Page Three of our daily Tour Journal   

New Orleans continues....

One of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter
is apparently now an extremely popular gay bar


We know the French love their dogs but surely this is
taking it too far? Lower sign says "The bakery for dogs"

Attractive Queenslander style ballustraded balconies
attractively decorated with hanging fern baskets

Wire sculptures about 300 mm high of jazz musicians


St Louis Cathedral located on Jackson Square.

Brian muses on the juxtaposition of the cathedral,
beside Place John Paul II and the the Pirate's Alley!

The French build Cathedral is beautifully maintained
unlike so many Cathedrals one sees in France.

By now it was late afternoon and we were feeling pretty exhausted. It seemed like a good idea to have an early night and so we purchased some food provisions and finished the evening over a picnic supper in our hotel room.

10th May 2004
Our feet still haven't recovered from yesterday's walking tour and so we decide to spend the day exploring the city via the streetcar service. This also affords the opportunity to get out of the tourist saturated French Quarter and into New Orleans proper.

We boarded a streetcar at nearby Ursuline station beside the French Markets with the intention of taking a journey out to City Park where an outdoor exhibition of sculptures was apparently on display. We were half way to our destination when some official spoke to the driver and the destination was suddenly changed without explanation!! No announcement was made to passengers. We only knew because we were seated near the driver!!

Our new destination was...... "Cemeteries"!

Actually the Cemeteries of New Orleans are a popular tourist destination. All graves are in the form of large above ground crypts and many contain famous historical figures. New Orleans is built on a delta formed by the Mississippi River and thanks to flood mitigation levees surrounding the town it is now below the river. The resulting hydraulic pressure pushes bodies clear out of the ground over a period of time if they are buried in a conventional manner. Hence the heavy stone and granite above-ground mausoleums.

Well, we're not really interested in cemeteries so we remain on board because "Cemeteries" is the end of the line (in more ways than one) and the streetcar will now terminate and head back towards downtown. Besides, it is now raining heavily.

In due course we reach a junction where we disembark in preparation for changing to a different route. We notice a Japanese restaurant offering "Sit down Sushi Buffet - $9.95" which looks like pretty good value and as it is almost 12.30 pm we decide to try it for lunch. Excellent value and not bad sushi given the wide variety and low price. A flask of saki only adds another $1.50 to the bill.

Resuming our journey we enjoy the scenery of neat and simple southern style bungalows which are quite unlike anything we see at home. The streets are arched by rows of large old oak trees making a scene so much those we see in movies with locales in the American south.

We finally reach City Park but as it is now raining again we decide to call it quits and just spend the rest of the afternoon riding the streetcar.

I haven't mentioned that 90% of passengers on our streetcar journeys have been Afro American and this in itself is a novelty for us. Around mid afternoon we stop at a High School and a squad of loud and boisterous black teenagers swamp the tram. Most of them are speaking some kind of very loud street talk which was virtually intelligible. You should have seen the sour, pursed-lipped looks on the black adults on our streetcar.... they definitely did NOT approve!!!

We had dinner at an excellent restaurant which we had researched and booked from Australia some weeks ago. It was quite elegant and came with a great reputation. We were amazed at the low prices for a restaurant having such a high status. Both food and wine was very reasonably priced and VERY much lower than we'd pay at a similar place in say Sydney or Melbourne.

We won't go into tremendous details about our meal but three dishes are particularly worthy of mention. A garlic cream soup was surprisingly subtle and quite superb. The quail salad comprised small and tender salad leaves dressed with a yummy molasses vinaigrette and topped with crispy fried sections of quail. Sliced breast of duck was a tender melt in your mouth masterpiece accompanied by a caramelised savoury marmalade of red cabbage and apple.


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