Jefferson’s book collection
Washington will not let you forget which country you’re in
Nixon must have not seen this… I can’t explain why, but I’m fascinated by him & the Watergate scandal
I plan a great deal of my travel around libraries. In fact, I have an entire bucket list dedicated to the world’s most beautiful libraries. So naturally, one of the Washington points of interest which I gave high priority to was the Library of Congress. The beautiful marble building holds not only the conventional library, but a museum, documenting the history of writing. The museum includes old scripts, hieroglyphics and the first American novel amongst other artifacts. It also houses Thomas Jefferson’s collection of old books. Unfortunately one can only enter the stunning reading room under special request, and it is otherwise only viewed from the top floor through a glass window. The interior of the library is decorated with inspirational quotes emphasizing the importance of education and literature.
My friend brought me to the Holocaust Museum, which I wouldn’t have had thought to visit on my own. I was surprised though at how much I really enjoyed it. Naturally I assumed it would be very sad (which of course it is), but it provides so much more information than just a regurgitation of the horrible atrocities which went on. My favourite exhibit was a wall listing names of individuals who had in some way provided aid to prisoners. Some names had descriptions of the specific services provided, for example, one business owner made a point of hiring Jews to provide them with employment and sent them to work at factories held in other countries to escape the Nazis. The exhibit spurred a conversation between my friend and myself, on how we would thought we would react in such a situation. Whether, or not we could risk our lives, or safety to help others in such desperate need, or even if we could rebel against the masses. As altruistic as we might like to think of ourselves, how would we react when the time actually comes?
From the museum it’s a short walk to the famous Washington Monument. One can then follow the reflection pool to the Lincoln memorial, from which there is a stunning view of the monument and you can reenact the scene from Forrest Gump.
Of course no visit to Washington is complete without saying a quick hello to Mr. President. I would have loved to have a tour of the White House, but it is currently not open to foreign visitors. How strange it must be for the children of the president to grow up with a permanent crowd outside their house. There was a man standing on the roof scoping the crowd out with a telescope, as well as a Secret Service officer in the crowd, though how secret is it when you wear a “Secret Service” badge upon your breast?
We finished the night in Virginia, as we found a Sushi restaurant with a conveyor belt. Both of us love Japanese and had never tried the restaurant style before. It was a fun novelty. My only concern is the concept makes a well informed menu decision rather difficult. The patron must make a decision as the food comes by, lest it be picked up by someone else…but what if something better comes along and you’ve already taken off more than you can chew…so to speak!?