las vegas 4

Our last hotel at Vegas was Flamingo…checked out of Bally’s and checked in at Flamingo.

It is one of the oldest hotels on the strip and has Flamingos as its theme…it has a courtyard which is a habitat for flamingos. The decor in this hotel is all pink…to match the pink of the flamingo.

Good hotel and the advantage of having a monorail station just behind; it makes commuting out of the Strip very easy.

The illuminated entrance to flamingo hotel and casino

Flamingos inside the hotel

Flamingos…outside!!!!!!!!

A short video clip of the Monorail

Having heard a lot about Fremont street, we decided to go there . Took a bus from The Strip to Fremont street which is in down town Vegas.

Fremont street is actually the older part of Las Vegas and hence the hotels, casinos etc are older than the ones on the Strip. The glitz ,glamour and feel of Las Vegas is the same here too. The neon signs …some of them flashing incessantly were actually blinding at times. The  crowds were of course there with daiquiris in their hands, smoking away.

We saw some of the most famous casinos here…golden gate, golden nugget and queens…to name a few.

Some famous casinos on Fremont street

The Fremont street experience was our next stop…

Fremont Street Experience

It is a pedestrian mall and attraction occupying a few blocks of Fremont street known as Glitter gulch. The central attraction is a canopy which is approximately 90 feet high. Various shows are held here under the canopy.    Music is played throughout this area except at the performance venues. There are 3 stages where free performances are held.

People with painted bodies dressed up like for a fancy dress and giving performances are also a common sight.

The lit up canopy at night

A live performance under the canopy

One of the main attractions here is the Zip line…we were not adventurous enough for trying it out and stood and watched others zip by …

A video clip of the Zip line

After experiencing Fremont street, we returned to our hotel by the regular bus.

Glitter Gulch ……this is the name that downtown Las Vegas got in the 1940s. The building of the Hoover Dam( to be covered in my next blog) brought abundant electricity to Las Vegas and soon the main thoroughfare of Fremont street was glowing with neon lights everywhere. This set Las Vegas apart from the rest of America…the sheer number of Neon lights….and that’s Glitter Gulch for you!!!

Glitter Gulch…..

The following picture symbolizes Vegas….happiness and cheer all around….

So friends let us say bye to Vegas on this happy note….

C you all next week with another exciting episode…

Now we move on to the Canyons….so brace yourself up for some exciting journeys….through some of the vast and beautiful landscapes of the Canyons in America…..

Las Vegas 2

ABBA was on top of my mind…Money money money..the famous song kept reverberating in my mind…..after all we were hitting the casino….what if we hit a jackpot???

So we walked into the casino full of hope…took some time to understand how to play at the slot machines. After the initial learning process we actually started gambling…and soon realised sadly that it was definitely not our cup of tea!!Were pretty unsuccessful and decided that it’s wiser to hold on to our hard earned money rather than lose it to the prospect of a windfall. So we retreated quietly…much of the excitement lost…!!! and sure enough the song disappeared from my mind!!!!

Non the less…let me walk you through a casino….have a look at the video and imagine yourself walking around……

A short video clip depicting the interior of a casino

Trying his luck!!

Next we decided to explore the adjacent resorts of Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. All these are connected by a tram system and we took the tram to Mandalay Bay….the hotel adjacent to Luxor.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is  a 42 storeyed resort spread over 120 acres  and is famous for its golden beach, alluring wave pool, great entertainment and night life options. It also houses the Shark reef Aquarium. Named after the poem Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling, its theme is Tropical….

The Tram connecting the three resorts

Mandalay Bay with the sphynx of Luxor next to it

The pool at Mandalay Bay

From Mandalay Bay we took the tram to Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

This hotel is  built with a castle theme and its exterior reminds you of the castles in fairy tales. Like its sister resorts, this too has plush interiors with brightly lit casinos, a variety of dine in options and innumerable entertainment shows.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino resembling a castle.

After spending some time there,we took the monorail to Stratosphere which is located on Las Vegas Boulevard …..away from the las vegas strip

Stratosphere

This hotel and casino has an observation tower which is 1149 ft tall, tallest in the US. The tower is topped by a Pod with a revolving restaurant, lounges and observation decks.

Stratosphere hotel and casino and Las Vegas Boulevard

On Top Of The World!!!( on the observation deck at Stratosphere)

View of Las Vegas from the stratosphere….the glittering lights exemplify the spirit

The beauty of the lit up Vegas brought my thoughts back home where it was Diwali.. the festival of lights which I had missed !!!

Returning back we walked up Las Vegas Boulevard for some time and took the monorail to our hotel.

So friends….let me meet you next week again at Vegas..at yet another marvelous resort

Bye for now…..

Las VEGAS 1

Hello friends…welcome to Las Vegas…the Sin city …….known for its gambling, night life, dance bars, casinos,fun and frolic. For the next few weeks we are going to be at this fun place…seeing things which are quite unfamiliar to us….so come along with me…

We flew in to Las Vegas from San Francisco….as usual on Southwest airlines . Las Vegas is located in a desert in Nevada in USA. As one approaches Vegas by flight, the landscape changes to sand dunes and dry desert areas.

The desert like Nevada landscape

The Las Vegas Strip….as we landed at the airport...

The Las Vegas airport is itself a mini casino with slot machines and bright flashing lights and gizmos. As one enters the terminal , one gets a feel of what lies on the other side of the terminal. I noticed a general difference in behaviour of the people from here itself. Everyone seemed to be on a HIGH… literally!!!

Slot machines at Las Vegas airport

Taking an airport shuttle, we reached Luxor Hotel and Casino where we had our room bookings.

The Hotel is built in Egyptian theme ; the main building is in the shape of a pyramid and the entire decor inside including the wardrobes have an Egyptian feel . Luxor is actually a city in Egypt on the banks of the river Nile and is famous for the Karnak temple…the second largest temple complex in Egypt.

The Luxor Hotel Pyramid Building with Sphinx                   

Main Entrance

The Hotel Lobby…everything Egyptian!!!                                                   

The Hotel lobby and interior as seen from our room

The pyramid has a sky beam touted to be the strongest beam of light in the world. We had a room somewhere in the middle of the pyramid and we had a view of Las Vegas airport from our room. The adjacent resorts are Mandalay Bay and Excalibur and all three are connected by a tram system.

After some rest, we freshened up and explored the hotel and casino. Amazing to see the sheer volumes of people at the machines and the number of restaurants and shops at different levels of the hotel.  It is a world of its own. There are various shows and exhibitions at the hotel for which you need to reserve tickets.

Later in the evening we stepped out and had our first experience of walking along the Strip. The Strip is basically a road with hotels and casinos on either side with pedestrian bridges across the roads with escalators .There are various restaurants and shops…all lit up with neon lights. Las Vegas strip by night is really very colourful.

Another unique thing was the various Cannabis shops and cabs displaying neon lights with phone numbers for cannabis supply.

There were people dressed up like for a fancy dress and one could take pictures with them for a price. Semi clad girls with various colourful gear was also something unique.

The Las Vegas Strip by day

A typical pedestrian bridge across the Strip

The Vegas Strip at night

The bright neon lights and the crowds on the Strip

As we walked along the strip, the mood was very festive….lots of loud music from the various bars and restaurants, the flashing lights, people walking around with diaquiris in their hands….all laughing away and generally having a great time…

We enjoyed the festive spirit of the strip and returned to our hotel looking forward to trying our hands at the slot machines the next day…

See you at one such machine next week….let’s try our luck…