Back to Washington

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Jul 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Monday, June 14, 2010

Back to Washington today.  The KOA shuttle works great.  We leave the campground at 9 am and they pick you up outside the capital building at 5pm which is long enough with all the walking and heat.  Today was another hot humid day but we were inside for most of it. 

We started at the Capital Building to try and arrange for tickets and we managed to walk right into the next tour.  The tour was about one hour in length and started under the dome.  Inside the building are lots of columns/pillars, hallways and doorways.  If you didn't know where you were going you were sure to get lost.  The pictures show the artwork in the room under the dome and the art work on the dome as well.  In this room alone artists worked for 85 years to complete the paintings.   The art was amazing in detail, size and dimension.   The tours kept the tourists to a small portion of the Capital Building so we booked another tour that took us in a little deeper into the back chambers.  We had to come back at 3:30 for this so it was suggested we go see the amazing art and architecture in the Library of Congress which is housed in three buildings.  The most spectacular of which is the Jefferson Building.   We managed to find the underground walkway that connected the Capital to the Library of Congress so the walk was shortened a little bit.  

I don't think we have mentioned the security we have encountered around Washington.  Each government building has security outside and inside the buildings.  Each morning the tour bus is checked and as you enter each building you pass through metal detectors and all bags are checked.  In the Capital building it is just as strict if not more than airports; no food, water, sharp objects, etc.  Not good when we just started the day and were packing snacks and a new bottle of cold water.  We guzzled the water and some how they let the snacks in my purse go. 

Back to the Library of Congress.  I can't image how much it cost to build all these elaborate buildings.  I know most was with slave labor and we are unsure of the status of taxes back then so not sure where the money came from, will have to look that up.    Again in this building all the ceilings and walls are covered in art and sculptures.  Floors and stairs are marble and hand railings are ornate metal sculptures.   Pictures are limited to common areas and not in the libraries.  We did see the library area where they filmed National Treasure II with Nicholas Cage, a good movie for those of you how have not seen it.  

With a few hours to waste before the next Capital Building tour we headed over to Union Station for lunch.  This is the big train/subway station similar to Grand Central in New York.  Not much to report here.  Trains and people were coming and going, we had lunch and left. 

Our next tour of the Capital Building was with a smaller group so we toured some of the halls with Congress at work.  The one corridor was covered in art with Italian tiles on the floor.  There was almost too much color and activity.  It made the space seem small and dark yet the ceilings were high and the corridor wide.    Not sure if we saw any of the Congressmen or Senators but there were lots of suits walking around. 

Well another long day with lots of walking and standing.  It wouldn't be so bad except everything is concrete and marble which makes it a little more tiring. 


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