It was raining when we arrived to New Orleans. It felt like a place from another time, or a timeless city. Right away the architecture made us feel like we were in Europe. We drove down Bourbon street, foggy and still a mystery to us. Found a safe place to park, close to Frenchmen street, and started exploring around.
NOLA is filled with a celebration spirit. Walking down Royal street is a treat, music on every corner, folk, blues, jazz, each band is better than the last one. We met musicians from California, Canada, Italy, every one searching for, and fulfilling their dreams on the streets of this magical city.
Our favorite street by far is Frenchmen, you can really feel the old school flavor of the New Orleans jazz and the Delta blues. It became our usual place to go every night, since Bourbon street is mythical, but has become the more commercial side of town, with more drunk people than authentic local music.
There's a couple things I enjoyed a lot and highly recommend besides the streets I mentioned already. Take a stroll around the French market in the morning for breakfast, then check out Jackson Square which is very close, and is surrounded by painters. I had some time and the sun was shining, so I laid in the garden at the park and analyzed the St. Louis Cathedral's beautiful design, as I enjoyed the the warm weather. The 'Stanley' is located on one of the corners of the square, and they make the best Bloody Marys ever, so don't miss it if you like them. The trolley is slow, but very cheap and it goes around town so you can see all the old neighborhoods with colonial houses, they will amaze you. Last but not least, mingle with the people, the locals, the musicians, everybody is nice and open to tell you about the area and even invite you to a party, don't be shy.
We stayed in New Orleans 7 days and loved it, met really cool people from all over the place. It felt so much like home, and so comfortable, that we took a shower on the street. Ha, you gotta get creative when you are living the van life. On our last day we drove to the mouth of the Mississippi river, the southernmost point in Louisiana, just a little practice for when we make it to the tip of Chile.
There's some more images in the Photography/Travel link if you want to see a little more from our travels.