Voodoo & the French Quarter

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We arrived in New Orleans this morning. We're staying in a classic New Orleans hotel in the French Quarter with wrought iron balconies, and rooms surrounding the courtyard & pool.

We walked around the French Quarter a bit before we went to the Voodoo Museum and joined a 3 hour tour of the area and St Louis Cemetery No.1, the oldest in the city. Our tour guide, a historian, seemed to know and share every fact about voodoo and the history of New Orleans. Our tour included St. Expedite Catholic Church which was used strictly for funerals during the 1800's when yellow fever killed 1/3 of the population of the city. We also sat in Congo Square, now Armstrong Park, where hundreds of people met every Sunday for Voodoo religious rituals in the 1800's and early 1900's.

The cemetery was a unique experience. They bury people in above-ground tombs due to the city being below sea level.  We stopped at the tomb of Marie Laveau, a famous Voodoo Queen, and learned how people ask her spirit for help by knocking on her tomb and making a "sincere" wish. The cemetery closes at 3:00, and due to our loquacious guide, we found ourselves locked in by the time we arrived back at the exit gate! The idea of being stuck in there was a bit unnerving! Our only way out was to climb over a high wall, so we proceeded to climb up on a barrel, then up onto the top of the wall, and then we jumped off onto the sidewalk. A memorable experience!

We'll have another day here tomorrow before we head out to Cajun/Creole country.
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