Here I am at the end of my Las Vegas adventure. What a city, what an incredible activity going on! It started already with the flight when I came near to Las Vegas: I saw this red Mars-like landscape, with reddish mountains and a desert that was equally red. And in the middle of that I suddenly saw this Mars colony rise up in the middle of nowhere; and that appeared to be Las Vegas!
As a tourist I thought (as most foreign people do) that Las Vegas is synonymous to “the strip”, but that’s not true at all; most of Las Vegas consists of large areas with low-building bungalows, where the average people live; there are also the biggest day-to-day shopping malls. And you know what? The people that live here even rarely go to the Strip at all, because it’s way too expensive!
There are also quite a lot of homeless people on the streets, people who lost all of their money and now need to beg in order to survive; because a social security system like in north-western Europe is quasi non-existing here. And if you work, you have to work very hard to get all your bills paid. Unless you belong to the “filthy rich” of course, then you can afford yourself rooms of 3.000 dollars per night or big suites or appartments of over 35.000 dollars a day… Just to let you know some of the highest prices here on the Strip…
The hotels here in Las Vegas are far more than just hotels: they are casino’s, shopping malls, nightclubs, restaurants, wellness centers and theatres at the same time; it is incredible what a quantity of colours, forms, shapes, lights and sounds there are here. As a tourist you can easily be overwhelmed by it when you enter the Strip for the first time; for me personally that feeling of overwhelming “too much” actually increased during the week, so in that sense I’m happy that I’m leaving now and that I can come to my “normal” senses on Hawaï for the coming 9 days.
But at the other hand I also enjoyed it; that’s why I went to the Fremont street experience in downtown Las Vegas at my first night here (what a start of my stay, wow…), went the next day on the Stratosphere tower and dangled in a “chair” under a massive mechanical arm until 20 meters over the edge of the terrace at 300 meters high, and was propelled up to an angle of 70 degrees, so that I could do nothing else but look down!!
Aaaaaarrrgghhh!!! To tell you the truth: I had to close my eyes for half of the time, otherwise I would have thrown up on the poor people 300 meters lower… I was happy when I had my feet on the ground again and could eat a little, to get a little weight on my stomach so it could calm down…
I also went on the Eiffeltower at 100 meters (in daytime) and on the “high roller”, the biggest and highest wheel in the world (157 meters high, even higher than the Eye in London!), with a beautiful nightly view on the Strip, and beyond.
Until so far the “dangerous” things I did in the heights of my glory (haha); I also visited lots of hotels: the Golden Nuggets (downtown), the Winn, the Venetian (with its replica’s of the grand canal, the piazza San Marco, and italian buildings, with a “sky” above), the Linq (where I had a very good massage and spa in the wellness center), the Flamingo, the Luxor (with its real scale pyramid and Sphinx!), the New York New York, the Aria (with its many jewelry shops), the Mandarin Oriental (with its magnificent bar on the 23rd floor), the Cosmopolitan, the Bellagio (with its beautiful fountain show; you would have loved it, Marion! I dedicated my seeing it especially to you last Thursday), Caesar’s Palace (with its replica’s of roman statues, the Colosseum, the Forum, and mosaics all around).
I also went to see “Mystère”, a Cirque du Soleil show at the Treasure Island hotel; I’d always wanted to see them, and this was the time! Amazing performance with the best actors, dancers, acrobats and musicians; I loved the stageing, the colouring, the incredible decors, the costumes, everything. I enjoyed it a lot a lot a lot!
But a visit to Las Vegas is not a visit at all if you don’t do what everybody is coming here for: gambling. So I did that one night; spent 60 dollars and lost it all, haha. Happily one of my friends won 60 dollars, which he divided between us three, so the damage in the end was limited to only 40 dollars… I must say it was nice doing it for once, but it didn’t “turn me on” at all, partly also because I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing and how things worked. But okay, I did it, and now I can at least say that I gambled in Vegas!
But underneath all of that outer show I could also feel the emptiness, superficiality and loneliness beneath it all; at least I/me have been feeling quite lost, lonely and sad at times in all the glitter and masses of people in this “sin-city”, in the decadence and excess of things. It’s all about money, sex and power; it’s all so non-essential, so not what it’s really about…
Where I did feel that essence, the real what-it’s-all-about, was at my visit to the Grand Canyon on Tuesday; that was so incredibly beautiful! It was a long bus ride to get there, along which we visited the impressing Hoover dam, and drove 500 meters on Route 66, but it was so worth the long ride!
It was a sunny day, not too warm with a nice bit of wind around that caressed my skin softly. And then I saw the actual Canyon! Oh my God! No words for it, besides the words that I caught in this poem:
Looking out over the Grand Canyon
and imbibing it the most I could,
tears started running down my cheeks,
because I was so overwhelmed,
it was just too much,
and I pleaded to God:
“Please God, don’t be so big!
My heart can’t bear it
And God said to me:
“Explode then, my dear one,
because I am that big,
and even much bigger.”
And my heart went on
being broken open
by the magnificance
of God’s creation,
and I cried, and cried, and cried…
That’s it. No more words.
I also met another medium/clairvoyant here (like I did in Capetown and Cusco), with whom I booked a session about my life and about the turning point that I’m in, and that was very nice; she confirmed a lot of things that I actually knew already, but apparently I need a lot of confirmation before I start believing it and dare to take the practical steps to realize it. But those will only be after my travels anyhow, so I still have time!
I have been staying in a center of the yogagroup around my Guru, outside the Strip; I had some “chantings” (singing of devotional songs) here, and listened to part of a Satsang (discourse) of my Guru on video (long time ago (three months), so I was happy I could participate in it). It was very nice to stay with “family” that I’ve known for so long already. We don’t see eachother often, but if we meet it is as if we never really were apart.
They are all very hard workers (each in their own “field”), so that’s why I have been on my own quite often (but I know how to do that :-)); but I did have a few very nice talks with everyone, and I did go out with a few of them to the Fremont Street experience, with two ladies to “Mystère”, and with two of the “guys” for gambling. I’m especially grateful for that dear one, who has been driving me around so much despite his back pain. But thank you everyone, for allowing me to stay with you and sharing with me – in your own unique way – the lives that you are living!
And with that feeling of thankfulness I leave you for now, with all the love in my heart.
Nico – Traveller of The Earth
P.S. Oh, by the way: did I tell you that I’m over half of my worldtrip now? Las Vegas has been exactly the middle of my journeys! Incredible how quickly time flies, and yet how many things happen in it…
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