Before the darkness we arrived in New Orleans. We tried one tourist office for help with accommodation, but this was closed and then we decided to rely on Lonely Planed New Orleans guide. We wanted to stay within easy reach of the French Quarter for two nights. Another wish was to feel traditional Creole charm. And of course we did not want to pay fortune for that. We found a cozy hotel Rathbone Inn for $70 per night in Treme district, just 10 minutes walk from Bourbon Street main attractions. The Guest House is in two restored antebellum mansions, where we really felt warm southern hospitality and authentic New Orleans atmosphere. Especially good memories are from the breakfast table, where guests met each other.
New Orleans is so different from the most you will see in US. The architecture is different, the food is different and even the time goes differently. New Orleans has its’ mysterious charm. Walking on the narrow streets of French Quarter makes you relax and be joyful. It is allowed to be impractical, lazy and romantic in New Orleans.
First night, after checking in and having quick shower we walked to Bourbon Street to enjoy the atmosphere. There are a lot of bars with excellent live music. We picked one based on the music we heard - you know the (Blondie) song from the movie Coyote ugly - “One way or an other …” and really enjoyed what happened there.
After delicious breakfast in Rathbone Inn (where we also familiarized with other visitors) we had a refreshing swim in the pool of the hotel. When it was time to go and make ourselves familiar with French Quarter.
We started with French Market, which is covered market place divided to different sections - food clothes, books, antiques and opened 24h. We found it to be good place to buy souvenirs and Cajun spices.
Voodoo has not a small influence to New Orleans reputation as the “least American city”. Scores of shops selling voodoo dolls, gris-gris amulets and other exotic items attest you have visited New Orleans. In many people’s minds voodoo means Marie Laveau. She is remembered as a beautiful and charismatic powerful woman in 19th century’s New Orleans. Marie Laveau popularized voodoo like never before. She is buried in St Louis Cemetery No 1. We also visited the oldest Cemetery in New Orleans and the tomb of the voodoo queen. The cemetery was very impressive, due to the wet location there are only tombs, no graves. We appreciated the statuary and ornate ironwork and stumble upon many historic tombs.
Everyone who visits New Orleans will love it, so did we. The reason may be different; it might be the music, Creole cooking, funky people, jambalaya or beignets. For us it was taking it easy in Big Easy.