Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sun 10 Mar - New Orleans, LA

The road is calling again. Megabus to New Orleans.

Daylight Savings Time in the US had kicked in over night, so the 7.45am departure was really 6.45am body clock time. The buffet breakfast at Crowne Plaza in Houston opens 7am on weekends so we were there waiting for them to open and then scoffed in what we could in 20 minutes before walking a couple of blocks to Megabus' Houston "department lounge", another parking lot.

The bus trip took us along US190 along the south of Texas and into Louisiana. We had a short stop at a transit centre in Lafayette, before getting into water and swamp land. The road ran over the top of the water for many many miles, see below.

The below photo is of Baton Rogue and the mighty Missisippi, which the bus also passed.
Finally, we hit the destination of New Orleans. Our hotel, Chateau Dupre is not the most glamorous accommodation in New Orleans, but is in a great location just off Canal St on Rue Decatur. We are parallel to that famous street below, just 3 streets away.
Mid afternoon, the circus was already in full swing, although the section below was quiet.
On Bourbon Street, you are allowed to drink alcohol on the street, provided you don't drink it out of a bottle or a glass. And people did. Many enterprising people were selling pre made drinks, lots of frozen daiquiris, in anything from plain plastic cups to tall colourful plastic drink containers in a multitude of shapes.
Here are a couple of photos of Sunday mid afternoon spectacle...the guy on his knees was busking dancing but it was quite an awkward style...
Same to you, buddies...
Self portrait overlooking Jackson Square, where power was transferred in the past, see sign in the photo below.


The mighty Mississippi was quite brown and reminded us of a very wide Yarra River in Melbourne. It is impressive though, very wide.
Of course, New Orleans is not just about party, party, party, it is also about music. There is tons of it everywhere. Parts of Royal St, parallel south of Bourbon, was closed off for traffic and occupied by musicians instead.
We liked this guy's inventive amplification...
These punters came well prepared with their own chairs...
Another New Orleans institution, crawfish (or kräftor in Swedish). Prepared pretty much the same way that Hans can remember from the old country, thrown in alive in a boiling pot with "seasoning" through a variety of fruits and herbs.
Well, it is finally time for a cold one, at the only microbrewery in New Orleans on Decatur St close to Jackson Square. We found a great spot at the veranda, that is, until we were asked if we could move inside for a while, by a punter from a wedding party. They were going to take photos of the whole wedding party and guests from the street. Hans said jokingly that it would cost him a couple of beers before we moved inside (of course).
Well, the photographs were taken and then the groom approached us and wanted to buy drinks for us. We protested of course and told him that it was just a joke, but he insisted and we got a second round there.
Hans always carries a stuffed kangaroo and a stuffed koala in his backpack as presents so we decided to give them to him as a "thank you for the drinks". Di was sent bearing "gifts". The groom got the most stern and surprised look on his face and kept saying we must be joking and how sweet. Perhaps he didn't know what they were but we thought it would add a different memory to his wedding day!
Back on the streets, the music continues...
We were not sure what this guy was selling...
Dinner in a very nice setting outside in a court yard just off Jackson Square. It's amazing how the noise disappears in these internal courtyards. We can't remember the name of the restaurant, food was so so but wine list was great.
Hmmm... There certainly is a problem with obesity in the US... Unfortunately these two are not a standout in the crowd. A worry if Australia is also heading this way...
Bourbon Street just got even more crazy after dark...
Lots of XXX clubs on Bourbon Street too, including this one...
We found a little courtyard off Bourbon Street where this band was playing jazz. They were very good and the place was packed.
Others agreed given the size of the audience. Unfortunately, they served only shit beer here but went up with it.
Back to Chateau Dupre via Canal St (below) after what felt like a long evening. The French Quarter is really full on and it takes its toll after a while and we'd only been in this town for 8 hours so far!
Well, tomorrow is another day. Good night.


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