Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flashy Hotels and Casinos of Las Vegas

Finally, I am done with my Las Vegas fotos, more than 100 new fotos of Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos, 90% are interiors of interesting reproductions, i.e. Paris, Venice, Rome, New York, Egypt and many more. Dutchman and I really enjoyed our trip to Las Vegas and our side trips as well in Nevada and further across the border. Las Vegas alone, the strip is enough for 2 days. We are not gamblers, as well as we are not into shopping in cloistered environments, i.e. malls, so after 2 days of traversing the strip from one hotel to another we had our fill. Las Vegas is really good for just a weekend getaway and if you are staying for more than 2 days --- get out of the strip!

Now my impressions... the massive and incredibly ostentatious hotels and casinos are one of a kind, in such a way that you can just walk into the lobby with your shorts and running shoes, sit in a bar, order a drink or play poker with a group. It’s definitely nothing near snooty Monte Carlo in Monaco or even our very own Holland Casino in the Netherlands where “proper attire” is required, while the former will scrutinize every inch of your wardrobe.

In Las Vegas, it doesn’t matter who you are, how you are dressed and if you are lurid, everyone is welcome to come in and go as they please. Umm, liberating? Yes, of course! The concept indeed shows a new twist to freedom and capitalism however the downside would be compromising “sophistication” (if you care about the finer things in life).

Some will probably disagree with me and that’s perfectly fine. Divergence is the key to run this complicated world we live in =)

Cesars Palace's Rome

Cesars Palace Hotel and Casino's lobby and one of the casino area called, 'The Colosseum Way'.

Cesars Palace's Hotel and Casino with Rome theme, here with Trevi fountain replica.

Every hotel and casino has its own mall annexed to the hotel. Cesars Palace has 'The Forum Shops' offering mid range designer labels to haute couture.

Palazzo Hotel and Casino

Venice replica with the gondola rides. The gondoliers actually sing opera!

More fotos of Palazzo Hotel and Casino. There is a second (separate) gondola ride inside the hotel and mall.

All Venetian architecture inspired here except the poker table.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Excalibur's theme is obviously royalty and the turbulent medieval ages.

New York New York Hotel and Casino

The New York New York Hotel and Casino has its own roller coaster ride and of course the Statue of Liberty replica.

Inside New York New York food mall showing Manhattan style apartments.

Luxor Hotel and Casino

Luxor Hotel and Casino, a slice of Egypt.

Inside the pyramid hotel there is a Titanic exhibition.

Paris Hotel and Casino

Paris in Las Vegas and the Eiffel tower is a restaurant. Reservations a must.

Parisienne style casino and food gallery as well as the malls.

Treasure Island Hotel and Casino

Pirates of the Caribbean searching for treasures theme here with 2 replica 17th century boats.

Lobby and casino floor of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino and an exquisite piece of motorbike art on display.

Bellagio Hotel and Casino

Bellagio Hotel and Casino is my favorite on the strip.

Not really sure what the theme of Bellagio is but they have a Chinese Year of the Tiger exhibition in the lobby.

The casino at Bellagio is HUGE, I think the biggest I have seen so far.

My friend’s relative living in the USA who recently visited Las Vegas told her, “I don’t have to go to Europe anymore, I’ve just seen Paris, Rome and Venice!”

For the rest of the hotels and fotos (102 fotos to be exact! whew!), go here: Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos, Nevada - USA

I have videos as well. To follow, will just edit the entry.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pan Forest in Zeist

This weekend was back to regular programming where we normally enjoy our walks in the forest. It’s been weeks since we’ve done this so I was really looking forward to commune with nature once again.

The weather wasn’t really gorgeous; it was windy and still a bit cold for spring but it was nice to be outside. After the walk we went to the forbidden snack bar nearby and feasted on ‘patat oorlog’ (Dutch fries with mayo, sate and onions).

The Pan Forest in Bosch en Duin in Zeist, Utrecht is a nature reserve.

Spring has yet to come to the Netherlands but I can already hear the birds happily chirping early in the morning. They actually wake me up before my alarm clock does.

Panbos as locally called is quite popular by joggers. We seem to encounter them at every turn. On the left foto are gorgeous looking fungi.

The forest has many horse trails and we've come across a devil's fork tree!

More fotos of Panbos here and a green clearing.

The Pan Forest has a large network of horse trails, as well as walking trails ranging from 3 to 12 kilometers. There is also a golf course nearby. I’ve read that this forest is relatively young, born in the 19th century and the oldest tree here is 115 years old.

Location: Bosch en Duin, Zeist, Utrecht


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