Having spent three days in DC, I can honestly say it is one of my favourite cities – just for the fact that museums (and there are many) are free (most of them). I stayed at HI hostel, a gem of a place. This place has a rule – No alcohol allowed in the hostel which I truly appreciated. Sometimes I am tired of hostels where residents continue to drink and make noise. I prefer a quiet place where I can sleep well and then explore the city during the day.
On my first night, I joined an African American history tour. We went to different spots along the neighbourhood finally ending up on U street at Ben’s chilli – a place which has been visited by President Obama and Bill Cosby. I had some chilli there and it was ok (at one point I had an African American flatmate and he made amazing spicy chilli – maybe he should start a restaurant). I learnt about the Jazz influences (Duke Allington), segregation policies and the strong community connections among the black community.
The next two days I covered a few museums – Air and Space, Natural History, American Indian, American History, National Gallery and my favourite: The spy museum. I would highly recommend each one of these with all except the spy museum being free.
In particular I appreciated the Air and Space – there is a section on time and navigation and planets which was very informative. At the American Indian museum, the exhibits were nicely laid out.
The MAYAN Calendar
On the second night, I went for a pre season basketball game between Wizards and Haifa. It was a poor game but it did give me a sense of the entertainment value of American sports.
I also spent some time at the memorials. I liked the Lincoln and Korean memorials and appreciated the recognition of other countries in the wars.
Last but not least, I went on a tour of Arlington cemetry and saw the changing of the guard – it was a solemn affair and elegantly carried out.
Changing of the guard
Overall I enjoyed my three days in DC. The cultural experiences combined with some watering holes in Georgetown and in the centre, made this trip quite memorable.