I wasn't going to write about Washington as it feels there's more than enough of it to go around at the moment. Alternative facts and all that.
However, here is a brief account, with the help of the rest of the vowels.
E is for excellent free things to do. There's a large number of museums and building tours available: art, currency, history, politics, civil rights, women's rights, war, space, flight, archaeology, and on and on, all generally free. We barely scratch the surface and do not even try to cover what we'd like to see. We have three and a half days people, and a half day was taken up with the Capitol (Saturday so no politicians around) and my favourite, the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. This may just be the most beautiful building I've ever seen.
|Inside the Jefferson building|
I is for I can't walk any further. Washington is made for walking: it's comparatively low rise so feels quite open especially with the wonderful Mall, bounded at one end by the Capitol and the other by the Lincoln Memorial. We find one of Smokey the Bear's staff, a Park Ranger whose parents didn't think it through when they named him Kellen Allen, at said memorial and he gives us an excellent tour explaining the symbolism of the construction and decoration. It's all about unity after the Civil War
O is for the Orange One (or if you are David Tua "I'll take an O for awesome")
Three things in one day
- We're stuck at a major police cordon. - the orange one is on the move. We get to see a Presidential cavalcade! First a few high speed motorbikes, then the Presidential limousine - no wait, that's it. No, wait. It could be any one of the four or five that stream by. But wait! There's more. More bikes, at least a dozen black Suburban SUVs, which I thought only happened in thrillers, an ambulance, which we are informed has a couple of doctors, a supply of the President's blood (my guess is type O for orange).
- We arrive at Arlington cemetery in time for the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Rather more sobering than the same ceremony at, say, the Greek parliament (where clearly John Cleese was involved in the choreography). As it was National Police Week we have some extra wreath laying and the most pure and haunting renditions of the Last Post. Shivers down the spine stuff.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington
- Still at Arlington, we hike several thousand kilometres (this is a big cemetery and they have 30 burials a day) over to the Iwo Jima US Marines memorial. Any concern I had that this would be an anticlimax were unfounded. This is a great sculpture. Made greater by another timing coincidence - there's a 21 gun salute.
|21 gun salute|
U is for you really need weeks to appreciate the beauty, the expanse, and the vast offerings of Washington. It really needs a nicer person to be in charge.
|A nicer person n front of the White House|
|50 flags flying at Washington monument|