Trip Start May 05, 2010
Trip End Jun 05, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Orleans was founded May 7, 1718, by the Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville from Montreal Canada!  There is a Canadian connection here. It was named for Philippe d'Orleans, Duke of Orleans, who was Regent of France at the time. His title came from the French city of Orleans.

All of the surviving 18th century architecture of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) dates from this Spanish period. Napoleon sold the territory to the United States in 1803. Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, Creoles, Irish, Germans and Africans. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on large plantations outside the city.

We were in New Orleans about 5+ years ago so our stop today was to enjoy a Beignets  Beignets are the official state doughnut of Louisiana and to get the best you go through the French Quarter to Café du Monde on Decatur Street.  It is open 24/7/364 - closed only on Christmas day!  The cafe was busy with lots enjoying the coffee and beignets.  Outside the cafe was a man singing and playing good old jazz songs, he was very entertaining.

The French Quarters is facinating, intriguing and entertaining.  Our first stop was to the St. Louis Cathedral on the Place John Paul II.  The first church on the site was built in 1718; the third, built in 1789, was raised to cathedral rank in 1793. The cathedral was expanded and largely rebuilt in 1850, with little of the 1789 structure remaining.  The inside reminded us of many of the churches we had visited in England and Europe, absolutely beautiful!

We walked through the French Quarters back to our parking spot and then on the road heading North.  We were surprised at the causeway we drove over for miles and miles with water on both sides of us.  We now understand the complications for the evacuations during Hurricane Katrina.

Beautiful country side.
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