Always ones to squeeze as much into a 24 hour period as possible, particularly when we have limited time to explore a place as cool as New Orleans we were up on our last full day in New Orleans just after the sun. We had been lucky enough to have some really warm weather considering we were there in the middle of winter, but that early in the morning it really was icey! After shovelling a quick (veg) Po’Boy into our faces, we set off on a tour which was very uncharacteristic of us – on a bus with a bunch of retired Americans. Usually we like to arrive at a place and find a guide if we want one, but to make our lives easier with our limited time, we booked and went on an arranged cemetery tour. The St Louis cemeteries were one place I HAD to visit while in New Orleans so I could imagine where Louis and Lestat used to prowl (I am an unashamed book nerd and Anne Rice fan). The cemeteries were really awesome to see as because New Orleans was built on reclaimed land, all the tombs are above ground, or they sink and when there are floods, bodies were known to wash up and “revisit” people. After hanging around some really cool and creepy tombs (including the tomb of the decidedly un-dead Nicholas Cage) we spent some more time absorbing the New Orleans atmosphere, listening to some great bands busking in the street before heading off on another (I am embarrassed to admit) package tour to the Bayou and to see some ‘gators. Surrounded by some “interesting” know it all New Yorkers and kids running around like little drunk people and a boat driver/tour guide who made the same joke about feeding us to the alligators every 5 minutes(I’m not even joking) we explored the beautiful swamps that surround the city. While our time in this incredible city was way shorter than we would have liked, it was really great to get a bit of time to explore slightly less Americany side to America.
Early morning street busker.
As New Orleans is built on land reclaimed, some of the tombs are slowly sinking below ground level.
The grave of the famous French pirate and Freemason, Dominique You. He helped fend off the British during the war of 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans. He was pardoned for his pirating ways after this.
Old and new lie side by side. A nearly two hundred year old cemetery and a chance to win 60 million dollars in the lottery…
The famous “Voodoo Queen” Marie Laveau is believed to be buried in this cemetery.
This pyramid eyesore adorned with kisses will be the one day resting place of the actor Nicholas Cage.
In between the elegantly crumbling townhouses, musicians play IN virtually every road you walk past. Traffic and cars are of secondary importance to the street perfomers, which is pretty great!
After a quick coffee break , we headed for the Bayou with our friend Mark.
The Swamps were really breathtaking and peaceful, until the fighter jets started flying over every 5 odd minutes with eardrum breaking noise. In between the moments of bleeding ears though, the swamp was truly magical.
The unfortunate baby ‘gator that was handed around with its mouth taped shut. While it didn’t do much to warm the heart of the animal lovers in us, they really are incredible little(big) creatures.
A ‘gator head, one of literally hundreds we saw everywhere. This guys was quite a biggie before he had his head cut off for tourists to play with.