Sunday, 22 June 2014

Washington DC & Philadelphia

I returned from my travels overseas nearly a month ago. I have had good intentions to blogging about my adventures but moving house, a bereavement and returning to work has kind of zapped my energy.

So last month I visited Canada and the US of A (again!) I had a great time and I loved everywhere we visited!!! Today I will talk about my trip to Washington DC and Philadelphia.

I have always been a bit of a history buff. I fell in love with the idea of visiting Washington when I learnt about MLK's march to Washington and his infamous 'I have a dream speech.' It was just THE BEST feeling the be stood where he stood at the Lincoln memorial.

We were blessed with beautiful weather and we didn't realise it was memorial day weekend, so it was super busy! There were veterans and their families everywhere but it was very moving to see them too. One of the things that struck me about DC was that it isn't very big compared to other capitals of the world. London is a lot bigger! In saying that size isn't everything as Washington DC certainly had a lot to show for itself. Below is a small video of the highlights.

The best bits:

The White House: It was much smaller than I expected it to be. On the TV it has this presence of being quite grand and overpowering. It really wasn't but it is a beautiful house. We learnt about where the oval office is, the family quarters and even where Mrs Robinson stays too. Obama was in Afghanistan so we didn't get to see him haha.

Abraham Lincoln memorial: OH WOW! This is one stunning salute to a president who tried to do so much for his country. It is huge and the view across to Capitol Hill was amazing!

Arlington National Cemetery: I don't think I have been to a more beautiful cemetery. I have visited a few in Europe but this was so much grander. As it was memorial weekend each grave had a flag to commemorate them. It was a shame we didn't get to see as much of the cemetery as we wanted due to timings. However, we did visit the Kennedy gravesite and see the eternal flame they have. What struck me about Arlington is that it is situated in a really busy area but it was so quiet. It was so peaceful.

The memorials: Washington DC do memorials justice!! The architecture, the effort and passion into all of them is so clear to see. I didn't get to take a photo but the Vietnam memorial was extremely moving. They were having a service and salute at the time I walked along the wall so it felt wrong to get my camera out. I made a habit of touching names engraved into the memorials to let them know in a way that I was there.

Philadelphia: We only had an afternoon in Philadelphia. Lotte and I really wanted to go shopping since we saw a Macy's haha! However, we did visit Jefferson's grave, the Liberty Bell and Independence hall. For those who don't know, Philadelphia was once the capital of America and it was where the declaration of independence was first read out.

If I had more time I would have visited the declaration of independence in the National Archives but the queue was 2 hours long! it would also have been cool to visit the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian area too. Maybe one day?


Mary said...

Did you see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington? If you didn't, make sure you see it next time you's amazing. Also, read up on the soldiers who are chosen for the Guard. Just amazing.

Amanda said...

So close, and yet so far - I'm heading that way this week! I would definitely say that Lincoln is my favorite of all the memorials. DC is probably in my top 5 favorite places in the world!

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