Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas !

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Las Vegas is one of the craziest places in the world, maybe the craziest. Crazy people, party’s, shows, the whole atmosphere, the annoying sounds of the slotmachines constantly ringing in your head a soon as you enter a casino. I was 3 times in Vegas, the first 2 times in (2000 & 2003) I only spend there 1 day and night, in 2011 I stayed there for 5 days and had some more time to enjoy this place, to go out and party in the Palms.
Been to the Ghostbar,The Moon Penthouse nightclub and the Playboy club.
Club54 in the MGM is also a great place to go party hard 🙂
The Casino hotels I stayed in were :

  1. “Four Queens Casino Hotel” in the Downtown area
  2. Circus Circus (on The Strip)
  3. Hilton Hotel Casino at the Las Vegas Boulevard
  4. The Monte Carlo Resort & Casino (on the Las Vegas Strip)

I did visit all the old casino’s in the Downtown area and on the Strip, even the Palms and the Rio all-suites hotel and Casino which are both located off the Strip and way further than all the rest.

Downtown Las Vegas (the old Vegas) - I revisited the 4 Queens Hotel where I stayed in 2000

Downtown Las Vegas (the old Vegas) 2011 – I revisited the 4 Queens Hotel where I stayed in 2000

In Vegas you can do everything on foot, but it will cost you hours, although I did it cause I wanted to see every casino and I couldn’t feel my feet anymore afterwards.
Sometimes I took the monorail, There is more than one monorail in Vegas between the casino’s, like the one going from the Monte Carlo Hotel (where I stayed last time) to the Bellagio Hotel & Casino which is free and the monorail going from the Mandalay Bay to the Excalibur with a stop in the Luxor Hotel and Casino.

Belaggio with the dancing fountains

Bellagio with the dancing fountains

Excalibur

Excalibur

Inside the MGM casino

Inside the MGM casino

New York New York with the Rollercoaster

New York New York with the Rollercoaster and Statue of Liberty

New York New York Casino Hotel

New York New York Casino Hotel

Luxor

Luxor

The Las Vegas Strip with the Paris Hotel and Casino

The Las Vegas Strip with the Paris Hotel and Casino

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Venice Hotel and Casino Resort, the nicest of all Casino’s

outside Venice Casino, you can take a gongondola boat just like in Italy

outside Venice Casino, you can take a gondola boat just like in Italy

Inside the Venice Hotel ceiling fresco's just like in Italy :)

Inside the Venice Hotel ceiling fresco’s just like in Italy 🙂

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Inside Venice Las Vegas

Inside Venice Las Vegas

Inside the Venice Hotel at night, the sky turns dark

Inside the Venice Hotel at night, the sky turns dark

Caesar's Palace during a very hot day

Caesars Palace during a very hot day

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View from the Ghostclub balcony over the Las Vegas Boulevard The Strip

View from the Ghostclub balcony  @Palms over the Las Vegas Boulevard The Strip

Playboyclub at the Palms Casino

Playboyclub at the Palms Casino

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I enjoyed my stay in Vegas so much things you can do, you can gamble, go on a rollercoaster in the New York New York, see a show or concert, take a helicopter tour over the Strip at night, etc,…

During the day you can do some shopping all the big brands are present. I did some shopping, stayed at the hotel to swim, fitness, play some games at the casino (mostly on the slots) and made an excursion to the Hoover Dam which is only 48 km outside Vegas.
The Hoover dam was once the biggest dam in the world border between Nevada and Arizona in the black canyon of the Colorado river.
In 2000 and 2003 I visited the Glen Canyon Dam in Page northern Arizona also on the Colorado River. The Hoover dam is a little more impressive cause it’s bigger, but both places are worth a visit. If you visit Lake Powell you will have to cross Page anyway and will pass the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge from which you will have a great view on the Glen Canyon Dam.
Back to the Hoover Dam now, you can walk on the dam and look down to see how deep it is or from the building next to the bridge which has a nice viewpoint.

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Sign inside the Hoover Dam

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Generators inside the powerhouse of the Hoover Dam

 

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Hoover Dam

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Yucatan

The Grand Bahia Principe Tulum was the All Inclusive resort I stayed in at the Riviera Maya near Tulum in the east part of Mexico, Yucatan area. I’m not the kind of tourist that stays in all-inclusive hotels but in this part of Mexico it was a good option, close to the beach and easy to arrange excursions from the hotel. The resort had everything restaurants, buffets, great swimming pools, private beaches etc,… the most important were the several travel agencies in the hotel gathered in one big room.
Here I booked excursions to Coba,Tulum Ruins, Uxmal (link) and Chichén Itzá.

TULUM

Tulum Ruins

Tulum Ruins

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COBA

Coba pyramid in the jungle

Coba pyramid in the jungle

This is me halfway the steep steps

This is me halfway the steep steps

view down

view down

view from the top over the jungle area

view from the top over the jungle area

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VISITING ONE OF THE 7 WORLD WONDERS CHICHEN ITZA

The most known Mayan site with El Castillo as most famous pyramid or temple however you want to call it, with its 4 stairways. It belongs to the new 7 wonders of the world.

If this is justified or not I don’t know since I have seen other things that are more impressive to be considered as a world wonder such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great wall of China and the Pyramids in Egypt. Although I think that the pyramids or temples in Mexico like Uxmal,El Castillo and Teotihuacan are all much nicer than those in Egypt.

CHICHEN ITZA

CHICHEN ITZA – El Castillo

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Temple of warriors

Temple of warriors

nice colorful masks at Chichen Itza

nice colorful masks at Chichen Itza

Wooden sculptures, souvenirs on sale at Chichen Itza

Wooden sculptures, souvenirs on sale at Chichen Itza

 

The Grand Bahia Principe Resort

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private beach at the hotel resort

private beach at the hotel resort

in the jacuzzi pool

in the jacuzzi pool

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Calgary and Banff NP

Alberta the richest province of Canada in the west of the country with Cities like Calgary and Edmonton is less visited then East Canada with Toronto and the Niagara Falls,Ottawa and Quebec. Calgary is a really nice city not to be confused with Cagliari in Sardinia Italy.
I stayed a few days in a Best Western Hotel outside the City centre and everyday I walked to the centre, watching all these traffic go by and coming closer and closer to the centre and the Calgary Tower which I visited first, at that time (2005) some renovation works were going on and inside the tower were not many tourist, I was almost alone there enjoying the great view on the City with the Rockies in the background. Downtown there is not much to do besides visiting the mall or having a walk down the park, visiting Olympic Plaza.
The next day I booked a day trip to Banff NP and see some of Alberta’s wonderful nature.
The weather in Calgary can be so unpredictable, I remember leaving for Banff in the morning it was lightly snowing and there was a strong wind, in the afternoon the sun was there and the wind disappeared so there was no need anymore for a warm sweater or jacket, finally it felt like summer and I could just walk around in my short sleeves.

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Walking to the centre in the morning

Olympic Plaza

Olympic Plaza where the medal ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympic games to place

Calgary Tower from the Olympic Plaza

Calgary Tower from the Olympic Plaza

Old City Hall

Old City Hall

Calgary new City hall

Calgary new City hall

Rusted Horse Sculpture

Rusted Horse Sculpture

Brotherhood of Mankind statue

Brotherhood of Mankind statue

The Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower

Inside the Calgary Tower

Inside the Calgary Tower

Let's have a view on the city and the Rockies

Let’s have a view on the city and the Rockies

Saddledome Ice Hockey stadium

Saddledome Ice Hockey stadium – It really looks like a saddle to put on a horse

Saddledome stadium is home to the Calgary Flames who plays in the NHL

Saddledome stadium is home to the Calgary Flames who plays in the NHL

Calgary Park

Calgary Park

BANFF NP

The Banff NP is a 2 hour drive West from Calgary, it’s the oldest National Park of Canada.
Lake Louis,The Banff Springs Hotel are the best known places in the park.
Also the Bow Falls on the Bow River is a major waterfall that got featured in the Marilyn Monroe 1953 movie “The River of no return”  I saw that movie when I was a kid so I had to have a picture with that waterfall. The drop of the waterfall is not high but the water comes at very high-speed.

Bow Falls

Bow Falls

Banff Springs Hotel

Banff Springs Hotel

Banff NP in the middle of the Rockies

Banff NP in the middle of the Rockies

Wildlife in Banff NP

Wildlife in Banff NP

New York

New York is the most visited city in the US, city trips to New York are becoming more and more popular. I spend a week in New York visiting the most interesting places. Continue reading

To Chill in the Antilles – Curacao

My first trip to the Caribbean was to a place where they speak my language Dutch, the Netherlands Antilles Curacao. The Antilles are the Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao the biggest Island to which I went. I stayed in Willemstad the capital of Curacao, it consists of 2 parts Punda and Otrabanda. In Punda I had my hotel with a private beach. Most hotels have private beach aswell as a swimmingpool, some hotels have several pools like the Breezes resort for example, which I found to be a good all inclusive hotel.
Otrabanda is the other area of Willemstad known for its famous colored houses at the waterside. To go from Punda to Otrabanda you cross the bridge at the St Anna Bay or you can take a little boat at no charge that brings you to the other side.
It’s a typical Caribic destination, people who like to relax on the beach or do watersports like snorkeling,jetski will definitely like this place. The waters are clear blue and clean you can see the little fishes swimming around you.
In the dolphin academy Seaquarium close to Willemstad,you can swim with Dolphins and off course I had to try this. I had a great time with these funny animals. You get a little briefing, you put on flippers and you can go in the water with them and make your first eye contact, rub its back and belly and swim with them. With the instructor telling you what to do to so you yourself can make the Dolphins do some cool tricks while in the water with them. This really was the highlight of my vacation in Curacao, to experience the interaction with the Dolphins.
There are not only Dolphins in the Dolphin Academy, I also had some encounters with other animals like the Sea Lion. I saw sea turtles, some sharks and all kinds off other exotic fish. At the hotel there were some Iguana’s.
I visited an ostrich farm where I had the chance to ride an ostrich I didn’t know what to expect, but again it was a great experience, this bird can run so fast its crazy. While I was sitting on the back of this big bird, to other man from the park had to run together with the bird next to me to slow the animal down at the end of the run, cause this bird would keep on running otherwise. I remember they told me that ostriches are not the smartest animals, in fact they are stupid, for example in the wild when they are chased by another animal they start running away, and they run and run for hours and then they stop and they actually forgot why they were running. I like animals stupid or smart doesn’t matter, it was something not everybody dares to do cause it is at your own risk, so I had to sign a paper that I wanted to get on that animal and try the ostrich race 🙂
The rest of my days in Curacao I spend relaxing at the beach, having a Blue Curacao drink at the poolbar and had a great time jumping up and down the waves with a jetski.
I can recommend Curacao for anybody who wants to have a relaxing chilling vacation and some animal fun under the Caribbean sun.

Willemstad

Willemstad

Bridge to cross from Punda to Otrabanda

Bridge to cross from Punda to Otrabanda

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St. Anna Bay

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Swimming with Dolphins

Swimming with Dolphins

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Sea Lion encounter

Sea Lion encounter

Sea Turtles at Seaquarium

Sea Turtles at Seaquarium

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Ostrich ride

Ostrich ride

Iguana in the swimmingpool at the hotel

Iguana in the swimmingpool at the hotel

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enjoying myself on a Jetski

enjoying myself on a Jetski

private beach

private beach

chillin at the pool with a bacardi

chillin at the pool with a bacardi

 

 

Canada

TORONTO ONTARIO

My visit to Toronto and the Niagara Falls.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada. I went up the CN Tower and admired the fabulous view over Toronto, its harbour, skyscrapers etc,…
After that I headed to the city centre to see the new City Hall and the old one who are just next to each other. Continue reading

My Favorite Country in the World USA

USA !

Why is the United States, my favorite country, well I guess because there are so many things to see. Big Cities that I know from the many hollywood movies and American sitcoms that I used to watch allot when I was in highschool. National park, world-famous monuments and buildings. Maybe it all started when being a kid I had the chance to travel to the United States with my parents back in 1988. My first visit it was to Florida visiting Orlando and World Disney with Epcot and Sea World, before heading to Thunder Bay Ontario in Canada. We had family living there from my mother’s side. Continue reading