Day 12- 4th May - Washington DC
Today was a long day of walking. Jim and Bette helped out a lot but it still ended up being a long day. We knew that when we started out so that's OK.
We started out at 8am by being picked up at the hotel and were then taken into DC around half a K from the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was built to honour the 16th President of the United States. It is located on the National Mall and was dedicated on May 30, 1922.
Then to the Korean War Veterans Memorial located in West Potomac Park, just a couple of hundred metres southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and just south of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. It commemorates those who served in the Korean War. It was dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, by President Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea.
Across the front of the Reflecting Pool - another Forrest Gump moment and to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial is in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just a couple of hundred metres northeast of the Lincoln Memorial.
We then made our way to the Reflecting Pool and walked along it towards the Washington Monument. The Reflecting Pool is the largest of Washington, D.C.'s reflecting pools. Located directly east of the Lincoln Memorial, it is a long, rectangular pool and is lined by walking paths and shade trees on both sides. It reflects both the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
At the eastern end of the pool is the National World War II Memorial. Consisting of 56 pillars and a pair of arches surrounding a plaza and fountain the memorial was opened to the public on April 29, 2004.
We then walked up to and around the Washington Monument. The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall built to commemorate the first U.S. President, General George Washington. The monument, made of marble, granite, and sandstone, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 169 metres high. Nothing else in D.C. is allowed to be higher.
We then walked further up the mall and turned left at 7th Ave. We stopped briefly at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. A very pleasant spot with shade and a fountain. A nice place for a 10 minutes rest.
Then to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Store where Rayls bought a couple of pins. Then a break at Maccas before heading over a few blocks to the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at Judiciary Square, This memorial honours the nearly 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout history. Yes, there are 19,000 names there - 19,000 cops killed in the line of duty. Unbelievable.
We then went down F Ave looking for the White House. Took longer than it should have. It's kind of a large building but it took some finding. I don't know which is the front and which is the rear but we walked around one side and then around to the other where you get a much closer view. There were people milling around the West Wing and talk that the President was going to walk over to them and talk. We waited half an hour to get a glimpse but alas no Obama. I was fascinated by the marine who stood guard at the door - he had his back to the door but as people approached from inside he would stand to attention and open the door. He had his back to the door, how did he know someone was coming? Ear piece I suspect.
Anyway for old times sake we walked the short distance to the hotel Scott and I stayed at last year and caught the Metro Train from Farragut North Station on the blue line to Arlington Cemetery. Last year I had Scott to help me buy a ticket, no luck this time and after 5 minutes a nice young lady came along to help us figure out the system.
It was around 10 minutes on the train. The train, clean, no graffiti and no etching on the windows - much better than back home in Perth.
The train trip takes us under the Potomac River and so we are out of D.C. and into Virginia. Arlington Cemetery is located in an area of 624 acres, veterans and military casualties from each of the nation's wars are interred in the cemetery, ranging from the American Civil War through to the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900. Most people, including us, are there to visit the graves of the Kennedys, JFK, Robert Kennedy and now Teddy Kennedy. Lots of school kids there but all treated the area with the respect it deserves. It is up hill to the Kennedy graves and we had already walked around 11 K's so it was tough going but we did it and were pleased to spend a moment at each gravesite.
A short visit to the Gift Shop and back to the train station where we took the train to the last station where we were picked up by Jim, Bette and Buster and taken back to our hotel. A 2 hour break and then picked up again for dinner at Cracker Barrel.
Tomorrow we plan to head north towards Maine. Hope to make Scanton, PA or even a little further.