Thursday, July 31, 2003

Good news

Well it looks like everything's going to turn out OK after all! My bag was in Atlanta all along, and (fingers crossed) arrived into New Orleans last night. Our bus, in theory, leaves here for Miami at 3.15pm, so that'll be the moment of truth...

Yesterday was not entirely wasted anyway - Greyhound paid for another night in the hostel ($30), and we used our bus passes to visit Baton Rouge, the state capital of Louisiana - so called because the French explorers who founded it discovered sticks smeared with animal blood which the natives used to mark their territory.

Louisiana politics has always been dramatic. The capitol building (30 storeys high - and there's a law prohibiting any Baton Rouge building to be built higher) was constructed by the populist Governor Huey Long: vehemently anti-big business, practically communist by American standards. He was assassinated in its corridors by a young local doctor four years later - officially, the motive is still unknown (although it's not too hard to guess). The building is now open to the public, and you can see the bullet holes in the marble walls where the gun battle took place. In one of the chambers there's a pencil stuck in the ceiling, embedded there by a bomb blast. You can take an elevator up to the 27th floor, views from which are fantastic. The Mississippi river in particular, which runs right past Baton Rouge, is stunning.

Well, my time is running out so that's all for now. The next post will be from Miami, OK?


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