ÉTAPE 5 : WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS

Un road trip sur la côte Ouest américaine n’aurait pas été complet sans un détour par la “Sin city” (ville des péchés). Entre immeubles plus qu’impressionants, débauche de partout et jeux de lumière il y a de quoi être perdu dans cette ville construite au beau milieu du désert. (Après notre traversé du désert dans la Vallée de la mort)

Las Vegas c’est des spectacles pour vous en mettre pleins les mirettes, des personnages de films pleins les rues, Elvis Presley qui vous marie dans une petite chapelle,  des femmes de joies se dandinant pour attirer les curieux. Las Vegas c’est le show à l’américaine par excellence.

_DSC8807

Mais à quoi ressemble donc Las Vegas ? La ville en elle même ne ressemble à aucune autre tout en étant comme les autres. Les quartiers du centre ville sont en fait des reproductions des grandes villes du monde entier. Entre Paris, New York, Venise ou Tokyo : ces échantillons de grandes métropoles se retrouvent à Las Vegas.

Payer un seul ticket et vous pourrez voir la Tour Eiffel, l’arc de Triomphe et des hotels parisiens à l’architecture haussmannienne le tout au Névada !

_DSC8813

_DSC8716

Vous vouliez passez sous des ponts italiens, manger en plein Venise à côté de gondoliers et admirer les plafonds de la renaissance italienne ? C’est également possible dans le Névada.

_DSC8684

Vous souhaitiez faire un tour à New York  en faisant le tour de la statue de la liberté, marcher sur le pont de Brooklyn et deguster un burger à Greenwich ? C’est aussi possible dans le Névada !

_DSC8612

_DSC8775

Après ce sympathique voyage autour du monde, n’oublions pas que Las Vegas c’est aussi la ville du jeu. Les casinos sont nombreux sur le Las Vegas Strip, la plus grande avenue de Las Vegas. Interdit de jouer cependant avant 21 ans mais vous pourrez tout de même vous balader en suivant  le “red carpet”. N’essayez pas de vous arrêter à défaut d’être rappelé à l’ordre par les services de sécurité.

 

Entre deux casinos n’oubliez pas de visiter les hotels. Oui cela peut paraitre étrange mais les halls des hotels sont ouverts au public, et l’on comprend pourquoi lorsque l’on observe le plafond de nénuphars en verre soufflé du Bellagio ou le Ceasar’s palace.

Enfin si vous souhaitez prendre un peu de hauteur sur la ville, rendez -vous à la Stratosphère pour siroter un cocktail ou essayer leur attraction à sensation à plus de 345 mètres de hauteur. Vous aurez de toutes les manières une vue imprenable sur les néons clignotants en contrebas suivi des montagnes du désert à l’horizon.

_DSC8650

Prochaine étape : BIENTOT DISPONIBLE !

Advertisements

ÉTAPE 4: ÊTRE DÉSHYDRATÉ DANS LA VALLÉE DE LA MORT

Après avoir tranquillement flanné le long des différents lacs que notre route nous octroyait et avoir acheté plusieurs gallons d’eau, il était temps d’aller prendre un peu le soleil. Et ce fût peu de le dire ! Direction la vallée de la mort qui porte très bien son nom avec plus de 40° C à l’ombre et 50°C au soleil…

J’avouerai qu’il était alors compliqué de faire un treck dans ce désert, même pour les plus téméraires. Vous risqueriez plus de tomber mort de soif au bout de quelques heures ou de rencontrer un coyote une fois le soleil couché. La meilleure des visites de la vallée de la mort reste alors : la ballade en voiture! Alors oui, ça n’a pas l’air très sexy de premier abord et ressemble plus à une visite du zoo de Thoiry où vous ouvrez la fenêtre pour voir le paysage, mais la clime reste votre meilleure amie.

IMG_2821

Entre cinq chaînes de montagnes, l’air océanique humide qui arrive de l’océan s’assèche. Cela rend la Vallée de la Mort l’un des endroits les plus secs et chauds d’Amérique du Nord. Cependant, détrompez-vous la vallée de la mort est loin d’être seulement une étendu de terre sèche, où ne vivent aucune faune et flore. Cette partie aride du Névada regorge d’espèces désertiques et ses paysages sont très variés.

Mesquite flat

Arrêt phare des différents touristes visitant la vallée de la mort, mais on doit bien accorder qu’il vaut le détour. Malgré ce que l’on peut penser, la vallée de la mort est un désert, certes, mais non rempli de dunes de sables. “Mesquite flat” est un des seuls endroits à être recouvert de grains de sables ondulant au gré du vent.

_DSC8487

Attention cependant à ne pas s’aventurer trop loin et de vous perdre dans ce beau paysage sans eau, nourriture et ombre… quel cauchemar.

Zabriskie Point

Pour les plus courageux, c’est le lever de soleil qu’il faut aller voir là bas. Sinon le coucher de soleil vaut tout de même le détour. Une fois que la nuit pointe le bout de son nez, vous pouvez enfin sortir sans mourir de chaud et avec une petite veste. Un spectacle des plus romantiques et grandioses. Face à la nature dans toute sa splendeur.

 

La palette de l’artiste

Cachée entre les montagnes, la palette de l’artiste est un petit joyaux de la nature. Pourquoi ces couleurs ? Ce ne sont pas des peintres fous qui ont décidé d’exprimer leur créativité sur la roche mais bien les gisements minéraux qui sous l’effet de l’oxydation ont créé ces superbes dessins.

_DSC8541

Pour plus de résultat, il est conseillé de venir découvrir ces magnifiques montagnes en début de matinée ou fin de soirée (heures où le soleil est le moins fort). Vos photos n’en seront que plus belles.

Même si certaines routes nous ont un peu fait peur (un 4×4 est bien utile pour se glisser sur les chemins de la vallée), n’importe quelle voiture (qui supporte suffisamment la chaleur, n’allez pas prendre une coccinelle) fera l’affaire.

Après cette journée à découvrir la vallée de la mort, nous étions sous le charme. Pas assez sous le charme cependant pour y passer une nuit entière entouré de coyotes. C’est pour cela que nous sommes allés dormir à Beatty, petite ville en bordure de la vallée de la mort, des plus typiques du Névada.

Pour plus d’informations sur la vallée de la mort c’est ici !

ÉTAPE 5:  Welcome to Las Vegas 

 

STOP 3: Lakes discovered along the road trip

So here I am again, talking about my little adventures around my road trip in the US. So, yes I have to agree I have been gone for a while now. Indeed, I couldn’t write anything about my travels or even the things that I discovered in my own country because of my studies. I had to focus on my work to thus come back even stronger on this blog. This is why now I want to come back to my “serie” that I started few months ago to talk about this famous road trip on the West coast of the US that my family and I did.

Enough talking about my life! Let’s move on. So, after my Stop 2 at Yosemite  we took the road to another destination (that you’ll find out soon). After seeing the greenery of the park of Yosemite, lakes began to appear at the borders of the road. This is why we stopped to admire the first one called Mono Lake. The particularity of this lake is that it’s super salty and this is why within the years, the size of the lake is decreasing a lot (and also because of the pumping from the city of Los Angeles). Because of its high rate of salt, the ecosystem around this lake is really dense. There are a lot of species of fishes and also a lot of different birds. Even if the water looks amazing you don’t really want to go swim in it because of the alkali flies (which are little flies) and algae. The particularity of this lake is its calcareous concretions made up all around the lake. You can also take a walk around this weird lake. I would say that this lake is not a must to see, but if you’re traveling nearby it’s a great spot to stop by.

_DSC8435

The second lake we saw was the Mammoth lake. Mammoth lake is more like an area where you can ski in the winter and in the summer chill around the multiples lakes. This is the kind of place you go on summer to camp, fish and spend relaxing holidays. We just spent one night at this place, so we only saw few lakes and didn’t explore that much. Even if the experience was short, it was worthy and this is the kind of place you want to go to recharge.

 

After these few stops of lakes we ended up to our next destination: STEP 4: DEATH VALLEY

 

 

STOP 2: Yosemite

After visiting the beautiful city of San Francisco (go check: STOP 1: San Francisco ) and did about 300km of driving, my family and I arrived in the National Park of Yosemite. We spent two amazing days there, full of nature and gorgeous landscape.

We choose to stay outside of the Yosemite park in a small hotel, but you can definitely camp in defined areas inside the National Park (be aware of bears though). We also visited the park during two days but because it’s huge you can definitely spend a lot more time there. The other important (and practical) point about Yosemite is that you should have a car to travel around it. When you are inside the Valley it’s better to use the shuttle bus, but outside of the valley, you can’t move without a car.

The thing that I was surprised about Yosemite was the changing landscape and vegetation depending on different locations. You can go from waterfall and lakes to rocky and dry area. It’s absolutely stunning! The first vista point we stopped to see was the famous “tunnel view”  (if you enter by the South entrance). It was the first impression we had on Yosemite after seeing a lof of pins. You can see the top of the valley of Yosemite. It can’t be described. You have huge mountains all around you and the valley at the bottom. A great entrance into this beautiful park.

_dsc8282

FullSizeRender.jpgOur next stop was the Yosemite’s valley where we spent the day. From the valley there is a lot of hiking and trail starts to see more beautiful places. As mentioned before you can go to one point to another through the shuttle bus. We did some small and easy trails that the staff proposed us. It was really pleasant and good to be in the nature. We saw two waterfalls (which were almost dried because it was the summer) but still good. The place wasn’t crowded so you can really enjoy your time.
_dsc8324

The most beautiful part in my opinion was the valley view. There was a great stretch of grass, mountains all around it and beautiful lakes crossing it. A real magic place! We picnicked there and it was the ideal spot.

To end our day, after visiting other spot like the mirror lake, we decided to go see the sunset at the Glacier point. The view was again really beautiful but the sunset wasn’t amazing. This is what’s happening with nature, we can’t control it!

_dsc8354

For our last day in Yosemite we mooved from the valley to see another face of Yosemite. We stopped a lot on our road to see several vista points but two of them were really beautiful. The first one was the Olmsted Point. This place was out of the wolrd. After walking for about 10 minutes you are the master of the world, on the top of it. Seeing a rocky Yosemite, an endless Yosemite.

_dsc8400

The other point we loved was the Tenaya lake. To be honest I think it’s one of the most beautiful water I never saw in my life. The mountain and trees around it made the lake even more beautiful. Even if the water is amazing is extremely freezing (even in summer) so if you want to swimm in: be brave!

_dsc8411

After seing these different spots and others (such as the meadows) around Yosemite we drove until our next destination: STOP 3: Lakes discovered along the road trip

Don’t hesitate to follow, share, like, comment  to know what’s going to be the next step of our road trip!

STOP 1: San Francisco

Here I am! Back with some of my new adventures. I’ve been doing a road trip around the West Coast of the US with my family. I saw so many beautiful landscapes, had so much fun so I decided to share it through my blog (again).

After a (very) long trip, we arrived in the Japan Town of San Francisco, where we stayed. San Francisco offered to us in three days a really great overview of what we expected. Downtown (called Union Square) was made of big buildings, the American flag waving in the sky, the stairs on the walls of buildings, the lighting, the fireman’s cars, the tramway crossing the street, the up and down streets… Basically, an animated city.

What I DIDN’T LIKE in San Francisco? I’m going to start by what I’ve been frustrated when I was in San Francisco. The first thing is the famous tramway. To take it you have to make hours of queue, which is not worth it. The second point when I was frustrated (but it was our fault) is that we missed the view of the Coit tower. It was actually closed so we couldn’t see SF from above (end at 5:30 pm). Finally, in SF you have drugged people and homeless people. It’s not something that is bad, it’s life but I just wanted to tell that the number is way more important than in France for example, so it’s kind of shocking.

What I LOVED in San Francisco? The main atmosphere given by SF is mainly due to its culture. You can see that it’s a city with history, full of art, music… At almost every corner streets you can see street art, but not like in the subway in Paris. It’s a real art ! It’s mostly represented in the area of Haight-Ashbury, which is the hippie corner. Besides, the street art there is guitar shops, book shop, bio shop, hippie shop, old costumes shop, every kind of shop.

Near this beautiful place, the other thing to see are the painted ladies which are _dsc8018beautiful,big and colorful houses. The typical architecture, called Victorian style, is a characteristic of San Francisco. To end this day, we decided to rent a bicycle in the Golden Gate park, enjoying the nature to go to the beach (which was extremely cold).

The next day, we explored more San Francisco by seeing the Lombard street which is the most crooked street in the world. It was cool to see it once in our life, but not as spectacular as we imagined. (Plus there is a lot of tourists). We continued our trip in SF with Chinatown that I particularly liked (not like my parents). I found the Chinese lanterns above the streets really pretty and the Chinese street art gave an amazing atmosphere to the place. We were not courageous enough to try one of the many restaurants there but we did buy some useless stuff.

_dsc8129

img_5847

Then we did THE thing to do in San Francisco: go on the Golden bridge. I was so excited to see it for real during a bus tour. Because SF is most of the time in the fog we were lucky enough to see the_dsc8220 entire  bridge! If you go on the bridge you should know that it’s extremely windy and cold. We enjoyed the rest of our day on the Pier 39, the most famous of SF, eating strawberry dipped in chocolate and tacos, watching the sea lions and enjoying the place.

For our last day in the foggy city of San Francisco, we decided to do something more cultural so we went on Alcatraz island where one of the most famous prisons was. I wasn’t expected a lot from this visit (that you have to book a long time before) but I was really surprised. Being in a prison for real is a particular feeling that it’s weird but an incredible experience. The thing that did make the visit really good was the free audio guide. The story of Alcatraz was explained by ex-prisoners and ex-prison guards. They told us the story of Alcatraz through their experience. A more personal approach which gave a unique and timeless moment.

_dsc8258

After the visit of the prison, we took the car and drove to go to our next destination: STOP 2: Yosemite

Don’t hesitate to follow me to know what’s going to be the next step of our road trip!