After the Canal De panama escapade, our next fixed voyage was Mississippi -New Orleans –Louisiana. To reach the historic port of call New Orleans, one needs to transit the famous Mississippi road river. It’s a total of 22 hours course which bestow the ultimate experience of enchanting Mississippi heritage. The river provides a true slice of Americana- serene landscapes, green panoramic views, quaint towns, bustling ports and massive ship traffic. Known to be the fourth longest river of the world, it passes through 10 different states of America. Round the year, the illustrious river is bustling with tourist hopped in state of the art Ocean going Cruisers.
Past the two day long stream, we anchored in New Orleans-a major United States port and metropolitan area in the province of Louisiana. “NOLA” as they call evolves around the holy trinity, jazz, food and entertainment. Everybody on the ship was first timers to visit the place. So after browsing through net we rounded few sites to explore through out the day. Our first destination was the famous “French Quarters”-the heart and cultural center of the city. I was totally enthralled by my first overview of the place. High-energy, vibrant surroundings, musical streets, aromatic air and mounts of exuberance.
Heart and soul of the French quarters is the Bourbon Street. It’s the most happening and wildest thoroughfare of the quarters with sounds of jazz music, country western, colorful decked-up girls and Mardi grass beads. The street gets the peak of its liveliness in the evening and it feels like you are a part of a carnival. We even gotta chance to relish a limousine ride all around the place. Beware the street is prohibited for kids as it jammed up with strip clubs, free flowing spirits and some adult stuff.
From there we rented a three wheeler rickshaw paddled by a girl. She took us to the famous “Jackson square”. The street was meandering with beautiful artwork from the super talented artist. It was one of my favourite place to walk through due to the different displays of artcrafts hanging on fence by artist to sell. The place was brimming with musician’s, street performers, Crazy costumes, fortune tellers and even voodoo specialist. The square is also famous for St Louis Cathedral and the Andrew Jackson monument.
After strolling for few hours and due to my hunger pangs, we took a cab to Magazine Street for our much anticipated Indian cuisine. The buffet was mouth watering and we hogged like beggars.
Loaded with food we went to Wal-Mart for some retail therapy .But my expectations doomed as most of the merchandise was of inferior quality. Halfheartedly we did some cosmetic shopping, souvenirs for family and friends and a nice handbag for myself.
We still had a couple of hours remaining before heading back towards our cocoon. Being an animal lover, I always loved visiting zoos and Aquariums. Audubon Aquarium of Americas is one family friendly activity in the city. Best display was the underwater tunnel, the Amazon rain forest and an open ocean tank. Life size aquariums, whales, penguins and white alligator, the place is a must visit for animal enthusiasts.
With heart full of unparalleled memories of one of the most phenomenal place, we reluctantly trudged en-route to our vessel.