Washington DC, United States

National capitals are renowned for being the least interesting places to visit in any country, but Washington is an exception. Its tree-lined avenues and grand 19th century buildings create a surprisingly warm, almost cosy atmosphere - though some neighbourhoods are less so than others. The capital is a microcosm of the grand ideals and grim realities of the US - as the potholes and homeless people everywhere will attest. Notice the irony of poverty and racial segregation in the shadow of glorious monuments proclaiming 'equality for all.'



2 Jul 1997 - Washington DC, United States

Only a few days here so it meant a mad dash around to see the sights. The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and all the other places made famous by TV. DC is a city full of monuments, government buildings and attractive 19th century building. Surprisingly for America, finding a shop was difficult but in the end we were pointed to the well hidden shopping mall - even the famous golden arches were out of view and kept here.

By being only in the centre of Washington I avoided the poverty stricken areas though at one point we nearly did take a wrong turning and ended up skirting 'gangsta' land. Poverty was neatly swept aside and we made our way back to the student area situated in Georgetown where we witnessed some of the goings on by one of the fraternities in the University. On this occasion we were still suffering from jet lag and I went for a quick snooze on the banks of the Potamac - not really a good idea in any city but at least the other chaps were only meters away. I couldn't help it though. Have you ever been tired to the point where you are actually falling asleep while you are standing up? That's what I experienced.

DC is full of museums and will have one that caters for your taste which for me was the National Air and Space Museum. This contains a large collection of machines dedicated to flight from its early beginning right up to space exploration.

With DC 'done', it was now off to our next destination. I had hoped that we would be able to visit the famous Gettysburg battlefield but time was not on our side so instead we headed straight to Ohio to stay with some of Mark's friends from his university days.
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