April 2017

Sightseeing in New Orleans

French Quarter
A visit to the French Quarter is of course a must when visiting New Orleans. The most famous street is Bourbon Street, where everybody walks from bar to bar, some musicians play in the streets, people carry drinks in plastic cups and the atmosphere is happy and joyful. And this feeling carries on when you walk from street to street and bar to bar. Visitors and locals are happy and celebrating and are enjoying the music. We were told to go and visit Frenchmen Street, so we did and found some great bars for live music where you buy a drink and sit there and listen to some great blues music (in our case). And when you feel you heard enough, you walk on, buy yourself a Bloody Mary to go and enjoy the street music, watch people and soak up the atmosphere, the warm summer weather together with your holiday feeling... Bliss!!

Garden District
One morning we bought a ticket for the streetcar and went to the Garden District of New Orleans. Originally laid out in 1832, the Garden District was created as a settlement for the new residents who did not want to mix with the Europeans who had settled in the French Quarter. The homes there are beautiful with stunning gardens and great trees, a lovely area to walk around. The best place to start is around Prytania Street and Washington Avenue which is the heart of this district together with the historic Lafayette Cemetery # 1.

The Mississippi
We felt we should do a lunchtime Jazz Cruise on the Mississippi. We went and bought two tickets which included the ride on the boat, a lunch buffet, and live Jazz music. It was very busy when we arrived and the ship was full. It felt very touristy and although the views of New Orleans were nice, the music quite good and the staff very friendly I would not really recommend this experience. Once you are on the boat, there is not much to see other than New Orleans as the area outside the city is very industrial. The food is not too good either and there are not enough seats in the shade and the sun was very strong. Overall it was nice to see the city from the water but it wasn't the cool experience we were hoping for... This does not necessarily make it to the To-Do list.

The Cemetery
The city has many cemeteries worth visiting and we chose the historic Lafayette cemetery in the Garden District. It is open from Monday - Sunday between 7 AM and 3 PM. Located between Washington, Sixth, Prytania, and Coliseum streets, it is the oldest of the seven city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans. There are immigrants from over 25 different countries and natives of 26 states as identified on the closure tablets. It is a beautiful cemetery in a lovely neighbourhood and many people go and visit. I liked exploring it, but I always have a somber feeling when walking around a cemetery. I would however recommend a visit if you are in the area anyway.

The Warehouse District
As our hotel was located in the warehouse district, so we explored our neighbourhood one morning and loved it! The warehouse district was originally established as an industrial area in the 19th century to store grain, coffee, and produce shipped through the Port. The transformation into today's arts district began in 1976 with the opening of the Contemporary Arts Center. Many artists and galleries followed as well as museums that newly opened in the area like the National World War II Museum which is the largest of the museums in this area. Restaurants and bars followed and there is a great selection of venues to choose from nowadays.

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