Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year 2011


From Spanish city of Bilbao ( with a photo of the Guggenheim museum ) I wish you all happy new year !

Maciek.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Arrábida bridge

Arrábida 500 meters long bridge, constructed in 1963, is still a proof of perfect human engineering and a piece of modern art. It is the youngest, longest, and westernmost of the three spectacular bridges that span across the Douro river in the heart of city of Porto. 2000 meters further west the river meets the Atlantic ocean. In fact the bridge has become a part of our life being our everyday window neighbour. Photographed on the cold December evening from our house. Date: December 26th, 2010. Maciek.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Water: wild but somehow so well organized

This is the photo I took a couple of days ago close to the old lighthouse at the mouth of the Douro river, Porto, Portugal. That day the water waves were high, ferocious and ready to kill anyone that dare to enter it. The water was wild hitting the lighthouse strong that day. To the naked human eye it was perceived as the state of absolute chaos. But on a 2 second long exposition photograph long parallel water lines appeared. This phenomenon is due to the physical structure of the H2O molecule which has charged ( positive and negative ) parts. These opposite charges are attracted to each other that holds water molecules together. Date: December 23rd , 2010. Maciek.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

One day to Christmas: Garden Flowers

Our garden December flowers: the wine color bracts with tiny flowers of Bougainvillea and large and conspicuous, up to 12 cm in diameter Camellia pink flowers. Photographed at noon at our garden. December 23rd, 2010. Maciek.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Two days to Christmas. A violet night.


My afternoon trip to Torrão do Lameiro, 40 kilometers south of Porto, Portugal. The lake and sky flooded with violet light.

Location: Torrão do Lameiro, Portugal Coast.



Gear: Nikon D80

Aperture: f/20 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 13 mm
ISO: 160

Date Taken: Wednesday, December 22th, 2010, 18:04
Maciek.

Monday, 20 December 2010

A conversation


Two people taking over the beach stairs at Granja, Portugal Atlantic coast. Winter weather and wild sea below. Photographed on Monday early afternoon.

Location: Granja, Portugal Coast.



Gear: Nikon D80

Aperture: f/22 Exposure bias: 0 EV
Focal Length: 16 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Monday, December 20th, 2010, 16:27
Maciek.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The lone red light




A lonely red light lighthouse standing starkly against winter sea and sky. Photographed at the small fishermen´s port of Agueda, Portugal Atlantic coast. Sunday night.

Location: Agueda, Portugal Coast.



Gear: Nikon D80, ND soft 0.6, a tripod standing in the water.

Aperture: f/25 Exposure bias: - 1/3 EV
Focal Length: 13 mm
ISO: 200

Date Taken: Sunday, Dezember 19th, 2010, 18:19
Maciek.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

One day in Covilhã with cirrus duplicatus

Sheets of cirrus duplicatus clouds at different layers of the atmosphere, Covilhã, central Portugal.

The story behind: Standing in the center of old part of the small mountainous town of Covilhã and being surprised by these delicate net of high level clouds I took my camera and shoot a photo. Low temperatures, crystal clear views , snow covered mountain peaks and orange trees ready for harvest always make me feel happy here. This is my place - I thought.




Location: Covilhã, central Portugal. Serra Estrela mountains.

Gear: Nikon D80.

Aperture: f/9 Exposure bias: 0
Focal Length: 12 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Friday, December 17th, 2010, 13:50
Maciek.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

One more afternoon with my boats





Location: Murtosa, Portugal.


Gear: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20 mm

Aperture: f/22 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Thursday, December 09th, 2010, 16:15
Maciek.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My weekend flight to Azores Islands.


The sudden small rainbow appeared before my eyes close to Arrifes village, Portugal.

The story behind: Last Friday I took a flight from Porto to Ponta Delgada to the main Azorean Island of São Miguel. I had little expectation as far as taking photos was concerned because winter weather struck the islands very hard. How harsh can winters be on the islands ? - you may ask. Oh yes, they can be pretty harsh - I would reply.


A couple of days ago the Westernmost island of the archipelago, the small island of Corvo, was cut off from the exterior world for 18 days ! No flight or boat could reach the island and its population of 500 people. Gusty winds and 1o meters high waves struck the island really hard.

As I landed in Ponta Delgada the sky was covered with heavy clouds and it was raining. No photos this time, I murmured. Until Sunday the weather was practically the same. In the early afternoon as I was driving and approaching a small settlement of Arrifes, suddenly the sky opened up and I got this view in front of my eyes. Thank you Lord - I thought.


Location: Arrifes, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80.

Aperture: f/8 Exposure bias: 0
Focal Length: 14 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Sunday, December 12th, 2010, 12:47
Maciek.

Friday, 10 December 2010

A midweek getaway

The sunset over the Ria do Aveiro lake close to Murtosa village, Portugal.

The story behind: After a week of the almost continuous raining finally the sun was back. These wet days with almost 100% of humidity coming from the Atlantic ocean don´t allow you even to think of getting out or taking landscape photos. So yesterday when the sun and our mild winter temperatures of 18º C were back, I didn´t hesitate too long and packed the gear and drove south from Porto. I arrived the the site quite early ( at mid day ) so I had plenty of time to walk and explore. I started at the southern part of the village and walked along the beach until in the late afternoon I found this small and beautiful fishermen´s boat parked. The sky was covered with clouds on different attitudes that helped very much with beautiful light-diffusion, turning the atmosphere very red, something I'm only used to seeing in winter. The sun was behind the clouds. The higher clouds were actually moving quite quickly yet there was little or no wind which made the mild evening temperatures quite comfortable. The water was calm but the high tide was moving quickly so I had to rush things up and started shooting photos.


PS. A photo awarded front page of www.onephoto.net , http://plfoto.com/top.html and http://www.obiektywni.pl/


Also "Photo of the day" at http://photomediaworld.com/







Location: Murtosa, Portugal.


Gear: Nikon D80, ND Grad soft 0.3, ND Grad 0.6 hard inverse, tripod.

Aperture: f/22 Exposure bias: -0.7 EV
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Thursday, December 09th, 2010, 17:30
Maciek.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Friday night: a delicate sunset

A couple on the pier and the old lighthouse that guards the mouth of the Douro river. It was a very quite sunset with a delicate sky tonight. Porto, Portugal.



Location: Porto, Portugal.


Gear: Nikon D80, ND soft 0.3, ND 0.6 hard, tripod, rubber boots.

Aperture: f/22 Exposure bias: -0.3 EV
Focal Length: 11 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: Friday, December 3rd, 2010, 17:54
Maciek.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Wednesday evening


Atlantic coast during low tide. On the horizon distant lights of the Espinho coast city can be seen.

A late afternoon stroll on the beach somewhere between Granja and Espinho ( Portuguese Atlantic coast ). The low tide reveals strange rocky formation. The low tide-high tide amplitude can reach as much as 4 meters. Although we have been living by the cost and seeing tides for more than 11 years, predicting the exact time of low and high tide can be tricky. It depends on ever varying Earth–Sun and Earth–Moon distances, coastal line, sea depth ect. Location: Granja, Portugal Coast.



Gear: Nikon D80, ND soft 0.6, ND 0.3 hard, tripod

Aperture: f/25 Exposure bias: 0 EV
Focal Length: 13 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: December 1st, 2010, 18:07
Maciek.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Tuesday night


Lord of the Stone chapel.

Tuesday night. A typical November scenery for an Atlantic coast area. I arrived at the spot quite early. First started shooting photos from the other angle but got bored. I thought of a something new. I went into the water, being slightly and repeatedly hit by waves. It also took a couple of kilograms of weight to stabilize the tripod but the results were amazing. Location: Granja, Portugal Coast.



Gear: Nikon D80, ND soft 0.6, tripod

Aperture: f/14 Exposure bias: - 1/3 EV
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO: 200

Date Taken: November 23rd, 2010, 18:14
Maciek.

Monday, 22 November 2010

My photo included in the printed version of the 2011 calendar

I am happy to announce that one of my photos from Ireland was included in the printed version of the 2011 calendar. I am very, very proud. http://www.fotoirlandia.com/kalendarz/ demo version here: http://www.fotoirlandia.com/kalendarz/demo/

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

One more photo from the Vale Furado beach.


High yellow sand cliffs overlooking the Vale Furado beach, close to the city of Nazare, central Portugal.




Date: Nov 13, 2010

839×568 pixels – 141KB
Model: NIKON D80, tripod, ND 0.6 hard. ISO: 100 Exposure: 2.0 sec Aperture: 22.0 Focal Length: 10mm Flash Used: No Maciek.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Lisbon, the second day.

After a short morning walk in the oldest district of Lisbon, the Alfama, where my wife went a little bonkers looking for a pretty kitchen stuff in small shops for her photographic kitchen displays (Kuchnianadatlantykiem.com) we returned to the Chiado district.
Alfama - the oldest but most picturesque Lisbon´s district.
We decided to have a lunch in the restaurant located on the top floor of "Hotel do Chiado". This is one of the greatest charms of Lisbon: you can sit on the terrace with lovely views over Lisbon and the Tejo river, slowly sip the local Portuguese wine, snacking cheeses and bread. Restaurant "Entretanto" ( which in Portuguese means : "So ...") with a kitchen set up by winning the best Portugese cook 2009 award, Igor Marinho, was worth a try. We drunk Fiuza 3 Castas red wine, with lovely strong, very fruity smell and notes of many spices in the mouth. Wine was short but was perfectly synchronized with both my Argentinian stake as well as with Agnieszka´s bacalhao fish.
Views from the terrace over the city were beautiful. Straight ahead you one could see the castle of Lisbon and below Rossio neighborhood and to the left the cathedral and the river Tejo.
The weather was good. It was a lovely afternoon. Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010. Maciek.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A swirling vortex of entropy or the Black Hole.

The dark is falling upon the Vale Furado beach.



Location: High yellow sand cliffs overlooking the Vale Furado beach, close to the city of Nazare, central Portugal. ( a google map ). The wind, occasional rain and high waves photographed just after the sunset.
Gear: Nikon D80
Exposure bias: 0 EV Aperture: F/11
ISO: 320
Date Taken: Saturday, November 13th, 2010, 18:30

Maciek.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Three days in Lisbon and Cabo da Roca ( part 1 )


Elevador da Bica ( Bica funicular ) in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
It was a quick decision: we packed our thing and drove south. Two and a half hour´s later we arrived in Chiado/Bairo Alto, the most beautiful district of old Lisbon. The weather was great. Some clouds in the sky but November temperatures in their high teens. Later we had a wonderful 2 hours long lunch at the Ibo Restaurant with the view over the Tejo river. This is one of the best places in Lisbon to taste Mozambican flavors. Simple things like good company, nice weather, relaxing atmosphere, a lot of light inside restaurant and a bottle of a wonderful white Quinta da Bacalhoa 2008 wine made these moments truly unforgettable. After lunch we had a relaxing stroll up and around elegant Chiado neighborhood not so much packed with tourist at this off-peak season time of year. Date: Friday, 12th November, 2010. Maciek.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Tenerife Opera House ( detailed )


Tenerife opera house in Santa Cruz and a plane taking off from the local airport.

Spanish architect Santiago Catalarva´s masterpiece.




Recommended photo at www.photomediaworld.com




Maciek.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Tenerife Opera House


Amazing modern architecture of Tenerife ( Santa Cruz ) opera house. Wave-lake famous Spanish architect Santiago Catalarva´s masterpiece.


Location: Self-portrait. Santa Cruz, Tenerife Island, Spain.



Gear: Nikon D80, ND soft 0.3

Aperture: f/14 Exposure bias: - 1/3 EV
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO: 100

Date Taken: November 2nd, 2010, 18:35
Maciek.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Autumn break at Tenerife

A mid-day view over the Teide mountain with sea fog flooding the valleys.


We are back from our first autumn break this year. I got really mixed feeling about Tenerife.

Pros: There are not too many of these. We tasted a couple of local wines and found our favorite: a red
Suertes del Marques made on the northern slopes of the island from the unknown for us before vine Listan. Floatarium in our Spa was definitely a place to be - a wonderful pool with high concentration of dissolved mineral salts where you can float endlessly and lose yourself in a state of infinite abyss- it was absolutely relaxing ( but obviously had nothing to do with a Tenerife island ). Mountain of Teide ( 3,715 m ) , the highest elevation in Spain, and the surrounding post-volcanic landscape of black sharp rocks were quite interesting. You can drive through it with a moderate interest and take some photos.

Cons: Herds of tourist were everywhere ( and we are still receiving those skewed news about an "economical crisis", don´t we ? ). There are infinite number of horrible hotels designed for mass-tourism located all over the coastal areas. Main avenues close to the beaches are outlined with an never-ending strip of ugly bars, crappy restaurants, gift-shops and "bazaars" - all with primitive aluminum walls, plastic chairs offering a non-recognizable kind of "international cuisine". All over the island there is a spread of chaotic urbanization. The Spanish villages don´t look nice ether.




The verdict: We have already traveled to other islands of the Canaries before. In 2006 we found two islands: Fuertaventura and Lanzarote together with the Kempinski hotel where we stayed quite nice. But Tenerife turned out to be an not-so-pleasant place to be. We probably will never go back there again.




Maciek.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Walking the hills of São Miguel island


Me walking the top of steep hills close to Lagos de Fogo. São Miguel Island. Portugal.


Location: Thursday morning walk. I met a lot of wind and constantly changing weather conditions which are so typical for this of of the highest areas of the São Miguel island. That morning I started from the road EN24 and begin a slow descent to the Rocha dos Campos village ( here is a google map ). We are heading tonight for a couple of days to Tenerife island so I hope to bring some nice pictures back here.
Gear: Nikon D80
Exposure bias: - 1/3 EV
ISO: 100
Date Taken: October 21th, 2010, 10:55

Maciek.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Islands in the Autumn

 
Mosteiros beach in rain. São Miguel Island.

Location: The summer was over and dark clouds from the western Atlantic appeared on the Azores skies. I stood that night taking photos in the rain, beaten by wind and waves. My camera and filters were soaking. But it was all worth it. Awarded the front page of http://onephoto.net/?p0=2&p1=6 Photographed at the beach of Mosteiros, Westernmost part of the São Miguel island, Azores, Portugal.


Gear: Nikon D80, ND hard 0.6

Aperture: f/11 Exposure bias: +1/3 EV

Shutter speed: 2 sec

Focal Length: 11 mm

ISO: 100

Date Taken: October 20th, 2010, 19:55
PS. Also awarded the front page of http://www.obiektywni.pl/

Maciek.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Day 9 and 10: The Napa Valley

We spent two days riding up and down the Napa and Russian Valleys. We´ve tasted old Zinfandel wines, been to small family run wineries in Dry Creek Valley and visited big Disneyland-like wine producers in Oakville. Just two days of fun, talks in tasting rooms, meeting nice people, eating in Don Giovani restaurant. Swirl, sniff and spit...
Photos from the Robert Mondavi winery.
Maciek.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Day 11: Sacramento and Columbia State Historic Park

After leaving city of Napa we drove to Sacramento, a capital of the California State. Sacramento old town turned out to be very pleasant. We parked the car, walked the streets along the riverfront with19th century style beautifully renovated shops, cobblestone roads, antique houses. It was all simple and rustic beauty that used to epitomize the Old West the way I like it very much. Afterwards we went to the small Rush Era museum where we meet a very nice lady who was working there. She told us a story of Sacramento as the epicenter of the 19th century California gold rush with such an enthusiasm that we fall in love with Sacramento at ones. There are many wonderful things about the United Stated we have been slowly discovering during out trips to this country over the last 6 years. World-famous natural landmarks, big cities, nice restaurants with free refills, general feeling of safety while you travel and many more, but none is more outstanding than the friendliness of the people. All the people you meet are friendly, kind and with an immediate will to bing you help.
Sacramento old district.
From the Sacramento we took highway 41 scenic road south. The landscape was nice with groves of trees, old farm houses and pastures. This was the land when California Gold Rush took place. In 1984 the gold was discovered in the creeks here up the mountains and people went crazy. Almost overnight 40.000 people poured into this area. In a decade 400.000 people looked for gold in this hills. Some of the towns are being preserved as they were at the time. One of the most intriguing places to explore is old Columbia, now turned into a State Historic Park.
Gold Rush Era general store at Columbia.
Maciek.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Day 12: Yosemite National Park, the Tunnel View



Tunnel View.
This is one of the most photographed views of the Yosemite Park. We are standing on the west edge of the valley looking east. From the left: El Capitan with its massive 1400 m wall of rock ( the world´s largest exposed rock ), Half Dome in the middle standing 1600 meters above valley floor, Cathedral Spirals peaks with its Bridaveil Fall merely visible in the summer.

Maciek.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Day 13: The Yosemite National Park

Valley View near Pohono bridge, Merced river, late afternoon. From the left: El Capitan, Cathedral Spires with a Bridalveil falls.
We have already been to Yosemite in 2005 but that year only managed to see its Northern part: the Tuolumne Meadows. This time we were coming to see and explore the best of the Park: the famous Yosemite Valley. It is an extraordinary experience to find yourself face-to-face with what is considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The panoramas, white-granite monumental walls of rock, denim blue lakes and rivers, meadows, falls: all was sensational. In the afternoon I drove to the Park. With a dying sun behind me, long shadows from the trees and expansive views of the Yosemite I stopped at Valley View ( above ), took off my camera and shot a picture. Unfortunately there is no camera in the world that can picture the true beauty of the Valley I have seen from the bank of the Merced river that day. Maciek.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Day 14: The Big Sur, cont.

Bus Sur close to San Simone village.
We spent the night at Fresno, in the middle of San Joaquin Valley. In the morning we drove west crossing the vast valley with never ending fields of corn and orange trees stretching up to the horizon. The landscape didn´t improve until Reef city. Finally the big plain has finished and we started climbing the lazy hills of Diablo Coast Range. Paso Robles is a famous wine growing region. The vines were introduced here by the Spanish settlers as early as 1797 but gained more notoriety when Ignacy Paderewski, the famous Polish statesman and concert pianist became enchanted with the area, and planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio Vineyard. From Paso Robles the winding road took us down to the Pacific coast and soon we entered the Big Sur. The views over the rocky cliffs, fog and angry sea below were splendid.
Big Sur squirrel.
Maciek.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Day 14: The Big Sur, California.

McWay Falls where we stopped and walked through the State Park. Highway 1, Big Sur, California.
About 200 km south of San Francisco the US Highway 1 ( also known as Pacific Coast Highway) drives through a magnificent scenery. Welcome to the Big Sur. The area is flanked by the steep Santa Lucia Mountains to the east and the rocky Pacific Coast and vastness of the biggest ocean on the planet to the west. Dozen of state parks, hundreds of vista points, some wilderness areas, a few beautifully located cafeterias ( in one of them we had a wonderful lunch with our friends ), falls, lighthouses and some spectacular bridges; it all makes the journey unforgettable.
Big Sur is famous for its thick summer fog.

Maciek.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Day 15: The Google headquarters

We spent the night at the hotel at the Marina Beach, California, somewhere between Monterey and Santa Cruz. It was raining a little ( that kind of rain that humiliates you and makes your umbrella completely useless ) and some wind was blowing from the ocean. From our hotel window we should have been able to see the beach but all we could recognize was dark skies and pale sand dunes rotten by the wind. After breakfast we left the hotel and headed north, passed Watsonville and soon arrived at the famous Silicon Valley. The valley is quite vast stretching from north to south between the Diablo Range and San Mateo coastline hills. It is home to many of the world´s best Internet and IT companies. We headed for the Mountain View to see the headquarters of Google.
My son Lukasz at the Googleplex.
To our little surprise Google occupies a modest number of 3-stories high office buildings, not so fancy and not so special as you can expect from one of the world´s biggest companies. There were bicycles and scooters lying free on the grass in every possible corner of the lawn and beside the office entrances, some volleyball courts and a lot of green areas to keep the Googlers healthy and productive. Although nothing exceptional but I liked it. It was like actually "touching" and "seeing" the virtual reality of the Internet. I also hoped that the actual proximity to some of the best and beautiful Googlers minds will make me a little smarter. Maciek.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Portugal in mid-September


Sunset at the Ria do Aveiro lake, Portugal.
I am taking a small break with my holiday diary to present one of my latest work. I will be back with "2010 Trip to America" the first 10 days very soon. A story behind: I went back to my favorite photo location where peace and serenity prevails. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset as I did that night. Location: Ria do Aveiro, Portugal.

Gear: Nikon D80, Tamron 28-75 mm

Aperture: f/22

Shutter speed: 2 sec


Focal Length: 30 mm


ISO: 400


Date Taken: September 21th, 2010, 20:07 Maciek.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Day 30: Beaver

City Hall, Beaver, Utah - perfect small town America.


That was to be our last day of the trip. The next morning we were to embark on the flight to Boston. On our way back to Salt Lake City we stopped for the night at a small hotel in the town of Beaver.
Elk Meadows in the Filshlake National Forest.
Beaver turned out to be an excellent small town. One main street, clean rich houses, nice XIXth century old red brick city hall, a golf and a football fields, nice people, old fashioned restaurants. All put in the shade of the Fishlake National Forest. That was the most perfect "small town America" we have ever encountered.
Wild animal warning.
In the evening we drove up the mountains to the Puffer Lake. The lake was nothing special but the road up and down the hill was scenic. We passed the Elk Meadows ski area, meet some wind animals wandering by the street and later got back home.
A small, by the road hotel we stayed.
What a pleasant and relaxing day it was. Maciek.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Day 29: Kolob Canyons

Kolob Canyons main pink road.
After two days in Las Vegas we hit the road again, drove north and landed at the Kolob Canyons. This is a little known part of the Zion National Park. It is so little visited that we found " Went for lunch" sticker at the gate of the Visitors Center, so we moved on up the main road. The views over the towering red rock formations were stupendous. The "hanging valley" - a small valley with green trees squized beetween two massive mountain walls ( so called finger canyons ) very high up the canyon looked breathtakingly beautiful.
Kolob Canyons Viewpoint: on the right - Gregory Butte 2348 m.
Maciek.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Day 27 and 28: Las Vegas, Nevada ( gambling ).

The Caesar´s Palace Casino main room.
When one says Vegas, the first thing that comes to every mind is gambling!
Circus, circus hotel and Casino entrance.
We also gambled. Agnieszka took a 1 dollar bill, win some extra bucks got excited and then... lost everything. It was fun.
Old lady at the gambling machine in New York, New York Casino.
Maciek.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Day 27 and 28: Las Vegas, Nevada ( sight-seeing )

Venetian hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Zion National Park was beautiful, but after two weeks of looking at the rocks, gorges, deserts... we had enough. We decided that we need some fun. The decision was quick. We took the Interstate 15 and headed south. After 3 hours we landed in Las Vegas.
Hotel and Casino New York, New York at night.
It was out third visit to Las Vegas but the city still dazzled us. When you enter the city the very first thing you realize is how big, busy and well done it is. Everything is new and shiny and when you arrive at night the city lights can not be compared to any other place in the world. Driving the main street at night with millions and millions of lights is like an electric miracle, like being in one big Disneyland. It´s wonderful. Walking the street is different. First there are tourists: thousands of them all around you with money bulging out of their pockets. There is certainly no economic crisis in America as far as Las Vegas is concerned. Then you must also expect some scam. There are people at every nook and corner ( mostly Mexican looking ) offering you to book the cheapest ticket and hotel package or the best hooker.
Venetian hotel interiors, the Caesar´s Palace hotel.
Then you do ( like we did this time ) hotel sight-seeing. Sounds crazy ? But in fact it is fun. The hotels are huge, beautifully decorated, with shops, casinos, concert halls, zoos, entertainment and restaurants. In fact some of the hotels are better than the places they imitate. Take for instance the Venetian: the signature canals, gondola rides, fresco ceilings... might be better and cleaner than the original. Don´t forget that Las Vegas hosts also many internationally recognized top quality restaurants. So that day we poked around a dozen of hotels: started with Stardust Shopping Center, passed the Treasure Island with an open-air pirate show going every hour, crossed the Strip to see the Venetian-Pallazo hotel and Paris hotels, went to see the famous staircase of the Caesar´s Palace hotels. Soon we got hungry so for lunch we went to Paris, Paris hotel buffet. A long queue to enter, well organized, very wide food selection but ....well it is always a buffet so dont´t expect too much. In the afternoon we knocked around the New York, New York hotel with its famous roller coaster, explored the Medieval style Excalibur, see the lions at the MGM hotel and later on took a sky bridge to Mandalay Bay hotel. After the sunset the fountain sound and light show at the Bellagio hotel was marvelous. Maciek.