Here we go, as promised the second part of my D.C. adventures :) The last part of my visit will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned!
I was in D.C. for 5 days and I saw A LOT. I think I even liked D.C. a little more than NYC…don’t get me wrong, New York is an amazing city, its just overwhelming. But I think that’s exactly the reason why, it’s just too much for me I think. It’s too fast, too exciting, to smelly, too dirty, too extreme, too big. Washington is smaller, cleaner, more European and it also feels like there’s more history to explore than in New York. New York is the place for fashion, entertainment, multi-cultural self-fullfillment I guess, but D.C. is more of a place where I belong :) Did I mention that I had the best time ever with my lovely friend Erika? She’s the best!
The Capitol building, of course one of the major attractions in Washington. It is a very impressive and incredibly beautiful building with an interesting history and I loved that you can just go and walk into the assembly halls of Senate and House of Representatives. What I didn’t like as much was the ridiculously patriotic movie every visitor had to watch before entering the building. Especially for a history major like me it was just bad.
From the Capitol you can take a shortcut and reach the Library of Congress via an underground tunnel. Of course you could also just walk up the stairs from the visitor’s center and cross the street but that wouldn’t be as cool :D The Library of Congress is, just like the Capitol, maybe one of the most beautiful buildings in D.C., especially its interior design is just amazing. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the big main reading hall and can only show you pictures of the main staircase, but here’s one picture I found on google (just to give you an impression on how beautiful it was). For a while, I eavesdropped on a tourist group and their guide, who was telling some interesting and amusing facts about the movie National Treasure 2 which was partly filmed in the Library.
Another great place I visited was the Arlington National Cemetry. Technically, it’s in Virginia but since the District of Columbia is so small it was actually only two stops on the subway from Erika’s apartment. The cemetry is so vast and there are just so many tombstones, I haven’t seen anything like it before. But it’s a very calm and also not an entirely “sad” place – many of the soldiers who are buried there haven’t lost their lives in combat but actually died many years after they fought in some of the terrible wars in this century. It gives you a feeling of consolation to know that many of them actually still had the chance to live a “normal”, happy life after they served. Of course, sadly, this is not true for the majority of soldiers buried here.
[the tombstones aren’t as withered as the might appear on the pictures. the names on them are actually perfectly readable but I decided to retouch them for privacy reasons.]