"America's Fair City" Washington D.C. by hunterV
Washington D.C. Travel Guide: 5,765 reviews and 15,478 photos
October 2, 1999 is a special date in my calendar. On that day I set foot on American land for the first time in my life.
I was a member of a Ukrainian group of educators, the national winners of a US-sponsored teachers' contest called Partners in Education.
There were 30 teachers from Russia, participants of that program, and the same number of teachers from Ukraine. We all met in the capital during the orientation seminar. Although our program of stay in Washington D.C. was full of lectures, we managed to see a lot of sights, either as a group or on our own after 9 p.m. when our lectures were over.
I must say I was very impressed by the city's busy atmosphere, cleanliness, a great number of historical monuments and museums, friendliness of the people, beautiful green parks and the Potomac embankments.
We had a splendid closing dinner at "Childe Harold Restaurant" near Dupon Circle at 1610, 20th Street, NW. We thanked our hosts and presented them with our joint Ukrainian-Russian cultural program and souvenirs.
I enjoyed our stay at Governor's House hotel in Downtown Washington D.C. near the Webster Monument, the Peruvian and the Australian Embassies. It was my first American hotel I stayed at.
I saw lots of embassies in Massachusetts Avenue and in Georgetown.
They call them Embassy Row. The Spanish and Japanese embassies seemed especially beautiful to me.
We went for a walk along Connecticut Avenue up to the White House at night (about 40 minutes' walk), up to Dupon Circle and to the monument to Taras Shevchenko, the Bard of Ukraine, erected by the Ukrainian Americans in June 1964 (22nd Street and P Street).
We arrived to the International Airport after a 8.5 hours' flight by United Airlines' from Munich. Our hosts, the American Councils for International Education, did their best to make our eight-days stay so memorable and outstanding.
Besides our seminar we spent our free time on the Mall and managed to visit most of the main sites of the city: the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Library of the Congress, the NASA Museum, the Kennedy Center, the National Theater, etc.
It's nice to enjoy the view from the back of the Capitol and to look across Union Square, all way down to Washington Monument and beyond to Lincoln Memorial with its Reflecting Pool, all in perfect alignment with the Capitol.
Above all, you will want to make a tour of the White House to see its rooms and grounds;
- you will want to take a closer look at the 555-foot obelisk that is Washington Monument and probably go up to its 500-feet level;
- you will want to stop at the end of the Reflecting Pool near 17th Street and see Lincoln Memorial from there, then go closer until you come up to the foot of the monument;
- you will want to drive around the Tidal Basin, especially if it's the end of March or the beginning of April when the cherries are blossoming to see Thomas Jefferson Memorial;
- then go on across the Potomac to Arlington national Cemetery where the Tomb of the Unknowns rests. The Pentagon is also outside the Southern Corner of the Cemetery.
Another fond memory is meeting my friend Dorothy in the American capital after 10 years of our meeting in Luhansk in 1989 where she came as a teacher leader with a group of students from Fairfax County as a part of the Friendship Caravan under the auspices of People to People organization. She took us about the city in her car and invited us to Alexandria and then to her home in Fairfax.
Staying in Washington D.C. I didn't feel a complete stranger and now I wouldn't say no to another trip to that magnificent city.
- Pros:Lots of nice hotels, historical monuments and memorials
- Cons:Complex street structure, complicated Metrorail system
- In a nutshell:Attracting Breath of History and Modern Times
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