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The Mississippi River
As a European kid I loved the exotic name of this river, to read the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in the beautiful humoristic and picturesque style of Mark Twain, or the accounts of the explorers meeting the local Indians in the high part of this huge stream; I also studied the delta of this river at Uni, and remember the beautiful French names of the bayous, the river arms, etc. . .
Here in New Orleans the river is near its mouth in the Gulf, and it is huge, wide, powerful, like the plaque beneath the sculpture of picture 1 reminds (excerpts):
This sculpture represents the power beauty and history of the Mississippi River, her outstretched hands symbolize the source of this great waterway which stretches practically from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, her robes and drapes express the Mississippi River’s constant flow through the heartland of the United States until it converges here. . . etc, etc. . . . contribution to our nation. . . . power and grandeur of the mighty Mississippi, etc, etc. . . Arthur Q. Davis, architect, Joseph Cleary sculptor.
All this looks a bit pompous, but one can understand how important the river is to the people living next to it and owing it their living and way of life. . .
When you walk on the levee you can have a nice view on the river and the bridges running over it (picture 2).
And what would the Mississippi be without the paddle wheels steamers? There are two of these boats anchored near the Riverfront Park and they operate tours on the river for the tourists who like to have a tour on the river this way; I just liked to look at them and imagined them at the time of Tom Sawyer. . . so here are the Natchez (picture 3) and the Creole Queen (picture 4).
New Orleans is still a big sea port and you can see lots of freighters passing under the high bridges (picture 5); not as picturesque as the old steamers, but vital for New Orleans today.
The sculpture of picture 1 is located at the very end of the Convention Center, beneath the Greater New Orleans Bridge, linking Pontchartrain expressway and Westbank expressway.
Below are the websites giving all information you may need for a tour on one of the river boats:
Creole Queen: http://www.creolequeen.com/
- Arts and Culture
Ok the river of tourists on Bourbon street is impressive but nothing compares to the mighty Mississippi. The river (about 2,500 miles long, the longest in north america) surrounds New Orleans and it’s responsible for the existence of the city because of its role during 18th and 19th centuries. Still in use today as a key port but it isnt as important as it was in the old years of course.
We spent a lot of time checking the boats come and go..
At French quarter you can walk along the riverfront, it’s very calming and scenic there, checking the sculptures along the way until you reach the Aquarium (the kids will love it) or take the free ferry to other side or a cruise along the river with the steamboat Natchez.
Some people may like the Riverwalk, which is another shopping mall, including the Aquarium/Imax/Harrah’s casino and many many stores and restaurants. W e didn’t really spent time there as we preferred other corners of New Orleans.
River Front Park, Old Miss & Steamboat Natchez
Beyond the busyness of the French Market and up a block or two, the Mississippi River flows. A scenic walkway edges along this well-known river at Woldenberg River Front Park, where numerous sculptures are tucked here and there and where the Aquarium is located, as well as, the Steamboat Natchez, a vessel formally christened in 1975.
Our original plan was to take a two hour harbor cruise on the Natchez Friday afternoon, but we opted for a Tours by Isabelle City/Garden Combo instead. I hope we can return to see New Orleans from the vantage point of the river someday.
A unique feature of the steamboat is a steam calliope, exactly copied from an instrument in use 100 years ago. It's distinctive whistle can be heard twice daily (except on Sundays)--at 10:45 am and 1:45 pm directly before the harbor cruise. Colored lights follow along with the music.
The harbor cruise departs daily from 2:30pm-4:30pm and on Fri.-Mon. on 11:30 pm-1:30p.m. Tickets are $24.50 for adults; $12.25 for children age 6-12 and free for children 2-5. Lunch is an option and is extra.
A dinner jazz cruise departs daily from 7pm-9pm. Tickets are $40 for adults; $20 for children age 6-12 and free to children 2-5. Dinner is an option and is extra.
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Don't Miss the Mighty Mississippi
We all learn it and sing it in school! It's the largest river in the United States! Don't pass it up while you're in New Orleans. It really is beautiful in its own way.
"The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning 'great river' (gichi-ziibi 'big river' at its headwaters), is the longest river in North America, with a length of 2,320 miles (3,733 km) from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River is part of the Jefferson-Missouri-Mississippi river system, which is the largest in North America and among the largest in the world: by length (6,275 km or 3,900 miles), it is the fourth longest, and by average discharge (16,200 m³/s), it is the tenth largest. The longest of the many long Mississippi tributaries is the Missouri River with the Arkansas River as second longest. Measured by water volume, the largest of all Mississippi tributaries is the Ohio River. The river starts in Minnesota and then empties into the Gulf of Mexico." Wikipedia
Cruising on the Mississippi River
If you are interested in seeing some of New Orleans from the water, there are several options all in one place and none lasting more than a few hours.
For a quick and FREE trip, walk aboard the Canal Street Ferry.
For a two hour tour, try the Aquarium to Zoo cruise and back again.
For an afternoon or evening out on the water, join the paddle wheel cruise for dinner and dancing.
The Plaza by the Ferry
The Plaza on the levy near the Ferry, behind World Trade Center building, and the East entrance of Riverwalk Shopping Mall was a great little spot to sit and enjoy the sun or the stars. Most evenings a band was present offering wonderful music to enjoy while watching the river life meet the night-life.
sunrise on the Bug Muddy
I'm sure there is a scientific explanation involving latitude or position in the time zone or something. But I swear the sun gets up later and lazier here then it does in other places. And where else does the sun come up bloodshot like this? Where was he partying all night long?
Whether you're getting up early after a short night's sleep or you've made it all the way through the night, the sunrise over the Mississippi is a beautiful sight. And it's one you'll have mostly to yourself even in late September when it occurs around 7 am.
The Mighty Mississippi!
The mighty Mississippi River runs right along New Orleans. Its mere presence made New Orleans what it is today, by allowing trade in the 1700 and 1800's. Today it still is used as a major route of transportation for goods. There are many ferry rides, but it can also easily be seen from the shore.
Some Mississippi River Facts:
Length: 2,552 miles
Deepest point: 200 ft, in New Orleans
Greatest Width: nearly 1 mile, Alton, Il
Greatest Flow: 600,000 cubic feet per second, New Orleans
The river deposits 219,000 tons of sediment A DAY.
It drains 41% of the US.
The Mighty Mississippi
Mississippi River surrounds New Orleans and played a major part in the cities creation. The nickname of the 'crescent city' comes from the bend in the river where New Orleans actually sits in the Mississippi Delta. The river was discovered and explored extensively in 1541 by Hernando Desoto. Long before that however, the river was much shorter and actually drained into the Atlantic Ocean many miles north of New Orleans. New Orleans and all of Louisiana was once under the Atlantic but with the deposits of silt and debris over the years, the ocean was eventually pushed back to where it is now.
Crescent City Connection Bridge
The Crescent Connection Bridges spans the Mississippi River and is the main connection between the East and West Banks of the City of New Orleans. There is 400ft which separate the two bridges. The first span was opened in 1958 and was called the Greater New Orleans Bridge, the 2nd bridge was opened 30 years later.
The shipping channel of the...
The shipping channel of the Mississippi River is the reason New Orleans exists in the first place. It's still a key port, and it's fun to watch the ships go by. I took this photo upriver from the city.
Talk a walk along the river ,...
Talk a walk along the river , you can tour the mighty Missisippi on a paddle wheeler, or just take in the sights. Most of the boats have dinner/Dance/ Gambling sailings.
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