I didn’t really think about Washington DC when I signed up for this trip. I knew it was the capital but was kind of oblivious to how much history and museums there are here!
Washington was one of our longer stops. We arrived on Friday afternoon and didn’t leave until Monday morning.
When we arrived in Washington DC, we went to the Arlington National Cemetery which is the final resting place of more than 400,000 fallen heroes from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War and America’s Civil War
We went and saw The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which pays tribute to an unidentified American soldier from World War I and we also watched the changing of the guard.
The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, every day of the year by tomb guard sentinels. They’re considered to be the best of the 3rd U.S Infantry Regiment headquartered at Fort Myer, Virginia.
It was pretty cool to check out the changing of the guards. They change every hour and it’s pretty intense to watch. I could never do their job because I get too impatient even sitting at my desk all day.
After watching the guards, we went and viewed the grave for John F Kennedy and his brother and deceased children.
When Mr Kennedy died, his wife Mrs. Kennedy had expressed a desire to mark the president’s grave with an eternal flame similar to that of the French Unknown Soldier in Paris.
A propane-fed torch was selected and lit by Mrs. Kennedy during the funeral of her husband. The Eternal Flame burns from the center of a five-foot circular flat-granite stone at the head of the grave. It’s specially designed so there’s a constantly flashing electric spark near the tip of the nozzle which re-lights if it’s extinguished by rain, wind or accident.
After visiting the cemetery we checked into our hotel Days Inn and I got ready for our dinner.
We were all meant to wear ‘American themed’ clothing but I couldn’t find any clothing with the flag or colors on it when we had our lunch stop that day so just dressed normally.
Dinner was next door at the Italian restaurant. It was basically a buffet pizza bar and a bowl of salad which was fine but the pizza was only 3 different flavors. Pepperoni, cheese and one with olives all over it. So it was a bit un-interesting.
Once we’d finished dinner, we had a 4 hour tour around Washington!
Another old Contiki tour guide who lives in Washington came on the coach and took the tour for us.
Our first stop was Capitol Hill.
It didn’t look like the above picture though, more like this…
They’re re-do ing the dome part I think so they had lots of scaffolding up around it.
Here is where the Senate and the House of Representatives come together to discuss, debate and deliberate national policy and craft the country’s laws.
Apparantly the Pope is coming to Washington DC later this month and is going here. Oooo… exciting…
After that, we had more of a drive around the city and saw the Washington Monument which was built to honour George Washington the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States.
We then took around an hour’s walk around lots of memorials.
Such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial which was along the Tidal Basin, as well as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.
My phone never takes very good pictures in the dark it seems…so that last picture I’ve added that someone else has taken.
We finished off our tour at the Lincoln Memorial which was really nice in front of the water. It was built in white stone with 36 iconic columns and honors the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
When our tour was over, we went back to the hotel and headed next door to the restaurant again to have some drinks.
Not too many people were keen to go out so I went with Rob, Johnathon and Geoffrey (the usual going – out crew) and took an Uber more into the city.
We found a club and went there for the night.
It wasn’t too bad but wasn’t terribly exciting either. I think I left around 1am after trying to be a good wing – woman for one of the boys and then having a late Mexican 2nd dinner haha.