Posted by: lindsaygoes | September 14, 2012

Cemeteries and Space Centres

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After a long drive we finally made it to New Orleans, learning about Southern hospitality on the way, when I was called ‘sweetheart’, ‘babe’ and ‘darling’, all while purchasing some apple juice. It was nice to have two nights break from camping with proper beds and air conditioning. Assau! The first night we had a walk through the French Quarter and dinner just off Bourbon St, I had some very tasty blackened catfish. We had a bit more of a walk after dinner, with people on balconies clutching strings of beads to throw to those in the streets below, and every bar and strip joint with a different cry to lure people in.

The next day we did a walking tour, mainly through the French Quarter. We learned about the history of the city and got to visit several hidden courtyards, an old Pharmacy Museum, a cockatoo that did tricks (I think that was just a bonus) and the oldest cemetery in New Orleans where we also saw the tomb of the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. All the tombs were fascinating, they are above ground family mausoleums. After death the body is interred on a shelf, then bricked up and covered with a marble plaque. When the next family member dies (as long as the last one has been there for more than one year and one day) the first is removed from the casket, which is destroyed, and the remains are swept to the back of the shelf where they fall through a gap to end up in a pile at the bottom with the rest of the deceased family members. After that it was lunch time (we still had an appetite) with more New Orleans specialities of Jambalaya, Gumbo, red beans and rice and crawfish etouffee. All very tasty! Then we visited the Voodoo Temple and Priestess Miriam, followed by the French Market. That night after dinner (I’ve probably gone on too much about what I ate in New Orleans already, so I’ll give you a break) we went to Preservation Hall where we listened to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The performance room is tiny, the acoustic baffling cigarette stained and peeling from the days before smoking bans, and the band was fantastic. It was obvious they were enjoying themselves the whole time as they played (mainly songs about New Orleans streets), and their joy in the music was infectious to the audience. A great night out.

We had a few more miles to go before our next stop, Houston, but we made it to the Johnson Space Centre in time for the last tram tour of the day. It was a really interesting tour, we got to visit the old Mission Control, used for the moon landings, the training facilities, where they have a full scale model of the International Space Station (I wonder if they use the toilets) and other spacey stuff to train in. We also got to see some old rockets and a Saturn V, which is mind bogglingly enormous. Once we had finished the tour the museum was closing for the day, so we didn’t get to see much of that at all. As we approached the campsite it was threatening to rain, and they ended up letting us use the gazebo for the night (apparently someone had lost their tent at 4am the night before), so we had a nice sheltered spot for the night, on the waterfront overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the lights of oil rigs glittering in the distance.

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  1. Reblogged this on Gigable – Tech Blog.


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