We arrived in Washington after a lot of walking around at Atlanta Airport, being sent from 1 terminal to the next. Eventually, at the third attempt we found the right place. When we landed we hopped on the Metro laden with bags and made our way to our accomodation, a 10 minute Metro ride out of town. The hostel wasnt the nicest place in the world, and it was full of the type who launch into the "Hi, my name is ....." when you really had no intention of speaking to them. But it wasn't too bad, our first night was in a dorm but the other 4 nights were in a private room so we could escape. Pretty much as soon as we arrived (about 7pm) we just went to bed as we were tired, anything less than 10 hours sleep tires us out nowadays!
The next day we took a trip to Georgetown where we ambled around the shops and took in the quaint neighbourhood. Its quite a posh area compaired to the rest of D.C., reminded me of Marlow a lot. We then tought we'd take a look at the Pentagon, only you cant take pictures anywhere near the Pentagon at all. Plus the 9/11 memorial that was supposed to be there (according to the Lonely Planet) was not finished so we couldnt see that either.
The next day we went to the famous National Mall, the place with all the museums, monuments and memorials. Though it wasnt as hot as Vegas, it was much more humid so it was very tiring walking for miles. We started off at the Lincoln Memorial, then we visited the Vietnam Memorial where we pretty much stayed out of the way of people because we didnt want to offend, unlike some stupid Mexican family who decided to strike army poses next to the Vietnam Soldier statues. Idiots. The black wall listing all the names of those who died was very moving and disturbing. Next we saw the Korean War Memorial, and walked along the Reflecive Pool towards the Washington Monument. Here we also saw the new World War II memorial which was very impressive. We then took a detour to see 1600 Pensylvania Avenue, the White House. We couldnt get very close at all and we were quite disappointed. I spoke to a huge Yank who was ranting and raving about Bush being "the worst President ever", and he said that since 9/11 you could no longer get upto the black railings right near the front about 200 yards from the White House. So the pics we put on here are as close as we could get. Afterwards we walked on to see The Capitol before heading off to Arlington National Cemetry. This is where America buries its war heroes as well as a few famous graves. Lots of fat yanks struggled up the hills here much to my amusement. There was a bit of a scrum to see the JFK grave, then we went to see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is basically like the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, complete with a very American "Ladies and Gentlemen......." introduction which kind of makes it more of a show which is a shame.
Monday was a bit of a wasted day, we visited Dupont Circle only to find nothing there, so we went back to our hostel in Takoma and spent a few hours doing some much needed laundry.
On tuesday we went to the Air Space Museum. As its one of the many Smithsonian museums, it was free to get in. It was pretty interesting, we saw an IMAX film on fighter pilots, saw the actual Apollo 11 nose cone and Lunar Modules. Loads of replica and actual planes, missiles, space suits satelites etc. There was also a big exhibition on The Wright Brothers too which was good. Afterwards we wandered over to Chinatown where we went into the American Museum of Art and Portraiture (another freebie), mainly to see the Great Britons exhibit on loan from London! Then we went to the cinema to see Ratatouille!
The following day we caught our bus to our last destination, New York! Washington was a bit disappointing really, it was really nasty in places, not what you expect. There is a large black population here, and a lot of bums. All the wealthy people (usually white people) stick to Georgetown and Foggy Bottom (around the Whitehouse), which are the nicer areas. And we were very disappointed that we couldn't get nearer to George W's place for a better picture. But onto New York, for some serious shopping!