It is 6:00AM and I am dressed- shoes on, ready to leave. This is not a scenario I am usually in and I don’t like it. But I’m lumping it. The coach ride to Washington DC from New York is approximately four hours and we’re trying to maximise our day-trip.
If you ask a New Yorker which state they would recommend seeing which is close-by, usually the answer is none of them. Apparently there is California and New York, and everything in between is basically no-man’s land. I thought it ridiculous however, to come all this way and not see at least one other state. My fellow Brit and I took a coin toss between Boston and DC and settled on a political themed trip around Obama’s crib (okay, so we didn’t actually get to go inside).
As we left the Union Station, which was a grand white building formed of arches and columns, truthfully spirits and expectations were low. The rain outside meant that walking through the streets and the national Mall was not as enjoyable as it could have been. However, the buildings most definitely portray a political vibe to the city. There is something to be said about DC- it’s spotless. After four months in New York, where bin bags pile street corners and rats sift through your feet, the gleaming pavements (sorry, ‘sidewalks’) of Washington DC look immaculate. The US Capitol, the White House, etc. all these buildings are in whiter than white stone and look typically Grecian or even Roman. Perhaps too white.
We decided that due to the weather, we would take a little detour to the International Spy Museum. Washington DC is known to have the most number of the spies in one area at a time and so it seemed fitting. The museum portrays the story of spies, intelligence operations and deceptions that changed the course of history, including a large exhibition on the James Bond phenomenon.
Funnily enough, walking through DC- whilst it is immaculate, is intimidating and unnerving. The sterile look of the streets and the buildings begins to jar on you, and DC almost comes across as a pop up city you might create on SIMS. I started to count down the hours in which we would be returning back to the bin bag, pavement pounding streets of NY. I would definitely advise that DC only needs one day. It is a relatively small city and whilst abundant with museums and galleries, there is not a whole lot to see after having a quick peek at the White house, the Monument and the U.S Capitol. Wave to Obama (or his squirrels), check out the museums and then get on the coach and return to the Big Juicy, Dirty Apple.