From New York on my way down to Charlotte, I thought I’d stop off in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.
Having to wake up at 04:45 was not pleasant, but knowing that the subway in NY runs 24 hours I was a bit more confident that it would be easy to get to the station for my train to D.C. Unfortunately I didn’t know that after hours the subway trains are completely different to the ones during normal hours. So, of course, I got on the wrong one! But, no worries – I rectified this amateur traveller’s error and was soon at the station with enough time to get a doughnut for the trip.
I got to Washington, D.C. after a very pleasant trip on the Amtrak. And, having completely misjudged the distance to the hostel, I decided to take the scenic route. Man, it was long. And, with 25 kilos on my back it wasn’t pleasant, but like any excercise I do these days I was quite proud of myself!
I arrived at the hostel and attempted to check in. What an unfriendly bunch! Apparently the rooms only open for check-in at 2pm or something ridiculous, so I had to put my backpack in a rip-off locker in the basement while I wondered the streets for 3 hours! So, a word of advice – don’t stay at the HI Hostel in D.C. – there must be others.
I took a walk down towards the Mall. I actually (believe it or not) took a wander through the Art Museum, which was actually quite impressive.
From there I walked to the most impressive Capitol. Surrounded by armed security guards I took some touristy snaps and attempted the walk down the equally impressive Mall towards the big obelisk that is the Washington Monument!
Along the way I walked through the Smithsonian Institution Air & Space museum. This is the most interesting museum with space craft, flight simulators, IMAX theatres, demonstrations of how flight is achieved and all these things! Very interesting!
The Wahsington Monument is huge and apparently no building in D.C. is allowed to be taller. They take tours up it I think, but I was too late for one of these!
I went back to the hostel after buying a keyring from a Chinese woman who refused to believe I was from South Africa because I wasn’t black! That, after trying to convince her theat South Africa is not in the USA!
Later went out for some good sushi it took me a while to realise that Sushi Go Round, as it was called was a Gay sushi bar. Nonetheless the sushi was very good and quite reasonably priced!