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Monday, September 28, 2009

Las Vegas

Arriving a day earlier as planned in Las Vegas, I first headed Downtown. After all, I had two nights booked on the strip and thus decided to check out the Fremont Street Experience.

I was lucky to find a moderately priced hotel just around the corner from Fremont Street.

Fremont Street hosts some of the oldest Casinos in Vegas. To compete with the Mega-Resorts on the Strip they covered part of Fremont Street with a huge screen. During the evening hours music videos are shown there every hour. While I was there I saw American Pie, a Tribute to Queen and a Tribute to Kiss. This was very impressive. I also tried my luck at the slot machines. However, it wasn't meant to be and I left after twenty minutes, once my five dollars were spent.

In addition to the video show, Fremont Street also had a stage where an Army Band played popular Rock songs.

Fremont Street Experience

Day 2 - Exploring the Strip

The next day I relocated to the Excalibur, one of the Mega-Resorts on the Strip which chose medieval times as a theme.

After settling in I ventured to explore the Strip. The Excalibur is situated at the South End and thus I started heading north, checking out the Resorts on the way. My ultimate goal was the Stratosphere, the highest building in Vegas; because I heard that on its top one could ride four high-thrill rides. On the way, I made a short detour through Planet Hollywood's Miracle Mile Shops and witnessed the Indoor Thunderstorm, which is very bizarre ;).

The Strip is much longer than I expected, but I finally arrived at my destination. Fortunately, there weren't too many people so I didn't have to queue up to get to the observation deck or to join the rides. The rides were ok, but not really something I would have done multiple times a day.

On the way back I checked out the rollercoaster in the Sahara. It was also rather short, so not much to write home about.

Then it was time for the big highlight of the evening: The Blue Man Group. I had organized tickets that very morning at one of the many half-prize ticket booths. The show was incredible. A mixture of light, sound, comedy, information and art which was thrilling to behold. It was definitely worth the price of admission.

My next stop was Treasure Island and its outdoor Pirate Show with two full ships and some pyrotechnic. A must-see if you are in Vegas.

On my way back to the hotel I stopped to observe the exploding Volcano at the Mirage and the Fountains at the Bellagio.

Excalibur by Night

Day 3 - Looking for Sharks

Paying five dollars extra a day as a resort fee, I thought I should at least check out the swimming pool, which was huge! Or rather, they had three different pools. One of which with short water slides! Unfortunately, my day was packed again so I didn't linger for long.

First on the program was a trip south to explore the last Resorts on the Strip. So I walked through the Luxor, which is very impressive both inside and outside and onwards to Mandalay Bay. There I took some time to visit their Aquarium. That was very interesting, especially because every visitor received an ÔÇťAudio Wand", which played short sequences about the different exhibits. The highlight was of course the big shark tank located in a shipwreck.

Heading back North I went to the shopping mile at Cesar's Palace, to acquire the latest iPod Nano in the Apple Store. Nearby I stumbled into a breathtaking gallery and ended up buying the book to the exhibition.

Then it was already time again to go back to the hotel. On the way I rode the rollercoaster in New York New York. The best one I saw in Vegas, but still a very rough ride.

The highlight for this evening was The Tournament of Kings: A medieval dinner show at the Excalibur. I was seated in the Dragon section, so we could cheer for the bad guy. Unfortunately, he lost in the end :(. Nevertheless, they did an excellent job in delivering a good show and I enjoyed it a lot.

Next was a show of The Sin City Comedy Club. It was a fun event, but I was a bit distraught by two things. First, by my neighbours who ended up talking amongst themselves more than paying attention to the show. And second, the fact that every comedian repeatedly pointed out that it was all Comedy and shouldn't be taken seriously. Come on, that's supposed to be self-evident!

Even though it was a long day, I felt like going out to party. So I headed over to the New York New York and paid the Coyote Ugly a visit. That was fun. There were lots of girls dancing on the bar and some of the songs they played were actually good.

Visiting Vegas was definitely worth it, even though I ended up spending a lot of money on entertainment, food and shopping ;).


All pictures from Las Vegas can be found in my webalbum.

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