Las Vegas’ Neon Boneyard: A Beginners Guide

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Anything can go out of fashion, including casino signs. And in Vegas, when something goes out of style, it’s tossed. Fortunately though, many of Vegas’ most famous casinos kept hold of their ‘out of date’ signs and they are now on display at ‘The Neon Boneyard’.

This two-acre outdoor museum is home to almost 200 signs which lean up against each other as a tribute to the glitz and glam of Las Vegas days gone by. At $19 per adult and a short taxi drive from The Strip, it is –in my opinion- a must-see addition to any Vegas holiday.

When should you go?

Self-guided tours are not permitted due to the possibility of broken glass and other potentially dangerous things about the place; you must book a slot with a tour guide. Tours run all day from 10:30-2100, so when is the best time to go? After reading reviews online, we decided against the more expensive ($25) night-time tours. The vast majority of the signs don’t work anymore and are lit up with spotlights on the ground instead. This doesn’t really replicate the original working lights plus you can’t see the characteristic flaking paint and blown bulbs, which is part of the charm of the place- you can see working signs on the strip, after all.

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neonboneyard-lostness-co-ukPersonally, I think the signs look best at around sunset. The golden light simply dazzles off the signs and reminds you that you are stood in the middle of the desert. That sepia tone the sun casts and the characteristic ‘run down’ nature of the place is reminiscent of Wild West movies.

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History is not something that people usually associate with Las Vegas, but it’s there if you look for it. So if you’re missing a bit of culture, step away from the slot machines and head over to The Neon Boneyard, and make sure you have plenty of memory on your camera, you won’t stop taking pictures.

You can book a tour through the Neon Boneyard’s website here. Or call them on (702) 387-6366.

 

 

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3 Must-Do Icelandic Day Trips: The Essential Tours for the First-Time Icelandic Tourist

3MustDoIcelandicDayTripsLostness.co.uk

There are certain people who regard ‘tours’ as ‘not real travelling’. Please do not listen to this snobbish garbage. Tours are awesome. Sure, there is something more adventurous about hiring a car and discovering everything by yourself, but sometimes tours are the most cost-efficient and time-efficient way of seeing what a country has to offer. Plus there’s no need to worry about flat tyres and arguing about directions. Win/win.

Our trip to Iceland was short and limited to a relatively tight budget (no £300pp helicopter lava tours for us!), so we went to the local tourist information centre and, after looking through the vast array of tours, decided on just 3: The Golden Circle, The Blue Lagoon and The South Coast Tour. Here’s a rundown of what each tour had to offer…

  1. The Golden Circle Tour 8360 ISK (£46 pp)

Surprise surprise! Of course we were going to pick The Golden Circle Tour! You can’t speak to any Icelandic tourist without hearing them say ‘Oooh have you done The Golden Circle yet?’ So, we had to see what all the fuss is about. The trip included:

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Þingvellir National Park

  • Þingvellir National Park. UNESCO world Heritage site.

Iceland is smack bang in between two tectonic plates. At this amazing place, you can see the gaping crater where these two plates are tearing apart from one another. It’s also where the old Viking Parliament used to gather. Cooler than the Houses of Commons, that’s for sure.

  • The Geysir Area

You know all those people who go on holiday to Iceland and come back with super cool snaps of an erupting geyser? They almost definitely took them here. Strokkur is the name of the geyser which erupts every 8-10 minutes. So get that camera at the ready!

  • Gullfoss

Gullfoss (meaning ‘Golden Falls’ in English) is often considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. It certainly is beautiful, but if you go in the winter, pack your coat; the water spray in the arctic wind is brisk!

Overall: It’s not difficult to see why The Golden Circle Tour is the most popular day tour in Iceland. We booked our tour through Sterna Travel, and we were so happy we did. Our tour guide was truly a fountain of knowledge, with a real passion and energy for Icelandic history.

*A bonus with this trip*: it departs from The Harpa, so arrive an hour early and take a look around Reykjavík’s beautiful concert hall!

  1. The Blue Lagoon 9700 ISK (£53 pp)

Another classic. But…a pricey one. Like The Golden Circle Tour, The Blue Lagoon is synonymous with Icelandic tourism. It’s world famous and on every must-see Iceland guide going. It was for this reason, that we knew we’d visit the Blue Lagoon before we even departed the UK. But is it worth the price? 9700 ISK got us:

  • Bus transfers to and from Reykjavík
  • Admission to The Blue Lagoon

And that’s it. Compared with The Golden Circle, this can seem pretty steep. But you have to remember that The Blue Lagoon is a spa, and spas are expensive. In fact, in relation to other spas around the world, this price actually isn’t that bad, especially as it includes transport. To make the most of your money, incorporate your visit in your airport transfer– you will zoom right past it on your journey from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík anyway!

*Tip*: Visit The Blue Lagoon at dusk (season permitting!). It is a less busy time and you will get to see the Lagoon’s beauty both in the daylight and darkness.

  1. The South Coast Tour 12,255 ISK (£67 pp)

This tour was the best value for money by a long shot. It was a 10-hour trip, which stopped off at five locations, each of them better than the next. Here’s the rundown of what to expect:

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Jo behind Seljalandsfoss

  • Seljalandsfoss

This is a beautiful little waterfall that you can actually walk behind. Bring a waterproof jacket though, there is no avoiding the spray behind the falls; this is the first stop and you do not want to begin your 10-hour journey cold and wet!

  • Skógafoss

Another waterfall! Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland. It’s English translation is ‘forest falls’ (“because of all the trees” our tour guide claimed sarcastically). This is a really impressive waterfall that has an almost constant rainbow effect from the masses of gushing water. If you don’t mind heights, you can even climb up the side of fall- watch your footing on the wet rocks though!

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Jasper sat on the rock formations at Reynisfjara

  • Reynisfjara

This south coast beach is known for it’s charcoal-black sand and beautiful basalt rock formations. It is also known for its aggressive waves, which only this year fatally swept up a tourist. This is a beautiful beach, but keep a safe distance from the unpredictable water.

  • Cape Dyrhólaey

This is the southernmost point of Iceland and offers beautiful views of the ocean, more volcanic back sand and amazing arched rock formations. Depending on the season, this is also a popular puffin hangout.

  • Sólheimajökull

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    Sólheimajökull Glacier

This was the last stop on our tour. Sólheimajökull is a large melting glacier, and although our tour did not include the glacier walk (maybe next time!), simply viewing it was amazing in itself.

Overall: This tour was jam-packed with awesome sights, and well worth the money. Again, we booked this through Sterna travel and were really pleased with our guide, who taught us loads about Icelandic culture. We went away inspired!

To sum-up: tours are great, Iceland is great, we love Icelandic tours.

.:. Jo & Jasper .:.