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Monday, April 26, 2010

New Orleans 2

trFor our first day we decided to take a city tour and get our bearings and also see some sites we wouldn't see on our own.

We drove through the French Quarter, Jackson Square and the beautiful Garden District. You can take the trolley through that area but the bus driver went some different routes and we saw a popular football player's home (sorry I don't remember the name).

It also included a trip to the ninth ward that was so badly damaged from hurricane Katrina. Most of the homes have been abandoned or torn down with only the foundations left but there is new homes being built thanks to actor Brad Pitt. These homes however are on built on pillars and the bottom serves as covered parking and would provide more protection from another flooding. They explained how the writing on the different homes told if they had been searched and if they found anyone dead. Not only did people die from the flood water but also from the extreme heat and humidity afterwards.

One of the things I found interesting that a different tour guide said was that the dam was breached because of a barge that broke loose and hit it. We saw one of those barges and they are huge...this makes more sense to me than the dam just giving way.

Lastly we visited one of those famous above ground graveyards....

I have seen many of these from a distance and always wondered why the tombs were so big.....
These are all the people buried in this family tomb!
I learned a lot here ........the guide told us, that if a family member died one year and one day before the last family member who was buried in the tomb, they would have to be put in a holding grave because it takes one year and one day for a body to decompose here. You see a person is put in the tomb in a coffin and when it is time to bury another family member the coffin is opened and the remains are swept to the bottom of the tomb...that is how so many people can be buried in one tomb.

Below is one such holding area and it was in very bad shape. This is also the area where people are buried if they do not have a family tomb.


There were many tombs that were deteriorating....
and the guide explained that if there is no family left to care for them, they eventually tear them down.
I will tell you about the surprise highlight of my trip next time............

6 comments:

Nancy said...

Very interesting - I learned a lot from this post. Thanks!

Chatty Crone said...

Very interesting - only one year for a body to decompose? Aren't all the bodies buried above ground because they are below sea level?

Sandie

Farmchick said...

I loved the cemetaries in New Orleans. So strangely beautiful. I enjoyed this post.

Changes in the wind said...

Chatty, yes, they are buried above ground because they are below sea level and they do a mininum of embalming and with the high heat the body decomposes more quickly.
Thanks all for your comments:)

Lady Di Tn said...

Nawlins is a place like no other. Grave yards always fascinate me. I like the ones with big tombstones as it adds character to the reverence. I smiled at your sugar on grits. A big pat of real butter is the best way to eat them. Peace

Granny Annie said...

Wow great information. Can't wait for next installment.