03 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 28 - Mobile (AL)

To be honest, I had never heard about Mobile (AL) before I planed this trip. Now I learned that it was founded in 1702 by the French as the first capital of their new colony "La Louisiane". It is Alabama's only seaport and located near the mouth of the Mobile Bay. It is said that the city is most beautiful during azalea season (same is also true for Savannah), mid-March through early April, but today was not a bad day for a visit either.

There are several historic districts (e.g., Church Street East, Oakleigh Garden) and the easiest is to start at Fort Conde, military center of the Louisiana Territory in the past and welcome center today. They also have a nice exhibit about the settlement's French, British and Spanish Period before it became American and part of the Mississippi Territory. The city even provides a free trolley that loops downtown.

Hey, isn't this the perfect home for Pippi Longstocking?!

504 Church Street

Historic buildings (= at least 75 years old; Hey, you Europeans, don't laugh!) that have retained their original architectural character and are well maintained become awarded with the below Historic Building Marker. The banner indicates the names of the original and current owners as well as the construction date. The shield shows the six flags that have flown over Mobile: French, English, Spanish, Republic of Alabama, Confederate States of America and United States of America.

Many mild to severe epidemics of yellow fever had hit Mobile 1704 - 1921. A great number of deaths from the epidemics of 1819 and 1839 are buried in the Church Street Graveyard.

Now it serves as the perfect rest spot to relax and read a book.

I came by the usual diversity of "perfectly groomed" to "needs serious face-lift" ...

Richards DAR House, 256 N. Joachim Street

Lott House, 160 Rapier Ave

... and the fancy and not so fancy food options.

For the first time in at least 6 years I bought some food from McDonald's (quarter pounder with cheese & white chocolate mocha) and watched the other people while eating. The place remained fairly busy during the time I was there; 8 out of 10 customers were black. (Based on the 2000 U.S. census data, 46.3% were black, 50.4% white.)

I certainly would not want to eat there every day. (Once every 6 years is more than enough.) This meal provided me with at least 1,260 mg of sodium (~ 55% daily value). One positive change I noticed though since the last time I had set foot into a McDonald's restaurant: the packaging material was mostly made from cardboard, not styrofoam as it used to be in the past. And if one wants to/has to eat out there and selects one of their premium salads with an orange juice and e.g., the Fruit n' Yogurt Parfait as dessert, such meal is actually not too bad.

More to come.


  1. Thank you for showing us some nice sides of Mobile. We felt uncomfortable when we drove past on our way to New Orleans last year. Everything was characterized by the oil and gas industry. The combination of oil and Golf of Mexico reduced our 'feelgood factor' significantly.

    1. I agree with you. When I arrived at Mobile I saw the heavily industrialized area along the harbor. And none of us has certainly forgotten the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster!