Our Travel Adventures
Lisa in New Orleans - October 2007
I just returned from a business trip to New Orleans. Working in the travel industry, a "business trip" means you travel with a group of strangers but act as though you are on vacation so you can experience the destination as a tourist would. I must admit, I was a bit nervous. Hurricane Katrina was only 26 months ago. The clips I had seen on the news made me think the worst was in store for me however,that couldn't have been further from the truth.
The city as a whole is in recovery. There are residential areas where new homes stand next to homes that look like bombs went off inside. There are parks that used to be full of old oak trees and are now filled with newly planted saplings. Some of the shopping areas have vacant stores. The 10-12 feet water lines are still obvious on the outside of some of the buildings. These "scars" that are healing are not in areas where a tourist would normally travel. Down in the main tourism areas...The Garden District, The French Quarter and along the Riverwalk , the city is clean and vibrant and ready for visitors.
Staying at The Royal Sonesta in the French Quarter was a treat. The rooms were large and well-accommodated. The restaurant, Begues served a great breakfast as well as traditional fare for lunch and dinner. I enjoyed a 3 hour full tour of the city, attended a cooking class at The New Orleans School of Cooking and had decadent dinners served to me at both K-Paul's and Muriel's. At K-Paul's the food was to die for. At Muriel's, the food was very good and the ambience was so unique, I would go back just to see the upstairs sťance rooms.
In my spare time I walked. This was a city I had seen on foot before Katrina. I wanted to see what had changed.....and in walking for hours on end, the biggest change I saw in the tourist areas were a few vacant stores. Bourbon Street is alive and kicking. Canal Street is still lined with large hotels like the Ritz Carlton and great stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. Harrah's Casino is doing a booming business. The riverboats and swamp tours are running.
In summary, this city loves to eat, drink and be merry! They are ready, willing and able to show you a good time.....Why not see for yourself!
New Orleans School of Cooking
Merete in Greenland - July 2007
I think this trip was the most unique experience in all my years of travel.
Greenland is at the same time exotic, scary and very beautiful . It is not all ice and snow - although the Icecap covers 80% of the land - but also green, lush and full of life and oh so quiet! The scenery is phenomenal and the air is so clean , fresh and unpolluted .
The icebergs are often over 100 meters tall and only 1/10 shows above water ! It is sad to see how fast the glaciers are melting now. The Ilulissat Glacier, partly shown in the picture, gives birth daily to 20 millions tons of ice !
In June and July the sun does not set, so a midnight cruise among the icebergs is an experience of a lifetime. Go and see for yourself while there is still time. I will definitely go back again, maybe this time in winter to travel by dog sledge and see the Northern lights.