Here I am at last, Washington DC. Flew in yesterday, (4th August), via Dublin and am spending a few days here doing some sightseeing and getting myself used to american culture and the money… flipping hell can’t make out the value on the coins, must look more closely.
Have booked an apartment/studio in the Brookland area, it is really lovely and the owners, Daoud and his partner are very warm and welcoming. This is the first time I have booked via AirBnB and am most impressed. I can wholeheartedly recommend this place.
I have to say the journey was most pleasant and easy, although a very early start meant that I was extremely tired when I arrived. I have packed bags suitable for use on the Harley so not suitable for lugging around. Of course the main bag went into the hold but the cabin bag was quite heavy too so I decided to buy some wheels to make life easier. I was also thinking that I will be taking the bags on and off the bike so the trolley will definitely ease the pain!!
Have hired a car for the next few days, but having driven into Washington from the airport I think it is going to be easier to use public transport whilst I am sightseeing and keep the car for the trip down to Portsmouth, Virginia to collect the bike.
Quite early into bed last night as really exhausted. Up around 7am and pottered about for a while. Daoud has left some information about getting around and a smart travel card. I check out how to use it then off to catch a bus into the centre. Thank the goddess for iPhones, the map app is just so helpful when you don’t know your way around. Caught a bus to the metro then on to L’Enfant Plaza where I pick up the hop on and off tour bus.
As I exit the station I am amazed to see a whole row of food vans with every type of food you can imagine… it all smells really delicious and I am quite hungry, but decide to wait a while as it is quite expensive.
The tour bus is really good and the guide gives out loads of information along with lots of in jokes obviously targeted at the american visitors as they mostly went over my head. Got some great photos….
I get off the bus at the Lincoln Memorial.. don’t ask me why, but it is one of the places I have always wanted to visit so off the bucket list now…
And a closer view towards the Washington Monument and the Senate building. It looks like it’s going to rain, but it doesn’t, it’s actually very warm and humid.
I take a walk down to the Vietnam Memorial wall and am shocked to discover there is also a memorial to Vietnam women nurses… I have never heard of this and am very pleased to see that women non-combatants have not been forgotten. Back on the bus and the tour guide informs us that sometimes money is left on the memorial as an anonymous protest or recognition of women in the armed services being paid less than the men at that time.
The wall is not in alphabetical order, it is in order of date of death so the people on the wall are grouped with the guys they served with who also were lost…. this is such a huge reminder of the terrible cost of war.
I also spot a couple of Harleys…. of course I take a photo.
Back on the tour bus to go to the White House Visitor Centre, but am too late as it closes at 4pm so that’ll have to wait until tomorrow. On the way we take a detour past the Pentagon.. the tour guide gave us loads of factoids about the facilities inside for the staff, I’ve forgotten most of it but apparently there are shops and other amenities so the staff never have to leave the building… no skiving off for shopping then wink wink.
A few more pics on the way…
I walk around for a while then get a coffee in Starbucks. My feet are rubbed raw as I stupidly wore new sandals… duh!! I pop into a huge store, Forever 21 – that’s so me, HA! – and pick up a pair of shoes and some short socks for my trails tomorrow… I also pop into Walgreens for a packet of plasters.. ouch!
So tomorrow I will visit the White House Visitor Centre, Arlington Cemetery, The Museum of the American Indian, the Washington Monument and any others that take my fancy. Tomorrow night I am booked onto a night tour, apparently it is really something and takes a full 3 hours so am looking forward to it.
Time for bed…. nite nite