Friday, May 20, 2011
A visit to New Orleans would not be complete without going to the cities of the dead as the cemeteries are called. On Saturday, May 14th, CH and I signed up for a 2-hour bus tour that included the residential area of the French Quarter, City Park, Garden District, the Ninth ward and the cemeteries. We thought it would be safer than going there ourselves, even during the day. The bus tour also would be much easier for CH than the walking tour. According to Lonely Planet, "Saint Roch Cemetery is one of New Orleans' more interesting cemeteries, and arguably the most eccentric chapel." The tour bus did not stop there so we could not see "all sorts of ceramic body parts (ankles, heads, breasts), prosthetic, leg braces, crutches and false teeth, as testaments to the healing power of a sacred site in front of a particularly tomb."
It is called "the cities of the dead" because of the non-traditional methods of above the ground burials. The bus driver/tour guide only drove by St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. He did not stop there and we did not ask why, so we could not see the crypt of voodoo queen Marie Laveau. I took these photos when the bus made a 10-minute stop at St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
According to Frommer's guide, St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 is unsafe compared to No. 1 and it recommended not going there unless with an official tour group. I must say that I was bit nervous even when it was during the day and the bus was only a few feet away because the tombs are very tall and a short person like me could be dragged away without anyone seeing!
I could not help taking the above photo of the tombs and in the background the billboard showing Powerball lottery reaching $81 millions on Saturday, May 14th. I thought the saying, "You can't take it (money) with you (when you are either six feet under or above ground)!" Later CH and I purchased a few lottery tickets just to try our luck. We thought if we won the jackpot then we could stay in New Orleans for another week! We won $4 on one of the tickets, enough to break even :)
Above photo shows the building of University of New Orleans in the background. When a person dies, could that be considered graduating from living?