08.07.2010 - 09.07.2010 35 °C
I thought I had found the real New Orleans I was looking for on Thursday. I found the Katrina Rebirth Tour, which would take me to the devestated areas of the Lower 9th. It sounded great, in the right context.
I couldn't have been more wrong, and this is because of the way the tour was conducted by the guide, Billy. As soon as I got on the guide began talking about a city tour of the French Quarter. I had already seen the French Quarter and I hadn't paid to see it, so I put my hand up to ask where we would be going. "Is that a problem?" he fired at . "Are you kidding?" I asked back. I really couldn't believe the way this man was talking to me and by the looks on their faces nor could the others on the bus. "Can I carry on now?" he shouted down his microphone. "You can do what you want. I've been looking for an excuse to save money and your tip would be a great place to start - so carry on talking," was my response. I was brimming with frustration at this point but, conscious that I must pick my battles, knowing that he was small fry and that I had made my point I waved him on.
We toured the French Quarter, the Garden District (where Sandra Bullocks New Orleans home is and the house where Benjamin Button is set). Eventually we made some in roads into the Lower 9th (about time seeing that I was supposed to be on the Katrina Rebirth tour). However, we only skimmed the surface. You see Billy said seeing the devestated areas was too depressing. Just as I suppose it was depressing when I visited Dachau concentration camp, but the point is, I knew what it would be like and signed up anyway. Well anyhow I got back to the hostel and told the manager what it had been like. He apologised for my experience and refunded my money. The tour had nothing to do with the hostel, so I really appreciated his gesture. I went to a jazz bar on Frenchman Street in the evening, which just about lowered my blood pressure.
On Friday I took myself to the National World War II museum. It's housed here in New Orleans because 92% of the landing boats used in the war were constructed here. The museum is probably the most informative I've been to as was glad I visited it.
I'm driving to Austin, Texas tomorrow. I'm setting off early and I'm incredibly excited about it - I can't wait to hit the road for the first time on my trip.