We’ve reached our second city in US: Las Vegas! It’s time for another “must-see”. Not that Las Vegas is a super amazing place, but just the fact that such a huge city is in the middle of the desert with all those lights flashing all day long… that’s what it’s the must-see.
On the first night we go to the strip to get a first glimpse on what Las Vegas is about. First of all, traffic jam, it’s Friday night and people go out, although in Las Vegas it seems that everyday is Friday night! We visit one of the big hotels, Paris and we almost get lost inside. They recreate a street of a French city, the floor is paved as if it was the street, there are street lamps, little street shops, creperies, and even the ceiling is painted with a nice blue color and cute little clouds. Of course there are slots machines at every corner and gambling tables filling all open spaces left. Some restaurants and a lake with a scheduled artificial storm fit all on the ground floor of the Paris hotel! Wow! And that’s the first one! It even has a little Eiffel Tower! Enough for spending a couple of hours just wandering around, observing.
We must admit that the strip loses quite a bit during day time, but it’s still worth visiting. Belaggio seems to be the king of the hotels, with a huge lake right in front of it where water shows are played almost hourly. The inside is beautiful, with seasonal decoration and elegant furniture. But please, put some slot machines here and there to make it more fancy. The pool outside looks inviting, but it’s not that warm, or is it climatized? Oh, yes! Climatized pool, swimming half naked in winter with a cocktail on your hand and sunglasses on, looking at the sky from the shadow of a big skyscraper… well, not our thing, but worth seeing, definitely.
Once in Las Vegas, what else can you do besides gambling? Well, gamble! We try our luck first with a miserable dollar, and of course, it’s a loss, but it’s fun, so we decide to spend a 10$ bill. We win some money in the “case-game”, one of the machines that seems to interact with you a little bit more than the traditional slot machines. This encourages us to spend again the money we won somewhere else, and of course lose it. Ah! That’s it! The trick, letting you win a bit to then make you think you can win again and keeping you glued to the chair saying… let’s play one more, maybe we suddenly get back everything we put in… well, that’s how we lose the 45$ we once won. It’s incredible how addictive gambling can be, and we only spent 1 day in Las Vegas.
We wonder if all these people dressed (or better said, “undressed”) on the streets asking money for taking pictures with them started gambling a dollar in a casino, as we did. Incredible how many of them there are! It seems to be a much easier way of making money in Las Vegas.
After a wonderful and tasty dinner (thanks Knud and Linda :* !!!) we explore the Las Vegas backstreet, Freemont! A couple of minutes drive off the strip there is a pedestrian street with another “Las Vegas”, also with Casinos but with a much livelier life on the streets. Bands, people performing (dressed and undress and half-dressed), light on the artificial arch bridging the top of the buildings on both sides of the street, even 4-line zip lining over the street with people coming out of a huge slot machine presiding the street.
It wouldn’t be fair if we just talk about the strip and Freemont, because Las Vegas is actually bigger than that, there are parks, other neighborhoods, and places where people run normal lives.
Did you know that…
… Las Vegas is also know as the “sin city”?
… a wedding in Las Vegas could cost you between 60$ (the cheapest and most basic) to 20.000$ (for a luxury package)? And if you marry there, you’ll have to get it approved outside Las Vegas in order to be valid?
… you can even get married in a drive-through?
… 115.000 couples a year choose to marry in Las Vegas?
… the slogan “what happens here, stays here” highlights the freedom to be someone one couldn’t be at home? … that it came up after one year of research and its success has made it the marketing tag for Las Vegas for over 10 years?
… the most expensive room in Las Vegas would cost you 40.000$, but you can get the cheapest for 18$?
- Freemont: See another Las Vegas, a bit wilder than the Strip.
- Gambling: Experience gambling for a day, responsibly if you want to keep your traveling budget low.
- Parking: You can either park for free in one of the parking places off the Strip or you get your car parked in one of the hotels for a 5$ tip even if you are not a guest of the hotel.
- Activities: gambling, eating, shopping, theater, spectacles…
- Crowd: Lots of people on the street all day long.
- Flyer: too many showgirls flyers given away. People just drop them on the floor and you (and everybody, also children) keep seeing the naked girls every time you look to the floor.