Memory of remembering and writing day 1 amid mandatory “travel-ban” due to COVID-19 has also became hazy, yet no receding news of Corona virus. World might have adjusted to virus existence or coping to adjust, but fact remains the same that traveling in current situation has been deemed as “adventure” rather than pleasure. So I had to resort back to old unaccounted trips and pick up from where I left. Here’s travelog of day 2 in Washington DC.
Always remember: “Washington DC in 2 days” is the recipe of overenthusiastic. There are so many places to see and cover. Area of National mall could easily snatch away your two full days and still you feel missing out on something. Hence pre-planned spots are most welcome. If you planning to spend 2 days (as we have done), it’s better to have your research, prepare final list of spots to see, get well acquainted with transport options and be ready to amaze yourself.
Things to consider: Metro pass comes in all kinds of comfortable flavors; 1-day, 2-day etc. Also metro network is not that complex. If you chart your plan clearly, metro could be the best transport option.
We preferred to travel by Metro. Luckily, we found our hotel nearby metro station and in downtown (with less expensive day-to-day parking fees). We first went to South metro nearby US Capitol. Plan was to start from eastern end of National park and walk all the way to Lincoln Memorial, covering as much as possible in between. It was long long walk but National Mall was most enjoyable while slowly imbibing and appreciating it’s beauty by not rushing, just like good old vintage wine.
United states Capitol is favorite spot of fictional cataclysm on US independence. Its first to get vanished in most of third encounter fictional movies; not out of its important but I guess due to its personality. Anything happen to US Capitol and your mind immediately register the criticality of the situation. Dome of the US Capitol in summer heat exerts divine aura that outshines two massive edifices in front of it; supreme court building and Library of Congress. Do spend some time to get Instagram-ready pictures in front of Neptune fountain at Library of Congress. It has great imprint of European style architecture. US Capitol itself must be visited for its historical value and unique frescoes under the dome. Unfortunately, it was closed for us due to some events.
From there, we spent some time at botanical garden. We walked towards collage of Smithsonian museums. Washington DC has its fair share of museums considering its historical and political importance. It will be utterly befuddling to justify all or even major ones. There are 4 primary museums under Smithsonian; National air and space museum, National museum of natural history, National museum of American history and National museum of African art (along with Smithsonian castle as visitor center). Apart from this there are National Gallery of art (for art lovers), Hirshhorn Museum (another art museum), National museum of American Indian (History and culture of American Indians) and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Asian art and pottery). All of these dotted around National mall area.
Things to remember: Smithsonian metro station is the closest to all Smithsonian museum area of National Mall.
We have our artistic thirst quenched by roaming in and around National gallery of art sculptor garden. After refreshing our mind with coffee nearby large center-piece of a fountain, we were headed towards Natural history museum at late noon.
We tried to encompass natural history of the world by visiting Smithsonian national museum of natural history but fell terribly short by couple of sections even after quick browsing due to time constraint.
Thing to consider: most of museums get closed at around 4:00-5:00 PM. Plan accordingly.
It took us more time then what we expected for only Natural history museum. Once completed out of no other choice due to closing hours, we loitered in the park towards another symbolic architecture; Washington Monument. As per geometry, Washington monument is obelisk. Beautifully designed reflecting pool to get reflection of monument at one end and Lincoln memorial at the other gave this whole vista other-worldly ambiance. Breadth-taking golden and saffron colors of a setting sun has elevated the experience to unforgettable moment. Giving required solemn silence while contemplating nothingness within at WW2 memorial was on and of itself honorable thing to do.
Walk all the way from Washington monument to Lincoln memorial parallel to reflecting pool had its own serene effect. Appropriately illuminated artificial lights had taken place of diminishing golden sunlight. Each passing moment was having its own color and hue combination. By the time we reached Lincoln Memorial, it was almost dark.
Another iconic architecture representing US political importance and democracy amidst plethora of others is 19 feet tall and equally in width statue of 16th President of United states, Abraham Lincoln. If Washington monument had Egyptian influence, Lincoln memorial was constructed with Parthenon in Athens as model; kind of a temple of Greek god.
After paying tribute to god of Democracy, we called the day urging much needed rest after all the walking.
Date of Visit: 01-Sep-2019