Las Vegas has been a bit of a shock to the system. I've gone from desolate desert, small town America into the gaudiest place imaginable.
On my way in I stopped off at the Hoover Dam, a fairly massive slab of concrete wedged into the Colorado River gorge. It's a little surreal to think that it's a tourist attraction, festooned as it is with high-voltage power cables, but there is a nice art-deco quality to the architecture.
So, on to Vegas and my first traffic congestion, which was enormously frustrating. I eventually got a good price on a room at the Stratosphere, notable for its tower, on top of which are three rides. I headed up to get my bearings on this place and was made rather giddy by the swaying in the howling winds that seem to have followed me around.
Back down, the bright lights if the strip beckoned and I fought my way through the crowds of staggering, whooping revellers and pram-pushing families out to see the lights. I hit off the major casinos, Sahara, Circus Circus, MGM stopping for the pirate show at Treasure Island... Which was painful to watch, and hear, with the lousiest euphemism-ridden script and the campest over-acting since Louis Spence. So, on to NYNY, Venetian, Caesar's Palace (which is unbelievably massive) and finally Luxor.
I got back to the hotel about 3am, and woke the following day with an enormous headache. Once that was dealt with I headed back to the Luxor to see Gunter von Hagen's Bodyworks exhibit, a fascinating and only slightly grotesque piece. Highly recommended.
Next up was a quick visit to the MGM and the lions, sleeping in their glass cell whilst their trainers loitered around showing off.
A quick stroll later it was time for a show. Penn & Teller were excellent. A couple of the tricks had been on UK TV before. However there was plenty of diversion and satire before they finished with a dual bullet-catching trick. They were both loitering in the lobby afterward for a meet and greet and I spoke with Teller about the shows they have coming up in the UK. He's normally the silent one.
Anyway, off to LA next for more traffic...