimming pool where they can raise and lower the floor during the performance turning it back into a traditional stage. I have no idea just how deep it was but part of the act was to have Olympic high divers diving into the pool from unfathomable heights. The other amazing trick performed was where performers dived into the pool never to resurface!

All Cirque shows are the same formula – a series of circus acts with ‘distraction’ acts inbetween while the next big set piece is set-up. However, all the acts have a real wow factor and you are left wondering either how they do it or in some cases why! If you have never been to one I urge you to go.

Today we have spent the day walking up and down the strip looking into all the hotels and the gaudy treats that are on offer. We went to see the galleons outside of Treasure Island, the wonders of Venice at The Venetian, Paris, New York and many more besides. The further you go along the Strip the tackier it gets.

The level of detail that goes into these places is amazing. The shops that are part of the Venetian are just like walking through the streets of Venice. This includes a canal complete with gondolas that you can take a ride on and a copy of St. Mark’s Square. The ceilings are painted with clouds and it really is like being part of the a Venetian version of the Truman Show!

Oh, we also went on the slot machines, which will please the owner of Caesars Palace no doubt. I have to say that it was all too complicated for us and we quickly moved on as we shall tomorrow.

USA ’17 – Day 12 – Death Valley, Badwater Basin & Red Rock Canyon

We had a relatively short drive today from Stovepipe Wells in the Death Valley National Park through to Las Vegas but we had plenty of interesting stops on the way.

The first stop, at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, was only a short distance from our overnight hotel but was so unexpectedly different from all the surrounding landscape. It was a proper desert with shifting sand dunes in amongst the more arid and rough landscape of the rest of Death Valley.

Visiting the sand dunes had been an unexpected surprise but our next stop, Badwater Basin, was planned. At 282 feet below sea level Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the western hemisphere. It was interesting in a flat, salty, kind of place.

Once again the drive brought changing landscapes as we moved closer to Las Vegas. There was one final stop today that we made to the Red Rock Canyon, somewhere I had been about 12 years ago and was keen to revisit.

The canyon is about half an hour outside of Vegas but I’m not sure that many make it there but it is a fascinating place. As you can see from the pictures it is not just that the rods are red but there are layers of coloured rock making it seem like large dollops of sweets.

Today’s post is a but rushed as we are now in the adult Disneyland that is Vegas and we are out to see a show. More tomorrow.

Death Valley Pictures

Red Rock Canyon Pictures