Wednesday, 30 January 2013
The Mob and The Grand Canyon
As most people know organised crime was behind the early days of the gambling edifices erected in Las Vegas in the '50s and '60's. And mob history continues today in perhaps a less violent form and style. Having an interest in American history, old movies, and other aspects of American life I was pleased when my young friend discovered there was a 'Mob Museum' in downtown Las Vegas. So we made tracks to it yesterday morning. What a great museum it was. Located on three floors it was full of real artefacts interspersed with many informative video displays.
This is the actual courtroom where major members of the mob were sentenced - including the infamous Al Capone.
And this is probably not a real electric chair but it looks a bit frightening anyway.I had a go with a revolver by re-enacting a scene as if I was a law enforcement officer but failed on the first try. However I managed one out of three hits on the second - but was still taken out by the criminal!
After a couple of hours in the museum where we learned a lot about the history of America's major criminals and witnessed a great deal of very gory incidents by both film and wall- sized photographs, we took a taxi back to our hotel.And having heard all about 'Glitter Gulch' we paid a return trip in the evening after dark. The whole place - 4 blocks - becomes alive with colour every night as a million lights take over.
Today - Tuesday - was a memorable day. We had to be outside and waiting for our coach trip to the Grand Canyon at 6 in the morning. A brilliant clear blue sky soon dawned. On the way to the West side of the canyon we stopped for a while at a Navaho reservation.
Then on to Grand Canyon. Absolutely fantastic, it was even more spectacular than either of us had expected. And no restraining fences or any commercial enterprises to spoil the views. We clambered up and around the rocks and as the part of the canyon we were on formed a sort of horseshoe edifice, we could view the scene from three sides. I spent an hour or so stumbling around the rocks on our way to various vantage points. My young friend acted like a young gazelle as she nimbly climbed up and down over the boulders. I'll just show a few of the sights we saw.
It's hard to describe the feeling of seeing such an incredible feature of nature, but we both agreed it was the best part of being in Las Vegas. With all the millions spent on creating the beautiful buildings on the strip they could in no way match the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. After a while we were taken to a nearby ranch where we were given a somewhat interesting meal, and were entertained by a singing cowboy and a magician. Waylaid by a passing cowboy he did let me feel the weight of his gun.
It being our last night in Las Vegas we walked along to the Bellagio in the evening for dinner there, then tarried awhile on the way back to see the musical fountains in the massive lake outside the hotel. So that's it for a while as we head home tomorrow evening.