Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Las Vegas pt. 3

Another day in Vegas and surprisingly I wasn't bored yet. Typically any more than 3 days in Vegas and it starts to drag. Even the receptionist in the hotel commented that I was there for "a long time" (5 days). 

One of the ominous dragons guarding the Aria. I wonder where all this Chinese stuff goes once the celebrations are over?

More chandelier bar. My daily walk would take me past this each day. It's how you get onto the first high walkway that crosses over the strip.

The amazing Bellagio fountains will always stick in my mind as I got to hear "Con te partirĂ²" on the last night of a previous trip. Sometimes the right tune in the right place can stick in your head forever. On this occasion I had to endure Celine Dion: quickly forgotten. 

People were actually using this shrine. 

Caesar's Palace, still one of the most famous casinos on the strip. It's also one of the easiest to get lost in.

Inside the casino gardens. I'm trying to be arty but the lighting let me down.

The famous Siegfried and Roy statue is now a common photo-opportunity for people pretending to be bitten in the throat. The mouth is at shoulder height making it easy to do. The people in silly costumes who littered the strip in a desperate attempt for cash have missed a trick and should all be dressed as white tigers.

In an attempt to put some public transport there are a number of monorails that run between the casinos. However for the most part they're at the back of the hotels and you're just as quick walking up the strip as you are walking through the casino to find the station. The one exception is at the Mirage where the station is at the front of the building. Just a shame the destination is that the back of the Treasure Island.

The Treasure Island hotel was rebranded from it's pirate theme a few years ago to its sexy female pirate theme. The battle re-enactment that takes place at the entrance now contains burlesquey pirate themed showgirls.

Great looking motorbike inside the casino.

There are lots of themed games machines aiming to please all tastes, and get everyone hooked. This one on Grease perhaps the weakest. The coolest had to be one based on The Princess Bride which I found when I didn't have my camera on me. Could I find it on a revisit? Not a chance. 

The Wynn and The Encore and clearly the poshest casinos on the strip and the least liked by me as a result.

The UFO shaped structure sits over the normal shopping mall full of shops you can afford to buy stuff at, unlike all the other malls in the strip that seem to get no business whatsoever. Do you really need loads of Prada stores competing in the same area?

Today's lunch at The Venetian was poutaine, burger and a beer. Great food, not so great service. In the US the good beers are imports and pricey.

This snake in The Venetian is animatronic. Those who hate snakes must be hating this Chinese calendar year too!

Whenever I go to the US I always find myself stumbling into a random conference, and with all the events going on in Vegas it was likely I'd do the same here. On this occasion it was a virtualisation conference. Joy!

Finding the conference also means I'm lost once again and when I eventually escape the casino I discover I'm around the back of the Palazzo hotel. No idea how, but that's things are here.

So I decide to walk around to the Quad to get some pictures of the Big Wheel construction. Exciting, huh?

From here I decided to catch another tram up towards the Stratosphere. This line on the eastern side of the strip runs from the old Sahara site in the north down to the MGM at the south so a good way to traverse the strip quickly, and this line is still quicker to find the stations than walking the length of the strip.

The north end of the strip is more barren and run down than the southern end and as such wasn't a place I was keen to visit unless I had to, or I was lost. The Stratosphere still looks good with the shit scary rides at the top, which I've done before. One new addition is the decelerator cable drop. I've done the one in Korea so wasn't really up for doing this one. Been there, done that although admittedly this one is significantly higher than the Korean one. 

The Sahara is now closed. It used to be home to the Speed rollercoaster but that's sitting in bits opposite the Luxor for a future development down that end. 

Random construction so someone sees an opportunity at the top end of the strip.

Those butts look a bit polished, almost as if they've been rubbed a lot over the years. 

The Volcano at the Mirage which erupts at night, and that I just walk past during the day as I've seen it many times before.

Every time I walk through The Venetian I'm taken back to my first visit where I really did hear some Americans say "Well I guess we don't need to go to Italy anymore". Anyone who's been to Venice will know the water isn't that clean!

Circus Circus is due to get a new rollercoaster later this year. I've added that to my list of reasons to come back here. 

and back at the Aria. This is a Henry Moor piece. 

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