Passengers on the long (10 hour) flight were overwhelmingly young adults, two or three times as many men as women. Everyone relaxed and out for a good time. Donald Trump far, far, far from any thoughts. But the young Danish businessman sitting next to Lesley knew all about Leicester City and the premiership – but not that they had finally won. Loved the double-page spread in the Guardian we had brought from home.
First impressions on arrival: (bearing in mind we were pretty zonked) The sheer size of all the spaces relative to the number of people using them. Great, square, marbled halls and corridors, dwarfing the occupants.
The usual switch-back queue for the immigration but marshalled in a friendly way and moving quite well.
The officer at our desk (one of perhaps 15 stations – all but one for Visitors) spotted from Lesley’s d.o.b. that we were here for her birthday. Delighted to hear about our anniversary. Big, broad smile as she recorded prints from all our fingers and thumbs and took our photos. Nothing at all like the officious arrival process we had been led to fear.
‘Taxis at Gate 52, Sir’. That’s up there at the far end on the right (picture taken from about halfway)
As we walked out of gate 52 we weren’t expecting the heat. Another polite marshall for the taxi queue. Smooth, air conditioned ride, ten minutes through bewildering, busy streets, past glittering Hard Rock signs; ferris wheel; laser beaming up into the sky; huge, evenly floodlit hotels. $21 plus tip.
Another huge, almost empty, reception concourse at the Holiday Inn Desert Resort. Shuttle bus to the far end to our villa. (We hadn’t realised we had booked a villa!) 8pm, nobody about.
Bed, bemused, a little disorientated, but happy. Now writing this at our new 4am. PUBLISH. Now to sleep some more.