I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans and attending Mardi Gras pre-Katrina, in 2003. It was an extremely fun and action-packed week! However, I didn’t get to see as much of this beautiful city as I would have liked, or explore more of Louisiana. In addition, although I took lots of photos during this trip, it was before I bought my first SLR camera. I’d love a do-over now that I have a much better camera!
In honour of Mardi Gras, here are some photos from that trip. Please forgive the poor quality of the images, taken on my old Yashika point-and-shoot film camera. She served me well for many years, but the difference in quality between point-and-shoot and SLR (film or digital) is obvious!
The friend that I traveled with, Laura, and I carefully researched which parades to go to, and we attended a lot of them during the week we were there.
Bourbon Street is exactly how you would expect it to be, and everything you have heard about is true!
Mardi Gras Day: DIY parade!
At Mardi Gras, anything goes! And everyone gets into the spirit.
We did get to explore some of beautiful New Orleans. I loved the huge trees and lace balconies. As you can see from the two photos below, these balconies are a huge part of the character of New Orleans.
There were lots of interesting stores and alleys with hidden gems.
Another, perhaps lesser known trademark of New Orleans, is its “Cities of the Dead,” or cemeteries. These are characterized by above-ground tombs thanks to the high water table. We toured St. Louis Cemetary No. 1. Click here to learn more.
This is a more modern section of the cemetery.
We also walked around the beautiful Garden District; a stark contrast to the craziness of Bourbon Street and much of the French Quarter.
This part of New Orleans is known for its sleepy streets lined with huge, old oak trees and beautiful mansions, including the home of Anne Rice, pictured below. I must confess, I also took a photo in front of the then-home of Nine Inch Nails front man, Trent Reznor!
It was an incredible week that I will never forget! Here are two last photos for fun. The first (taken by a fellow reveler) is Laura and I on Mardi Gras day, posing with a “hurricane,” the local favourite fruity rum drink. The second photo is the day we left for home. I’m posing with my proceeds from the week – I told you we went to a lot of parades! You can learn more about the parades and history of Mardi Gras here.
Happy Mardi Gras! I’m off to enjoy some sweet potato pancakes.
All images by me (except where noted); copyright Tina Beynen, 2016.