Our last full day in Washington DC started with Metro trip to Georgetown. Well as close as you can get on the Metro, it’s still a bit of walk but to the main street but this isn’t a problem. We love walking but as neither my husband nor I drive public transport and our feet are the main way we get around.
Georgetown was founded in 1751 and predates the establishment of Washington DC by 40 years. In all my planning for the trip I had read all about the beautiful canals here and was so excited to see these however upon arriving I soon realised that they had been drained for maintenance. I won’t lie, this was a disappointment, but the rest of Georgetown made up for this. The high street is quaint and has lots of shops and cafes lining it, which upon further inspection you realise are high-end designer stores. It soon became apparent that this area was for the wealthy residents.
We had a walk down the street to see the steps as featured in the dramatic ending of The Exorcist. My husband has not seen the film so was a bit bemused as to why I was dragging him to look at some steps but I was quite excited to see these. And yes, they are as steep as they look in photos and on film. We had brunch in J Pauls, this was another Foursquare find and well worth a visit. The food here was great, the portions were enormous and the service friendly. We even got to try some of their homemade mini corn bread, still hot and fresh out the oven and free of charge. They were fantastic.
If you look on a map you realise that Georgetown is a bit further out, not walking distance that’s for sure, so we decided to hire some of the Mobikes which are placed around the city and cycle back along the waterfront to the Tidal Basin to see some of the Memorials. A 30-minute ride on one of the bikes cost a dollar so a total bargain and nicer than sitting in a train carriage underground. The cycle took us just under this length of time and was so nice. The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot, perfect cycling weather.
Once we arrived at the Tidal Basin our first stop was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This is a fairly new addition, added in 2011 and inspired by a line from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
Next stop around the basin was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial where I learned so much about this great man. Throughout his memorial, there are quotes of his etched into stone, most of which in the current political climate are incredibly poignant such as “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. There are frequent references to war throughout this memorial as well.
From here we cycled around to the next memorial which is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson who is one of the most important of the American Founding Fathers due to his involvement in writing the Declaration of Independence. Again the scripture etched into the stones here was very moving, it’s evident just how smart these men were and shows that even 100 years later their words can be applied to our lives.
As part of our memorial visits, we got the Metro out to The Pentagon, located here is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people who died as victims in the building and on the American Airlines flight which hit the building during the September 11 attacks. When we arrived here there was a coach full of veterans who were also visiting, we actually later saw these at the Arlington National Cemetery. It is well worth the slightly out the way trip to the Pentagon to appreciate the design and significance of every little detail which has been carefully considered as part of this memorial.
As mentioned in previous blogs I plan out our days when travelling somewhere new and today we actually managed to have some free time. It was a bit later in the day but the sun was shining and we decided to take advantage of the good weather and go see Arlington National Cemetery. We got one of the last bus tours around the cemetery which I was glad about because this place is enormous! I would have liked a bit more time to walk around some of the areas and explore a bit more but this visit was a bit of a “Brucey bonus” and so I appreciated all the parts I managed to see. We managed to see a changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is where again, as mentioned above, we saw the coach of US veterans who stood among the crowd to watch the ceremony.
We had got the Metro to the cemetery but when we left we decided to cycle back and thankfully there were some more Mobikes located outside the entrance. We cycled from the cemetery, all the way down the National Mall to the United States Capitol building. It was quite a distance, but Washington is a great city to cycle in with bike lanes everywhere which made it fairly easy to get around. We stopped for a few more selfies and a well-deserved ice-cream before heading back to the hotel to pack for our trip home. And what a trip that turned out to be.