Dynamite Tour of Washington DCNovember 22, 2017 in the United States
This morning we were collected by Brian from Bi-Partisan Tour Company, to start our tour of Washington. Although we had visited a number of places the day before, we were happy to return to them. Brian runs an excellent tour. He is passionate about Washington and history, and he tells a great story. We started off at the 2nd World War Memorial, followed by the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. We then briefly passed by Arlington Cemetery, which is located across the Potomac River, the Airforce Memorial, and the Pentagon, which is huge. Around 15,000 staff work there, and about 4,000 contractors - the busiest Starbucks is located at the Pentagon!
We then crossed back over the Potomac and went to the Jefferson Memorial, which is surrounded by cherry blossom trees and sits on the shore of the Tidal Basin (so it was very chilly and windy). During the construction of the Jefferson Memorial, a number of ladies chained themselves to the cherry trees in protest of them needing to be chopped down for the Memorial. To deal with this, President Roosevelt ordered his staff to prepare tea, coffee and cake for the protestors and, within a couple of hours, the ladies needed to be excused, so that was the end of the protest and construction proceeded. Next we went to the Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial, and we were able to walk between them along the Tidal Basin. Once again we have had great weather - blue sky and sunshine - although a bit nippy!
After a lunch break we visited the front of the White House, then onto the Einstein Memorial, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial - which is a wall that is cut into the earth and slopes down into the ground. All 58,272 war casualties are listed on the wall in the order they died. There was a competition for the design of this Memorial, and it was won by a recent graduate - all 9 judges agreed on the design from 1,500 entries. It is both a somber and powerful Memorial. We then headed back down the National Mall towards the US Capital Building on the Hill. The view down the Mall to the Washington Monument through to the Lincoln Memorial is quite breathtaking. We also saw the Grant Memorial and the Peace Monument. Brian then drove us through Chinatown and dropped us at the International Spy Museum.
The International Spy Museum was very interesting and a bit of fun. On entering you are asked to pick an alias that you must memorise the details of and be tested on. I was Gary Wozniak, 25 years, Canadian Citizen, born in Waipau NZ, a teacher who was in Singapore for 90 days for work.
There were lots of the tools of the spy trade on display, and biographies on some of the most notorious spies through the ages up to current times. There was also a special exhibit - "Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villians" which was very entertaining.
We then headed back to the hotel and stopped in at "The Hamilton" for dinner. Once again, we had a big day, walking over 13,000 steps.Read more