The last stop on our road trip was New Orleans. I had, of course, heard a lot about it, but I had no idea what to expect. And regardless, whatever I would have imagined would not have been even close to what the city is. It’s something completely different. I didn’t even feel like I was in the U.S. anymore. Not just the architecture (Southern French/Spanish) is different from what is found elsewhere in the U.S., but also the atmosphere. We stayed mostly in the French Quarters, but even other areas, such as the Garden District, had a completely different feel to it than any other place I have been to in the U.S. While the tourists have taken over certain institutions in the city, like Café du Monde (one of the cafes that serve the famous beignet pastries), the French Market, and the passenger river boats (we took a tour on a steam boat since it was a childhood dream of mine), the city seems to have preserved its identity and uniqueness well. The Port of New Orleans is also one of the second in the U.S. in terms of volume and manages a majority of the U.S. grain exports among other goods, so tourism is definitely not the only sector that drives the economy. We were lucky to sit at the same breakfast table our first day as two local ladies who gave us the dos and don’ts of tourism in the city, which was very helpful. The food was excellent (mainly Creole, Cajun, and South European, but we also had lunch at really good West African cafe one day), and the were restaurants really nice, often in bistro style. And there was great live music in most bars every evening. If going to the U.S., New Orleans is definitely a must-see! Even after three days, I wanted to stay longer.