Our last port of call was the former Southern Railway Station on Basin Street which is now a Visitor Centre. I've borrowed the black and white photo from the internet to show how it looked in the early years of the 20th century. This was the area of New Orleans where jazz first flourished. Jelly Roll Morton and many other famous jazz musicians began their careers in the clubs and bars around here. It was also the red light district of New Orleans for many years! Here's the great Ella Fitzgerald singing Basin Street Blues
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
We arrived in New Orleans at lunchtime which gave us the whole afternoon to explore. It was immediately obvious that it was a totally different kind of city to Savannah with a much faster pace of life. To begin with we weren't sure that we were going to like it but New Orleans is a city that grows on you. Above is St Louis Cathedral which is of course in the French Quarter. A Roman Catholic church has stood on this site since 1718 but the present building dates from 1850. The church became a cathedral in 1793 and is the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States.
New Orleans is full of street performers so we stopped to watch one group from the plaza which overlooks Jackson Square and Decateur Street. As we watched them we heard the sound of a brass band in the distance playing 'When The Saints Go Marching In'. It got closer and closer and then we saw that it was leading a wedding party down the street - I just managed to get a couple of quick photos before they passed out of sight. If you click on the photo you'll be able to see the bride more clearly. I love her parasol. Later in the afternoon we walked down the famous Bourbon Street just so that we could say we'd been there - and what a letdown that was! It was dirty, squalid and smelt to high heaven. We'd already decided that our night time excursions would be to Frenchman Street and it was immediately obvious that we'd got that one right!
This is the paddle wheel churning away, it was quite exciting to be able to get so close to it.
Sadly the sail down the Mississipi while interesting is definitely not filled with pretty scenery, it's a heavily industrial landscape as this photo shows.This is an oil refinery I think and we also passed the Domino Sugar Refinery which has been there for over 100 years but isn't an especially inspiring subject for a photograph! The Port of New Orleans and The Port of South Louisiana combine to make one of the largest port systems in the world handling both cargo and passenger traffic.
The Mississipi is 2,320 miles long, the fourth longest and the tenth widest river in the world. The river's name is a derivation of Misiziibi the name given to the river by the First Nations people who lived alongside it. Misiziibi means Great River.
Friday, January 24, 2014
I have received a comment via email about a post I did on the village of Tideswell in May 2010. I have added it to the comments but thought I would also put it here with a link to the original post for anyone who is interested. The photo above is of a carving in the church done by Advent Hunstone the great great uncle of Mr Bagshawe.
" Hello Rowan, What a wonderful demonstration and wonderful photos on your website. My name is Mark
Hunstone Bagshaw b Buxton. I lived in Tideswell for 16 years at Velvet Mill. We ran a family business - Chapmans - so called under our ownership because Chapmans had previously run the business going back over 100 years.
Brenda lived in Tideswell [ Tidza } for two years and always said that it had an atmosphere not many places have. The depth of history you portray previously unknown to us, little wonder!! Thanks for your lovely comments and research. I am the great great nephew of Advent Hunstone - his brother Robert m Mary Lyon and one of their daughters Janet m William Bagshaw - my grandparents.
Would love my comments to go on your Blog/website - most enjoyable.
Kind regards Mark"
I found it really interesting to be contacted by a descendent of one of the people from the past that I've written about. Thank you Mark:)
Friday, January 17, 2014
The beach was full of birds who were quite tame and allowed us to get quite close to them. Not sure what these are - knot maybe?
I found taking photos here very difficult as the trees cast so much shadow.We had an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide but there wasn't much time for lingering and taking several shots as I usually do:) It's one of the disadvantages of being in a tour group. I've included this photo because of the iron cross that stands at the foot of the grave. These stand in front of many of the graves and signify that one of the occupants was a Confederate soldier who served during the American Civil War. The letters C S A stand for Confederate States of America.
This is her story - you will need to click on the photo to read it.
I mentioned in the previous post that the famous songwriter Johnny Mercer was a native of Savannah and he and several members of his family are buried in this grave plot in Bon Aventure - the two graves at the back right are those of Johnny and his wife.
This memorial bench in the front corner of the plot has a caricature of Johhny Mercer's head in the centre and the titles of some of his most famous songs engraved around the edges.
Bon Aventure is built on a bluff of the Wilmington River which eventually flows into the Savannah River. I'm sure we were told about this impressive arched memorial but I can't remember anything about it - I should have taken notes!
There is one statue that used to be in Bon Aventure which, like the Mercer-Williams House, became famous through the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
We had to move back to the Embassy Suites at the airport for the weekend as the Rock'n'Roll Marathon was on in the city and Marshall House was already fully booked when we made our reservations. As a result we needed our own transport so over the weekend we rented a car - a brand new Chrysler 300C. Juliette had never driven an automatic before nor had she ever driven anywhere but the UK, not to mention that it was dark when we left Savannah and her own car is a little VW Polo! How she managed the 45 minute drive to the airport I shall never know and I don't think she does either:) We would still be driving round Georgia and possibly several other states as well without the satnav - we certainly would never have found the hotel. However it was a good thing in a way because the next day driving in daylight was a breeze. I gather that the car was lovely to drive and it was certainly very comfortable.
On Saturday we drove out to the ruined plantation at Wormsloe. It was a fortified house built in 1736 by Noble Jones, one of the founders of the colonial state of Georgia. The fortifications were there because of possible attacks by the Spanish who had colonized what is now the state of Florida and also claimed the coastal areas of Georgia.
The house was built of wood and tabby which is a sort of cement made from oyster shells and lime. You can see the oyster shells quite clearly in the photo. In 1828 a new plantation house was built and the original gradually fell into ruin.
There were only two reenactors on the site - I suppose it was late in the season and there's probably more going on in the summertime.
I think this was a replica of the area where the slaves lived but I could be wrong about this. There was really very little information about the site as a whole, just a little leaflet with a map - no guide book because I asked.