Dam & Downtown

Holidays are for over indulging so the morning started with a mammoth feast at Spice Market Buffet, I took full advantage of the ‘all you can eat’ rules.

Feeling fuelled we piled in an SUV and ventured off the strip towards the border of Arizona and Nevada to see one of my favourite sights the Hoover Dam.

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The views en route are incredible with rolling sandy hills that can be spotted far into the distance. We arrived to what I can only describe as heat you could fry an egg on the ground, no exaggeration the sign agrees.

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So before we turned into boiled or fried eggs we whizzed around the jaw-dropping sight. The Hoover Dam began construction back in 1931 during the great depression; the resurrection of the dam meant thousands of people worked on it and sadly one hundred workers lost their lives during this extensive project.

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Located next to the dam is Lake Mead the USA’s largest reservoir. The Hoover Dams generators serve Nevada, Arizona and California with power services.

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John L Savage an engineer designed the massive concrete arch gravity dam. The Dam has a reputation for being one of the greatest pieces of engineering that showcased 1930s artistry.

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An art deco style can be seen in elements inside and outside the dam. The first concrete was poured into the dam in 1933, after tunnels had been built to divert the Colorado River.

We toured inside where you can understand the operation of the generators.

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The engineering works are mind baffling especially when you think about the risks involved in forming this gigantic construction. The memorial bridge creates the perfect backdrop to the striking setting.

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We obviously couldn’t resist in having a few cheeky snaps by the dam.

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We crossed into the Arizona border, admiring the towers and turquoise beaming waters.

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With temperatures reaching unbearable levels we aborted the dam heat.

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Instead of heading back to the main strip, I wanted to take a trip Downtown to check out the weird and wonderful sights that lurk within.

Downtown is where the gambling district originally began before the Strip landed, there is instantly a different dynamic in the old town and has an energy that entices you to stay.

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For starters you’ll see sights you couldn’t phantom seeing in the middle of the day possibly anywhere else on the planet. Fremont Street is where the original casinos are located, full of neon glimmering lights, slot machines that actually disburse coins and is a prime people watching spot.

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The Golden Nugget is where I stayed at the beginning of my trip Viva Las Vegas. It is one of the largest casinos downtown and also one of the oldest. The exterior is plastered with a gold faceted exterior, it’s bright wacky and quite simply tacky.

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The interior is equally as eccentric as the exterior, but is all part of the charm of downtown.

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The Golden Nugget holds the world’s largest golden nugget, named the Hand of Faith and was found back in the 1980s by one lucky man.

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Admiring solid forms of gold is an incredible sight but my real excitement was the outdoor pool.

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Drum roll please, imagine a pool that overlooks a metallic gold wall, framed by palm trees and located in the centre of the pool a SHARK TANK.

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If that isn’t crazy enough there is a transparent slide that runs straight through the tank. I couldn’t help but wish I were a fly on the wall in the conceptual meeting where one imaginative human decided this should happen.

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Once my curiosity subsided, I stripped off and went swimming with the sharks.

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Best…

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slide…

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ever!

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Once we dried off we headed back onto Fremont Street, we debated where to stop for a bite and passed the Heart Attack Grill.

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Guests that weigh over 350 lbs get to eat for free, and as you enter you get to hop yourself on a scale to see if you are fat enough for a freebie.

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Sadly Lauren didn’t even get a little bit close!

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Fremont Street is buzzing with people dressed in costumes, magicians attempting tricks and adrenaline junkies zip-wiring above the old strip.

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We tested out some slushy cocktails in this rather fitting glass.

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In the evening the LED canopy above comes to life with a visual light show projecting incredible imagery and injecting music into the entire street.

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All movement on the street stopped as everyone paused to watch the show above.

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Flashes of lightning lit up the canopy, creating one hell of a bang for the last night in Vegas.

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