Washington DC

Trip Start Jun 20, 2006
Trip End Jul 06, 2006

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Monday, June 26, 2006

We took the Amtrak train down to Washington, leaving from Penn Station in NYC. Passing through Baltimore and Philadelphia, we arrived at Union Station in DC on time - the first time I've been on an Amtrak train that was on time! It was a simple task to jump on the underground and go to our hotel, which was over in Arlington. Being on that side, it made sense to visit the two main landmarks in the area - the Iwo Jima monument and Arlington National Cemetery. I couldn't believe how large the Cemetery was. So large that after a few hours of walking, we decided to jump on the tour run there, which showed some of the more famous people to reside there. We visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, then over to the graves of a number of the Kennedy family. returning to the hotel for the night, we witnessed a fantastic thunderstorm and torrential rain, which was fun to watch from the relative safety of the hotel room.

The next day was spent almost exclusively along the National Mall in DC. I'll reel off a list of what we saw: Lincoln Memorial; Reflecting Pool; Korean and Vietnam War Memorials; Washington Monument and a little side trip up the White House. Walking back across the Mall towards the Potomac River. Here we went up to the Jefferson Memorial before a special visit to Roosevelt memorial. This was by far the most impressive monument, not in terms of size or style, but simply the quotes of him that make oh so much sense. Really impressive, and quiet due to its location away from the other memorials.

Venturing up to the other end of the Mall, we made it up to the Capitol Building before wanting to visit one of the numerous Smithsonian Museums. However, due to the previous nights thunderstorms, most were closed due to power cuts and flooding, so we chose to go to the National Air and Space Museum. I'm a huge fan of Aircraft etc, but this Museum didn't impress me as much as it should have done. I guess I had hyped it up way too much in my head. Shame, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Moving away from the Mall, we passed the FBI building and the Theater that Lincoln was shot in. Our destination was the Spy Museum. We didn't expect much from it, we assumed it would be a novelty experience but it was in fact really interesting, and for those with an interest in the Cold War years it can't be missed. Spent so long in there we left only when the place was closing, the sign of a good museum! A great end to a really nice stay in DC.
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