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Las Vegas stuns me with its surreal nature. Rising out of the desert, after hundreds of miles of nothing, it’s glitz and glamour is impressive even in the scorching heat of the day.
The number of American accents here is surprising. Visitors from all over the USA far outnumber international tourists. Not that I’m complaining, all the Americans I’ve met so far have been very friendly and welcoming.
Sitting next to the ‘Fountain of Bellagio,’ (and feeling that much needed breeze off the water!) you can watch thousands of people traversing the same paths which millions have walked before them.
The resonant tones of Frank Sinatra begin , singing ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and the fountains explode into life. The water seems to dance with the melody of the song.
Next to you, young Latino children squeal with joy as the water cascades in front of them. In an attempt to keep cool, most people have a cold drink in their hand bought from one of the many casinos.
Everyone here drinks, or at least is allowed to, which makes travelling as an 18 year old a little harder. The legal age for drinking and gambling is 21, but whilst there are security personnel around, they don’t seem to be policing it.
The interiors of the hotels and casinos are magical, opulent and extravagant, however it’s the exterior vista, particularly at night, that is astounding, with the ingenuity of the architecture.
Travelling along the Vegas strip it’s not hard to imagine being in Paris, New York, Cairo, Monte Carlo, Bavaria or a multitude of other exotic locations.
Its a good idea to drive down the strip, especially in summer, since it reaches temperatures higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit outside, a whopping 49 degrees Celsius!
As mentioned earlier, life for an 18 year old in Vegas means drinking and gambling are off the agenda (though under the radar I may have slipped $1 into a pokies machine and won $1.30!). However, there’s still plenty to do.
There are heaps of shows and lots of activities that cater for under 21s. Unfortunately, we were only there for one night, not allowing for much exploring. Having said that, one exhibition I can thoroughly recommend is the Titanic Exhibition on display at the Luxor Hotel.
It is set up like the ship itself and upon boarding you are given your boarding pass, a replica of a real passenger aboard the ship. Entering through the crews entrance and making your way up through the different classes, visitors see hundreds of artefacts recovered from expeditions down to the ship itself.
Perhaps the most magnificent piece in the exhibition is the 26 foot long strip of metal torn from the side of the ship. It is the largest piece ever recovered and will not be leaving Vegas until 2018, meaning you have six more years to visit this worthwhile attraction!
Perhaps one of the few disappointments of Vegas (other than how easily your money disappears!) is the lack of decent family friendly restaurants.
There’s plenty of fast food: it seems like you run into a McDonalds every 50metres, and there are restaurants within the casinos.
In terms of nice places to eat, there didn’t seem to be many. We did find a little Mexican place called ‘La Salsa Cantina’ which is to be commended for a delicious dinner.
Overall Las Vegas is a very enjoyable place to visit, or rather ‘experience’, filled with colourful places, people and, of course, pokies!