First Impressions of the Big Easy

Having successfully dropped off the car and got an Uber to our hotel we were feeling like we had this American holidaying sorted! Our hotel seems nice enough. A bit like in Chicago it’s a big hotel with an old facade and pretty standard inside. It’s in the French Quarter so in the heart of the action. 

Once we’d got settled in we decided to go for a wander and see what was around. Firstly we wanted to find a late lunch, and we assumed that, like Chicago, there would be good places on every other corner. Unfortunately it proved more challenging than that, at least partly because it was unbearably hot outside!

Tom and Google Maps to the rescue! He found a little place down a side street called ‘Killer Poboys’ which had good reviews on trip advisor. Tom had the shrimp, I went for the chicken. 

Then we went and had a wander around the French Quarter. We found it all pretty stressful and got quite hassled. We went to buy tickets for a couple of boat trips for the next couple of days, and then had a sit in Jackson Square overlooking the Cathedral while the sun started setting. 

Then we walked back to the hotel up Bourbon Street. This was where all the bars seem to be and was incredibly seedy. 

It was like Amsterdam meets Magaluf with an American tat-pushing edge. All the bars were incredibly loud. No doubt there was some good music going on, but with 4 different bands audible from any one spot it was an awful cacophony of noise. It was also smelly and warm, and Tom was being continually hassled to go in bars or buy bits of street tat. At one point someone was incredibly pushy trying to cut us both off and prevent us from walking further along the pavement. We’d both been looking forward to New Orleans and we felt like it was mis-sold. 

I sought some answers in the Rough Guide and thankfully, it had them. On Bourbon Street it offers this colourful picture:

“The tawdry, touristy, booze-drenched stretch spans the seven stinky blocks from Canal to St Ann: a frat-pack cacophony of trashy daiquiri stalls, novelty shops and tired girlie bars.”

So all in all, we picked the worst street for an afternoon stroll. Hopefully tomorrow we can discover the best of what the French Quarter has to offer!


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