Friday 2 October 2015

Catch-up - Mississippi

If you've ever visited a concentration camp, you might have experienced the visceral sucker-punch of being in the presence of so many ghosts.

Our visit to Frogmore Plantation on Monday, a cotton plantation from the 1800s which is still a working plantation, was a bit like that. At its height, Frogmore employed 159 slaves and today, as we wandered the property, seeing how cotton is produced and the conditions the slaves lived under, it was impossible not to feel the spirits of those who had endured such unimaginable hardships. Indeed, a quote on the wall from Solomon Northup, whose memoir 12 Years A Slave was turned into the award-winning film, perfectly encapsulated the experience: "There were humane and inhumane masters. But irrespective of that, the practice of slavery is barbaric and inhumane".

It was a fascinating experience but, to be honest, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I wasn't sad to leave.

I promised another antebellum home and here it is - Oak Alley Plantation, a classic 1830 home on the edge of the Mississippi River where we got to channel our inner Scarlett O'Hara.

We have been in the glorious city of New Orleans since Tuesday and tomorrow I fly to LA for two nights. While in NOLA we have done everything from a cooking school to a swamp visit (where a gator got far too close for comfort) but those pictures may have to wait until I'm home.

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