We have loved our last few days in Louisiana staying in Breaux Bridge near the town of Lafayette. It is a town famous for its Cajun culture whose descendants were the Acadians, expelled from Nova Scotia in the Mid 19th century by the British. So they speak a southern Cajun French with quite the accent. I could understand about one word in every French sentence on the radio. The locals have a thick accent when they speak English But the hospitality is wonderful.
In Breaux Bridge we enjoyed a lovely little cottage trimmed with local art and antiques. The town is known for its "junkin" and has several lovely little shops on the Main Street to go antiquing in. It's also the Crawfish Capital of the state of Louisiana and its famous for its Cajun spice. The famous Tobasco sauce plantation is nearby. There is a lot of spice in the food such as red beans and rice, jambalaya, boudin, which is a pork sausage with a rice and spice stuffed inside, and seafood galore. Chris enjoyed a 3 pound platter of Crawfish which just opened for the season but even his lips were burning after eating the spice. (And he has hot sauce on almost everything!)
Lafayette is the centre of Cajun and Zydeco music. We heard a lot of both in the two days we were here in restaurants, bars....and at the local bowling alley called the Rock n' Bowl. It was the most happening bowling alley I've ever been to! We heard the blues, country, Cajun folk music en Francais, and my favourite: Zydeco! Imagine washboards, spoons, accordion along with a fiddle, keyboard and guitar with a super happy dancing beat. Here the locals love their Zydeco anytime of day but today before returning to New Orleans we went to a Zydeco breakfast at 8am at the local restaurant "Buck And Johnny's" and were delighted to find a line up and a packed house. Soon the dance floor was full of all ages dancing up a storm together. It was wonderful to be in this room and the atmosphere was electric. Everyone young and old danced and often switched partners, with no mind to who they were dancing with. Black and white, young and old, even a little old lady in converse and a moo moo was up and dancing. It was exhilarating and oh how I wish we had something like this so much closer to home.
While in Breaux Bridge we went on a swamp tour that did not disappoint. Our boat guided us thru cypress trees growing in the water with their roots coming up to breathe and with that beautiful Spanish moss hanging down. It was incredible to glide thru the water with all sorts of wild around us. Wild birds of all kinds made appearances, some I had never heard of before. Turtles popped back below the surface as we approached their logs, feeling a bit shy, but the most magnificent was seeing alligators in their natural habitat. For a moment you almost think they are plastic and staged on a log but then they turn their head and look straight at you. Big ones just lying there on a log and little ones curled up together...we even saw a nest of baby alligators recently born and their mom just hanging out nearby as cool as could be as we snapped our photos. This incredible habitat is one that will not soon leave my memory.
Our trip has ended and we are back home after a week away. What a memorable time! I could easily go back to New Orleans and Louisiana in a heartbeat!