Travel report New Orleans August 25th to September 1st.
Where to begin?
Ok, New Orleans is a pearl of a city. We did not know what to expect considering it was my first time and Pre-Katrina.
We was, indeed, strongly, pleasantly surprised and I immediately became intoxicated by the aroma for the south. Considering being jet legged, 7 hours time difference, our days and nights kind of mixed together rendering us always on the go with just a few hours sleep in intervals. And in a city like New Orleans we kind of felt like that was the rhythm all other visitors adopted as well ,and felt comfortable with, because there were always a restaurant open, a Champaign breakfast to attend, trays of oysters displayed deliciously behind old southern restaurant windows, trust founds to be lost at the casino, the smell of hand rolled cigars everywhere, people lingering in the streets at 5 o’clock in morning. There were never let us not get another Po-boy, let us not get another ice-cold domestic beer and before one knew it locals and visitors alike had collided, co existed as equals, in the magic place located on the Mississippi.
Even though some parts of N O are a bit run down, mostly parts of Canal St. and some part of the quarter and human poverty can be seen late at night on a few street corners along Canal, crime is non-existent, let me rephrase - non-existent. I felt safer in N O then I do in the capital of Norway. Down town, the quarter and garden district are completely safe.
Compared to for example New York where people for the most part try to respect ones private space – people in New Orleans embrace you with open arms, stop you on the street for a chat, recommending affordable eats of the bat, telling Katrina war stories and pretty much approaching you in a very friendly, of the south, matter -making you feel right at home. During a tour of the garden district an American family invited us into their mansion for an inside look, and lemonade, just because I kindly asked to take a photograph of the exterior if their house, total strangers. We were blown away to say the least. -and in retrospect no other nation of the world consists of more genuine hospitable and friendly people the Americans.
We repaid this by taking a 17-year-old run-away, living on the street, making money by playing guitar, back to our 5 star hotel room for all he could eat food, shower and a sleep over on the sofa plus a little hand money on his departure the following day.
When it comes to the French Quarter, it is full of good low-key restaurants to the little more pricy, good bars and lounges, art galleries and voodoo shops. It would be impossible to recite the names of the restaurants we ate at because we were in a dream like state drifting form one place to another enjoying our self-beer in hand and nothing mattered but the enjoyment of life. We usually started the evening by dining at restaurants on Decatur St. or elsewhere in the quarter but were subsequently pulled back to Bourbon St. for a night of fun. The quarter is also filled with beautiful houses with a very sexy southern architecture. Perfect for late night walks or daytime cruising in the heat.
We decided against doing the touristiest things and did things in our own paste mostly by taxi on longer outings like the Lakeside mall, cemeteries and Wal-Mart shopping because the rest was within walking distance. I personally felt that one weeks stay was sufficient considering all the tings we did, the food we consumed and the beverages we drank. However, New Orleans will forever be in our harts and in a year or to I will return to once more intoxicate my self with one of the most romantic places in the world.
Now that a few days have past, and I am back to my normal routine, I sometime stop to remember all the positive experiences, the people we encountered and the food we ate, just too once again surf the internet for low price airfares to the Big Easy.