Thursday, October 27, 2005 7:40 PM
part 16

More from Las Vegas, the place that's so big, it wouldn't fit in one part.

The sign said "stupid factory". They must be very busy.

Human statues are very popular there. I suppose that given the heat, a job that involves not having to move around is preferable. One human statue was so good that we didn't notice that he was real until we passed the spot later and he wasn't there anymore.

Even at midnight, Las Vegas is hot enough for one to draw a sweat while walking around outside.

Apart from the casinos, there are some sights that attract the tourists, though most of them exist on the casino grounds, perhaps in the hope that one will walk to the sight, then continue to walk into the casino.

One of those sights is the fountain show at the Bellagio casino. It is done using water jets that they have placed in their man-made lake. The jets spout water in different patterns, synchronised to the music that plays. There are different tunes at different times of day.

Another of the sights is the moving statues at the Caesar's Palace casino. There are several human-shaped animatronic statues, with a rubbery "skin" covering them. They wave their arms, and turn their heads. They even blink. There is speech, but the statues' mouths aren't synchronised very well. Above the statues, lasers draw pictures and patterns on the domed ceiling while music plays.

The Mirage casino has a volcano show. It is a simulation of an erupting volcano. It is done with lights and sound effects and, in case it wasn't hot enough already, flames so large that the closest available viewing point is too close for comfort.

The Paris casino has a scale model of the Eiffel Tower. The sign said "no unauthorised weddings". I suppose that they've had trouble in the past. We went up and looked around. The view was very nice, and we timed it perfectly to watch the Bellagio fountain show from above. We also got to watch the electrical storm that rolled in, but then the tower operators sent everyone back down and closed the tower.

We wanted to go an outside gondola ride, but it was closed due to lightning. What lightning? Oh, that fake sky fooled us.

Despite that the gondolas are driven by a motor, the gondola drivers still get a workout on their rudder arm, making them look lop-sided. Even the women look like body builders.

The Bellagio casino has a conservatory inside. It has arches of water that are produced by high pressure spouts. The spouts are so thin that the streams of water look like tubes. Ling-Li put her finger in one, just to see what would happen. Water went everywhere. It was very funny.

There is a Madame Toussaud's wax museum in Las Vegas, but it is very small. They have a few movie stars, movie characters, and musicians - Julia Roberts was there, but even though she was smiling, and looks very waxy already, since she was not in the "Pretty Woman" dress, she was almost unrecognisable. Indiana Jones wasn't there. What kind of establishment has movie characters that don't include Indiana Jones?

It appears that some liberties were taken with some of the models - larger than life, so to speak.

One of the most common sights in the shopping areas are people walking around offering "free" stuff (show tickets, shopping coupons, etc). Upon inquiring further, one finds that these things are available to those who are willing to visit one or other of the newly or nearly completed buildings and to "give us your opinion". It sounds like a survey of some kind. In fact, they're actually selling timeshares. If one visits the building (which is reached by their provided transport), one becomes a captive audience for the duration of the presentation, and only afterwards does the free stuff appear. We were not impressed.

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