May 7, 2017

Where in the world am i?

                                                                                                                       Photo © Shutterstock/GTS Productions           

I straddle the Mississippi River.  I’m called the “birthplace of jazz”.  A world famous jazz artist nicknamed Satchmo called me home.

Where in the world....?

NEW ORLEANS!

Many cultures have melded over generations to create the “most unique city” in the United States, and it’s partly thanks to Napoléon Bonaparte.

The city started out as La Nouvelle-Orléans, founded in 1718 as a colonial outpost by the French Mississippi Company. It was named after the Duke of Orléans, who was posted to the New World as Regent of the Kingdom of France on the order of his uncle, King Louis XV.

   Spicy homemade Cajun Jambalaya, a New Orleans speciality                                 Photo ©Brent Hofacker /AdobeStock               

For the next 85 years French settlers continued to arrive and turned the city into a Francophile stronghold. It’s ironic, then, that it was the French conqueror Napoléon who finally broke his countrymen’s grip when he sold the entire state of Louisiana to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The sale opened New Orleans’ doors to a flood of new immigrants: Anglo-Americans, French Creoles, Haitians, Cubans, Africans (many of them freed slaves) and, later, Germans and Irish.

The Français flavour eventually fused with these other nationalities to form the unique lingo, culture and cuisine for which New Orleans is world famous today. Nevertheless, the city’s founding influence remains distinct and the French Quarter is one of its top tourist attractions.

Twilight in the iconic French Quarter                                                                 Photo © PaulDidsayabutra/AdobeStock           

A bigger attraction, though, is New Orleans’ special blend of music, which led to the birth of jazz. It’s also the birthplace of several jazz greats, most famously Louis Armstrong (nicknamed Satchmo or Pops). The city keeps true to its musical roots with incredible festivals like the annual Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

As New Orleanians at Mardi Gras say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”).

Mardi Gras = party time                                                                                                                      Photo ©Shutterstock           

Go here with Sure:  British Airways now flies to New Orleans four times weekly via London, and New Orleans is a highlight of the 12-day USA Munch Tour with Contiki (31 July 2017 - 11 August 2017). Ask your Sure Travel consultant for details, call 0861 47 48 49 or click here for more.


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