Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Trip to Washington DC in December 2010
Part I - City Views
We had some vacation time left before Christmas 2010, and decided to visit our capital city and to see some of the Smithsonian museums and the city in winter. It was our second time in Washington DC. The first time we were there was in April 2004, during the cherry blossom festival. The link to the pictures and some descriptions in Russian is here:

We chose to stay in the downtown Holiday Inn Capitol, close to the Mall and Smithsonian Aerospace Museum. The trip to Washington DC from New Jersey took us 3 hours by car, we parked the car at the hotel garage and did not use it until we left.

We decided to try a double-decker tour bus instead. We bought the tickets at the hotel. The tour is guided, with a pre-recorded audio that is linked to a GPS, it was a very informative program. The audio was telling us the story about the buildings and monuments we were passing by. The ticket is valid for 24 (or 48) hours, and it is possible to hop-on and hop-off the bus any number of times you want. We began our journey at 9 am, and finished around 6 pm, with several stops to visit the Wax Museum of Madame Tussauds, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Capitol, Tidal Basin, Museum of American Art. To tell you that it was cold on the bus is not enough. It was even more than that: it was cold AND windy. The trip on the bus might be fun in April, but it was a real torture in December. I have to admit that we voluntarily agreed to have this experience, intending to use this unsurpassed possibility to take pictures of the city views from the elevated roof of the bus.
We are the only people sitting on the top behind the glass shield.

My husband on the top of the bus

In the evening - tired and hungry 
As you can see, the bus was completely empty on the second level during our morning trip.
Interactive museum of news with behind-the-scenes views of how and why news is made.

Aerospace Museum Entrance

Lincoln Monument
Capitol, with the Peace Monument in the foreground
A different view of the Peace Monument - what a remarkable sunset we had that evening!

Capitol, with the Christmas tree

Union Station, with the Columbus Monument on the left

Union Station Christmas Tree

Postal Museum, next to the Union Station
Washington Monument view
Approaching the Capitol Hill
Night view of the Capitol

Washington Monument Spotlight

Night View of Washington Monument

Tidal Basin View
Full Moon over Tidal Basin and Washington Monument

Jefferson Monument at sunset
Panorama of Tidal Basin with Washington Monument on the left and Jefferson Monument on the right

In spite of the cold weather we walked around the Tidal Basin and Washington Monument the first evening, and walked via many streets at night, without using the cameras.  Next day was dedicated to the museums - see my next post!

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