Washington was a wonderful city to visit. It is quite compact, situated north and south of the National Mall, a 2-mile long area of grass running east to west, about 500-600 yards wide. It stretches form the Capitol (the domey thing) in the east to the Lincoln Memorial (the pillared thing) in the west, with the Washington Monument (the spiky thing) in the centre. The latter is 555 feet tall and visible from most of DC, as it is universally known. The Mall features many war memorials at the west end, and lots of museums, part of the Smithsonian Institution at the east. Washington, DC is diamond-shaped, at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, surrounded by Maryland on three sides, and Virginia to the west. See the map half way down below.
Here are pictures of my two favourite buildings in DC, The Old Post Office Tower (see more below) and the Old Executive Office Building, immediately west of the White House. They seem to call anything Old, even if they are quite new.
The weather was hot and humid, with lots of very bright sunshine which made for difficult photography conditions. (If you press the F5 key to refresh this page, you’ll see a whole new set of random pictures for each day.) We stayed in two separate B&B accommodations for 5 nights each, with 4 nights in a Big Hotel in the middle while we were at the International Puzzle Party.
4th August 2012 - We flew to Washington, DC. We were to spend the first five nights at the Apple Tree Inn, a small B&B, just one room, 4 blocks east of Capitol Hill.
5th August 2012 - We explored the nearby Eastern Market and then travelled on the Metro to the western end of the National Mall. Pictures here:
7th August 2012 - We braved a journey on two buses to visit the National Arboretum, sited to the east of DC. It was crazily hot and humid, but very wonderful. The Tiger Swallowtail butterflies were a spectacular sight, with their 5-inch wingspan. Duck if you see one coming.
8th August 2012 - A 7-mile long walk around the Tidal Basin & Hains Point, a spit of land to the south of the city, between the Potomac River and Washington Creek. Ronnie Reagan airport is across the Potomac. We saw a young girl catch a catfish from the creek.
9th August 2012 - We left Simon and Robyn at the Apple Tree Inn, checking in at the International Puzzle Party hotel at Crystal Gateway, SW Washington, DC before visiting Arlington Cemetary & the Pentagon. Crystal Gateway was OK for the Puzzle Party, but not a nice place to visit otherwise. It looked better in the distance across the Potomac yesterday.
13th August 2012 - We left the hideous Crystal Gateway area, one mass of faceless hotels and travelled to about 10 blocks north of the National Mall, near Logan Circle, where we were to stay for the last five nights, at the Aaron Shipman House. We then explored the area around Dupont Circle, along Embassy Row and peaceful Dumbarton Oaks to the west. Pictures follow:
15th August 2012 - We walked south to the area around the White House and visited many other stately buildings, including the Old Post Office Tower. This latter is the third tallest building in DC, after the Washington Monument and the cathedral. It was almost demolished in the 1970s, but I think it is one of the most amzing buildings I’ve ever visited. Below the next batch of pictures is the film I shot from the lift which brought us down from the top.
16th August 2012 - The Big Expedition of the holiday. We traveled by bus, to the northern tip of Washington, DC, just into Maryland. We then walked ten miles through Rock Creek Parkway down to the Potomac River. It was a bit like the film ‘Deliverance’ but without the bad people and canoes.