Sunday 5 December 1999
Highlights: Louisiana State Museum, Jazz.
The 10 people in our dorm certainly made a lot of noise last night, I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this way of sleeping being woken up several times each night.
We started the day with a walking tour of the French Quarter. The tour was fantastic pointing out how New Orleans developed and who influenced it.
Jackson’s Square needs to be seen to be believed. There were tarot card readers, musicians, clowns and painters all applying there trade. The place was really alive.
We had a small ‘lunch’ at Cafe du Monde consisting of bagnets, basically doughnuts with lots of powder super. Great taste and surprisingly filling, you get 3 for every order.
Next up we visited the Cabildo which is home to one of the branches of the Louisiana State Museum which covered the history of New Orleans from Native American Indians to today’s Jazz city. New Orleans has been ruled in order by; France, Spain, France and the USA. During the Civil War the Union (aka North) occupied New Orleans.
New Orleans was also the site of the first major British defeat during the War of Independence under General Jackson, later President Jackson.
One third of the current USA was purchased from France here in New Orleans which is now known as the Louisiana purchase. New Orleans is the second biggest port in the USA because of the Mississippi River and has a rich history.
While waiting for it to get dark we caught the new Kevin Smith movie ‘Dogma’ which was quite good. For dinner we had the local dish Gumbo which is a combination of rice, soup, chicken, vegetables with other mi or food stuff added in!
We then visited the Preservation Hall and listened to classic Jazz for about 3 hours into the night. I’m not a big Jazz fan but when played well it is truly excellent. Lastly we had a ‘Hurricane’ at Pat O’Brien’s. This drink is mostly rum and is very strong. You have to drink it very strong or give up walking. Great day.