The Three 'Ins' of Las Vegas
06.11.2012 35 °C
Las Vegas is bizarre, mesmerising and downright weird… all in the best possible sense of course. But it’s true. From the moment I arrived I was baffled and delighted as the scenes I had so often seen in films were played out before me. Flashing lights, revelling sounds, extreme and fantastical constructions and generally over the top everything, meant I just didn’t know where to look first. ‘How is it possible that a place like this exists?’ I continuously thought to myself. ‘How are Luxor, New York, Venice and Paris suddenly all in the same street?’. ‘Why are there Romans and pirates here?’. ‘Why does everyone want me to have a nice day?’. ‘And why are there so many options for my burger?’. Indeed, to this day, I’m not sure how or why.
The first thing that intrigued me was the scale of the city and its geographical surroundings. As our plane began its descent into the airport I was surprised by how small Las Vegas was – one bold boulevard surrounded by increasingly diminishing suburbs, until it fizzled out into nothingness. And this nothingness led to awesome scenery. I knew that the city was located in ‘desert country’, but I didn’t actually realize to what extent. In comparison to its surroundings Las Vegas is but a small mark on a wild vast canvas of amber and crimson rock. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, standing alone and slight amidst an arid sea of thirsty earth. But yet this small city, or at least that which us tourists experience, is booming and vibrant and in ridiculous contrast to its barren environs.
The Strip, the area of Las Vegas recognized world over for its flamboyant hotels and casinos, is unbelievable, astonishing and rather absurd. The grand constructions that line the avenue are dreamlike, outlandish masterpieces, inspiring awe, laughter and bewilderment. ‘How have I ended up atop the Eiffel Tower looking out at Aladdin’s bazaar and a Roman fortress?’ you may ask yourself. But alas, Las Vegas is thus. Simply walking the boulevard provides unreal experiences, inconceivable sights and scenes of ludicrous frivolity. Near on ten lanes of traffic buzz up and down The Strip day in, day out, ferrying thrill seekers to and from the various party and gambling joints of the city. At night, neon signs and theatrical light compositions excitingly illuminate from ground to heaven. Everywhere we look there is something or someone to be seen and all around, money is constantly on show, extravagantly displaying her power.
Inside The Strip’s hotels, all you may wish for is available. Whatever and however much you want to eat or drink, it’s possible. If you want to party, you can, whenever you want. The difference between day and night is blurry in the dimly lit swanky bars and gambling halls, and cocktail glasses and slot machines jingle and clink at all hours. Sounds of winnings and failings hover in dizzy clouds, and if it is your desire to spend obscene amounts of money, you will certainly be more than welcome.
Las Vegas… Incredible. In your face. And in the middle of nowhere. I think that pretty much sums it up.