Today was a trip to tourist central aka as the mall in Washington DC. The mall is a lot like our parliamentary triangle back in Canberra. It is where a lot of the museums and political buildings are located. I started with the Capitol building, which looks a lot like the copy in Havana, which I saw earlier this year! I also got to see the resident squirrels foraging for food. I’m all for adding kangaroos to the parliamentary triangle (yes technically the Governor-General has a lot of roos on the lawns of government house).
I wandered down the mall for my first museum of the day, The Smithsonian Air and Space museum. It is a collection of all things space and flight related. Rockets, planes and spacecraft are hung from the ceilings, while smaller galleries have smaller exhibits all about space and flight. I walked around for a few hours looking at everything and I think I still missed things. The best part is it was free, although the security check to get in shows just how different the USA is to the rest of the world.
I then headed to the Smithsonian Natural history museum. Also free and also with a security check. In the foyer you are greeted by a huge stuffed elephant. The mammals gallery is full of stuffed animals. Its kind of sad that to get people to a museum, stuffed animals are needed. The marine gallery had more skeletons and things in jars and felt more like a museum rather than a freakshow.
I went upstairs and they had more skeletons and also some mummies as well. Another highlight of the museum is the Hope Diamond. This is where I realised I’m looking at the Hope diamond and next to me was Woody Harrelson. Well the guard recognised him, I was just standing next to him. They also have a butterfly garden which I didn’t pay to go in and I couldn’t see the Tarantula being fed, because all the children were in the way. That to me is what kids should see, rather than a gallery of stuffed animals.
Now I had planned to go further along the mall, but my feet were killing me. I’ll visit the memorials at the other end tomorrow and maybe pop into Georgetown. I actually leave 6:30pm Friday so have a lot of Friday to fill in so have moved Arlington Cemetery to then. Tonight I had planned to get some shopping in, but kept getting on the wrong train. I just needed to head south on the yellow line, but instead got onto a green line train. I had to get out go back a station and change to the yellow line. Then when returning i got onto a blue line train instead of a yellow line train. To be fair I was at the right platform for both. Just didn’t read the sign….