09.07.2014 - 13.07.2014 34 °C
The drive in on stilted roads high over the wetlands set the mood, with lightning and thunder clapping overhead as we arrived in this crazy, interesting city. Ruled over by the French and Spanish, and more recently devastated by hurricanes, the worst being Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which flooded the city when levees failed and water reached 7-8 meters high in some areas, causing massive destruction and many fatalities. The city is still recovering, outside of the touristic ‘French Quarter’ which is bringing some money back into the New Orleans.
We did not feel like we were in America during our time in New Orleans! It’s a hot and tropical city frequented by a daily storm, with music pouring onto the street. We loved Frenchmen Street, The Spotted Cat music bar, and the way you can walk the streets with a drink in your hand, how civilised! Our experience was even more enriched by catching up with a friend from Australia who lives here - a big thanks to Yanti and Alex who were amazing hosts and took us to some great local spots!!
On our last day we visited 9th Ward which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and didn't get nearly enough government support in the aftermath. One of the residents Ronald Lewis decided to setup his own tribute to the event with a museum on his property called the 'House of Dance and Feathers'. It also shares information about the vibrant New Orleans culture. The nearby wetlands was another must see, buzzing with wildlife, it felt as though we’d stepped into a jungle. Massive spiders, lizards, and even alligators were visible in the swamp water which the boardwalks passed over, a little too close for comfort!