31.05.2011 - 31.05.2011 32 °C
Today began by walking through the French Quarter. As the name suggests this district was first settled by French Canadians from Nova Scotia. I expected the French language to saturate this district but there was very little French unfortunately, however, I did find the street signs were written in French (for example, Rue Bourbon) and a shop sign read ‘ouvert’ – I felt like I was back in Montreal for a second ☺. For a snack I had a beignet. French for ‘fried dough’, it is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, like a doughnut, with cinnamon – it was really nice but too unhealthy. During my walk through the French Quarter I looked at the gold statue of Joan of Arc, Jackson Square and Saint Louis Cathedral, the French Market and New Orleans Mint which is now a jazz museum. For lunch I visited my first IHOP (International House of Pancakes) on Canal Street and had four pancakes with bananas and strawberries – it was very delicious!
That afternoon I was in for a thrill adventure – airboating with alligators! As soon as I arrived at the alligator farm I visited the tank containing the American alligators. There were about 15-20 alligators in one tank, mainly small gators and one albino one – it was really cute!
Later it was time to jump on the airboat. I cruised down Bayou Perot, passing through marshes and open water. We had only seen glimpses of a couple of gators halfway through the cruise so I was taken to gator alley, the home of Elvis the alligator. I soon found him. To coax him to the airboat, the tour guide threw marshmallows – yes alligators apparently like marshmallows! – into the water for the alligator to eat. There were soon a few alligators, about 2-3 metres long, surrounding the airboat for a feed – it was an awesome sight! My tour guide then grabbed a baby alligator from an esky and passed it around the group to hold. I was very eager to hold it and soon had it in my hands. To hold a baby alligator, without it biting you, you hold it around the neck and at the base of the tail – it was quite easy. The baby alligator was a treat to hold. I even kissed!!
I tremendously enjoyed the airboating cruise on Bayou Perot and playing with the alligators. It was my favourite part of New Orleans.
First time activities:
• Riding on an airboat
• Seeing, holding and kissing an alligator