Viva

View from the 'Eiffel Tower'

View from the ‘Eiffel Tower’

If I could impart one piece of advice to you about Las Vegas it would be ‘’warning: things are not as close as they seem’’.

I spent most of my four days here walking to somewhere that I can see up ahead, but something about the size and the lights make it seem closer than it is. I left Vegas with sore feet.

I did practically no research before I got here, mostly because of lack of internet in the desert before I arrived. So instead I had to wing it.

Pool at Alexis Park

Pool at Alexis Park

My tour finished at the Alexis Park hotel and I booked an extra three nights at the same hotel, thinking it would save me having to move hotels half way through. I paid £33 a night, which I thought was ok. I would have stayed longer but on Friday and Saturday the price more than trebles and based on that information I decided to make Thursday night my last one.

The hotel was fine, less than a mile from the strip, but if I come again I will look for somewhere nearer to the downtown area, because I preferred the downtown to the strip.

IMG_3886

The downtown is home to Fremont street, a covered walkway/entertainment complex. This comes complete with free summer concerts, a nightly light show, and a zip line.

Nightly light show in Fremont street

Nightly light show in Fremont street

Tours are available if you book in advance.

Also home to Banging Brewery.  Tours are available if you book in advance.

Home to the famous heart attack grill (‘fighting anorexia since 2005').  You can weigh yourself on the way in (if you're brave enough to have your weight lit up on a neon sign for all to see)

Home to the famous heart attack grill (‘fighting anorexia since 2005′). You can weigh yourself on the way in (if you’re brave enough to have your weight lit up on a neon sign for all to see)

Also in the downtown there is the Neon Museum, a depot full of retired neon signs, which I really wanted to visit. However it turns out they only take visits by guided tour and were fully booked on the day I showed up. If I’d done my research I would have known that I suppose. So I had to content myself with this park opposite.IMG_3910

Another nice place to go in the area is the Container Park, an open air shopping/food and drink/entertainment complex made out of shipping containers.

The preying mantis guarding the Container Park.  I went here to overcome my sorrow at missing out on the Neon museum.

The preying mantis guarding the Container Park. I went here to overcome my sorrow at missing out on the Neon museum.

If you walk back from the downtown (remember the warning and don’t do it. things are not as close as they seem) you go past a bunch of cute little (or tacky depending on your p.o.v) wedding chapels.

Elvis chapel

Elvis chapel

Elvis is still a big presence in Las Vegas

Elvis is still a big presence in Las Vegas

If you want to know anything, ask a taxi driver. Out of 6 or 7 taxi rides that I took in Vegas I never met a taxi driver who didn’t like to chat. From the driver from Mexico who serenaded us with opera to the one from LA who told me about the ‘special off-menu cocktail’ at the Cosmopolitan (it comes with a flower that you eat to numb your mouth in order to make the cocktail taste better. No, I didn’t try it. I prefer not to do anything that I need a numb mouth to enjoy. It sounded too much like a trip to the dentist).

Another piece of taxi-driver advise I received was to pick a sum of money you can afford to lose, say $1,000, then go gamble it. Really $1000? Do people routinely gamble that kind of money? I took $50 to Caesar’s Palace (yes I’m not really a gambler) and lost it in around 50 minutes. I can see how people could find this addictive.

Viva Las Vegas!  Sarah;'s useless pop face: the opening sequence for the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas was shot here in Fremont street

Viva Las Vegas! Sarah’s useless pop fact: the opening sequence for the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas was shot here in Fremont street

5 replies »

    • Well you don’t have to gamble. You can just enjoy warm, dry weather (having said that it rained my first day there) during the day and marvel at the sheer tackiness of the place by night.

  1. Oh Sarah this has made me giggle. I have a vision of you walking the streets, pounding away just following the lights! I saw Denny’s as well. Go and have a Reece’s cheesecake for me (take a photo), then let me know if I enjoyed it (I know I will). I liked the idea of the neon light museum as well, shame you could not get in. Yes research is the key. I told the last husband that I would only marry him on a leap year that falls on a Saturday thinking that was edging my bets. It was the following year. I have always done research since! Happy travels my friend oh and I guess I never won anything at the casino either lol. xxx

    • I’ve never been in a Denny’s; they are everywhere here, a bit like Subway and Starbucks. They just seem like yet another fast-food place to me and there’s no shortage of fast food places.
      That’s so funny; that you end up married because you didn’t think the date would come up. There were a lot of little white wedding chapels in LV. I particularly liked the idea of the drive-in chapel. Don’t even need to get out of your car to get married.

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