I arrived in DC a few days after a very sad moment, the inauguration of Lord Voldemort. Walking around the city, you could still see the remnants of the ceremony.
That aside, I had a really great time exploring the capital. The National Mall possibly has more museums and galleries than anywhere in the world. And nearly all of it free to see.
There are so many things to see. I went to:
- The National Art Gallery
- The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
- The American Museum of Art
- The American Museum of History
- The Lincoln Memorial
- The Washington Monument
- The White House.
It is all walkable, and on the first day I did over 20,000 steps, and boy did my feet feel it! All the main sights feel so familiar, having seen them on TV so much. It all feels very impressive.
The Lincoln Memorial was particularly interesting, as I have seen lots about Lincoln’s legacy whilst travelling across the States, particularly his involvement in ending the American Civil War and his involvement in ending slavery.
The White House
As for the White House, there is so much security around it you cannot get anywhere near to it these days. Not that I wanted to be any closer to Mr T!
Flight and space travel
The Air and Space museum was great too. Interesting exhibitions on the early days of flight, including the original plane the Wright used and the Spirit of St Louis, the first plane to fly across the Atlantic. There’s also lots of great space artifacts, including space toilets!
Washington has loads of great art galleries. The National Gallery has an impressive range of art, with a new contemporary wing. I loved the Andy Warhol pictures as well as the only Leonardo Da Vinci painting in North America. I did a great volunteer led free guided tour, highly recommended.
The American Museum of History has a really broad range of artifacts, ranging from the ruby red slippers that Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz to the tophat that Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated.
There was also a good section on African American history. I was glad to see that as I had tried unsuccessfully to visit the new African American museum. One exhibit was particularly moving, the original lunch counter from the Greensboro sit-in. I has learnt about this at the Civil Rights museum in Memphis. It was a non violent protest by young people, protesting against segregation, and it was actions like these which started to turned the public opinion against this form of civil rights abuse.
I have really enjoyed visiting DC. Next (and final stop) – Boston.