New Orleans

Before the darkness fell, we arrived in New Orleans. We tried one tourist office for help with accommodation, but it was closed, and then we decided to rely on the Lonely Planet New Orleans guide. We wanted to stay within easy reach of the French Quarter for two nights. 

Another wish was to feel the traditional Creole charm. And, of course, we did not want to pay a fortune for that. We found a cozy hotel, Rathbone Inn, for $70 per night in the Treme district, just a 10-minute walk from Bourbon Street’s main attractions. The Guest House is in two restored antebellum mansions, where we felt warm southern hospitality and an authentic New Orleans atmosphere. In particular, good memories are mainly from the breakfast table, where guests met each other.

New Orleans is different from most places you will see in the 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 the French Quarter makes you relaxed and joyful. New Orleans allows it to be impractical, lazy, and romantic.

After checking in and having a quick shower the first night, 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—the (Blondie) song from the movie Coyote Ugly—”One way or another…” and enjoyed what happened there.

New Orleans

After a delicious breakfast at Rathbone Inn (where we also met other visitors), we had a refreshing swim in the hotel pool. Then it was time to go and make ourselves familiar with the French Quarter.

We started with the French Market, a covered marketplace divided into different sections—food, clothes, books, and antiques—and open 24 hours. We found it an excellent place to buy souvenirs and Cajun spices.

Voodoo greatly influences New Orleans’s reputation as the “least American city.” Scores of shops selling voodoo dolls, gris-gris amulets, and other exotic items attest that you have visited New Orleans. In many people’s minds, voodoo means Marie Laveau. She is remembered as a beautiful, charismatic, and influential woman in 19th-century 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 and no graves. We appreciated the statuary and ornate ironwork and stumbled upon many historic tombs.

Everyone who visits New Orleans will love it, and so do we. The reasons may differ in the music, Creole cooking, funky people, jambalaya, or beignets. For us, it was taking it easy in the Big Easy.

The story continues at the Swamp tour in Louisiana.


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