I arrived in Washington D.C. on the first day of my trip across the USA. We were traveling from NYC to Los Angeles. We spent two days in Washington D.C. and focussed our interest in the area of the National Mall. This area is full of museums, monuments and it’s surrounded by many administration buildings, including The White House and the United States Capitol.
First Hours in the City
Our first day in the city started with a picnic in the National Mall park. After the meal, we headed north to have a closer look at the White House, where we took some pictures, with the famous building in the background.
Later we took a long walk through the park. During the walk, we saw the Washington Monument, which unfortunately was under renovation. Next, we headed to the National World War II Memorial. As Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1939, and I have heard many terrifying stories about the war from my grandmother, these kinds of places are really special to me.
From the National World War II Memorial, we walked to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. On our way to this famous monument, we saw fireflies. I had never seen these before in my life, it was an incredible scene, the park was dark and we could see small lights moving in the air.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial itself was beautiful, especial the illuminated inscription wall containing fourteen quotes from King’s speeches, sermons, and writings. This was the end of our first day in Washington D.C., we returned to our car and we drove back to the campground where we sent the night.
The final of our day were visits to the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
The National Air and Space Museum
Next day in the morning we returned to the city center. The main point of our stop in Washington D.C. was a visit to the Smithsonian’s museum dedicated to Air and Space. It is an awesome place, especially for engineers and technology geeks alike. In the Space Hall, I saw a full-scale mockup of the Hubble Space Telescope. It was built by Lockheed Missile and Space Company in 1975 for conducting various feasibility studies.
I also saw the Apollo 11 Command Module, “Columbia”, which was one of three parts of the complete Apollo spacecraft. The module was living quarters for the three-person crew during most of the first manned lunar landing mission in July 1969. Getting so close to such a huge piece of history was, a childhood dream come true experience.
There also is a The Apollo Lunar Module (LM 2), which was built for a second unmanned Earth-orbit test flight. Because the test flight of LM 1, named Apollo 5, was so successful, a second mission was deemed unnecessary. The module was used only for ground testing.
These are only a few examples of many incredible objects. If you visit the museum you will see much more, i.e. the airplane of the Wright Brothers – The Wright Flyer.
After the visit to the Smithsonian’s museum, we decided to have some fun. We headed to the Tidal Basin to rent pedal boats (amphibious cycles). We spent over one hour floating the waters of the basin, during this time we took some pictures, and we also saw some military helicopter flying over our heads.
Then we returned the boats, and we visited the Jefferson Memorial. Unfortunately, it was the last part of our visit to the Capital of the United States. We left the city and we traveled south-west, but it’s a material for another story.