Rain did not spoil our second day in New Orleans. We had a Gray Line Bus tour scheduled. Sweet Man had this lined up ahead of time. We have done similar tours in other cities and we recommend them. There is always a tour guide who gives the history of the city along with their restaurant recommendations etc. This one did not disappoint.
While we waited we saw that the street car line was right across the street along with a Jackson Brewery. Which ended up to not be a place to taste beer but to only purchase it to go. However when the tour was over we were able to head over here for an extra umbrella as we did bring one with us.
As we waited for the bus to take off I noticed that the SteamBoat was floating down the Mississippi in front of us. It looked cold and miserable on the river.
The following pictures are not the greatest due to the bus windows being covered in raindrops. Even though Joan of Arc statue is covered in rain droplets she still welcomed us to NOLA.
The tour director gave us an understanding of what Shotgun Houses were. Forgive the picture but it shows you how small they are. There are several of these style homes in New Orleans.
Shotgun houses are narrow rectangle homes usually no more then 12 feet wide. The rooms are lined up right after another with no hallway. They built these because the taxation was on the frontage of the property and nothing else. It also was said you could shoot a shot gun through the front door and it would come out the back door.
Many homes in the French Quarter were quite colorful.
The tour took us past the Art Museum, the WWII museum and botanical gardens. All beautiful places but because of the rain I am not going to share the raindrop shots! If we would have spent one more day in New Orleans we would have gone to the Museums especially the world renowned WWII museum!
The tour did take us to our first cemetery called the St. Louis Cemetery. Here we did get off the bus to take pictures with an explanation as to why almost all the cemeteries are above ground and to how they were built.
Because NOLA is below sea level and the water table is quite high their cemeteries have to be above ground. Many of their cemeteries are hundreds of years old. And they are in row after row after row… almost like streets which is why the cemeteries are also referred to as “Cities of the Dead.” Each tomb/vault is for a whole family …believe it or not.
How in the world can all those coffins fit in one tomb/vault.??
In the next photo… this tomb is quite old and the front has crumbled away but it can also show how they can place and entire family in one tomb/vault. New Orleans has a law that when one family member has died and is laid to rest …two years must go by before another family member is placed in that tomb. At that time, the first coffin in the tomb is broken up and the bones of the first deceased person are put in a bag and placed down at the bottom of the tomb. Then the new coffin goes in. This can go on and on for years upon years. If by chance a family member dies before the two years… New Orleans have special vaults where the deceased can wait until they are able to be laid to rest in their Family Tomb. Believe it or not they have Society Tombs as well. I saw an entire volunteer Firemen organization that had a very large tomb. Other organizations did the same.
Old and New…
Many tours of many different cemeteries are are given throughout the day and night.
I don’t think I could go at night but maybe you can!
After our bus tour we headed to the famous… Cafe Beignet!
We had a great cup of coffee and shared 3 Beignets. They are as yummy as they look!
The beautiful Garden District of NOLA and Jackson Square will be featured in my next post. Thanks so much for following along on our wonderful get away…