Air and Space in DC

Washington Travel Blog

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White House

So up at 6:30 (next time it will be a relaxing holiday) and leave with the dorm door wide open, shining the light in on the French family asleep in their beds - childish I know but I have lost about 5 hours sleep these last three nights with the brat wailing away. 

Arrived in DC (as everyone calls it here) at about 10:30am as I was able to take an earlier flight - not bad considering it was bought with air miles.  Thank god the weather has cooled off a bit and after a 10 minute trip into the city centre, I had dropped my bag off at the hostel and off to explore.

The thing that strikes you about Washington is that everything is in reasonable walking distance of everything else.

Washington Monument
  First stop I guess has to be the White House but due to the security situation you cant really get anywhere near it.  There is a not very well signposted visitors centre down the road with some basic information in it (and the compulsary bag screening)  but I would advise visitors not to bother with this as there is so much else to see and do in this great city. 

5 minutes down the road is the Washington Monument - an obilisk that is much larger than I imagined when I have seen it on TV or in books.  I skipped visiting it up close as already I had realised that 2 days in Washington was going to be nowhere near enough time to see even a quarter of what I would want to see.

The National Mall is a mile long area of grass and parkland that stretches from the Washington Monument at one end to the US Capitol at the other.

Apollo-Soyuz project
  Around the Mall are the Smithsonian museums,  most are free to go in and I chose the Air and Space Museum.  There was a fantastic range of exhibitions from the Wright Brothers and the early days of flight, the Red Baron and the first world war right through to current space exploration.  Unlike at Cape Canaveral, the Russians do get some credit for their achievements and there was a really interesting section on the space race between the 2 Superpowers.

By this time it was 5pm and time to get some food and rest my aching feet.  Back at the hostel I chatted with some people from Greenpeace and then finally finished my book.  Annoyingly, American hostels all seem to have a no alcohol policy so no drinking (not seen anything about guns though so I guess they must be OK). 

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White House
White House
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Apollo-Soyuz project
Apollo-Soyuz project
White House
White House
The National Mall
The National Mall
Brietling Orbiter 3 - first round …
Brietling Orbiter 3 - first round…
Viking Mars lander
Viking Mars lander
Washington
photo by: b93sp