We wanted to learn a bit more about New Orleans as it is such a unique city with such a rich historical culture, so we found a city bike tour with Confederacy of Cruisers. We met our tour guide Jeff this morning in the French Quarter, there were seven of us it total and luckily it was a beautiful sunny day. We got on our bikes and rode through the streets of New Orleans which I have to say was pretty special; I felt like one of the Von Trap children in the Sound of Music!
The houses, although old and run down (over 100 years old) are Caribbean inspired, extremely colourful and so quirky, they have just celebrated Mardi Gras so lots of people had decorated their porches with beads! Most of the properties in New Orleans are under zoning laws which means they cannot knock them down or change the appearance from the original design. We saw several neighbourhoods, the levee walls that help protect the city and stopped at one of the local bars for a round of Bloody Mary’s, one of the best I have ever had!
Jeff had such an extensive knowledge of New Orleans as he has lived there most of his life. We learned all about the French and American disputes and why they decided to build a city on a swamp! He explained why the history of New Orleans is so different to the rest of the US in terms of slavery, racism and equal rights, the jazz music and how important it is to their way of life and about the damage hurricane Katrina caused and where and why certain areas were affected more than others. We both thoroughly enjoyed the trip and afterwards we had lunch with the others on the tour at Coops; a traditional Creole restaurant where we had Gumbo, Jambalaya and a few other local dishes.
At this very moment it is 7pm and we have just crossed the border from Louisiana to Texas, Paul is driving and we should be at our next stop about 8.30pm. We have driven 1100 miles since Thursday!