Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

Jan / Feb 2009 : Las Vegas

This long weekend in Vegas was my latest joint-venture trip with my good friend Bruce (sftrvlr), arranged so that we could catch up and also do a little planning for our upcoming South American adventure. (Preliminary ideas for 2010 were also bounced around. )  For a long-haul trip, it proved to be remarkably good value, as the flights were Diamond Club redemptions, while some amazing deals were available on both accommodation and a rental car.

One surprising bonus was the opportunity to sample some truly top-notch food. I had always associated Las Vegas with huge, mixed-quality buffets for a few dollars. I hadn't even realised that this wonderfully crazy town had managed to transform itself into a top gourmet destination. With nice weather, excellent company and a packed and varied programme put together by Bruce, it was an immensely enjoyable long weekend.

Red Rock Canyon

A few miles west of Las Vegas lies the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, in the Calico Hills area of the Mojave Desert. The natural desert landscape is beautiful, never more so than when rock seams of strikingly different colour are found in close proximity. Hopefully some of the photos also convey the typically American vastness of the landscape.

Helicopter Tour

A short helicopter trip over the famous Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as The Strip, proved to be a thrilling experience.

Hoover Dam

We visited Hoover Dam, on the Nevada / Arizona border, on one of its quietest days of the year, Super Bowl Sunday. We took the full tour - the one that goes right down inside the dam. Highlights included the partially constructed new highway bridge that will take through traffic off the top of the dam, spotting lots of art deco features, and observing the much reduced water line which, if current trends continue, will make electricity generation impossible in four years!

Bellagio / Venetian / Palazzo

The shopping facilities and displays in some of the more modern, upmarket casinos are absolutely stunning. I dread to think how much money it costs, but we all know where it comes from!

By Night

Despite improvements over the years, it's still arguably true to say that Vegas looks its best at night.

Classic Vegas

In a town that is famous for constantly re-inventing itself, one fun aspect of the weekend was spotting examples of what I'm calling 'Classic Vegas'. These could be found on the streets themselves and also in a new (and still developing) museum devoted to classic signage.

Based at : Hilton

Linked reports from same trip :-

San Francisco

Flight Log LH454

Flight Log UA930