25 August 2005

R&R In New Orleans

I spent my morning walking from my hotel to the Riverfront where I signed up for a boat tour to the Battlefield of Chalmette for a history lesson of that land that I am currently standing on.

As I was walking, I was very fascinated by the architectural designs of the old buildings. I realised that it is old cities like this they captivates me more than those spanking new emotionless cities. I like to be at a place where there is a story to tell.

The weather was almost like home and I was melting under the intense heat even at 9am in the morning.

I boarded the Creole Queen that was a Paddle Wheeler like the Natchez shown below and on the right is a close of up of the Paddle Wheeler. Nice colour of red. No?

As we paddled towards the Battlefield, we pass by a couple of old factories and it made me wondered how many people's lives and passed through those front doors all these years. The one of the right is still in operation and it's the Dominos Sugar Mill as one of New Orleans' agricultural crop is that of the sugar cane. Back in the old days, the slaves were brought in to work in the sugar cane plantations. The unique thing about this plant is that we can smell the sugar in the air as our boat passed by.

We got off the boat at Chalmette and were greeted by a park ranger dressed as a Free Man Of Color. He explained that this was the place where the British forces were mostly heavily defeated in the Battle of New Orleans. It was a significant moment for the Americans as for the first time, the Native Indians, Free Men Of Color, local pirates, local militias and the American forces got together as one people and repel the attempt to capture New Orleans by the British.

In a way, I couldn't help but be reminded of our own Fort Siloso. Both are historical landmarks of war commemorating the cock-up of the British forces.

That's our park ranger don in the clothes of a Free Man of Color then while on the right is the Battlefield of Chalmette. The vast open land back during the battle was a harvest sugar plantation, which means total open area without any cover. The American has the cover of mud banks to protect them while the British were foolish enough to march towards them in total open space. The battle was over in just under 3 hours as the British were repelled. Casualty count was 13 on the American side versus 2000+ on the British side.

There is so much more that I haven't see but alas my R&R was only for a single day as I need to rush back to Ch1na to take care of work. I will definitely make another trip soon to cover more ground.

For some strange reason, I am suddenly craving for a big serving of leafy salad. I wonder why.....

Anyway, my flight out is 6am tomorrow morning which means that I need to check in at the airport at 4am which means that I have to leave the hotel at 3:30am which means that I have to wake up at 3am. Nah Beh....

I hope I can wake up.

As usual, goto my flickr account if you are interested to see these pictures in larger size.

Afternote (29 Aug 2010): Now five years later as I look back at this entry. I realised I was very lucky to be able to leave New Orleans just mere days before Hurricane Katrina hits. I remember watching the hurricane on the news at the airport prior to my departure. It just left Puerto Rico and heading in Florida.

What I didn't expect was for the hurricane to make a roundabout turn and slam straight into New Orleans. I didn't expect the magnitude of damage sustained by the city as hurricanes (we call it typhoon over this side of the Pacific Ocean) over here are very common every year.

In a way, I was one of the few who saw New Orleans before it got punched in the face by the hurricane.

Very lucky.

- Voxeros

1. akk left...
Thursday, 25 August 2005 2:23 pm
free men of colour? is that why the uniform is all in white? and anyhow, that big leafy salad craving must have stemmed from ur fried seafood fiesta...

2. Lynne left...
Thursday, 25 August 2005 8:42 pm
You and I are "linked" by the Mississippi River ...

3. Vandice left...
Thursday, 25 August 2005 11:29 pm ::
Good hurried R&R for you... Thks for the picts bro. Now you make m gian New Orleans liao... Hope you get over your jetlag soon ok?

4. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 25 August 2005 11:34 pm ::
Akk: Let me take a stab here. Given that the black (African American to be politically correct) people were refered to the whites as colored people, I am thinking that Free Men Of Color were black people freed from their slavery. 

You are right about the leafy salad cravings. I think I ate enough oily stuff to warrant a pimple outbreak soon! Oh no...... 

Lynne: Yeah... but we are now linked by the Pacific Ocean since I am now back in Hong Kong. 

Vandice: Not getting over the jet lag may not be a bad idea, it means that I will be awake all night when I am back in Singapore. Very convenient if you are going to cheong. ~LOL

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