A Travellerspoint blog

22. Hopping on, hopping off then a gigantic jump!

Sunday 28th
My alarm went off at 7 but I rolled over and went back to sleep for an hour or so - I think the nights camping were catching up on me. I got up and headed out for about ten o clock, I headed to find the Big Bus hop on hop off bus, I missed the bus on the first pick up but got on next one. The bus ride up the strip was very good but very fast - the bus shot past the famous Vegas sign without stopping - you'd think they'd at least pull over for people to take a photo or two. All the hotels are vast and very elaborate, it really is like nowhere else on earth - although I guess a comparison for English people is like it's a bit like Blackpool on a huge scale acid trip! I stayed on the bus all the way down town which is quite a bit more grungy than the Strip but things are on a slightly smaller scale but with loads of shops. Restaurants and casinos. The main part of Downtown is Fremont Street which is now a big covered area - there are loads of lookalikes walking around wanting their pictures taken for a tip - I was watching three Elvis and a chain smoking nun walking about together when one of them came and took my camera off me and told me to pose - it was only after they told me they wanted a tip but I only had big notes on me so I had to say sorry - the picture was a good one tho, although one of the elvis looked more like Gary glitter! There are giant zip wires that you can go on over Fremont street which I had planned to go on but they actually looked a bit tame so I gave them a miss, I'd got another adrenaline buzz planned for later.

I bought a ticket for mob museum but decided for late breakfast / lunch first and headed to find Vegenation, a veggie place I'd found on trip adviser - it was fabulous, very busy and there was a great live singer on while i was in too which was really nice. There was loads of choices on the menu and looking round at what other people was making me drool. I ended up choosing two starters - black rice veggie sushi and bao wow, which was a kind of Vietnamese mushroom and tofu sandwiches, I also had some rum drink - it was all very delicious and a real veggie treat.

After my belly was full I headed back round the block towards the mob museum, I took a bit of a detour because from the bus I'd seen a lot of street art, there were some really great stuff on the walls including a giant lizard and a snail which were fabulous. The mob museum was in a really neat looking building, I thought I'd be in about an hour - 2 and half hours later I emerged! There was so much stuff inside to read and some of the rooms I just skimmed. It was all about how Vegas had emerged and how the mobs / mafia etc had ruled the place for years - It was really interesting. I headed back to the hop on hop off bus and was toying with two options of what to next, I'd originally thought I'd stay on the hop on hop off bus for another loop and the do the night tour which was on the ticket - this included a guided night walking tour of downtown which is apparently really good and you get to see the famous light show, the alternative was to do the sky jump off the stratosphere.....! I decided to go and investigate the sky jump, I wasn't sure if I needed to prebook, it turned out I didn't and half an hour later I was being kitted up in a snazzy jumpsuit and the tightest, strongest harness I've ever known - there was no way I was falling out of the thing, I was concerned it might stop circulation in various places though!! . It took about half an hour to get all the gear on and then off I went in the elevator back to the top of the stratosphere, the platform is on the 108th floor and 855 foot off the ground. There are loads of checks and double checks to make sure the harness is ok and that I was properly secured to the ropes and wires and then it was up to me just to step off the platform and zoom towards the floor at speeds of up to 50mph. It looks a bit like a bungee jump but really it's more like a vertical zip wire. I'm not exactly sure how it slows you down before you hit the ground but it does, it must be some kind of resistance mechanism. I must admit I was a bit nervous as I was stood on the platform being fastened to the wires (and you can see I was on the video I had filmed - ha ha!)l. My last word to the camera were "it's high up here" and then I stepped off and my next words were "oh sh!t" but it was fab, a proper adrenaline buzz and i could see for miles as I was falling. It was all over and done with in about 15 seconds and my next words were "wow, I wanna do it again!!" It was great fun!

I'd missed the last hop on hop off bus back down the strip, I could have got an uber but decided to walk back again and call in some of the casinos I'd not been in yet. The first one this time was Treasure island, which wasn't very impressive inside but had a couple of galleons outside which were all lit up. As I walked past the Mirage the volcanos outside were just erupting, pretty cool but also pretty hot from the flames that are spewing out the top of the volcanos. All the hotels are just amazing when they're lit up at night, they look fabulous. Caesars palace is very beautiful inside, all very Grecian with loads of shops and a painted sky feels,like you're in a proper city (a big one at that), there's a replica of the Parthenon and a fab little aquarium with manta rays in it. I hung about to watch The fall of Atlantis show - it looked good, there were giant talking and moving statues but the voices were mingled and I didn't quite know what was happening especially at the end, everyone just stood around saying "is that it?" And "what happened". Even though I had no idea what had gone on, I am glad I went into see it because on the way out I spotted a little art gallery / shop, it was all stuff by a Russian artist called Vladimir Kush, his paintings were all a bit surreal but very good and I spent ages looking at them - and dodging the gallery manager when I realised that the cheapest painting was around £3k! If I win big in the casinos I would definitely buy one!

The next hotel / casino on the way was the Bellagio so I wandered through that again just to have another look at the beautiful glass ceiling and flowers displays which are done in an under sea theme, everything is so detailed. Next was Aria which was quite understated compared to some of the others but very lovely with giant lit up swans and ice columns - I'd seen these columns of white rock "I thought" and then read that they were in fact ice so of course I had to touch them just to double check - ha ha, they were real ice columns!!

It was about 11pm and My flip flopped feet were absolute throbbing by now so I called at CVS for provisions (wine and Pepsi) and headed back towards the New York New York, I realised I'd not eaten since noon so called for a slice of mushroom pizza at one of the takeaway shops in the casino and took it to my room to eat. My poor throbbing feet were absolutely filthy so I decided to have a bath, it was only then that I realised I'd caught the sun quite a bit at some point through the day so was a nice shade of lobster pink!! After my bath - which did very little to clean my feet I jumped into bed and was fast asleep before I knew it.

Steps: 23,370. / 9.6miles

Posted by cazbatt 12:45 Archived in USA

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