The alarm clock rang 4.30 when we were going to take our flight from New York to New Orleans. The security had increased around the subway after new threats, but we made it through with our enormous bag. We took the subway to Penn Station where we waited for the air train. The guards were hysterical and took a guys bag while he was in the restroom. He yelled from inside that he was on his way out, but they took it anyway. He came running with his pants by his knees and everybody got a good laugh, even the guards. Everybody seemed pretty tired of the rigorous security.
They called out the track number two minutes before departure. We had to run like crazy across the whole Penn Station, but we made it. We took the flight to Chicago where we ran across the whole airport to be able to eat before the next flight. No way. We made it just in time. That airport is BIG.
The girl at the shuttle firm was deeply concentrated. She was like many other Americans at the time reading the newly released Harry Potter. She fixed us a shuttle and we got to the hotel. The humidity was unbelievable. We took a walk in the French Quarter that evening.
What a suspicious city! You can hardly believe that this was one of the wealthiest cities in the US in the 19th century. It was really poor and you could smell marijuana on the streets. Witches and tattooing people were everywhere on the streets. Still you couldn’t help but fall in love with it. It had a really nice vibe.
The French Quarters are really nice, but we really suffered when we saw the poor horses that had to pull all the carriages with tourists through them. They were in a really bad condition. We were going to take a ride, but when we saw how badly they were treated we didn´t want to. We went to the beach walk instead which turned out to be the weirdest places of them all. It was completely packed with impostors, it was a really sad sight.
We walked out of there, got some food and went to the hotel to get some sleep.
Johan’s cold was getting worse. He had barely slept anything and we started the day by trying to find a drugstore. Not pleasant to run around the streets in that awful heat. Afterwards we took a ride with the only authentic steamboat that is left-Natchez. The heat was ruthless, so we ended up sitting inside talking to a nice American couple instead of being on deck.
After we arrived back in New Orleans we took a street car through Lower Garden, Garden District and Uptown. We jumped of to look at all the incredible mansions that lies in Garden District. Incredible houses with a tragic history-most of them were built with cotton money. We even passed Ann Rices amazing house. We took a coffee at a cosy diner that we found in the neighbourhood. It started raining so we took a street car back to our hotel. Garden District felt much nicer then the touristy French Quarter.
Got a shock when we turned on the TV the following day. It was going to be +47 degrees with 97% humidity! Even worse then the previous day. We dragged ourselves out in the heat and went to the swamps. Unfortunately it was 99% alligator talk and nobody was interested in the beautiful nature. We only went through the bayous and didn´t go in to the swamps as we were told. A bit disappointing, but we had a good day anyway. .
When we got back we went shopping and then we sat on a bench by Jackson Square listening to street musicians. It was really nice just sitting there. Jenny will definitely feel the New Orleans vibe within as long as she lives. The heat, listening to the music and all the animals. That was a magical night…
Our last day we went to the St Louis Cemetery. Even warmer then the previous day! What a cemetery. It was really beautiful, fascinating and interesting. Since New Orleans is often flooded they bury their dead above ground instead of underneath it. The graves were sinking and several story’s were below ground already. Thinking of it afterwards it was really nasty. Our guide told us that she thought it was just a matter of time before a really big flood would come and bury New Orleans. Half of it´s population don´t own a car and are really poor so she was really concerned about the death rates. Just a few weeks after we left Katrina came and ruined the city…
Photos from New Orleans