30.05.2011 - 30.05.2011 29 °C
Today I departed the rock and soul capital of Memphis for New Orleans, Louisiana. On my approach to New Orleans, I crossed the gigantic Lake Pontchartrain, covering an area of 1630 square kilometres it is the second-largest inland salt lake in the States – when I first saw it I thought it was the ocean it was that huge! When entering New Orleans I learnt about voodoo. Voodoo is a religious practice which celebrates the dead using potions, powders and other things. The people, culture and customs of New Orleans people are typically called ‘creole’ referring to the melting pot of French, Spanish and English settlers to the region. On another note, Mardi Gras, the celebration prior to Lent, is a massive event held in New Orleans annually.
The first event for the night was to ride the Creole Queen, a paddleboat, down the Mississippi River. Fitted with furnishing from the 19th century, the paddleboat took me on a relaxing and smooth ride down the Mississippi on a warm May night. It was great to just sit down on the top deck and watch the river go by. I had a traditional creole dinner which consisted of Cajun rice, green beans, potatoes and fish – it was delicious; I went back for more!
After the paddleboat cruise I partied on Bourbon Street, the top party destination in New Orleans. It is a tradition in Bourbon Street, particularly during Mardi Gras, for women to collect beads from men as trophies by showing them their breasts – I didn’t see any of that happening. First stop for the night was a bar which wasn’t too busy but I had my first traditional New Orleans drink, a hurricane. A hurricane is made with fruit juice, syrup or grenadine and rum. I didn’t like it too much because I don’t enjoy rum but after drinking half of it I couldn’t taste the rum anymore! It was then time for the club, Club 455. It wasn’t too special, although there were very desperate waitresses coming around with alcohol-fuelled syringes and test-tube shots forcing people to drink – quite funny! Also, I learnt a new dance – the cupid shuffle. It goes like this: shuffle to the right (4 times), shuffle to the left (4 times), kick (4 times), step right-left-right-left as you turn to the left, repeat. That’s the cupid shuffle. It’s very easy to pick up and a lot of fun!
First time activities:
• Cruising down the Mississippi River on a paddleboat
• Dancing the cupid shuffle
• Partying on Bourbon Street