Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Orleans--Beauty Within the Craziness

We decided to take advantage of our last day in the area and head toward New Orleans—there were a few things we had wanted to see before leaving. We made our way toward Jackson Square. We want to see Saint Louis Cathedral.

We were shocked to find crowds of people. We hunted forever to find any kind of parking. There were people everywhere—again I asked “Where do all these people come from? Does no one have a daytime job anymore?” The square was full of people enjoying the sidewalk musicians, fortune tellers and gymnasts that thrilled the crowds with their jumps and flips. 

We enjoyed the sights and sounds, but were overwhelmed by the number of people.
We went into Saint Louis Cathedral. Various churches have been conducting services on the site of this cathedral since 1721. The Cathedral has been standing since 1793; it has had additions and embellishments since that time.

It was an amazing place to see. The walls are lined with the most beautiful stained glass windows.

Mass is still held daily in the magnificent church.

I could not help but think of the money changer story in the Bible when I saw the fortune tellers, musicians and magicians in front of the Cathedral.

We did not visit the museums or stores in the area, because we were ready to be home.

We took a wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood that was riddled with poverty. There were bars on the windows and graffiti on most empty surfaces, so it did not feel like a safe place; we were both happy when we reached the correct road. We made our way across the Lake Pontchartrain causeway. Although this impressive body of water is only 12-14 feet deep, it is 24 miles wide and 40 miles long—so you cannot see from end to end.

Since visiting New Orleans we have been told by multiple Louisiana residents, most people avoid New Orleans if possible. Apparently, it has become a dangerous, dirty city. Although we were only in the city 2 times, our assessment was the same. However, there are museums and some historic sites; it would have been a shame not to have seen them.
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