21.07.2014 - 24.07.2014 31 °C
We descended from the mountains and arrived in Washington DC. We stayed in the suburb of Hyattsville in a super Airbnb accommodation, just a few hundred meters over the Washington DC state border as it's such a small state!
Washington DC is a planned city, and has a generous strip of monuments and parkland. We took our bikes in to explore, which were perfect to cover the sprawling stretch of monuments. Spotting some food carts on our way, we couldn't resist stopping off for a bite to eat from the 15 carts clustered together....now we just had to choose one! We munched down lunch with the Capitol Building as our backdrop, and spent the afternoon exploring the shady monuments, which were a nice shelter from the heat of the day.
The Lincoln Memorial is impressively situated overlooking the National Mall strip and Washington Monument. Inside it houses a giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln who saw the states through the Civil War and was ultimately assassinated for his attempt to abolish slavery and achieve equal rights. Two other monuments honor past presidents; The Washington Monument for the first president of America, George Washington, who chose the site where the capital of America would be built, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Before the day ended we made it to the well guarded White House, which permanently has two police cars pulled up at the front gate. We didn't manage spot President Obama - maybe next time!
The following day was an early start for our tour of the United States Capitol (although this is free, you need to book it in advance). It's a splendid building, and was great to visit the inside with a guide. After the tour we had the opportunity to sit in on the Senate and House of representatives as they were in session. (International visitors can pick up tickets on the day). The Library of Congress is another impressive building worth popping inside to check out, just over the road from the State Capitol.
Washington is full of museums, and many are founded by the Smithsonian Institution, making them free to enter. We passed a few hours very easily in the National Museum of American History and rubbed the nose of a giant bronze sculpture of Albert Einstein perched on a nearby street.