Las Vegas

Las Vegas was founded in 1905. The first casinos were located in what is now called the Downtown area. Gambling was legalized in 1931 and this paved the way for the city's growth, together with the construction of the Hoover Dam. Built in 1935, this engineering wonder still provides the city with electricity and water.

In the 1980s, glittering megaresorts started to be built on the Strip and Downtown lost its appeal. It bacame a run-down part of the city avoided by tourists. Things have changed lately. A lot of money has ben invested in its revitalization. Fremont Street Experience, an evening light show on a vast metal canopy over the pedestrianized street, is an example of it. Vegas Vic, one of its oldest neon signs can be seen on Fremont Street. Hotels and casinos are closer together, in contrast to the megaresorts on the Strip, where a car will come in handy.

The Strip, or Las Vegas Boulevard, is a six-kilometer long road that runs through the city. All the major resorts are located there. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay. The large windows in our room on the 21st floor gave a spectacular view of the Strip.

Every resort offers tons of things to do, from the Autocollections at the Imperial Palace to the excellent wax museum at the Venetian. Although we had already visited Madam Tussaud's in London, it was more than fun to get married to George Clooney.

The resorts are all tremendously impressive, although a bit on the tacky side. But that's what Vegas is about. You either love it or hate it. It's so totally unlike any other city I've ever seen.