Charlotte finalist in the Young Travel Writers Competition

What initially confused me about New Orleans ended up being what I loved about it most.

Congratulations to Charlotte Scurry (Year 10) who is one of ten finalists in the Young Travel Writers Competition through the West Australian newspaper.

To enter, Charlotte had to write a 300-400 word story about somewhere she had travelled, she chose to write about New Orleans after visiting during the last school holidays. Charlotte said that New Orleans was unlike any other place she had visited, and looking back, this is what she liked about the place.

The final winners will be announced at a photograph and writing workshop at Kings Park on 6 April.

Below is Charlotte’s entry.

A Day in New Orleans by Charlotte Scurry

Bumbling, bustling streets. Hypnotic neon messages wrap the old French buildings. People screaming and laughing, the spirit of jazz consumes every street corner. Desperate barterers lowering their prices for the unsuspecting tourists that pass by them. You are captured in an overwhelming cocoon of constant noise and movement. This is Bourbon Street. However, if one dares to walk a little further towards the Mississippi River, they can find refuge in the form of little French delicacies called beignets. A warm, compact parcel of soft dough, engulfed in a mountain of pure white icing sugar. Serenaded by the sounds of the gentle accordion outside the café and kissed by the balmy sun gleaming through the French inspired awnings. This is heaven. However, stopping after one can seem almost impossible.

Later, you travel south on the Charles street tram to the Garden district. Stepping off the tram you enter a whole new world. Pristine, immaculate houses. Each and every one defining the typical historic Louisianan house you have seen in the movies. Retired men in matching velour tracksuits walking their small, elegant dogs up the manicured streets. Every sound of nature uninterrupted. Large white houses with Grecian pillars – White House like – with clean cut hedges protecting them. Tucked between the affluent streets is Parisols, a popular tourist attraction, famous for selling New Orleans renowned Po-Boy. A crisp baguette with salad and your choice of fried meats washed down with a Coca Cola larger than your head.

Walking back to the pier, a five-minute ferry ride for the fee of two dollars will take you across the river to Algiers. So quiet you could hear the birds singing. So relaxed that even the dogs didn’t seem in a hurry. The complete opposite to Bourbon Street. Small houses, not as elegant as the Garden District ones, but exuding a quaint feel. New Orleans. The city of many cities. You can somehow find yourself in the thronging Bourbon Street, little Paris on the water, or the rich suburbs of the Garden District or in a ghost town across the water.

What initially confused me about New Orleans ended up being what I loved about it most. The ability to enter so many different worlds within this one astounding city.

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