February 23, 2011

Couchsurfing to the Gulf Coast

I left Memphis last weekend, and the day before I leave one city I usually check back with all my possible hosts in the city of my destination. But this time, there weren't any hosts available. I must have overestimated the size of Jackson, Mississippi, and their infrastructure when it comes to backpackers, because their website really does a fabulous marketing job. So I asked a friend I had only met at a nice birthday party the night before, and she immediately got on the case and found me the perfect host! My one night in Mississippi was spent with a family, that lives a beautiful suburban life in a peaceful town in the middle of this rural state of alligators and magnolia trees. The son of the family is currently at a German high school, so when I arrived at their home they were all chatting with him on Skype and jaws dropped when they heard us talk in German for a while. So everybody was quite happy and Mississippi left a very positive memory when I moved on to New Orleans the next day.

Now New Orleans, as you should know is sometimes called a European city, because it has quite a bit of French influence and also it gets a certain flair from tourists running all over the place *g*. You will have heard that it has weathered one of the heaviest catastrophies a city can endure when hurricane Katrina came through and devastated large parts of the area when the levies broke. Yet New Orleans or NOLA is also called The Big Easy and its spirit seems unbroken. From the moment I stepped off the train and breathed the warm air and heard marching bands practicing in schools on my way, I felt relaxed. I spent the first night at a huge hostel that was once an orphanage and that still retained some of the strangely creepy atmosphere that long corridors and high ceilings create in those old buildings. I slept in a 20-bed dormitory which I shared with only one other traveller who had a sad personal story and who I wish the best for the future.

On the second day I met up with an old friend I will call Skye. When we first met she moved into my shared house in Spain and the next day we went on a four-day trip of Andalusia. We immediately found our old vibe and had so many stories to share that it became a wonderful reunion. I will stay at her house until after Mardi Gras (March 8) and see how the city grows more and more insane over this biggest carnival the States have to offer. I will post soon about my adventures in this wonderful place, but for now some initial teaser pictures will have to suffice (see the album to the top right).

Have a great week y'all and take it easy :)


Sebastian said...

Hey Bertel,

am following every word. Keep up the posting and your good vibes!


Daisy said...

Have a great week, full of adventures :)

Robert said...

Thanks, dear people :) I will keep the stories coming.
I hope all is good where you are!