When you are leaving Philadelphia to South, sooner or later one of your next stops is Washington.
The legendary political center of power of the USA and probably not only of this.
Washington White House – we are coming!
For us it was truly one of the highlights since we just had a vague impression about this city, that is obviously so different from other ones.
I don’t know how many movies I have seen where the White House can be seen or the Capitol gets blasted, the President must be saved and protected or intrigues and games of power are taking place.
Well, now we finally had the chance to discover this city with all its might and magic on our own.
The trip from Philadelphia was happening without any bigger stops.
For approximately 150 miles we needed around 3 hours with cruising speed. The travel route of our choice was the Interstate 95-S.
Arrival in Washington
As planned and expected we were in Washington around lunch time and we could check in immediately into the Henley Park Hotel at the New York Ave.
As we did already in New York, we decided also to choose a Hotel in Washington, quite close to the city center.
Of course we are also using Airbnb, but especially in bigger cities I want to minimize the risk to experience some dubious deeds or even short term cancellations.
Yes, we had already all this with Airbnb, even though it is the absolute exception, but yeah…
Actually our Hotel had no bad surprises for us, we could immediately check in and start our discovery tour.
Here are some impressions from the venerable interior of the Henley Park Hotel.
The one or the other might know, we love Chinatowns!
Culture, food, architecture – for us it’s just great to discover the different districts and test them out, especially from the culinary perspective.
And ideal was here, that Chinatown Washington was just two blocks away from our hotel and first starting point.
To be honest, our very personal experiences in Washington were not that outstanding amazing like we are used to have from other Chinatowns.
Somehow it was very hard to find a restaurant, where it matched instantly.
So we finally chose one of the obvious most visited restaurants in place but quality wise it was disappointing for us.
Without going further into this topic – the kick-off still had potential to improve.
Washington White House
Anyway! What we needed to see first of all was – of course – the White House. Let’s go!
Because of our central location we had everything in walking distance.
Coming from North, the White House is the first Mega Highlight of the city.
From there on everything is just like one big showcase – full of museums, monuments, governmental buildings and so on.
What you need to know about the White House
Without exception all American presidents were living in the White House. All but one! Namely the first one.
George Washington, which was laying the foundation of the building, never moved in. The White House was finished after his term.
The vast building was during the time renovated, extended, rebuilt by the different presidents.
So that’s why it is also a collection of all the different fingerprints of the particular president.
Accessible for public is only the East room and the Oval Office.
And also here only for US American citizen. At least German citizen have no access due to the actual security restrictions.
Directly behind the White House, passing the Eisenhower Office Building you will find the “Ellipse“, a huge green area with view into the far distance.
Also the Washington Monument towers up mighty into the sky and to the left and the right you see the large museum alleys.
Pennsylvania Ave and parallel to this the Constitution Ave – every corner is filled here with history and American culture!
The architecture, as well as the meaning and purpose of the buildings, like museums and public buildings reminded us quite strongly to some parts of Berlin.
So this is roughly the area where you stand now, looking from the North you find left hand the avenue and the Capitol, to the right you’ll see the Lincoln Memorial.
This part, as well as everything south from here will then be part of our second Washington post.
St. Patricks Day
So today we stopped first at the Constitution Ave, where obviously the celebrations for St. Patricks Day started.
Ceremonial music, loudspeaker announcements, clapping and cheering and on top of all this a parade with an Irish & US-American sea of flags.
The signs could not be misunderstood… here St. Patricks is coming!
Everybody heard of this before, but just as a matter of form, the idea / history of St. Patricks in a nutshell:
The St. Patricks day is celebrated every year on 17th of march everywhere in the world, where you find Irish culture.
It happens in honor of St. Patrick, the Irish Patron Saint.
St. Patrick lived in the 5th century and was born in Roman Britannia.
As a kidnapped slave he came to Ireland in the age of 16.
He escaped, but returned later again. This time with Christianity as a gift for the Irish people.
The most famous legend tells, that he explained the Holy Trinity with the 3 leaves of the Irish shamrock.
Capitol & Museum Avenue
The last chapter of our today’s post is dedicated to the most impressive 2.5 miles long museum avenue.
An extract of the museums you will find there:
- Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- National Gallery of Art
- National Museum of the American Indian
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- Freer Gallery Of Art
And the best is, that most of the museums are still completely for free!
Needless to say that you can already spend days just here.
We decided to visit the National Gallery of Art.
This huge museum is rightly one of the most important of its kind. It contains countless exhibits of some of the most legend artists ever lived.
Da Vinci, Rembrandt and countless more – for art enthusiasts this museum is kind of a Mekka.
As said, regarding art and culture you will find here everything.
We want to leave it here and end our impressions with these photos. But see and be amazed for yourself…
For today our visit in Washington ended. In the second part we have a closer look at the Lincoln Memorial, the WW II – Memorial and the legendary Washington Cherry Blossom.
Stay tuned, no matter if you live in a White House, Black House, Grey House or Red House 🙂
Oh well… since I am traveling with Birdie, I also have to feed Birdie(s).
Some very cheeky ones of the species “Bird” I got to know in Washington. Have a look:
Note: No birdies were harmed in this video. All participation happened on free will. Just a medium well burger has been eaten here 🙂