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Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez

After tanking the gasoline with the price of $1.79 per gallon next to Sun Studios, we continued our trip to south. We were tired of speedways and therefore choose to drive at the U.S. Highway 61, which is also known as Blues Highway.

The Great River Road passes through handsome nineteenth century river towns, sleepy villages, and natural areas rich in wildlife. After sunset we arrived in Vicksburg, where we found nice motel for $44. In the morning we walked at the shores of Mississippi river. The Mississippi River, derived from the old word missi-sipi meaning 'big river', is the second-longest river in the United States. The river was huge. After breathing in the impressions of the big river, we continued towards south, our today’s goal was to arrive in New Orleans, but also to see a lot on the road.

We stopped at Grand Village of Natchez Indians. The Natchez Indians inhabited what is now southwest Mississippi ca. AD 700-1730, with the culture at its zenith in the mid-1500s. According to historical and archaeological evidence the Grand Village was their main ceremonial center. There is not much left to see, but still you can get the feeling reading and walking there. The most impressive was Great Sun’s Mound.

Our main stop at that day was in Natchez, MS, the first capital of Mississippi. Before the Civil War, Natchez had the most millionaires per capita in the U.S. and it shows. You can see more than 500 luxurious antebellum houses inside the city limits. That so much antebellum finery still exists is because Natchez, unlike Vicksburg, surrendered to Grant’s army almost without a fight. The number of antebellum mansions is open to the public.

Natchez had one of the busiest slave markets in the south. Thousands of slaves worked on the local plantations. The city of Natchez is so well maintained, that walking on the streets brings you back to the old ages. You can also take a horse-carriage in order to deepen the feeling.