We spent our first day in New Orleans wandering around the French Quarter. I had compiled quite an extensive list of things I’d hoped to see/experience, and while I didn’t expect to cross them all off the list, I hoped to squeeze in as many as possible.
One of our first stops was Jackson Square and the venerable St. Louis Cathedral.
Being Sunday morning, there was a mass going on in the cathedral, so we had to put off viewing the inside for another day.
View of Jackson Square from Washington Artillery Park, across Decatur Street.
The Jackson Brewery building was once an actual brewery, but now houses shops and restaurants that cater mainly to tourists. It’s a really gorgeous building on Decatur Street, right on the waterfront.
A small ferry travels across the Mississippi, leaving from the foot of Canal Street and dropping you off at Algiers Point. Cars must pay an entire $1.00 for the return trip from Algiers, but pedestrians ride free, so of course we had to give it a go.
In this view of New Orleans from the ferry, the large building on the far left is the former World Trade Center. It’s now empty and is being considered for demolition. (More info about it here) Below it is the entrance to the River Walk. There’s a two level mall there with shops and a food court. To the right of centre is the new Aquarium of the Americas and farther off to the right is Woldenberg Park river front walk, one of my favourite places.
Algiers Bridges from ferry.
New Orleans with the Jax Brewery and St Louis Cathedral to the right.
The ferry ride only takes about five minutes and soon we were approaching the Algiers Ferry Terminal.
Algiers Point. With the trees all standing in the water, we were thinking the river must have been a little high.
We spent a few minutes strolling around the quaint streets of old Historic Algiers. This area was completely untouched by Katrina and its 19th century village charm remains well-preserved.
I found the multitude of Crepe Myrtle trees in the Louisiana Basin simply stunning. They’re everywhere and absolutely covered in beautiful blooms.
Because the land is lower than the water, all along the river are the must-have levees that keeps the might of the Mississippi where it belongs. This is the earthen levy that runs along Algiers. (Notice the beautiful Crepe Myrtle)
We sat for a few minutes on the benches in front of the Algiers Courthouse and ate our picnic lunch before making our way back to the ferry terminal for the return trip to New Orleans.
The Mississippi River has been described many ways, and the “mighty” adjective is well deserved, but its water certainly cannot be called beautiful. When the sun shone on it, it was the colour of café au lait. Never once did it look blue or green.
Back in New Orleans, we wandered down picturesque Canal Street as far as Bourbon Street.
We found Bourbon Street much quieter in the daylight.
Royal Street is lined with beautiful Creole Townhouses with shops below. I loved all the greenery they hang from the balconies.
Hubby, aka pack mule (his words), hauling groceries down Royal Street to the hotel. As we walked, we experienced a short rainfall. The raindrops were huge, but thankfully most of the buildings have overhangs so we didn’t really get wet.
Dinner that night was at a café on Frenchmen Street called The Praline Connection. I had a delicious, and massive, roast beef po-boy (named for streetcar workers who walked the picket lines) and we all shared alligator sausage, which I had to try but found to be just okay. We also had the most incredibly fantastic cornbread.
After dinner we walked along the river on a path called the Moonwalk. Lights were just starting to come on and it was very pretty.
Algiers from across the river.
Brother-in-law (BIL for future reference) and Hubby on the Moonwalk.
A very full day came to an end with another tour down Bourbon Street. Even for a Sunday night, it was pretty raucous. (Surprisingly for me, I didn’t take any pictures)
I’m not sure which street I took this picture down, but at the end of it there was a statue that threw an impressively large shadow.
Next weekend I’ll describe our trip down the Mighty Mississippi aboard an authentic sternwheeler steamboat.