Washington D.C.

Refreshingly different from most U.S. cities, in part due to the absence of skyscrapers (no buildings can be taller than the Washington Monument) and the weight of history, captured though endless museums and monuments. I visited back in 2007 for a packed three days of exploring, here are some of the highlights that weren’t museums or monuments.

White House
The obvious place to start, and as most people find, it’s a lot smaller than expected. Not very easy to get close to anymore due to security, would have been interesting to have visited sooner.dscf9686-white-house dscf9697

United States Capitol
A huge neoclassical showstopper at the end of Mall, with an impressive dome and highly decorative library.dscf9794 dscf9874 dscf9872-library-of-congressdscf9875dscf9883dscf9802

United States Botanic Garden
Round the corner from Congress are some pretty nice greenhouses, a welcome splash of greenery among all the monuments and traffic.dscf9890 dscf9888Government Departments
Plenty of neoclassical monoliths, Washington looked back to Ancient Greece when it built most of its civic buildings.dscf9694dscf9806dscf9810-supreme-court

Washington National Cathedral
Inconveniently located almost exactly half way between metro stops, the National Cathedral wasn’t completed until 1990, 83 years after work started, due to funding issues. I loved the modern take on stain glassed windows, not many cathedrals have space shuttles in the windows.dscf0002 dscf0007 dscf0019

Arlington National Cemetery
A moving place, 624 hectares in Richmond over the Potomac River from Washington itself, home to America’s war dead. General Lee’s original mansion on the hill overlooks the external flame for JFK, with his brother’s understated grave close by.dscf9933 dscf9940 dscf9943 dscf9950 dscf9949

Metro system
Apparently falling to pieces atm after years of underinvestment but it remains a suitably space age looking system, a complete contrast from the much older London Underground.dscf9827 dscf9674

Author: jontycrane

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