Washington, DC

The White House

10th June – Day trip to Washington on public transport

Our day in Washington was hot and very humid. We took a bus from the motel to the Pentagon, from where we picked up the metro to take us to L’Enfant Plaza. We both wanted to see some of the museums but couldn’t agree on which to visit, so we split up for the morning. I chose the National Museum of American History and the Air and Space museum, the highlight of which was the model of the lunar lander.

Lunar Lander, Air and Space Museum

I tried to get some shots inside the museums but the light wasn’t really good enough. Oh for the convenience of digital and being able to adjust the ISO from shot to shot! Instead I was stuck with ISO 100 slide film, and, of course, with every shot costing money I was also reluctant to risk wasting too many shots in marginal conditions.

The Lincoln Memorial

There was some confusion over our meeting place at lunchtime, and I spent a while waiting in the wrong place. It’s hard to imagine how much easier the trip would have been with mobile phones and the internet. After lunch, we spent the afternoon exploring the city, from the various memorials to the Capitol and White House.

The Vietnam War Memorial

Dinner was a restaurant in DuPont circle, which was busy and buzzing even on a Tuesday evening. It was around midnight when we got back to the metro stop at the Pentagon, and found that we had a bit of a wait for the next bus. The bus stop was deserted, so we decided to have a walk around to see if we could find somewhere to get a cab. That proved fruitless, but when we returned to the bus stop we had to join a queue that had materialised out of nowhere.

We took the packed bus back to the motel and crashed out from a long and wearying day.

11th June – 84.2 miles from Arlington, Virginia to Front Royal, Virginia.

Arlington National Cemetery

The next morning we stopped off at the Arlington National Cemetery on our way out of the Washington area, where we saw the tomb of JFK and the unknown soldier.

Courthouse, Front Royal, Virginia

We then headed west to Front Royal, Virginia, in readiness to take the Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah Valley the next day. We checked in early and went to explore the town, which boasts a courthouse that could have come straight from the set of Back To The Future

Our accommodation in Front Royal, Virginia

In the evening we ate in a place that served specialised in the surf and turf combination of seafood and steak and then found a bar close to our motel. It served a great “Summer Ale”, which turned out to be more like a fruity lager and went down a bit too well. The bar had a live band that was mostly being ignored by the crowd watching basketball on the TV. Between the courthouse, the beer and the band it was our first true taste of small town America.

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