Wednesday, April 4, 2012

nola ~ the city and katrina tour

The French Quarter...a most interesting place to explore on foot or by horse drawn carriage.

We decided to do the horse-and-buggy tour...and learn a little about the sites we were passing by! I'll give you a wee photo tour today.

French architecture...

...antique shoppes for those with fat wallets

...narrow alleys to more shops

...fancy latticework

...the building that was intended to be a sanctuary for Napoleon after his exile (though he never set foot here)

...the Cornstalk Fence Hotel (a boutique hotel built in 1816)

...and a typical house. 

We left our horse and buggy behind in the French Quarter...and hopped on a bus to tour the rest of the city. 

In the Garden District...we passed by the homes of people we 'almost knew'.  Sandra Bullock lives in this house...and she even happened to be home when we passed by.  (If the porch light is burning...the occupant is home!).

Right next door to her the home where  'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' was filmed. 

We also visited a cemetery.  In New Orleans, the graves are all above ground.  And for good reason!  Since the city lies well below sea can't dig down without hitting water.

The last part of our city tour was most interesting.  We saw first hand what happened when the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina.  Our tour guide was living in the 9th Ward at the time...and counts himself most blessed to be alive.  He was swept away by a wall of water when the dike gave way...and spent many days on a roof top waiting to be rescued.  He has no intentions of ever returning as a resident to his old neighbourhood!

A few of the pre-Katrina houses are still standing...though condemned.

For the most part, the 9th Ward looks like a bit of a ghost town...with foundations and sidewalks remaining as a reminder of the neighbourhood that once was.

There is a new community centre and a cluster of new houses...built with the help of actor Brad Pitt. But almost seven years after Katrina, less than a third of the residents have returned.  Many are apprehensive about living next to the levee of the mighty Mississippi. Could it happen again?  I think so.

Before we left New Orleans we took a ride across the river. 

It's's's busy.  It is an integral part of New Orleans.

Nola...we enjoyed our visit.  Oh...and they make good music!


  1. Wonderful tour. I enjoyed seeing the French influence. I'd never heard that there were plans for Napoleon to hang out in New Orleans. (Interesting, because there were plans for Marie Antoinette to hang out in Quebec.) Perhaps "hang out" isn't the best term. =/ Personally, I think that the 70% who left are very wise.

  2. I don't know that I'd ever want to live that close to the levee. It would be tempting fate!
    Thanks for that lovely tour. It brought back memories for me and whet my appetite for a return trip.

  3. The carriage tours are a favorite "to do" when visiting old cities. Fun way to learn a lot.

  4. What a great tour! I like where you go!

  5. I love the way you share the history, from horses, to buses to boats. One really captures the heart beat of Katrina as you share your travels with us.

  6. I took a tour of the 9th Ward a couple years after Katrina and the destruction was horrendous. I don't think it is wise to rebuild there if there is no guarantee the levee will not break in a future storm. I'm glad to see the antique shops have many were still closed when I was there. I love the pretty houses in the Garden District found two very special ones!

  7. A wonderful tour Judy. I think you chose the best way to take it, too. It really is a city with a lot of architectural charm...

  8. Thanks for the tour, Judy. There's some very pretty architecture in your photos. And those chandeliers - gorgeous for those with, as you've said, fat pocketbooks.

  9. Looks like you made the most of your visit! Your pictures are great!

  10. Great pitures, Judy! Love the French architecture and colors.

  11. Your pictures are postcard perfect - beautiful tour!

  12. This post brought back memories of sitting in front of the television and watching the aftermath of Katrina, and wondering could it get any worse? I appreciated this informative post and the perfectly captured photography that was with it. So interesting!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson