Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things I found interesting in Las Vegas

After I left the Fountains of Bellagio, I walked up the strip to check out the volcano at the Mirage. On the way I walked past the front of the Venetian and caught this scene.

I waited across the street from the Mirage and I caught the hourly eruption of their volcano. I could feel the heat from the bigger blasts. If you click on the second picture, move back a little so you don't get your hair singed.

I keep hearing reports about how the tourism has dropped off in the past few months, here in Las Vegas. Well, by the looks of traffic on the strip, there is no shortage of traffic.

Las Vegas is famous for its bright lights and, of course, gambling, nightlife and overall accessibility of all things sinful. But, if you are my age or older, you will remember that Las Vegas was also famous for the atomic testing that occurred 65 miles outside of town. So I took a nostalgic tour through the Atomic Testing Museum.

The tour begins with a two-minute video that is presented on three screens and explains the reasoning for the establishment of the NTS (Nevada Test Site) and its involvement in the Cold War, as well as a brief history of the NTS. From there, a succession of galleries continue to bring to life the story of atomic testing with brilliant displays of safety gear, testing devices and a comprehensive list of all operations carried out at the NTS.

I was transported back in time to when I watched a live broadcast on KTLA of an early morning blast where they placed military personnel out in the test zone to see the effects. They do not allow a person to take cameras into the museum, so here is a picture that was in their hand-out you get as you enter.

Another place I found interesting is their monorail system. It is completely computer controlled and works great. When you ride you get to see what other people have to do a lot of walking to see....the back sides of a bunch of casinos!

On very fascinating thing to me was to watch the way the rails switch so that trains can reverse direction and get on the other rail. The picture on the left is a train coming north into the Sahara station. The rails then pivot to align the rails so when the train departs south out of the station, it will be traveling on the south bound rail.

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