They say that Vegas never sleeps and while we were here, it felt like neither did we. After we arrived we thought we'd pop in to the Hoover Dam overlook since we had learned so much about the dam and Lake Mead at the Elderhostel. We did not realize that things had changed big time at that location. A large four lane divided highway feeds in to the road that goes over the dam and this has turned into a major traffic bottleneck. As we came around the corner we saw a massive bridge under construction that will funnel the traffic from a new road over the area avoiding the dam altogether. To pop in to that overlook we had to pay to park in a massive new parking deck and pay to go into the visitor's center to that overlook. But when we finally got there the view was great. Who knew?
Then we went back to the Strip to see the Cirque du Soleil show O at the Bellagio. We had seen this show before and were glad to have the chance to see it again. It's a tough show to describe. The theater was built specifically for this performance and it has a swimming pool that is sometimes beneath the stage and sometimes deep enough for divers perched forty feet above it. The athletic feats that Cirque shows are famous for took place overhead and under the water. The synchronized swimmers held their breaths so long we thought they would die beneath the water. We were glad that Hartmut enjoyed the show as much as we did.
In fact Hartmut seems to have enjoyed Las Vegas much more than we expected. We would not have brought him here, but the city is on the route between the national parks that are our goal. We know him to be a reserved man interested in classical music, ancient history and fine art. But the lights and color and opulence of Sin City worked its magic on him as well.
Today we went to the half price tickets booth and got tickets for Bette Midler's show. While it had some elements that would only make sense to Americans, it too was an over the top Vegas spectacular. She sang all her old favorites, made some witty topical comments, and included the trashy elements we've enjoyed on her TV specials. We walked our feet off seeing as many casinos and shops as possible both by day and in the neon lit night. Paris and Venice casinos were especially amusing for Hartmut. Seeing the Vegas version of cities he knows and loves tickles the funny bone.