Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 44 - New Orleans

The hero of New Orleans in 1815 - Andrew Jackson who defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans (remember the song - we fired our guns and the British kept on comin'). Interestingly, over in Europe the British had already surrendered when this battle occurred...but...because of the slow communication the combatants in New Orleans didn't know that at the time.

An interesting event regarding New Orlean's St Louis Catholic Cathedral

Inside the beautiful St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans - the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States - about 1719

Outside view of New Orleans's St Louis Cathedral from Jackson Square.

We had lunch on board the Steamboat Natchez along the Mississippi River - a rare vessel because it is driven by steam. The sound of its whistle is fabulous, echoes on the tall New Orleans buildings and almost bring tears to our eyes

The twin bridges over the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Many large ships pass under this bridge

During our New Orleans city tour we visited many old Creole houses. Most have these beautiful Evergreen trees growing in front - over 200 years old....and survived Katrina

New Orleans is on the silted Mississippi River and back in the old days deceased bodies had to be buried in crypts otherwise unceremoniously they could "pop" up anywhere in the streets. This cemetery was for the Creole community (mixture of old French blooded folk) 

In the same cemetery above. Apparently once interned bodies cannot be touched until one year and one day after they were crypted. So if a family member had passed away within the time period and was going to be buried alongside their loved one were temporarily interned along this wall - weird eh?  They did this due to the prevention of diseases etc.

These evergreens have ferns growing downwards making the park look shady and inviting. This photograph does not do justice for what we saw. In New Orleans, Louisiana

This bridge over the Pontchartrain Lake from New Orleans is over 26 miles long!!! Making it one of the longest bridges in the world. It is a tollway and no way we could see the end. This lake is America's third biggest lake.

A streetcar named desire? This is the oldest streetcar in the world. Air conditioned? Nah, just keep the windows open for the cool. New Orleans main public transport is supported by these streetcars.

During Mardi Gras in New Orleans, people throw beads in the trees - why - we don't know. Might have something to do with the alcohol intake. Apparently the law takes no notice of what people do during the daylight hours during mardi gras but if somebody took their clothes off and was naked upon sunset a visit to the pen would occur.

On the Mississippi. The steam driven paddle wheel of the Steamboat Natchez

Along the Mississippi near New Orleans is the world's second biggest sugar refinery.

The tower in the background marks the location where the Battle of New Orleans happen. Next to the Mississippi River

Louisiana supplies the US with most of its LP gas. This is a large refinery alongside the Mississippi River near New Orleans

About a 100 miles or so the Mississippi finally flows into the Gulf of Mexico - it is muddy and wide.

New Orleans skyline form the Mississippi River

A closer view of New Orleans business district from the Mississippi River

He never moved an inch - a busker on the Steamboat Natchez wharf, New Orleans

One of the newer streetcars going through the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Just completed our 7th West Coast Swing lesson. Anne with Janis Hornsby at Metairie, New Orleans

Same as above but it's Neil with Janis

These are Creole meals we had in a French Quarter restaurant - craw fish and crab cakes on the left and vegetarian pasta right.

It's only two more days to Anne's Birthday. We walked through the French Quarter this morning for our 9 am City Tour. We were on a large bus with only ten passengers on board. The driver and guide was a local and was very hard to understand due to his Creole accent. Nevertheless, what we heard and understood was very interesting. The tour took 2 hours and we travelled all over the main tourist sites in New Orleans. We returned to our starting point at 11 am and boarded the Steamboat Natchez. We had lunch on board and for two hours it just paddled downstream and back up to New Orleans. A very relaxing way to see New Orleans along the Mississippi River. We returned to our B&B and rested before our dancing lesson about 10 miles away. So no alcohol intake as yet until our return to New Orleans. We caught a cab which made us a bit easy than taking Ralph through unknown territory and in rush hour. Our seventh lesson on the West Coast Swing is now good and we need just to practice the routine. We returned to the French Quarter and shouted ourselves to a New Orleans creole cuisine. The main ingredient is craw fish. We learnt something today Tabasco Sauce is a Louisiana invention. We never seen so many big bottles of the spicy fluid in Oz. Tomorrow we have a 9 hour bayou, plantation and air boat ride in the swamps. Cheers.

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