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Published: April 19th 2006
Thommo outside, lots of people there!
The bus journey from Richmond to Washington was again not very eventful! This trip was just over two hours long as it was the express coach. The driver was very ridged in manner but friendly enough.
We walked to the hostel as it was only 9 blocks on the map. However, the pavements here are hazardous, as so uneven, and I am pulling my bag around on a trolley (unfortunately my back is not strong enough to carry my rucksack any distant). My frustration started to grow after my bag and the trolley tipped over for the umpteenth time! I must learn how to strap on and handle the trolley with a large weight!
Finally we made it to the hostel and checked in without any hassle. It is quite a nice place, very clean and sharing a dorm has not turned out to be too bad (barr the chronic snoring of one woman on the first night!). The only thing I am not too keen on is the size of the hostel. There are so many people staying there, you can talk to someone and never see them again!!
On the fist night we walked around to
The Jefferson Monument
Helicopter was one of Bush's Escorts!
get our bearings and found the supermarket and the only cyber café in the whole of DC!!!! Everything is quite close, our hostel was in a good location. And we signed up for a free guided walking tour of all the monuments.
In the morning we set off on the tour with five other travellers. Larry, the tour guide, was very knowledgeable and made the tour very educational and so worth while. I think that just walking around all the monuments would have bored me a bit, but with all the history and facts it made a very interesting tour! Some of the monuments and sites we saw and learned about included the Washington, the Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the White House, the Dwright D Eisenhower building, the Capital Building. Not only was the tour factual but it was a great chance to meet some interesting people. After lunching with two girls from the tour, one fellow Brit and a South African we headed back to the hostel to freshen up. The weather was very hot for the time of year and all the walking and listening had taken its
That evening we showed the British girl we met where the Cyber café and supermarket where and just chilled for a while. Then after cooking dinner we just chatted, by this time it was fairly late and had meet another British bloke in the kitchen while cooking. We made arrangements to all meet the next day to do some more site seeing. Although the hostel was hard to meet people we made some good friends and it was great to meet people on the same wave length.
We all meet up the next day (12th) Me , Thommo, Carleen ( the English girl), Ed (the English bloke), Nicolene (the South African girl) and Octviao (an Argentina bloke). We attempted to go up inside the Washington Monument but had no luck as the tickets sold out at 8 in the morning after people had queued from 6am!!! Instead we walked over the bridge to the Arlington Cemetery. Burials began at Arlington before 1864. It is over 290,000 servicemen and their families buried on 624 acres of the Virginia land from the Potomac River to the Lincoln Memorial. On average 24 buries every weekday are carried out! It is
a very moving place and nice to pay respects to all those that fought to help the greater good.
After lunch we all visited The Museum of Natural History, quite interesting and busy!!!! We even caught a glimpse of the Hope Diamond, overrated in my opinion but what would I know about it! They have some other interesting displays, animals, dinosaurs and fossils, Gems and African cultures. The good thing about the majority of Museums in Washington is that they are free to enter!
That evening we visited the Hard Rock Café for a few drinks, lovely cocktails!!!
The next day we actually got to go up inside the Washington Monument, Bless Carleen and Ed for queuing up at 7 to get us all tickets! What a view!! You can see everything from up there and it tells you what Washington looked like in previous years. It is just over 555ft tall and towers over everything else. The corner stone was laid on the 4th of July 1848. The Monument rose 156ft until construction stopped in 1858 due to lack of funding. After standing unfinished for more than 18 years an act was passed in 1876 allowing
Most had already shed but a few still in bloom
the monument to be completed. Dedication of the monument finally took place in 1885 on the 21st of February.
That afternoon we briefly visited the Air and Space Museum, was interesting but was very tired by then and only looked things instead on reading ever little detail. They do have some good displays and it is worth a visit.
In the evening we went on a tour (organised by the Hostel) of George Town and then to the pub. Again it was a great chance to meet other travellers. We walked passed JFK’s birth home and the steep steps which feature in the film the Exorcist. And we visited the University, what an amazing building! Not like the modern University I attended! Then after walking for a bit we chilled out in a nice pub and had some food, was such a nice way to end a busy day.
We left Washington the next day and even got a send off from the guys we had meet! I really enjoyed Washington as we had meet some really nice people and where we stayed was a brilliant hostel.
Onwards to the Big apple......
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