Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wed 13 Mar - New Orleans, LA

As we hadn't yet been onto the New Orleans trams, today was the day.

The tram costs $1.25 single trip regardless of where you go, you pay as you enter. We took the east to west tram along Saint Charles Ave to Audubon Park with the two universities Loyola and Tulane opposite. Inside the tram...
New Orleans public works were doing tram track maintenance so the tram finished prematurely and we had to hitch a bus the last stretch.
When we got to Audubon Park, we noticed what a similar feel to Centennial Park in Sydney it had. A circular loop around a pond with a bird sanctuary, the loop being divided into a bicycle path and a walker/jogger path. And trees felt very similar too, the two parks are probably of a similar age.
Some nice statues and flower arrangements...
Parts of the centre of the Audubon Park is a golf course, plus a small stretch to the side below. There were also houses built into the park space and we reckon that they were very expensive. They did look that way.
Cute statue with a more everyday motif.
Well, we completed one lap in Audubon Park before we crossed Saint Charles Ave and walked into the Loyola University grounds in search for a morning cuppa. We did find a student cafeteria and sat down with our hot teas and observed student life for a while. Below is a picture from the Loyola University's grounds.
We then decided to take ourselves back on the tram, but we skipped the bus for the first stretch and wandered the streets a bit to check out how the 1% lives in New Orleans. There is a serious disparity between the have's and have not's here. The houses, of course, are fantastic, but they show off so much wealth that it can almost be obscene given what we saw yesterday in the eastern outskirts of New Orleans, houses still wrecks almost 8 years after Hurricane Katrina struck. A couple of pics of the very nice houses...
We got onto the tram and went back to downtown, had lunch at a hole in the wall place called FredRicks Deli after which we went separate ways. Di has a bit of a cold (thanks Hans for sharing) and went back to base and Hans continued exploring.
Hans went off to explore New Orleans Amtrak station given that we take the train to Memphis on Friday. The station below also services Greyhound bus services, but there are only 4 train services per day, whereof two go to Memphis.
Just behind and north of the Amtrak station is the Louisiana Superdome, now named Mercedes Benz Superdome, home to New Orleans Saints football team.
The Louisiana Superdome, of course, was also the "home" of some notoriety during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when it was used "as a shelter of last resort" for something like 15,000+ people who stayed there for some time, with rapidly deteriorating conditions and pretty much every supply and medical ran out.
Today, it was all calm and Hans was one of only a handful of tourists having a look at the site.
Just next to the Superdome is New Orleans Downtown Heliport. I suppose you can ship in and out rock stars and other celebrities with little effort that way, away from the fans. Eric Clapton is announced to play at the Superdome later in March.
Hans then walked back into the Arts and Warehouse District down Poydras Street when he found this very beautiful hotel, part of the Hilton chain.
After a bit more wandering, Hans went back to the room as well, where Di had been napping, so Hans had a nap too.
Low key dinner at iHop (International House of Pancakes) on Canal St, which does a lot more than just pancakes. We had "chicken fried chicken" which essentially is chicken schnitzel, today's deal, and it was surprisingly good. A parade of empty parade vehicles went by outside.
An evening wander along the Missisippi followed before we went back to the hotel again.
No drinks tonight for the first time in... Well, we don't really know how long.
Good night.


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