I am starting to realise that you “do” Vegas by pretty much walking around the hotels. So, we walked to the Luxor, which meant going past the Excalibur Hotel.
The Excalibur is build like a fairy-tale version of Camelot, complete with Turrets and knights. It is pretty cool – if not a bit cheesy. However the lighting at night is really impressive – it looks fantastic!
The Luxor has a full size model of Tutankhamen’s burial chamber, complete with artifacts and audio-guide. It is an interesting glimpse into Ancient Egypt, and has re-affirmed my wishes to travel to Egypt at some stage.
The irony of course being that his tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, and not in Luxor!
The Hotel is also home to the world’s largest atrium, and an IMAX theatre.
You do find yourself using the term "world’s largest" quite a lot in Vegas!
I decided to try the slots today. You can play 1c machines, and really play for fun. We sat down at a random machine, and yes of all the thousands of slot machines in Vegas, I picked the African-themed slot. Zebras, lions, springboks etc.
I managed to get up to almost $3, so was doing well, but then after 1/2 hour I lost it all – my $1 (ohhh noises now) as all gone.
It was kinda cool, but becomes a bit aimless after a while.
I must point out that I won on the lions, I won on the zebras, I was king of Africa at one stage, but I never won on the springboks!
Off to see the Blue Man Group tonight.
What can I say? Yesterday we saw lions in our hotel (in their den), saw a live rock band, a fake volcano erupt 100 feet into the air, gambled, and even got some sleep. We missed the pirate battle, but maybe tonight!
Vegas is the land of excess – complete sensory overload. Light and sounds everywhere – even slots at the airport. We are staying at the MGM Grand hotel – with over 5000 rooms, and a casino area of 151000 sq ft, and a 17000 seat arena.
David Copperfield is playing at the hotel and near by are the Beach Boys, ZZ Top, Tom Jones, Toni Braxton, Jay Leno and get this – Barry Manilow!
So we are off to see the New York Skyline, then going to Luxor to see a full size replica of King Tut’s tomb. Oh, we are going to go past Camelot
You can come here and visit the world!
ps Fear and loathing in Las Vegas now has a new meaning to me!
On Thursday I phoned to book a cab to take us to the airport from Manhattan to JFK Airport on Friday.
So, we were all packed, waiting at the hotel reception for the cab to arrive, when an eight seat stretch Limo pulled up at the door. It could not possibly be ours. The driver walked in to reception and walked straight up to us. "Are you room 522?" – he asked.
Yes – the Limo was ours! So, Lois and I went to JFK airport in style. I really felt like a rock star. It was fantastic! I have no idea why we got a stretch Limo, I have no idea why it cost the same as a yellow cab – but I was not going to complain.
So, New York – we will be back soon. Keep up the style!
New York is the most amazing city! It is always busy with people and traffic rushing about at all times of the day.
We went up the Empire State Building, which is about a block from our hotel. The viewing deck is on the 86’th floor, and the view was fantastic – you can see the entire island of Manhattan, and much further on a good day. The queue’s are about one hour long or so, but Lois’ white cane did the trick!
Yesterday we took a three hour cruise around Manhattan, and got to see the different neighbourhoods. We say the 59th bridge (as in the 59th Street Bridge Song), the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the United Nations building.
Ground Zero was very sobering – it is just a very big hole in the ground, with lots of construction happening. A selection of photos of 9/11 were on display, as well as a signboard listing the names of the people who lost their lives. The atmosphere was very sad and thought-provoking.
We also visited the Intrepid museum, which contains a WW2 aircraft carrier, a submarine, and a British Airways Concorde. The submarine was really fun to visit. It was very cramped and quite claustrophobic. The hatches we had to climb through were very small and cramped! I was interested to learn that the crew only showered once a week, and then for only one minute at a time. It must have been really fragrant down there!
The Concorde, which was donated by British Airways is really not a large aeroplane – it is tiny! It might have been a really fast aeroplane, but it is also very cramped inside. You are definitely paying for speed, not for comfort. I suppose that I can say with a straight face that I have now been on the Concorde.
It is a good thing we went to the museum when we did because it is closing on Oct 1 for maintenance for a year or so.
So on this trip, we have been on the following modes of transport : aeroplane, ferry, train, bus, subway, car, horse and cart, spaceship, Concorde, tram, submarine, battleship, amphibious vehicle and of course foot! Not bad going for a couple of weeks.
The weather has generally been very hot, but New York has been raining the last couple of days – just like Cape Town! I am loving the trip, but I am starting to miss the dogs, our food and of course my bed!
I seem to have picked up a cold – I think it is from the air-con and hot weather outside, so I am laying low today.