A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas. It was a trip that was not planned and came up in the chair of a bar. Many times I have been asked why I have not written about Las Vegas. The truth is that it is not a city that I liked. I could not say that I had a bad time because it would be a lie. But if someone asked me about all the places I've been and which are the one I least liked, that place would be Las Vegas.
How did the trip to Las Vegas come about? As I told you before, the trip to Las Vegas arose in the chair of a bar. I won the trip to Las Vegas playing darts and this time it was I who said: Am I going to Las Vegas? But of course, I was not going to Las Vegas for just a week. So I started seeing the things to see and to do around and in the end, I stayed almost a month in the United States.
First impressions - In the airport
When I arrived in the United States, the first stop was Philadelphia, a short stopover we had on our trip. I remember that the airport was huge and I had to walk a lot until I reached the area where our next flight was coming from. At this airport, we were treated phenomenally. I had the impression that with the whole issue of security in the United States, airport employees would be unfriendly, but nothing could be further from the truth.
They asked us the typical questions of where we are going to sleep and four other things. I took out the bookings I had done in all the places we were going to visit, including Route 66. I think that we won with that. When I arrived in Las Vegas I went to the area where we had to pick up our rental car. That's where we saw the first slots with its little lights and noise. So that you go to set.
Las Vegas appears as a mirage in a desert landscape. It is a city created from nothing in an inhospitable place. As we approached her with the car we began to see the tallest and most characteristic buildings such as the Stratosphere tower or the Eiffel Tower. We were surprised by the size of the city, much larger than we expected. It has something more than a million and a half inhabitants, in one State, Nevada, which has 2 million.
Our Hotel in Las Vegas
Once we had the rental car, we went to our hotel. It is an old hotel, which is located on the Las Vegas Strip on the main street where all the best-known hotels are. It is important to try to stay in Las Vegas during the week because the prices are much cheaper. The trick is to attract tourists and once in the city, they offer all kinds of temptations to spend the dollars. Our hotel was old, but it was cool, clean and cheap. The nice thing is in its tastes. But it cost us 25 dollars a night. I think it made it more beautiful!
The hotel has a self-parking where you can leave the car for free and a valet parking for customers who stay in it. We went to the latter, showed the reservation and a concierge in Bermuda (we are in Las Vegas) took charge of the car and handed us the receipt to pick it up. The hall of the hotel is huge and quite luxurious.
We had to queue for half an hour at reception until we got the key to the room. The guy who looked after us was very friendly. We were talking about football! He gave us a room on the 17th floor with views of the strip (the main avenue of the city) and the pool.
The room we were given was large with a bathroom that had a TV. It was more than one would like to have a floor of that size, but it was not cleaned. I do not mean dirty, but it had the remains of McDonald's dinner from the previous guest.
I went to take out the drinks in the fridge in the minibar but luckily I read a notice that said clearly that it was electronically controlled and any bottle that moved from its position would be charged to the room. So we went for the ice from a free machine that was in the hallway and we refilled the fridge. We did not complain and we went to meet our friends at the other hotel since we had a car and they did not.
Of course, it took us 20 minutes to get from the room to the hotel parking to pick up the car! We go through the corresponding area of slot machines and game tables. Our friends played the darts championship in a casino on the Strip. As you can imagine with the heat, I was wearing a tank top and they did not let me enter the championship zone because I was showing my shoulders! Not that it was the Vatican!
So in order to see how they played, I had to buy a horrible shirt (the only one that was not too big). But well, it was worth it, because one of the boys was champion in one of the championships that were played.
24 Hours in Las Vegas
This was the first day of the trip that we did not get up early. After sleeping what we wanted in the comfortable beds we went to pick up the car, presenting the voucher that had been delivered the previous day. In 5 'we had the car again. For breakfast, we go to a donut shop near the hotel.
The problem in the United States is how to order a donut because there are dozens of varieties, but it always helps to point fingers. After filling the cholesterol arteries we made a brief stop at the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. It was full of tourists with Elvis included being able to take a picture with him for payment. A way to make a living like any other.
After the photo of rigor, we spent the whole morning shopping. In Las Vegas, there are two huge outlets, North and South. They have practically the same stores. We chose the South for proximity to the hotel. I advise registering on the web to receive offers and print the discount coupons. Although they are not usually used because the minimum amount of purchase does not usually fall below 150-200 $ and are not applicable to products already discounted price.
Although the reviews that I read of the outlets were very variable to us they seemed recommendable. Another good thing for those who love shopping, are the shopping centers "outlets". Here we can find real bargains, like original Levis pants for $ 20 and many American brands. There are a lot of well-known brands and prices unknown to us: Levis 30-40 $, Vans 20 $, Nike 35 $.
Las Vegas has some things that are good from my point of view. Here I tried the best chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream I've ever tasted, that we were not able to finish! After eating in another of the fast food stalls of the mall we went to the hotel to rest in the pool.
When the afternoon began to fall, we managed to spend our second night in the city of sin. We got on the train to Excalibur and we continued walking to New York, where we crossed a walkway to the opposite side of the strip. We took some pictures with vintage cars outside the Tropicana and entered the MGM in search of the lions that we could not locate. From here we walk to the Paris before stopping for the Twisted Mac and Cheese and Coca-Cola at the Hard Rock Cafe.
We had planned a buffet dinner, recommended by all, but after waiting for about half an hour in the queue and seeing that we did not advance a step we left. The hotel is beautiful both the exterior, with the replica of the Eiffel Tower, and the interior, a perfect imitation of the Parisian streets.
We crossed another gangway towards the opposite side of the strip and we entered the Caesar's Palace (Coliseum and Trevi Fountain included). Here we dined at a restaurant, somewhat expensive but was pretty good. Yes, the usual food of burger, sandwich, and salad with fatty sauce.
After dinner, we went to see the show of the fountains of Bellagio (held every 15 mins). It is fabulous. The immense jets of water accompany a musical theme, in our case Viva Las Vegas by Elvis.
After seeing the fountains, we pass in front of two very luxurious hotels such as the Montecarlo and the Aria, with a shopping gallery to look at me but do not touch me. We stop at the Excalibur to play the little machines (the little one had become a gambler) and then we get back to sleep as we were exhausted.
48 Hours in Las Vegas
We spent the morning of our last day in Las Vegas lying in the sun in the pool. We ate at one of the restaurants that prepare food to take to the umbrella as if they were beach bars. Watching people circling the pool sitting on the float with a beer in one hand and the chicken wings in the other was quite a sight.
After lunch, we went out to visit the last hotels that we needed and at dusk, we would head to Fremont Street. At first, we had thought to drive, but seeing the mess that was on the Strip we wanted the 3 days of Las Vegas were really relaxing, so we decided to take the bus and it was a success. The ticket for a day cost us $ 8 per person. It is removed in the automatic machines that are at each stop. You have to take the money just because it does not change. There are stops at the main hotels along the entire Strip, it's very simple.
We got off at the Venetian, without a doubt the most impressive hotel of all. It is both for the perfect imitation of the city of Venice, with St. Mark's Square, the canals, and gondolas, as well as for its size (the largest hotel in the world with 7,000 rooms) and for the luxury shopping arcades.
The ceilings are painted simulating a blue sky where it is always during the day you visit it at the time you visit it. On the other side of the Strip are the Mirage and Treasure Island, the latter with a free pirate show. We could not attend because the schedule did not coincide but we saw the huge ships where it takes place.
Visiting the Strip by day is quite disappointing. It seems that we are in a fake place, on a stage, where everything around us is not real. It looks like a cardboard city. Not counting the hellish heat, and that prevents you from walking it, or stay out of a place with air conditioning for more than two minutes.
Inside the hotels, we lose track of time. We do not know if it is day or night. The light is always the same, and there are always people. In Las Vegas, we can see two areas on the Strip, where all the known casinos are and the old area which is basically the Fremont Street.
The Strip is the area you've seen a thousand times or more on television. You can see super casinos with different themes, the Caesar Palace, the Luxor, the Venetian. You can see the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower. Some hotels are connected to each other, so you do not have to go outside! Inside, in addition to slots of all styles and prizes and various playgrounds, you can find luxury shops to buy you a whim!
When we walk on the Strip at night, because by day it is 50 degrees (at night only 40), on the sidewalks we see a lot of people offering cards to go off as whores. It does not matter if you go as a couple, with friends, or alone. You will hear the characteristic sound of the Strip, the sound of cards of brothel clubs beating with the hands of those who carry them to get your attention. Within the hotels, in case you do not know, while you are playing the drinks are free, both in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
We took the bus again and we left behind the core of the Strip to go to Fremont Street to see the Fremont Street Experience. Between 7 pm and 12 at night the street becomes a huge cinema where images with a musical background are projected on screens that cover it. We were disappointed because it lasted only a few minutes and the music that accompanied the images was lazy.
But the place has a lot of charm. It's the face of Las Vegas 30 years ago, with smaller hotels and large luminous signs. You have to enter the Golden Nugget casino, one of the favorites by the players, which maintains the vintage flavor. It has a curious pool with a covered slide that goes through the center of an aquarium (it is clear that we are in Las Vegas).
The old part of Las Vegas, where it all started. It is an area with a little less glamor than the other, it is interesting to know. I see another face of Las Vegas, one that seems more realistic when you take your eyes away from the lights and the noise of the slots.
In this area, I see a bit of everything from the decline to the desire. The tourists look at the ceiling that is a giant screen, judging the girls in bikini, and the sound of the machines. At night when going out into the street we were hit by the heat.
The return by bus to the Strip was an odyssey because it was full and with some passengers with a dangerous aspect, but we arrived without problems. On the way, we saw the illuminated tower of the Stratosphere, the tallest building in the city (emblem of the followers of CSI).
We said goodbye to Las Vegas having buffet dinner. It also contributed that we went when there was little to close and there were fewer clients. After a few games to the arcades and return in the little train to our beloved hotel.
We ended our stay in Las Vegas. A city that is understood to raise great passions, of one sign and another. Personally, I think it's worth visiting once in a lifetime and it's really hard not to enjoy the days you spend there. Here ended the first part of the trip, an intense week where we had seen a large number of unforgettable places. And those that were still.