Day 8 - Sight seeing in 36 degree heat

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today was our first day of proper sight seeing in Washington DC and we started out by getting the metro to the city centre. The metro system here is deep tunnel like London but half the price and they have managed to work a full air conditioning system into the trains and tunnels – something to think about Boris!

Our first stop was the Capitol for a morning tour arranged by a congressman who Glenn knows called Andrew Waxman. This began with a 25(ish) minute video about the building’s early history, followed by a guided tour around the building. Our tour guide was good and we got to see the crypt underneath the rotunda, the rotunda itself and various other rooms with lots of statues sent from all the states. We also saw the Senate chamber where they debate all the different bills throughout the year.

After a nice lunch at the Capitol visitor centre (great food selection!), we met Glenn’s friend Ellen at Union Station. She is a professional tour guide here in DC and was kind enough to give us a private walking tour around the main sites. We started out in the station itself and then saw the Mall, Whitehouse, Vietnam and Korean war memorials, Lincoln memorial, World War 1 and 2 memorials, Washington monument, and various other sites around that part of the city. This gave us a great overview of DC.

Feeling exhausted from walking in the 36 degree heat, we headed back to the house after the tour. Glenn and Cindy are still in New York taking Amy to the airport so we spent the evening in and got pizza delivered and watched TV. I think we finally understand how the channels work here!

Photo of the day: The Washington monument reflecting in the water of the ‘reflecting pool’, as seen from the Lincoln Memorial.