New Orleans

I’d wanted to visit New Orleans for the longest time, and this past Christmas I finally made it there!  Other than the weather, which was cooler than I expected (ok, it was actually freezing cold at times!), the city didn’t disappoint.

Buildings with wrought iron balconies is typical of the French Quarter

Buildings with ornate wrought iron balconies are typical of the French Quarter

New Orleans is unique because it has a history and culture unlike any other city in the U.S.  The city’s oldest and most well-known neighbourhood, the French Quarter (also known as Vieux Carré), dates back to the 1700’s, and has more of a European feel, with its narrow streets, overhanging balconies and hidden courtyards.  What I really loved was the vibrant music scene – New Orleans is, after all, the birthplace of Jazz, and also has a rich history of blues and other musical genres.  From street performances to the clubs on Frenchmen Street and the famous Bourbon Street, there’s no shortage of live music.

339e_Musson House

Musson House

While the French Quarter may be the most famous district in New Orleans, there’s lots more to see and do in other parts of the city.

Take a stroll through the Garden District, with it’s lovely 19th century mansions…

House in the Garden District

House in the Garden District

…or take a scenic drive down Esplanade Avenue….

Degas House

Degas House, where Edgar Degas stayed in 1872-1873

B&B on Esplanade Ave.

B&B on Esplanade Ave.

Where else would so many cemeteries be top tourist attractions?

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

And of course, there’s the food – the famous Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana. To be honest, I always used the the terms interchangeably and didn’t actually know the difference between the two.  But here is a good explanation.   I  was especially looking forward to the food because it’s not something that’s easy to find where I live (at least not the authentic kind).  Needless to say, I had plenty to eat and left with a few extra pounds to shed! 😦

I will write more about the restaurants in an upcoming post…

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