13 Weeks of Wandering: Washington DC

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New York >> Miami | Portland >> Vancouver


Where To? Washington DC
How long? 1 day
Mode of Transport? Metro


13WoW – Washington DC

It was clean, with an almost empty feeling, it was grand with buildings so large it would take a full 30 minutes to circumnavigate. There were marches and police barriers and news reporters and tourists. It was a very, very hot day and I would have a lot of walking to do.

So where was I? Washington DC!

After having departed from New York, I made a whistle stop in MaryLand (because why wouldn’t I?!) to hang out with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousins and Nieces before heading into DC to check out the Capital.

With only a day to explore this huge place, I arranged to be dropped outside the white house as my first stop.

The White House

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It was big, and white and house-like. So I knew this must be the place. Plus there were performers and demonstrators and silent protesters outside, but aside from that – not much else. A large empty space with not a lot of tourists, I wasn’t super impressed, which was a surprise to me, being used to the hustle and bustle of London.

I decided that walking would be the best way for me to see the city, much to my feet’s dismay. I didn’t realise at the time quite the scale of some of these buildings and quite how far it would be simply walking from one building to another.

The Capitol

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A well recognised landmark especially if you have seen films such as National Treasure which is set in DC. As well as a handful of tourists, you could also find reporters with their film crews filming outside the Capitol.

Although it’s quite a distance to walk to, you will find the walk pleasant particularly under the shade of the trees in the green space just outside of the Capitol.

The Botanic Garden

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On the way back from the Capitol, expect to come across the living plant museum, visited by over a million people every year. With many exhibits and a variety of climates artificially created within this garden, you will find all sorts of rare and beautiful plants.

You will need around an hour to fully immerse yourself in the whole experience. I also found it useful that there was a drinking water fountain located within this museum, as it was a well-needed opportunity for me to re-hydrate after all my walking.

The Washington Monument

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This obelisk, built around about 1844 in the shape of the Egyptian obelisk found in New York (its twin also found in the city of Westminster), was built to commemorate George Washington. It is quite overwhelming to stand beside, at a whopping 555 ft tall; it even had its time as the world’s tallest building back in 1885.

You can go up to the top of the monument, however, it has been closed for some time now as they are making repairs to the elevator.

The Museums

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You may not think it, but there are around 80 museums in Washington DC, so you may need more than the one day that I had to explore if you want to visit most of these.

I only had time to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture which is free to get into (as most of the museums are), but you must book online and print off your free ticket before you turn up or you will not be let in.

Ollie’s Trolley

Are you looking for a very American, greasy elbow sort of joint with burgers so good you’ll wish you could manage two?!

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Then this may be the place for you!

This family owned burger place sells locally sourced 100% Black Angus Roseda premium beef burgers specially seasoned with 26 herbs and spices. Having been there for over 30 years, and being voted best in town in that period, I think their bright yellow and red shop is there to stay!

Now, I can really vouch for this place because I don’t even like burgers but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and with their special seasoned fries and a deliciously thick (and fulling) milkshake, it all came to less than $8.

So that summarises my day in DC, it is certainly worth a visit for museum lovers and tourists alike but I didn’t feel as if it needed more than a day for me. Highlights would be witnessing a huge scale Falun Gong protest where police blockades were put in place and a brass band followed the procession… go on then I’ll show you a sneaky pic:

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… and the other highlight would be witnessing a film crew do their morning news report in front of the Capitol.

Well, that’s all from me on DC, stay tuned for a big fat African wedding in Virginia coming up in my next post!

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