After our first day in NYC it was time to pack our bags and head on. We had some last-minute scheduling changes which meant that we would spend the better part of the next week in the capital, Washington, DC. Like NYC, it would be our first time in Washington and we were really looking forward to it. I had to work most of the time so that left Katrin to explore the city herself. I entrusted her with my X100 and she did not let me down.
After Manhattan, Washington was a completely different experience. It starts with the wide streets, carefully planned when the capital was first envisioned. Lining these huge streets are museums and a lot of federal government buildings. While DC does not have much to offer in terms of a proper downtown city centre, it has an incredible amount of sights, gardens, beautiful architecture and significant landmarks.
The best spot to start exploring the city is at the US Capitol. You can take a subway, which by itself is interesting because you immediately notice the differences to New York. Unfortunately the rotunda of the Capitol was hidden behind scaffolding when we were there, but Katrin had beautiful weather on our first few days. Starting at the Capitol you can then make your way down the National Mall, a 3-kilometer park which spans from the Capitol all the way to the Lincoln memorial at the edge of the Potomac. You can easily spend more than a day walking the distance as both sides of the park are lined with several world-class museums, all of which a free to visit. Among these is the excellent Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, a must-see for every aviation buff. On top of that there are numerous memorials dotted throughout the beautiful park, the most iconic being the Washington Memorial. When you get to the WW2 memorial you have the choice of continuing on along a huge reflecting pool to the Lincoln memorial or you can turn right and head for the White House. Needless to say that is something you have to visit as well. On our fourth day I had some time of to explore the city with Katrin and we saw the president arrive in Marine One. Pennsylvania Avenue is another thing I had always wanted to see, looking back towards the Capitol you can see the route the President takes after inauguration.
Apart from the all of the federal buildings we managed to explore another beautiful Washington area on foot: Georgetown. This residential neighborhood is located in the North-West of Washington and is home to Georgetown University. I can only recommend wandering through the quiet and picturesque side streets to get a look at the unique architecture and the myriad of absolutely pretty little brick houses.
I’m really glad we got to see Washington. It is the perfect city to spend a few days taking it a little more relaxed than in Manhattan. If you’re into museums you won’t be disappointed, just be prepared to walk a lot to see everything. Since I was busy most of the week I did not really have time to read up on the city and plan accordingly, and like always we narrowly missed some things we would definitely visit next time, like Arlington National Cemetery. We had spent our first week in the US and were looking forward to the next week which would take us somewhere completely different.