Full Circle

In New York, at the beginning of this trip, we had an excellent Hudson River trip. Smart dress code, dancing, great food etc, and tonight we went full circle with a river cruise on the Mississippi which was, well, New Orleans!! Both great, but so very different and reflecting the character of the two cities.
To be fair, the commentary was very good, as were the jazz band. The Mississippi in New Orleans is 200 ft deep, and carries 1 million cubic feet of fresh water per second into the Gulf of Mexico. Big ships can go upstream for over 200 miles before the bridges restrict their passage, and the levees go on for 1200 miles to St Louis! It’s quite a river, the third largest in the world.
It was a 40 year old steam driven paddle steamer, one of only 2 in service in the USA, but the motor/engine is over 80 years old and was refitted from another boat. It was a surprise, in such a litigious country, that the opening part of the commentary started with a 10 minute description of all the bars and all the drinks available, followed by a 5 minute description of all of the items available in the gift shop, followed by 1 minute on the safety procedures. Obviously, marketing trumps safety here!
Some other random things about New Orleans.
They have terrible problems with termites, allegedly brought back from Asia following the Second World War by the troops in their equipment. Sounds familiar to those of us in SW France, where the same is being said! Namely that the US forces brought into France the deadly disease which is attacking the plane trees alongside the Canal du Midi! But then the French would blame the Americans for anything.
Besides swarming around from time to time, a building recently collapsed in the French Quarter from termite attack on the foundations, (the first vacant lot anyone can remember in the F Q) and as you walk around you see little round steel plates screwed into the pavements. They are everywhere. Apparently the authorities put fresh wood in them and then visit to check on termite activity. Then they blitz them with poison.
We passed a sugar refinery on the boat which apparently produces 6 million pounds of refined sugar a day, which might account for some of the obesity.
Smoking was only banned in bars and restaurants here within the last 2 months, just before we got here. Thank you.
And in response to an email, I’m in most of the pictures because Lou uses her I-Phone (from which we can post directly onto the blog site), and I’m in charge of the “proper” camera, from which we cannot, until we get back home.
Anyway, up tomorrow and back home to France.

Comments are closed.