Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Orleans

Here are some photos of our recent visit to New Orleans, Louisiana. It's a very interesting part of the world, very unique and very different from other places in theUS. Definately recommended.

There's a big graveyard thing going on. We visited the Lafayette cemetary, that was the one used in Easy Rider and Interview with Vampire. We had a random tour, guided by a very drunk cemetary worker who had a good line in graveyard jokes.

Chil refused to hold the baby alligator. It took quite a lot of convincing to get either Nisreen or Chil to the swamps in the first place but I think they were both glad they did, it was really quite beautiful. Lots of alligators too.

In the afternoon we went to an old plantation called Laura. They have a fascinating historical tour that gives you an idea of life and slavery on the sugar plantations before the civil war.

This is Chil and Niz shopping in the French Quarter of New Orleans. These old parts are all unharmed from Katrina. Some parts could reasonably be described as sleazy, and tourist traps, but there's still lots of great architecture, unique culture, jazz and blues music. We found the N'Awlins folk particularly friendly and proud of their reputation for knowing how to have a good time.
There are still some areas that are very damaged from Katrina. We saw one, the lower 9th ward where possibly half the houses were still abandoned, almost 3 years on. The crosses and writing on the walls show that they have been searched, for bodies first, then for pets. We were a bit concerned that visiting these areas was a little inappropriate, but when we chatted to people they were glad that people came to see. They feel that they've been poorly supported and want people to know.

We've got Johanna visiting with us now, she just arrived today. Were thinking of celebrating Chil's birthday next Friday with a trip to Montreal. We'll keep you posted!