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A taste of Las Vegas

CHINA | Sunday, 27 March 2011 | Views [400]

After striking off the places we'd seen yesterday from the tourist map, we worked on a plan to see the unseen places. First we got a taxi to Casa house and gardens - a gallery in a lovely old mansion, however, it was under renovations and we only got to see the building, not the historical pieces. The gardens were not worth mentioning. Next door, we walked around the old Protestant Church and cemetary with graves dating back 300 years. The writing has been preserved and it was interesting to read the cases of some peoples deaths - a lot were American sailors but also missionaries and others from Europe. The church was tiny and probably the only one around in contrast to the numerous, grand Catholic Churches. St Augustines was are next stop on the way down hill to St Paul's ruins again. We had been clever and ordered the taxi driver to drop us at the top of the hill so we could work our way down! Next we visited the interesting Monte Forte (also hundred of years old and once a viewpoint to look all around the island for intruders). Of course, today you can only see the water in some directions through the high rise. The museum there is brilliant. Dare I say, that curators from the Brisbane Museum should visit this museum as well as the fabulous one in HK to get some ideas for sprucing up our aging displays ie those green turtles in the 30 year old marine display! We spent over 2 hours here so allow a little time of you visit - highly recommended for kids too as lots of interactive displays and replica houses etc. Outside the museum, we enjoyed a giant croissant filled with salad and beef - our lunch at 3 in the afternoon. After a rest in our hotel, we walked to Fisherman's Wharf for a look - probably a hive of activity on weekends, it was dead for us, midweek though there was alot of closed shops and we felt like it had had it's day and was strugglng to survive. Not really worth the effort though kids may like the fake roman ruins, giants causeway, tudor style buildings etc. Dressed up after a clean up and took a taxi to the Wynn Casino - have moved up to 5 star facilities now. It was like a shopping mall full of (expensive) restaurants, high end fashion shops and an official Ferrari shop (was thinking of you Oliver!) After dinner in their "Cafe" (at $30+ a pop), we stumbled across their 'show'. In the lobby, we had seen an ornate ceiling of gold leaf animals and now it had come to life. We felt like we were in a movie set - maybe like "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The ceiling peeled away and a light show began which transformed into Chandelier-like jewels falling from the sky at times looking like a spaceship coming to suck every one up. Then, trees started emerging from the floor- gold at first then turning into a brilliant lush green forest. The show was spectacular - probably worth a visit just for this but unfortunately children can't enter to see it. Took to the thick pile carpets to try out one of many pokies and wasted away $15 AUD each enjoying our surroundings as we did so. The atmosphere here was a lot more interesting than at our hotel and we were glad we made the effort to visit. As we left, a water show, to classical music, began outdoors in the Wynn's oversized pond (everything was on a big scale). It too was delightful. $47AUDollars later we were back in our comfy room. This was our biggest (and most exy) night out on this trip but another lovely experience.

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