Monday, 2 February 2015

New Orleans

We have recently returned from visiting our son and daughter-in-law in the USA.  They are in Meridian, Mississippi, for a few months which is only a couple of hours away from New Orleans so it gave us the chance to see the place .... or I should say experience the place!
Mention New Orleans and music is one of the first things brought to mind.  There were street bands everywhere ... some pulling in big crowds all willing to stop the traffic and party in the road. Here's St Cinder (pictured above).  It's never quiet in the French Quarter!

A visit has to include a walk down Bourbon Street to visit the Jazz Bars.  Be careful what you order to drink though .... as the younger members of our party discovered after only two Hurricanes. They will be talking about that night for years to come - even though they can't remember a single thing about it!!

Royal Street was my favourite ... you can spend a week just on that one road.  Antique shops; galleries; bars; restaurants; garden cafes; musicians and street acts ... and it ends at Frenchman Street .... more of the same ... brilliant!

The people are friendly and talkative.  Complete strangers start conversations with you in the street.  There were some very interesting characters there: from cool looking guys ....
to beautiful drag queens....

A short drive out of town and you are in the swamps.  Alligators, snakes, frogs and racoons and people living in houses like these!

They look like shacks but this is the main street of a real town.  They keep goats, pigs and chickens on the porches and make a living from shrimp fishing.  Parts of the movie Beasts of the Southern Wilds were filmed there.

There's total poverty and hardship there, mixed in with real riches: but that has always been the case.
Here's the Oak Alley Plantation house:

with the slave huts behind it ...

The stuff hanging from the tree is Spanish Moss .... it isn't Spanish and it isn't moss ... it is a form of bromeliad.

Later we rode the streetcars ...

... to get to the Audubon Zoo .... white alligators, elephants, some very depressed looking apes and beautiful big cats. The Audubon Insectarium proved to be expensive and disappointing though.

The NOMA (new Orleans Museum of Art) was well worth a trip.  The extensive collection takes hours to view and includes all the famous masters and a large number of modern artists. I loved this self portrait made of blobs.

The Photo Realism exhibition was fascinating as well as inspirational. Here's an example - this is a painting!

'Citarella Fish Company,' 1991 by Richard Estes
Outside was a Sculpture Garden containing the likes of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and all this is situated in the middle of a beautiful park filled with birds and trees and lakes.

Fancy something a bit cheaper?  Try the street art.

The New Orleans cemeteries are also part of the tourist routes.  These young people drowned after going on a picnic in 1931.  Strange to spend your holiday time in a graveyard but it was oddly interesting!


From art to music and street theatre; sights, sounds, smells and tastes; fortune tellers and voodoo museums New Orleans has something for everyone.

We had a fabulous time .... saw over 100 different species of birds ...... tasted Po Boys, Jambalaya and Gumbo ... crossed the Mississippi in a boat .... and we got to enjoy some lovely time with the son!


  1. Wow - what an amazing place - full of interesting things to see and do - sounds like you had a whale of a time - a holiday you certainly won't forget in a hurry.

  2. It is certainly one to remember. I tend to get fed up if we stay in one place for longer than three or four days but we filled eight days non-stop! Brilliant place and gorgeous weather ... feels very chilly at home now!!

  3. Interesting post. This is one place I would really like to see.