Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Sunday, January 4, 2015


When we awoke on the second day of our cruise down the Mississippi we had already tied up at the Vicksburg landing. There are no docks in the smaller towns because of the rising levels of the river. 
 Included in the tour price is a Hop on Hop off bus tour of all the towns we stop at.

 We walked up the steep embankment to the road. They do have buggies for those who are not very mobile. We also enjoyed the Fall colours.

On top of the embankment there are these huge concrete levee walls to hold back the water when the river floods. We walked through a gap in the wall which is made by one of these huge concrete panels sliding open on wheels on a huge track. The levee wall has been decorated with murals showing the history of Vicksburg.

We were provided with a map and a list of places of interest. It is a good system because you can choose what you want to see and how long you want to stay. Buses come by about every 15 mins.

There are many beautiful historic houses. Some you can walk through. This one is a restaurant "Walnut Hills" an early name for the town of Vicksburg. The columns on these houses are called Pierced Columns and they are an architectural element mostly only found in Vicksburg. They are not solid columns but have the centre carved out in a variety of patterns.

Washington St is the main street full of interesting shops and museums. I loved the cups hanging from the posts outside this cafe.

 We visited the Coca Cola museum and learned about the history of this iconic drink.

 We popped into a toy museum. The collection was amazing and brought back memories.

Our last stop before lunch was the 'Old Depot Museum" Where we learnt about the Civil War. It used to be a railway station. We returned to the boat for lunch and in the afternoon we went on a "PremiumTour". That means an excursion for which you have to pay extra. 

 It was called, "On the Front Lines of the Civil War Tour". We went by bus to the Vicksburg National Military Park. It is the battlefield where ,in 1863, the 47 day Vicksburg Siege took place. This defeat, together with the Gettysburg defeat, was the turning point in the war. It was difficult for the Grant's Union army to take Vicksburg because it was perched on a high bluff overlooking the river with artillery batteries , swamps north and south, and a ring of forts and 172 guns guarding land approaches. Eventually, Grant hammered the Confederates fortifications from the land side and Porter blasted the city from gun boats on the river and Pemberton surrendered.
 We were driven around the battlefield and told about the battles. Throughout the park there are memorials from each state that had soldiers killed here. This is the Illinois memorial.

On the way back to the boat we stopped at the USS Cairo Museum. The Cairo, iron clad gunboat paddle steamer, was sunk by a mine, the first vessel to be destroyed this way. It wasn't until the 60's that the gunboat and its artefacts were raised from the bottom of the Mississippi. 


  1. Looks very educational and the Premium Tour was well worth the extra cost.
    Even though it looks nice and sunny, obviously there must have been a chill going
    by Bill's rugged up looks?
    The USS Cairo looks fantastic - must have been something to see when it was in action.
    Well done, Diane.

    1. It was cold all the way to New Orleans

  2. Diane, thanks for taking me along on this tour.. I love the cute town and buildings. The Raggedy Ann dolls brought back some memories..The National Military Park and the museum looks like a interesting excursion.. I have been to Gettysburg many times.. Great post. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  3. i can't believe how much you crammed into one trip here. i love the cannons and have never seen or heard of the Pierced Columns... they are beautiful... did not know they have levy's there. beautiful place

  4. That was a very interesting part of your journey, I bet. All looks great.

  5. The ship is fantastic but I also like the grafftiti wall. Reminds me of the Berlin wall. The East Side Gallery.


  6. Sounds like you can make the most of your time off the boat with the hop-on,hop-off buses on hand at each town. You must have seen so many interesting places. Those museums seemed to hold lots of items worthy of a second look.

  7. a lot of history to soak in. love the columns on that house! thanks for pointing them out! really beautiful ship you traveled on.

  8. I've been to the battlefield at Vicksburg but not the smaller museums you visited. And I think the murals are something new as I don't remember them. It looks like you had a good tour.

  9. This cruise looks better and better ! Beautiful photos ! Now I want to make a cruise too, don't know yet where, lol !

  10. The US is a big country and very diverse. Vicksburg looks like a terrific town for tourists and as remote from say The Bronx as any place could possibly be.

  11. What a huge variety of sites to see! I would have trouble deciding which ones to visit!

  12. This really looks like fun. We were looking at tours in the USA, but for us it really is only a dream as with my husband's foot problems, two hours in the air is about all he can stand. We would have to fly to the the UK first and then on to the States, so it is really out f the question unless we could afford to fly first class!!!!! Oh how I would love to see the Grand Canyon.
    Meanwhile we are looking at places where we can drive too, stopping along the way where we can take a walk is so much easier but not so interesting, and it cuts out winter trips in the southern hemisphere sadly. Summer I would prefer to be here to look after the garden, but winter it can look after itself!
    Keep well and enjoy summer t'other Diane

  13. You got to visit so many awesome museums I would love to visit the Coca Cola museum and the toy museum and I have a deep interest in wars and no bugga all about the Civil War

  14. A very interesting tour Diane and I enjoyed the history you shared. This is an area we have yet to explore.

  15. Gosh you guys sure know how to explore Diane :) I found out quite by accident on a trip to one of our country towns here called Toodyay, that they have a Coca Cola museum also, was most unexpected :) Enjoying your travels here because I know for a fact I'll never get there myself.

  16. I enjoyed the battlefield when we were there, but didn't spend as much time in the town as we would have liked. The ironclad of course is fascinating! Looks like you had the perfect day there!

  17. It looks as if you had a wonderful tour of Vicksburg. I would really like to visit there one of these days, especially the military park. Seeing the Cairo would be pretty special as well.

  18. A lot of History in this area Diane and it looks like you crammed in as much as you could. I love those golly-wog style dolls - soooo.... cute oh! and the coca-cola place would have been interesting.

  19. I read back to the beginning when you boarded the steamship, Diane. What an interesting trip! I always wondered what sailing on one of theses ships would be like, and seeing your photos brought me as close to the experience as probably I'll ever get. The levee walls are interesting. I know there have been many times the Mississippi has flooded over its banks.

  20. It looks absolutely wonderful. So colourful. I want to go.

  21. It was very interesting learning about the Vickaburg Siege which was one of the final turning points in the American Civil War.

  22. Gosh I do love that steamboat - it's got such character! So romantic too somehow :D)
    Love the murals - they're such an insight to history of the area when done well. So colourful too... much better than a utilitarian boring wall!
    Loved the Raggedy Anns - definitely brings back memories.
    Gosh, a whole street full of museums - heavenly!!

  23. A wonderful tour you gave us Diane. Beautiful old houses and interesting history. I do find it a bit strange when places won't let you take photos inside. Part of my enjoyment is studying the shots when I get home to see what little details I may have missed and also for the memories of the visit.