Las Vegas is almost exactly the unreserved, excessive, fantastical, gargantuan spectacle you expect it to be. Yet it's still hilariously gratifying every time.
I suppose that's only true if you come out winning or unbroken.. but to be honest, despite the legendary stories, the best analogy of this city is "Disneyland for adults". Orchestrated hedonism. I think it's actually quite hard to do anything worse here than lose all your money.... and people who lose all their money in Vegas should probably have seen it coming.
Perhaps the best night I've ever spent there was a relaxed walk from one end of the strip to the other, soaking in all the commotion and revelry as a bystander.
Starting in my room on the 30th floor of the Encore, the last hotel on the strip, Las Vegas Boulevard's six kilometre stretch of hotels is compressed into a 30cm square of the window - half obscured by the Wynn next door.
So it was time, after spending 5 days working in the Encore and barely leaving the building, to get out there and breathe it all in. It takes 3-4 hours to get from one end of the strip to the other at a pace which allows for dipping in and out of the hotels, attractions, sideshows, promenades and bars. Here are the highlights.
... and there we have it - probably 20% of all the hotels along the way.. ending at the Luxor at around 3h30am having: Eaten at Gordon Ramsay's pub in Ceasar's Palace (quite average). Lost $50 at the blackjack tables in Paris. Neshed out of the Roller-coaster in New York New York and bought $10 cans of beer from some little ladies by the side of the road.
A taxi ride and 15 minutes later I'm back in my room on the 30th floor of the Encore feeling like we just ran a marathon.