Thursday, July 31, 2008

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

Time flies by very fast and before I knew it, the fabulous week came to its end. We boarded the bus at Zion Park and after ride of about 2 1/2 hours, we arrived in Las Vegas. The tour was just supposed to take us through Vegas, en route to the McCarran International airport; no halts in between. Within minutes after entering Vegas, we were soon on 'The Strip' and passing by various hotels that adorn their main street, Flamingo, The Stratosphere and the crazy roller coaster rides right on top of it, MGM Grand, Ballagio, etc. After bidding adieu to fellow Caravaners at the airport, I soon took an airport shuttle and headed off to my hotel.

In the evening, I checked out a Cirque De Soliel show 'Ka'. Magnificent show and a great experience. Later in the night, I took a walk on the Strip - their main street where all the action happens. The best way to tour Las Vegas is to take a walk on the Strip and go inside as many hotels as possible. All their hotels have casinos that seem to spread over acres and acres of land; you could easily get lost in the casinos. Fortunately, there are signages everywhere, even inside the hotels, that guide you to various spots inside the hotel as well as all of their several entrances that lead you out in several directions. Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay was educating and I even touched a Sting Ray!

But the best part in Vegas - apart from Ka - was the musical fountain outside the Ballagio Hotel. It was quite unlike anything I've ever seen. This is a must-see attraction in Vegas and looks all the more beautiful only after sunset. The Pirates show outside Treasure Island hotel got cancelled that day, so that was a slight disappointment. In Las Vegas, most things would cost, but there are certain free attractions too. You must catch the free attractions. The musical fountain, the lion exhibit inside MGM Grand (a pair of lions in a transparent glass enclosure through which you can walk and it seems that the lions are walking on top of you, much like the aquarium in Singapore), the Pirates show outside Treasure Island hotel, the lights at downtown, are some of the free attractions I attempted and took.

Next day I took a tour to the Hoover dam. This is one of the largest dams on the border of the US states of Nevada and Arizona. Nice sight and an educational experience. I had just about time to take the Monorail in Vegas after I returned, go to my hotel, pick up my bags and head to the airport to catch the Red-eye, back to Detroit. End of a fantastic one week of travelling.

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