Washington is the capital of the United States. Global decisions are made here. The White House, the Capitol, the Pentagon – you can often see all of these main attractions in many films and TV series. Washington turned out to be different from the way we imagined it by the movies. So how does it look like? We will tell you about it in our series of publications about Washington. We will show and tell you about the most significant sights of the city, as well as about our incident with the police near the Pentagon and what is not allowed to do there.
It is possible to get to Washington by plane (there is an international airport in the city), take a group bus excursion from another city, or come by the rented car, by bus or by train.
We personally arrived in Washington from New York by bus. Washington is located 4 hour drive from New York.
We bought bus tickets online. The price for return tickets per 2 persons was about $ 100. Intercity bus connection is very well developed in the USA. The buses are comfortable – double-decker with air conditioning.
Our trip to Washington was planned for 2 days.
We left New York in the morning, arrived in Washington already by lunch, and returned back to New York the next day, in the evening.
So, here is Washington! Its official name is the District of Columbia (abbreviated D.C.).
In order not to confuse the city with the state of the same name in the north-west of the country, Americans usually call the city “D.C.” or “Washington, D.C.”.
The District of Columbia is an independent territory, which is not a part of any state.
The city of Washington was founded in 1791 and named after George Washington, the first American president.
The city is located on the northern bank of the Potomac River between the states of Virginia and Maryland.
There are the main offices of all three federal government branches, including the residence of the United States President in the White House as well as many monuments and museums of national importance in Washington.
The most famous attractions are located in the historic district of the city – Capitol Hill. All the sights are relatively close to each other, including the bus station, where we arrived.
We explored the city and its main sights on foot. But we saw a lot of people riding electric-scooters. It is also comfortable to discover Washington by rental bike. The bike rental system is very convenient and automated. A bicycle can be taken at one point and left at another.
A subway operates in Washington and its suburbs (in Maryland and Virginia states). By the way, the Washington subway is the second busiest in the United States after the New York subway.
When we came into the historic district of Washington, Capitol Hill, it turned out that everyone, except tourists, wears business suits and strict office dresses here. Everything seems to be like in films and, I must say, this makes a special ambiance.
Sometimes we even felt uncomfortable that we didn’t correspond that business dress-code. It seems like only government employees live in Washington. It impressed us so much. Talking about look, Washington is very different from New York, where the appearance is taken mostly much simpler.
National Mall is an open one-mile long park area, the center of the city and the location of many historical monuments like Capitol, Washington Monument and most of the museums.
One of the most recognizable, grandiose, impressive sights of the city – the Capitol – a symbol of democracy. Since 1800, meetings of the US Congress have been held here. Congress is developing the country’s national legislation in the Capitol. The inauguration ceremonies of US presidents are also held here.
George Washington – the first President of the United States laid the first stone in the base of the Capitol on September 18, 1793.
You can get into the Capitol for a free excursion, but you need to book it on the official website online in advance. Access opens 90 days before the desired date of visit.
There are a lot of squirrels in the park around the Capitol. They are like a separate attraction of the city.
Squirrels are very beautiful and go into hands if they see something tasty there. We fed them nuts from hands.
Birds also did not get confused and had lunch with squirrels.
Library of Congress
Library of Congress is located behind the Capitol on Independence Avenue and claims to be the largest library in the world. This library was founded for the needs of Congress in 1800. And already in 1870 it became the place of storage of any book published in the USA. In total, the library contains more than 37 million books from all over the world, in 450 languages.
There are the buildings of the US National Archives along the National Mall. National Archives Research Center store thousands of the most important documents from the American history, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
To be continued…
Author (c): Iryna Melnyk
Photos (c): Nick Melnyk