Washington National Airport

So this morning we went to Great Falls near Washington to see a waterfall which was pretty impressive before heading to the airport. Then once I’d arrived and before I’d even checked in a delay was announced to my flight giving American a 100% delay record so far. Even Virgin trains usually beats that!

Anyhow with 3 hours to kill before the flight I went to the bookstore. First I found the rough guide to England so I checked out the entry for Oxford. It mentioned all the sensible sites to see such as christ church and the Radcliffe camera. It also mentioned quite a few pubs including all the good ones I like and the Bear which is 1 block south of high street a short way from the centre. This was their favourite and I’d be curious to know what it’s like. The other interesting book was the international book of sex wbich included such great chat up lines as “Do you come here often?” and “is it hot in here or is it just you?” in several languages. I was tempted to buy it for comedic value but it was clearly well fingered. Then I had a meal in an airport restaurant that looked good until I tasted the food!

Now I’m off to the gate hopefully my flight won’t be delayed further.

Washington DC part 2 (mostly not actually in Washington)

So the next day I went back into Washington DC, I was quite late up, so didn’t get in until lunchtime, but I still had time for two museums recommended the previous evening, first I tried to go up the Washington Monument, but then found to get tickets you had to queue before 8.30am when the ticket office opened, which seemed a bit much to ask for to be honest. So instead I went to the Holocaust museum, which was very moving and also tried incredibly hard to be unjudgemental towards all sorts of groups, from the Germans before the war, to the Allies who refused jewish immigration, to the Allies later who didn’t bomb the camps themselves. It was clear that it was an incredibly shocking event, much much more so than our recent history with terrorism. And it also shone an interesting light on the creation of Israel and the current problems in the Middle East. After that I went to the International Spy Museum, it was also very interesting and well worth a visit. This discussed the history of spycraft from WW2 onwards and I spent another 2 hours there. After that it was the early evening so the museums were all about to shut so I had to come back to where I was staying.

The next day I headed out to the Blue Ridge mountains by car, and we went on a 1.6 mile walk in the mountains which was good, we got some good photos of that too.

The Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains

As well as that we also saw some traditional buildings nearby such as the following church.

Typical Church in Virginia

Typical Church in Virginia

We also tried to find the Appalachian trail but we missed it as it started to rain so we had to go back to the car.

Then today we went on a canoe on the Potomac, which is the river which goes through Washington DC, fortunately we were a little further upstream, so the weather was good and it was also very peaceful, except for the very occasional interruption by a motorboat. We had lunch on the shore on an old dried up canal and rowed slowly downstream. Below is a photo of one of the many herons we saw:

A heron on the Potomac

A heron on the Potomac

Washington DC part 1

After New York I flew to Washington DC. However due to the plane being late it would have been quicker on the bus (and even though I only pay taxes probably cheaper too!). Once in Washington I got the metro to my mother cousins house where I was staying. The train was definitely nicer than New York too. Once I was there I was a little tired after my fairly extensive nights out in NY so I spent the morning asleep. After that in the afternoon we went to the air and space museum near Dulles airport which was a good afternoon out. There we saw a great IMAX movie called “Forces of nature”.

Then today I went into wasington itself seeing the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln memorial and the statue of einstien in the morning. Then after an excellent French lunch with the people I’m staying with I went back into the centre of Washington to see the library of congress which was very impressive.┬áIt had a rocky start; it was torched in 1812 by the British when they invaded Washington. At which point they bought Thomas Jeffersons library (he had the US’s biggest private collection) for nearly $25000. After that there was a further fire in 1851 which destroyed 2/3 of the books so they bought the fire protection up to scratch and in 1897 they gave the library its own building. There were also some other exhibitions on old maps and the bill of rights which were also very interesting. After that I wandered around the park and then went out with my dads friends for dinner. We went to an excellent Asian restuarant and I had sushi which was really good.