A day under the dome

Washington Travel Blog

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US Capitol

Second day in Washington and first of all I walked to Union Station to pick up my ticket for the train to New York tomorrow. Took about 20 minutes from the hotel and in this heat with a heavy backpack it might just kill me in the morning, so to deprive Washington DC taxpayers of another dead body on their streets I will get the metro instead.

The main attraction of the day was the US Capitol building - it is the one with the domed roof like St Paul's cathedral in London.  It is styled as the most famous building in the world but I think the Empire State Builiging or the Eiffel Tower might dispute that.

The Capitol is basically the seat of the US parliament and is the location for the houses of congress and the senate.

Newseum - 9/11 Headlines from all over the world
  I had pre-booked the free tour online and we had an interesting 10 minute video and 40 minutes with a guide who explained a lot about the building and how each of the houses works.  This was especially good for me as my knowledge of American history is pathetic. 

Next stop was the Newseum - this is basically a museum about the history of news.  It was recommended to me by someone in Boston as a "must do" and I am so glad I went there.  Everything is covered from the early days of the printing press through to television and the internet.  Major stories such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks are covered in detail - the latter with a video describing the impact on the journalists and their difficulty in covering such a major world news story.

Nationals Park

Spent far longer at the Capitol and the Newseum than I intended so had a late lunch with the intention of going to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum late in the afternoon.  However there was a bomb scare in the city centre and many of the streets were cordoned off.  As you can imagine the security situation is very delicate here and there is the almost constant distant noise of Police sirens wherever you go in the city.  Was disappointed but in some ways I guess my feet were glad of the rest. 

Got back to the hostel and realised that I had mixed my dates up and the Georgetown pub crawl was on the next night.  Looked around on the internet for something to do and decided to go to a Baseball game.  This is a sport I know very little about but nonetheless I took the metro to the Ballpark with the full intention of getting a ticket for the Washington Nationals.

The Dome
  Queued up for 15 minutes and then they announced that the game had sold out!  DIsaster!  Decided to go into the beer garden outside and had a few beers chatting to some nice Americans who were in the same boat.  The atmosphere looked amazing and a baseball game is definately on my agenda next time I come to America.

Overall I am really glad I came to "DC" but 2 days was no way enough time to see this great city.  One thing has just struck me though - there are hardly any shops in the city centre.  I mean you can buy food and drinks and stuff but I did not see any clothes shops or department stores.  Maybe they are all out of town but I guess this means that Washington is a great place to visit without your wife/partner dragging you around the shops all day trying on clothes!

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US Capitol
US Capitol
Newseum - 9/11 Headlines from all …
Newseum - 9/11 Headlines from all…
Nationals Park
Nationals Park
The Dome
The Dome
The Statue room
The Statue room
Ariel from the roof of the World T…
Ariel from the roof of the World …
Newseum
Newseum
Washington
photo by: b93sp