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Day 11 - Discovering the French Quarter

After a good night sleep I woke up with a surprise because my smartphone’s display didn’t light up anymore. First I thought that the phone just had ran out of power but also plugging it in didn’t help. Obviously the phone was on and working but the display didn’t respond anymore. This was certainly a bad surprise. While enjoying the great breakfast provided by the hostel I ran up my computer to search for solutions online. I tried different things to reset the phone but the display didn’t come alive anymore. I didn’t want to waste the day so I left the hostel around 10 without a working phone. It was strange not having the time anymore and not being able to use the map on the phone or stay up to date on e-mails and messages. Also I couldn’t google any more interesting things I saw on the way or search for opening hours of museums and places to eat. It made me realize how much I had become dependent on the smartphone. Instead I had to do it the old fashioned way, using a paper map in order to find my way. I eventually succeeded and after walking for about 40 minutes I reached downtown and the French Quarter. It was extremely humid and being outside was quite tiring. I was striving through the different streets of the French Quarter discovering so many beautiful buildings and structures. Finally I ended up on Jackson Square and the St. Louse Cathedral. I took the chance and went inside the cathedral not only to admire the beauty of this church but also to cool down a bit. I then went to discover the park right in front of the cathedral and eventually crossed the street and climbed up to the banks of the Mississippi River. After taking some pictures from the very beautiful view that opened up I continued a bit on the embankment before turning back towards the French Market. I very much enjoyed strolling through the French Market having a look at all the interesting things that were traded there. Starting to feel hungry I found a nice bistro on the French Line that had many vegan/vegetarian options on the menu. Back towards the French Market I ended up at the Old US Mint which features free exhibitions on three floors dedicated to coin making and to the history of New Orleans and Jazz. Louis Armstrong’s first trumpet was perhaps the most impressive exhibit. I ended up attending a live concert in the museum as I eventually had just arrived at the right time, the concert started just 15 minutes after the time I had entered the museum. For as little as 5 dollar a 15 man big band performed some wonderful pieces written by some local composers, the show ran for about 60 minutes and was really great. After the museum I headed back into the heart of the French Quarter. Unfortunately bad weather was lining up at the horizon and the rain could have started at any moment. I used the remaining time walking down Bourbon Street trying to still get some nice shots of the street’s buildings. I was truly surprised to see so many rainbow flags within the street, I was not aware that New Orleans is so gay friendly. I just made it to the end of Bourbon Street when rain started to hit. I found shelter in one of the street car stations and stayed there until the rain slowed down a bit. I then tried to figure out which bus to take in order to get back to the hostel. Two blocks down I found the bus number 11 stop sign and I was lucky as I had not to wait very long before a bus showed up. The ride back to the hostel didn’t take very long and soon I was back at my accommodation. I tried to find some more solutions online in order to restart my smartphone but just nothings seems to work. I was also looking for some Nokia support centers in New Orleans or Atlanta but it seemed Nokia was not so big in the U.S. compared to Europe. At least I found a local branch of my network provider nearby and I made my way to seek help from there. Unfortunately they didn’t had  much of an idea how to fix a Nokia and all they could offer me was a cheap replacement on which I would have gotten some discount on because I had been a customer with them for almost a year now. Instead of buying a new phone at the shop I crossed the street and visited the Wal Mart store where I found the same phone even cheaper. I ended up buying the simplest Nokia smartphone model currently available at a price of only 55 dollar. For now and for the rest of the trip this phone would certainly do. It pretty much functions the same way as the old one however the new phone is significantly simpler than my previous phone which certainly had cost 12 times as much when I bought it 3 years ago. The good thing was that I could keep my old number and setting up the new phone was pretty simple as it had the same operation system than my previous phone. I returned to the hostel and started setting up my phone. Soon I had gathered a lot of attention in the common area of the hostel through which I met some other fellow travelers and many stories were shared about similar experiences of device breakdowns and possible solutions. I met some really nice guys from Germany and Denmark that night and it got rather late which wasn’t so ideal because I had to get up really early the next morning in order to catch my 7 am train to Atlanta.

Jackson Square and St. Charles Cathedral

At the French Market

French Quarter

French Quarter

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