Lukas's Las Vegas
We realized, that we experienced Las Vegas very differently. That is why you get to read two different blog posts about one city. Not knowing what the other guy wrote before - Enjoy!
Coming back to fabulous Las Vegas after four years felt special on its own, yet watching the city rise on the horizon from a cyclists point of view was - without doubt - pretty exclusive.
When entering Las Vegas Boulevard aka. The Strip it was simply a sensory overkill. Hard to put that experience into words. As Mr.T(ripadvisor) managed to find a fairly cheap room in one of the little Strip Hotels, we rode our fully packed bikes until we stood in front of Circus Circus - a hotel built in the late Sixties, accommodating guests in more than 3500 rooms. And no, it's not the biggest hotel on the strip. MGM Grand: 5500 rooms, the Resorts World Las Vegas - that is just about to be built: 7000+ rooms. Financed by the Chinese. "Oh sure, we do like China, honey. As long as they bring money to our country", a Taxi driver noticed peripherally.
One can imagine that checking in at one of those fun places might be different to a 10 room Route 66 Motel. Yet we were slightly surprised when we 1. literarilly cycled into/through the lobby until we 2. reached the check in "gates". Yes, gates. Like the ones your see on airports.
After obtaining our roomkeys, we checked out the hotel a bit. Of course the 5499-way. By bike. Remarkably enough no-one seemed to be bothered, watching two dudes on fully packed bikes, cruising around.
Later that evening I decided to go for a little walk, getting in touch with the strip again. The result was not what I expected and it seems quite unusual for me to say but: It was too much of a party. Too much noise, flashing lights, intoxicated people. System overload. At this point I realized how much those previous, mostly silent and sometimes lonesome riding days had influenced me. I got used to the silence, started to appreciate it. And now missed it. Back at the hotel I was looking down from the 25th floor, observing the lively nightlife. When we started this trip I was always so much looking forward to Vegas, thinking: If I make it from NYC to Vegas by bike I will just party the s*** out of it. Now I was standing in front of this window, saying to myself: What the heck happened? Why are you not down there? Weird.
Berni on the contrary seemed to enjoy the new environment much more - probably as he is also more into gambling as I am. We split the next morning, him saying hello to the countless slot machines, me spending most of the day off the strip.
Day three was my personal game changer, as it offered an epic surprise! I seized the day before to contact a few people back from my first visit in 2010 - a time where I experienced some mind blowing clubbings. Around noon it turned out that we were granted guest list for one of Vegas´s top nightclubs! Oh boy, I got so excited!
Arriving at the club was - let´s say unconventional. We came by foot. And so was our outfit: Bluejeans, yellow and red sneakers, blue and white shirts. Ridiculous? According to the club´s drersscode (upscale): For sure. Well, given the fact that we came to town after an almost accomplished x-country ride, living out of 2 small bags for 50 days - I think we looked pretty decent! The guys in the line wore suits. The ladies quite showy dresses. So, skip the line. VIP entrance FTW! To be honest, I doubted that they let us in, given our classy outfits. I stopped in front of the bouncers, calling a number I was given. Shortly thereafter a lady turned up, welcoming us. Our conversations was brief: "Gentlemen, here is your stamp and coupons for complimentary drinks. Enter through this door. Njoy yourself!"
Day four: Pool. Sun shade. And a delightful glass of water.
(Un)fortunately you could not see Las Vegas´s skyline from the pool. Except for the Stratosphere Hotel and it´s cute little tower, reminding me of a missed opportunity back from 2010: The Sky Jump. Jumping off the 108th floor seemed to be a good idea to me. And, after all: YES, it totally was!! An unforgetable finale of our last day in Vegas!
We are both glad to be back in the saddle again. In the end Berni seemed to had enough of Vegas. And I just started to warm up with this illusory world. Irony.
PS.: Don't forget, we are supporting Wings For Life with our adventure. Every € or $ you donate is going directly into spinal cord injury research. Please donate here! Thank you!