We drove through Death Valley to Vegas (see my post about Death Valley here) and it was fascinating to do it that way. For hours we saw only scorching hot, barren desert with only the odd building every ten miles or so, and then all of a sudden this big, built-up city appeared as if from nowhere! It really put it into context where and what Vegas is: the world's craziest, artificial city plonked in the middle of a desert.
We stayed at the Palazzo Hotel, which is quite a new hotel and is joined onto the famous Venetian. It is gorgeous in there; 5 stars and every room is a suite so you can imagine how grand it is. Certainly a change from all the motels we stayed in for the rest of our trip around the States! But in Vegas, it's all about the hotel really. They are designed so that you never have to leave them. In fact, it's actually quite hard to find the exits at times (definitely on purpose). On the ground floor they have the casino and restaurants, the second floor is where all the shops are, along with the Venetian canal! And the third floor is where the pool is. The Venetian Canal is unbelievable! It really doesn't feel like you're inside, never mind in a hotel, with the gondolas going up and down (some of the men driving the boats even sing in Italian!). It's a must-see if you're in Vegas.
We spent our days chilling out by the pool; soaking up the sun's rays, being served by waiters at our sun beds and relaxing with our books. We then got ready in the evenings, which was a lovely, pampering experience in itself with the huge shower (there's a TV in there!). We opened a bottle of champagne on the first night and got all giddy looking at the Vegas skyline and famous strip. We had a lovely meal in the hotel both nights, and then went out and explored the strip.
The Palazzo/ Venetian is right at the top of the Strip so we walked all the way down it. The strip is insane! It's very OTT and it really is like no other place on earth! Where else could you see the Venitian canals, the Eiffel Tower and the New York Skyline all next to each other?! The hotels are amazing to look at. We laughed about Joey from Friends working at Ceasar's Palace (any excuse to talk about Friends!), checked out the impressive Eiffel Tower (it's actually a restaurant!) and couldn't believe our eyes when looking at the rollarcoaster around the New York skyline!
The Bellagio Fountains were by far my favourite part of Vegas. We watched them dance to the Titanic song, the Pink Panther theme tune and All That Jazz. It was absolutely brilliant, I could watch them every single night. However, the strip itself was quite seedy to be honest; hen-do's and stag-do's galore! There were strippers and prostitutes everywhere and we were constantly being given their cards. The casinos are also a bit tacky- on the way back to the room we saw a bride and groom on the slot machines, just sat there mindlessly putting in change- only in Vegas!
So, it was the experience of a lifetime and amazing to see, although three days was plenty of time there!
What do you think about Vegas? I'd love to hear about your experiences!