Touring Washington DC in a day
We got excited on the day of touring Washington D.C, our guide even told us that we could actually go on our own had we wanted to, but due to transportation being already provided, we decided to stick to his itinerary.
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. Where D.C. means District Of Columbia. Under the U.S Constitution, the District comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Congress, therefore, Washington, D.C. is not a part of any state in U.S. Therefore, contrary to most popular belief, the capital of America is not New York.
Touring Washington DC in a day is possible, it is the most convenience city tour I had experienced, so convenience that tour guide is not needed. Instead of travelling hours to see an attraction then another few to see more, as in most other states or countries, most of the attractions in the District is very close to one another. The time saves allow one to see more, do more and ‘feel’ the place.
The United States Capitol
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. is the seat of the U.S. Congress – the legistrative branch of the U.S. federal government.The place is huge and the view is superb. One could easily see the faraway Washington Monument . The United States Capitol is another place which is out of bound to visitor, but having come so close to it just make one feels good, for we know that we are in a place where the laws passed could affect the world directly or indirectly. The United States Capitol is situated atop Capitol hill, hence its name .There are stairs to climb and long slope to go, but do not worry, its just a tardy walk. The Washington Monument can be seen from The United States Capitol. Once we see that, we know we’re very near to The White House, everyone was elated.
The White House is the official residence and principle workplace of the President of the United States Of America. It has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams, the 2nd President in 1800. Finally we were here to see the house of the most powerful man on earth. Prior to the visit, everyone was so excited. However, the visit was a big let down, the White House was heavily barricaded and guarded, as a result, visitors were kept about 200 meters away. It’s so near, but it’s also so far. Having zoom lens is a blessing in this situation. Not many people knows that White House was burnt by the British on Aug 24, 1814, and the American President James Madison even fled the House. That was the War of 1812, when both countries went to war because the British were seizing Americans ships and sailors. The Americans were losing the war, when the British entered the abandoned White House in 1814, the American President and staff had already fled to safety, only to return 3 days later when the British left. However, the war ended in 1815 with no obvious winner.
Oh no, The President was so far away from us, perhaps, he could be working tirelessly in the White House. (picture source : whitehouse.gov) Everyone was disappointed, no one expects to get into White House, but not many foresee the distance to be this far. After all, it really was a photo stop. Never seen the White House? Want to know how its interior looks? The filmmaker WideFide has generously shared the video here. Probably the only video with so much details on the interior of White House. http://youtu.be/itBNuCfBpUo
Souvenirs in Washington, D.C
Travelling in America we had a hard time looking for souvenir shops from the very moment we set foot on America till we head home. In the area around The White House, indeed, we discovered just two such stalls. The price was surprisingly reasonable and affordable as compared to most countries we had been. My advise : If you have an obligation to buy for your friends and relatives, just grab whenever one comes along, for pass by this stall and you won’t get another stall retailing souvenirs of the attractions you had just visited. Prices are very competitive between the few stalls, forget about bargaining unless you are buying in big bulk .
To start it off, few people who heard of this name Abraham Lincoln, knows how great he is in the history of America, not even our guide and the few I overheard doing their tour around the memorial. Abraham Lincoln ( 1809-1865 ) was the 16th President of U.S. If George Washington was the one who won independence for America from the British in 1770’s, then Lincoln would be the one who kept the United States Of America from disintegration in the American Civil War ( 1861-1865 ), the bloodiest war they had ever fought. Had it not been for him….. there might be no America at all.
However, Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865.
A brief history of American Civil War
The American War (1861-1865) began when 11 southern states where slavery was legal declared their secession and wanted to separate from the United States of America. President Lincoln was against spreading slavery to places. Suddenly, the United States was in danger of disintegration, an inevitable war soon erupted. The 4 years of war left more than 600,000 dead, was the bloodiest ever in the soil of America till today. After the war, slavery was made illegal throughout the country, the United States Of America was save from a breakaway, all because of this man, Lincoln! No admission tickets is required for the Lincoln Memorial, it can be viewed 24 hours a day, I was told that the night view was just as scenic, the only issue is security, as after 2330 hrs, the national park rangers are off duty, and would not be back till 0930 hrs the following day. The Lincoln Memorial aside, the scenic view surrounding the area is awesome ! Allow yourself some time for a rest at the stairs, on the grass or anywhere to indulge in this palace-like beautiful attraction. In the fronting Reflection Pool one could see the reflection of the gigantic Washington Memorial. The best view of the Washington Memorial, as mentioned in earlier post, is certainly from here. The huge crowd at the Memorial is an indication of its popularity.
The captivating Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is about 618m long and 51m wide. The scenery here is simply awesome. The place is grand, it’s scenic and is awesome. No tourist should miss Lincoln Memorial. Personally I found that it’s the best scenic place we had visited in Washington, D.C. You probably could have seen Lincoln Memorial in some pictures or video, it doesn’t matter, as this is a special place where you need to be here to really believe that all those multi-media didn’t tell you or describe vividly the true beauty of this attraction. A Stroll from Lincoln Memorial will take you to The Reflecting Pool, Washington Memorial and the White House and United States Capitol. That’s what makes the tour in Washington’s so easy, it naturally leads the visitors from one place to another. But one thing I certainly do not like about our tour in America is brochure are not available in any of the attractions. There is none! Even in the later part when we arrived at Boston and New York city, I don’t see a single piece of it. I find it rather strange in that an attraction or place as historical as it has been had no brochure to do self-explanatory. It’s no wonder that many tourists are seen clueless, I had seen some even eavesdropped our guide’s explanation.