Washington DC 2nd day

We decided to take our bikes on the train into DC today so we could cover more ground.  Angie was not feeling so well and was unable to meet us.  We thought we would start at the top of the city and visit the Cathedral but it was closed so we thought we would ride through the zoo but you can’t ride your bike through there so we rode down towards Georgetown. We spent some time riding along the canal which popped us out at downtown Georgetown by the Potomac river.

 

We rode along the river and into the National Mall area again where we had lunch.

 

 

Cycling is a great way to get around, you can ride on the road or pavement and everyone- pedestrians, Segway’s, scooters and bikes seem to share the paths well.

 

After lunch I went to an art shop for some supplies and then met up again with S at the back of the Whitehouse where there was an anti Iran war rally happening.

 

By then we had had enough and caught the train back.

 

What strikes me about Washington DC is how grand the monuments and buildings are.  The National Mall is the heart of DC, and Washington DC is seen by many as the heart of the US.  It’s great the way the US commemorates the soldiers that participated in the wars. Stuart’s Dad Ian was part of the LRDG in his lifetime and stayed involved.  Getting funding for a small plinth was a drama in NZ, but here the monuments are huge and impressive, as though money was no object at all in the planning.

 

The place is clean and tidy and there are few homeless people to be seen.

 

The locals are incredibly friendly, helpful and generally charming, they actually seem to like tourists!  Strangers chat and smile and I think that something that makes a city great.  The White house itself was a much smaller and less grand building than I had imagined, still it looks well groomed and certainly well guarded with snipers visible on rooftops!

 

The city layout is well designed and its always nice to have a river running through.

 

I can imagine the city looks different through all the seasons, I’d especially like to see it in the spring time when the cherry blossom is in full flower, or under snow-but mid summer looks good too!  I’m staggered at how green the city is-English Plane trees, oaks, silk trees, just about all the trees are deciduous, and this greenery extends throughout the city and beyond.  The suburb we are staying in, College Park which houses the University of Maryland has a wonderful array of parks and wooded areas and we are staying on Cherry Tree Hill Road, you can guess what trees are predominant around here!!

 

For the most part the city is very clean and tidy, the buildings are clean-it feels a bit like Stepford, although more specifically a mishmash of London and Paris.

 

We have one more full day here then we move on towards Philadelphia.