Las Vegas is known as “Entertaintment Capital “of the world. Few striking features of Vegas before we go ahead
- It has 17 of the 20 biggest hotels in the world.
- It is the gambling capital, where gambling is legal.
- More than 100,000 couples obtain marriage licenses in Vegas, making it the “Marriage Capital”!!
It is the place for anything and everything in the world of pleasure.
It was almost 5:30 in evening when we arrived in Las Vegas.
The bus took us to Hotel Riviera from where people went to explore the city by themselves. Few went with the guide to see some baley. We entered the Casino to try our hand. The Casino was very huge & there were people, few sitting at the card tables, few at spinning machines, few at bar watching baseball. All varieties of people doing all sorts of things!
The Casino was glittering in all its colors. Gambled bit here. Then we decided to roam around in the street. We just strolled by the street watching the magnificent buildings. Slowly the neon lights were coming to life.
We entered one more Casino & decided to try our lucks. I needed small units to gamble, so went to break the dollar into cents. We were asked to produce the passports to check the age. Gambling is allowed only for ages 21 & above.
First few spins at the gambling machine were disastrous. I lost almost a dollar & tried last bit when I got 5$.Now I know why people go crazy in gambling. I would have walked out with 5$.I betted that & lost almost everything I won. Then again luck turned its side & regained the loss. Before I was slipping into the vicious cycle, I walked out of the Casino with no loss-no gain status!
I quickly grabbed sub-way delite as I was feeling hungry & went back to Hotel Riviera. There everybody was asked to assemble back.
We moved to Ferment Street where the much acclaimed laser show happens. Just before it was about to begin, due to technical problems the show was delayed. So we thought we will go & catch some other show & come back later.
Next was the light-parade in Flamingo hotel. The parade was in the air, which means balloons & chariots moved, hanging from the rails in the roof. The balloon & chariot shaped objects were highly lit; the ladies & few gentlemen in these were dancing to some upbeat music. These people were throwing some sort of bead-necklaces at spectators. I caught one thrown at me.
We were in Bellagio hotel to see the amazing garden inside & the mesmerizing ceiling with colorful mushroom like structures. Truly interesting place that was. There were lots of ‘escort’ services around.
Just in front of Bellagio hotel is the Eiffel Tower hotel, which has a replica of the famed Eiffel Tower of Paris. It was looking very beautiful in glowing neon. I thought I’ll just go & capture that image in camera & come back. So I went there.
But when I came back....I couldn’t trace any of my friends or our bus. I searched around the hotel frantically. They had left me there & went….
There was no way I could reach them as nobody there as cell phone or I had no idea where they would go next. So there was no point in searching them. I resigned the job of search and instead decided to explore Vegas on my own…
So after spending some good 45 minutes searching for my bus, there I was alone, lost in a totally unknown territory…all alone & ready to go on my own!
I started my exploration.
I went to Ceaser’s Palace. This palacial hotel is in Roman style. It is the place where Celion Dion performs shows regularly & Elton John performed. Asked some unknown tourists to take my photo at horse-like sculpture. It was a truly elegant structure.
Right across Ceaser’s palace is Flamingo. Bugsy Siegel named his casino the Flamingo after the long legs of his showgirl girlfriend. This is one of the Las Vegas’s oldest Casinos situated at "Four Corners," along with Caesars Palace, Bellagio and Bally's.
At a little distance from Flamingo is Aladdin hotel. This has 2567 rooms and 2093 casino machines! A very elegant looking resort-hotel.
I came across a building which had this Harley-Davidson bike was seen coming out of walls. That was “Harley-Davidson Café “.It seems to be a place where all Harley-Davidson owners who come to Vegas meet & party. To prove that there was a line of Harley’s parked, some really huge looking guys & some pretty looking babes were in that café.
Suddenly I came across this statue which is a token of USA. That is Statue of Liberty. If you are thinking that the statue is in New York, you are right & also wrong! There is a replica of the statue in Vegas in hotel “New York- New York”. I was there standing at the statue which was looking beautiful in that midnight light. There was a roller-coaster going on & I could hear the joy-fear screams.
Right in front of New York-New York is the “MGM Grand”. It is nicknamed “City of Entertainment”. There is huge LED screen which beams what is going on inside the hotel. The hotel hosts some prominent shows like Madonna, Rolling Stones, Championship boxing, David Copperfield magic. There seems to be 5300 rooms in this hotel spread across 30 floors.
We earlier talked about famous-four corner made of Flamingo, Caesars Palace, Bellagio and Bally's. There is one more famous-four corner made of MGM, New York-New York and Tropicana. I just walked through the casino & cruised to the hotel Excalibur.
After roaming around in the hotel & I decided to go back to hotel Riviera where our trip had begun. So I was in a taxi going towards the hotel & chatting all sorts of things with the taxi driver in the middle of night.
Back in Riviera. Thought of watching some show, but the tickets were sold out. So roamed again across the hotel in lounge.
Went to Balley Club & there the dress code is so strict that they didn’t allow anyone with snickers. Formal shoes were required!
Felt little tired, so entered a piano bar & sat there. Piano bar is the place where there will be musicians who will be playing the songs on request. People keep drinking & keep asking for songs. It was good to hear some classic old English songs at that time. People threw dollars on the musicians.
Out of that bar & enter into a dance bar. Totally wild characters in total swing. Lots of things happening on the dance floor & outside!
This city never seems like sleeping. The fun & frolic kept flowing. The city was infact, getting better & better, wilder & wilder as the night was growing. At that time, the streets were full, traffic flowing as in day & every shop was open.
I never felt I am walking alone in an unknown place at odd hours. Nothing seems to be odd in Vegas!
Decided it was high time to go back to hotel & sleep. So went near New York-New York hotel & called a taxi. To my surprise most of the taxi drivers didn’t know the hotel “Howard Johnson Inn”. Walked to the MGM hotel & there was a senior tax driver who knew the place.
Reach the hotel, surprised to see my friends back in hotel & woke them up. They gave the most horrifying look to me!
Then I realized there was a panic after I went ‘missing’. Due to some communication gap or mis-communication, I had got information that the rest of the gang will return to hotel only at 4 in the morning. So after getting missed, I came back at 4.Meanwhile the rest of the gang instead had gone for 4-hour trip (not till 4 trip!!) & returned at 12:30.They waited for me also to come at around same time. When I didn’t come, one of my friend had called Las Vegas Police & lodged a ‘missing’ complaint :)
They felt very relaxed & happy to see me back. I felt little bad to give them some tension. But what can I do if I had got the misleading information about the schedule. So everything got settled & slept immediately.
After quick shower, started the day again. Talked with the guide about what happened previous night & the issue was settled there.
We were back in New York –New York. This looks totally different in day light.
If you remember we had both Eiffel Tower & Statue of Liberty in Vegas. How about the Pyramid & Spinx?? No problem, at a distance from New York hotel we have these things also!!
Hotel Luxor houses dark bronze pyramid & brightly colored sphinx. It seems it took 18 months to complete these structures. Luxor's pyramid is held in place by 150,000 cubic yards of concrete poured around a steel skeleton. It seems the curator of the original of Giza Pyramid himself was consulted during construction of this pyramid in Vegas.
We take leave of Las Vegas.
As we were returning, I was thinking to what extent the entertainment industry can go to woe the customers. They can erect Eiffel Tower, they create Liberty Statue, and they bring Pyramid & what not?
37 million visitors a year, billions of dollars exchanged, all the glamour & glitterati… it is the “World’s Entertainment Capital”