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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Washington DC - Day 1 (III)

We met up with the UK lady and decided to visit the National Air and Space museum. On our way there, we walked through a garden with sculptures. Frankly, i seriously do not understand arts. I couldn't understand what some of the sculptures represent at all.

At the National Air and Space Museum, we wanted to watch a show in the IMAX theatre, but then there wasn't any show that we were interested in. We then decided to watch a documentary screening at the Albert Einstein Planetarium instead. We picked the "Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity".

Watching the space and stars in a Planetarium was quite an experience. It was as if we were travelling in space, watching the stars falling upon us. However, the documentary was way too "technical" for us. We couldn't understand most of the scientific terms mentioned in the documentary at all. After finished watching the show, we still did not understand black holes completely, except getting some information about how it is formed (something to do with the space-time being warped) and that it's something with magnificent gravity.

We walked around the museum for a while after the show, and then headed towards the monuments. As it was summer time and the day was longer, it would not turn dark until around 8pm. So we still had plenty of time to take photos of the monuments under bright day light.

We were somewhere in between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Since the two are in opposite direction, we could only choose one way to go. Our choice was obviously the latter because it was in the direction to the White House too. So we never get to visit the Capitol, and i took pictures of it from afar again.

It was quite a walk to the Washington Monument. Along the way, we were enjoying the view of different architectures of the various museums. Here's one that i did not know what it was:

As we continued walking, we suddenly saw a big group of people coming our way, holding banners and signboards, and chatting something loudly.

It was a rally for the human rights in Iran.

We continued walking and went past the Smithsonian Institution Building.

Here's the map indicating the places we visited and the route we walked:

Finally, after walking for quite a distance, we slowly approaching the Washington Monument.

From the Washington Monument, we could see the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial from afar.

Visitors are actually allowed into the monument where we can ascend to the top and have a good view of Washington DC high from above. Yet we would have to queue up at the ticketing kiosk to get the free tickets to gain entrance to the monument. Needless to say, the queue was very long and it was late already, so we decided to give it a miss.

After taking some pictures of the monument, we headed to the direction of the White House. It was another long walk again, and i took some pictures along the way to entertain myself.

Here's a map showing the location between the Washington Monument and the White House:

As we got closer to the White House, we saw a crowd gather around at the field near the White House. We then realised that there were guards standing a few good meters from the White House and stopping the visitors to get any nearer. Uh huh, that's the nearest we could get to the residence of the President of the USA.

The UK lady said she remembered that people used to be able to get really close to the White House, up to the fence area (she had been to Washington DC before more than 10 years ago). She wasn't sure if this was a new measure implemented since the 911, or it was because of some event that the public was prohibited to get near to it.

She then told us about the "person on the roof of the White House". She said whenever there was a news on TV with the White House in the background, she would notice a person standing on the rooftop of White House. She said that instead of paying attention to the news broadcaster, she would be looking for the person on the roof everytime.

(If you look really hard, you would see a little black figure standing beside the flag pole. This is the sniper who was positioned there for security purpose. We are, after all, talking about the security of the leader of the superpower.)

I then jokingly told her that it may be a statue on the roof and not a real person. Just as i finished saying that, the person on the roof moved. She then said to me, "yeah, and the statue just moved." We had a good laugh at it and i told her off for telling me this, as next time when the White House is on the TV, i'd start searching for the person on the roof as well instead of listening to the news.

It was slowly turning dark and cloudy. We quickly took some pictures of the White House and then decided that it was time to head back to the hotel. It was more walking again to get back to the metro station.

We walked past a street by the name of Pennsylvania Ave. Since there was where i drove from, i found it such a coincident and took a picture of the road sign.

Oh, and i forgot to mention that the downtown of Washington is full of such signboard that give directions to the various places of interest.

There are also information kiosks located at the corner of various junctions, with people giving out free maps, and where tourists can ask for directions.

As we were approaching the metro station, we saw a fire engine in front of a building with its lights flashing. We did not see any fire, not even smoke. So we do not know what happened and did not stop to find out.

Finally, we reached the metro station and when we descend to the tunnel, a train had just arrived and we rushed into it. It was after a few stations later that we realised we had gotten onto the wrong train. We quickly alighted and wanted to change to another train, but the next train was 20 minutes away! Well, i had always thought that the interval between trains for the North-East Line here in SG is ridiculously long. Now this Washington metro has definitely topped it.

So we waited for a long time and finally got on to the right train. When we were reaching our stop, it was raining already. The UK lady called the hotel for the shuttle van to pick us up at the station, and was informed that the van was there already. We then dashed to the van under the rain, as we did not have umbrellas with us. There were other hotel guests in the van already. Apparently the hotel receptionist stopped the driver in time from leaving, and everyone was waiting for us.

By the time we reached the hotel, it was already 9.30pm. We went up to our rooms to leave our bags, and then went to the restaurant in the hotel for dinner. But then the restaurant was already closed, and we were informed by the staff that we had to go to the restaurant at Crown Plaza Hotel next door.

We borrowed the umbrella from the receptionist and went next door for dinner. As i was rather hungry, i ordered something very sinful. It was fries baked with cheese and bacon. Fattening, but yummy!

After dinner, we called it a day and slept soundly for the night.


Share your cogitation

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:58 am: Down mood
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 @ 6:07 pm: Unwell
Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 11:12 pm: Headache
Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 5:42 am: Two decades of friendship
Saturday, August 08, 2009 @ 7:42 am: Sleepless
Saturday, August 08, 2009 @ 4:36 am: Washington DC - Day 1 (II)
Friday, August 07, 2009 @ 5:26 pm: Bad dream again
Thursday, August 06, 2009 @ 11:33 pm: Washington DC - Day 1 (I)
Thursday, August 06, 2009 @ 3:39 pm: An article on cheating
Thursday, August 06, 2009 @ 10:53 am: Sleeping problem