Las Vegas

I didn’t know quite what to expect in Las Vegas as this is the first time I have ever been here. It starts when you arrive : in the baggage claim at the airport  200 fruit machines are provided in case you need to gamble while waiting for your bags to arrive. Then when you get to your resort hotel it is non stop all day and night with amazing sights and extravagance.

Inside Bellagio

Inside Bellagio

In the central strip there are the most  amazing resorts imaginable. Although they are theme resorts these are not tacky. The marble columns are real. The 30 foot statues are real as are the mosaics, paintings and artwork.  Three resorts stand out – each incredible. They all have an Italian theme. Bellaggio with a stunning opulent interior and amazing fountain show choreographed to music even has its own art gallery with Renoirs and Picassos. Caesar’s Palace likewise has Roman statues and an incredible shopping mall with a Colloseum and a re-enactment of the destruction of Atlantis.

The Grand Canal !

The Grand Canal !

The Venetian goes one better for their shopping Mall and recreates the Grand Canal with gondolas and a St. Marks Square with the same exaggerated prices – all done with real marble.

I am sure there are at many other sights which I missed. Probably  the Paris or Luxor or Mandalay Bay are equally amazing. We did manage though to visit the Mirage and the main attraction there apart, from an erupting Volcano (not seen),  was the Dolphin park and a unique collection of white Lions and Tigers.

White Lions

White Lions

Seemingly these were for research purposes and they seemed well looked after, but I suspect they too were for special atraction. The white Lions, black leopard, and white Tigers I had never seen before in any Zoo.

The casinos are open 24 hours a day and even at 5:30 am there are still loads of  punters playing poker, the slot machines and roulette. We know this because of the Jet lag effect. In the evenings things really come to life and some serious betting takes place. There are reserved “no limits” areas whith no upper limit on bets to be placed. It took me some time to work out how the slot machines worked. There are individual machines and sets of machines working together and each has a minimum bet. Those paying the largest jackpots have the largest minimum bet. I jusy played two. The first I came out ahead so I thought I would risk my luck with one paying a maximim €820,000 !  Needless to say I lost my bet !

Fountain show at Bellagio

Fountain show at Bellagio

Last night we went to the Cirque du Soleil show “O” in the Bellagio. It was without doubt the most incredible spectacular I have ever seen. It is like a fantastic ballet by worldclass trapeze artists, Olympic divers and sycnchronised swimmers. The stage changes from a deep pool of water to solid land in seconds. Some amazing dives from over 100 feet and staggering acrobatics. The precision involved to maintain safety and the coordination is just mind blowing.

A depraved gambling addict

A depraved gambling addict

The place was packed – probably 4000 people. We had the cheapest seats costing $110 each but perfectly placed none the less. there are two shows each night so the takings are around $1 million a day – but having experienced the show I am not surprised given the huge investment in special effects and hardware. It would be difficult to follow a spectacular like that.

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