My first time to New Orleans or n’orlins, nawlins… I love it, such a contrasting city. You have the old French quarter, with people taking it slow. It’s actually built in Spanish style as the French properties were burnt down in not one but two huge fires. Buildings are no higher than the top of the church. Right next to it is the financial district or CBD, with it’s huge new buildings and people in a rush.
You have the noise and excitement of bourbon st, and right on bourbon, on the corner of bienville you have a restaurant called Arnaud’s quiet and sophisticated with people dressed for dinner, eating sautéd food grilled in style at their table.
You have the lower 9th district still struggling from the aftermath of the levee’s breaking after Katrina hit, despite the help from Brad Pitt’s make it right foundation, whilst the garden district appears to be looking lovely.
A cruise along the Mississippi on the Natchez was a slow relaxing trip, whilst the cargo ships moved past us at a fast pace, off up the river. It truly is a well used river.
We also saw two cruise ships including the first ship my sister and her husband cruised on which was the superstar Leo and is now the Norwegian spirit. I’ll have to come back to do a cruise out of new Orleans.
Bourbon st, now that’s full of contrasts, loud, yet you can find a quiet spot (although I don’t think I’d like to stay on Bourbon st, one block away at the chateau le moyne was perfect for me. Close but not too close, a lovely heated pool, great breakfast, a balcony overlooking the street so you could still feel part of it, or close your doors and you’re back in your cocoon. Admittedly, you still get some street noise, but that was ok.)
Back to bourbon st, where all the action happens, you can buy a drink anywhere and walk down the street with it, listen to all kinds of music as they try to drown each other out, take in allllll kinds of shows, although if you try to take a picture of the girl inviting you into the show be prepared to be told off…hmmmm The further down the street you walk (the road is cut off so you can safely walk at night) the more changes, you go from live music to karaoke, from straight bars to gay bars (noted by the rainbow flags) . From taxi’s to horse and carriage rides(well mule and carriage ride, so much fun, thanks to our mule r &b and Robert our driver).
We saw a commercial and a movie being made. Dined on catfish, po-boys and bacon wrapped shrimp at Pere Antoine. Ate a beignet at cafe de monde, and didn’t even have to queue, it was so delicious, but the warning is right, don’t wear dark clothes as it goes everywhere!
After we left New Orleans we headed out to see the oak alley plantation (which you can do as a day tour along with swamp/bayou rides), it’s just lovely. It’s been used in many TV shows like days of our lives for Beau and Hope’s wedding and many movies. It depicts what old plantation life would have been like.
I could go on and on, but I think you’ll just have to head over, wander around and check it out yourself!