Skip to content

Las Vegas 2011

I only knew three things about Las Vegas:

  • It’s known as Sin City (and for good reason).
  • It’s where all the biggest boxing matches happen.
  • It’s also home to the greatest entertainers in the world.

Obviously, I had to go and see it as soon as the opportunity arose. But I didn’t want to just do what every other tourist does and just fly in to McCarran International Airport. Instead I decided I was going to further Americanise my visit to Las Vegas by hiring myself a convertible and driving there from LA via the old Route 66 and through Death Valley. It was well worth doing just for the experience of visiting lots of little towns – more like villages built around rest stops really – that litter the roads between California and Nevada.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Usually the first sight you see as you arrive at the Las Vegas Strip is The Mandalay Bay complex on the southern-most end. Watched the Lion King Musical here.

I’d booked myself a room at The Venetian, partly because it’s the biggest hotel in the world! But mainly because I’m a Platinum Member of the Intercontinental Hotels chain and they were much more likely to give me free upgrades and perks. It was a good plan as, on arrival, they immediately upgraded me to a large suite with a view of the Las Vegas Strip!


While most people spend their time in Vegas gorging on cheap buffets, cheap drinks, cheap hookers and losing their shirts in the casinos, I skipped all of that depravity and enjoyed loads of shows and explored the sights. #Winning

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
The famous sign that greets visitors. “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
The famous sign that greets visitors. “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
According to some people I’ve gotten fat. Compared to most of the people visiting Vegas, I’m positively malnourished!

I got to see several world famous comedians live, the Lion King musical, and even wangled myself front row seats for Penn and Teller. There was also an opportunity to explore some of the more subversive and niche productions that happen off the main strip. But I don’t want to say too much about that!

Paradise Road, Las Vegas
“Paradise Road, Las Vegas”. Just East of the Las Vegas Strip and home of the Las Vegas Hilton. This is where The Beatles played when they came to town.
Paradise Road, Las Vegas
“Paradise Road, Las Vegas”. Just East of the Las Vegas Strip and home of the Las Vegas Hilton.
The Stratosphere, Las Vegas
The Stratosphere, Las Vegas. As seen from the Desert just West of Las Vegas.
The Stratosphere, Las Vegas.
The Stratosphere is the tallest building in Nevada, has the highest observation deck in the USA and also features the highest amusement rides in the world. Yes, that spire at the top of the building is actually a ride. It’s called “Big Shot” and I was very worried about going on it to be honest. But decided I had to do it. Once in a lifetime chance and all that!
The Stratosphere, Las Vegas.
The Stratosphere, Las Vegas. At one point, there was a roller-coaster at the top of the building – I kid you not! Five people have committed suicide by jumping off the top of the tower since it opened in 1996.
Big Shot, The Stratosphere Tower, Las Vegas
This is “Big Shot” which sits atop The Stratosphere Tower. Sorry, I couldn’t get a really good photo of it. Basically, you sit in a chair at the bottom and get hurled upwards at high speed until you reach a height of 1100 ft above the ground.
Insanity ride, Las Vegas
This is probably the scariest amusement ride in the WORLD! It’s called Insanity – very appropriately. You sit on a giant wheel which then dangles you over the edge of The Stratosphere. i.e. 1000 ft above the ground! But that’s just the start. It gets scarier…
Insanity ride, Las Vegas
The wheel then starts to spin…
Insanity ride, Las Vegas
and spin faster…
Insanity ride, Las Vegas
and spin even faster, until it gets to 40mph…
Insanity ride, Las Vegas
and it elevates its arms so you are face down looking at the sheer 1100 ft drop below.

NO WAY I WAS GOING TO DO THIS ONE!!
X-Scream, Las Vegas
Looking South down the Las Vegas Strip from the tallest building in Las Vegas. That green thing you see in the top right is another amusement ride called X-Scream, where you sit in a canoe type ride which is then lowered off the side of the building until you are looking straight down the 1000 ft drop.

NOT DOING THAT ONE EITHER!!
Las Vegas mountains
Looking East from top of The Stratosphere building. The whole of Las Vegas is surrounded by mountains.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Looking North from top of The Stratosphere building. This is officially “Las Vegas”. i.e. the real Las Vegas. The part that most tourists see (like the Las Vegas Strip) is technically outside the Las Vegas city limits. The whole of Las Vegas is surrounded by mountains.
Las Vegas Strip
Looking South down the Las Vegas Strip from the tallest building in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Strip
Carrot Top at The Luxor
Probably the BEST show in Vegas. Carrot Top at The Luxor. I saw four different comedy shows while I was in town. This was by far the funniest.
Luxor Sphinx, Las Vegas
My favourite building in Vegas is the Luxor. A hotel, casino and entertainment venue themed around ancient Egypt. This is the sight that greets you as you get off the monorail at the Luxor stop.
Luxor Sphinx, Las Vegas
Luxor Pyramid, Las Vegas
The great pyramid of the Luxor building. And YES that really is the shape of the hotel. As well as being the Vegas home of Carrot Top, you can also see Criss Angel here and check out both The Titanic and Bodies exhibitions. At night a bright light shines out the top of the hotel, which can (I’m told) be seen from space.
Luxor Pyramid, Las Vegas
Luxor, Las Vegas
Inside the Luxor. They really went to town with the whole ancient Egypt theme.
Luxor, Las Vegas
Inside The Luxor, Las Vegas.
Titanic exhibition, Luxor, Las Vegas
Just one of the Titanic exhibits inside the Luxor.
Titanic exhibition, Luxor, Las Vegas
Titanic exhibition, Luxor, Las Vegas.
The Excalibur hotel, Las Vegas
The Excalibur hotel, which has a medieval European Castle theme to it. This is a bit too Disney for my taste but it’s certainly an impressive piece of engineering.
The Excalibur hotel, Las Vegas
Inside The Excalibur Hotel.
New York, New York hotel, Las Vegas
A hotel on the Southern end of the Las Vegas Strip called “New York New York”. They reproduced parts of the NYC skyline. You can probably make out Empire State building, Chrysler building and Statue of Liberty.
Fremont Street, Las Vegas
Fremont Street in Vegas.
Fremont Street, Las Vegas
Fremont Street in Vegas.
Fremont Street, Las Vegas
Fremont Street in Vegas.
The Dirty Joke Show, Hooters Hotel, Las Vegas
The Dirty Joke Show at the Hooters Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Yes, that’s right. Hooters has it’s own Hotel and Casino. Wondering what it’s like? It’s EXACTLY how you would imagine.
The Venetian Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Front of The Venetian Hotel and Casino – the biggest hotel in the world – where I stayed during my time in Vegas. Those Gondolas you can see down the bottom left aren’t just for decoration. For a small fee you can take a ride around the canals that are built within the hotel complex.
Las Vegas Strip, Nevada
Looking South down the Las Vegas Strip from my hotel. I stayed at The Venetian – the world’s biggest hotel. More than 8000 rooms. This section of The Strip features many of the most famous hotels in town. Here you can see Harrah’s – home of many top comedy shows – the Roman-themed Caesar’s Palace and The Mirage, which has a hand-writing style logo that looks like it says “The Minge”. Just out of shot to the right is the Pirate-themed Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.
Las Vegas Strip, Nevada
Looking North up the Las Vegas Strip from my hotel. I stayed at The Venetian – the world’s biggest hotel. More than 8000 rooms. To the right of the photo you can see a sign saying “Palazzo” which is the poshest part of The Venetian complex. And just behind that you can see The Wynn and The Encore hotel towers, which have a reputation for having the best service staff in the whole of Vegas. Keep going up this road and you will eventually get to The Stratosphere – the tallest building in Nevada.
Pink Jeep, Las Vegas
The Pink Jeep. A rugged (yet camp looking) way to take a tour of the Mojave Desert. There were only two people on the tour. Me and a 71 yr old Jewish guy.
Pink Jeep, Las Vegas
Springs Preserve, Mojave Desert
Springs Preserve in the Mojave Desert. It’s an educational attraction built on the “original” land where Las Vegas was first populated. In the distance you can see the skyline of modern Vegas, including The Stratosphere in the middle in the far distance.
Springs Preserve, Mojave Desert
Springs Preserve in the Mojave Desert.
Springs Preserve, Mojave Desert
Springs Preserve in the Mojave Desert.
Springs Preserve, Mojave Desert
Springs Preserve in the Mojave Desert.
Springs Preserve Visitor Center, Mojave Desert
Springs Preserve visitor center. Lots of exhibits, educational videos and an impressive array of deadly animals to see here.
La Vegas Strip, Eiffel Tower
At night the Las Vegas Strip becomes a car park and it makes you wonder why people bother driving when it’s quicker to walk. Probably because many of these guys are here to pose in their gas-guzzling monstrosities.
Paris Hotel, Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas
The French-themed Paris Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, complete with its own replica of The Eiffel Tower. This copy is only half the size of the original though.
The Bellagio hotel, Las Vegas
The Bellagio hotel (next to Caesar’s Palace) which is renowned for the world-famous “Dancing Fountains” on it’s seven acre man-made lake. My pictures don’t do the fountains justice. Go to YouTube and search for Bellagio Fountains to see them in action.
The Bellagio hotel, Las Vegas
The Bellagio hotel, Las Vegas.
The Bellagio, dancing fountains, Las Vegas
The Bellagio’s dancing fountains.
The Bellagio hotel's dancing fountains.
The Bellagio’s dancing fountains.
The Bellagio hotel's dancing fountains.
The Bellagio’s dancing fountains.
Las Vegas airport, helicopter tour
At the Las Vegas airport getting ready to take the Helicopter tour of the city at night.
Las Vegas airport, helicopter tour
At the Las Vegas airport getting ready to take the Helicopter tour of the city at night. You can just about make out the helicopter on the left.
Las Vegas helicopter tour
The helicopter that took me on my night-time flying tour over the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas helicopter tour
Mandalay Bay and the Luxor, as seen from the helicopter. You can just about see the bright shaft of light that shoots out of the Luxor into outer space. (Apologies for the poor picture quality. My camera broke and I had to use my iPhone, which did a really crappy job of dealing with low light and fast movement.)
Las Vegas helicopter tour
The Las Vegas Strip, as seen from the helicopter.
Las Vegas helicopter tour
The Stratosphere on the Las Vegas Strip, as seen from the helicopter.
Las Vegas helicopter tour
The Stratosphere on the Las Vegas Strip, as seen from the helicopter.
Las Vegas helicopter tour
The Las Vegas Strip, as seen from the helicopter.
Homer and Chuckie
Homer Simpson and Chucky!!
Published inNorth AmericaTravels

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

LEGAL NOTICES: Jay Shareef is a fictional character. You really should not believe anything you read here. This website contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission on any sales generated from them. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2023 Jay Shareef Enterprises.