We made our way out of the underground subway station, bracing ourselves for the cold. As the chilly air hit our faces, I saw something gently land on my coat. It was white. I looked up into the night sky, placed my gloved hands out, palms facing up, as snowflakes started to slowly fall. I gasped in joy and felt my mouth change into a big, silly grin. It was one of the most exciting moments of my adult life. The rest of the evening was spent wandering the streets, admiring the bed of frost covering parts of the city and playing with snow like a child.
It was December 2017 in Washington DC – well known for history, politics and museums. Other than the snow, my favourite thing to do in DC is walk down Embassy Row – a road between the downtown area and the Washington National Cathedral, where you’ll find many (not all) foreign embassies. I had a great time playing “guess that flag” while spotting each embassy. I’m such a geography geek!
If you’re going to DC, you have to plan well, because tickets to popular sites like The White House can sell out. I didn’t get to see the inside of the American president’s home. But I did manage to explore the US Capitol, You can feel the weight of history in there. I also visited the Library of Congress, a beautifully designed historical building housing endless books and resources. I think I could live a good life in a library. A leisurely walk between the US Capitol to Washington Monument will reveal a range of museums and memorials on either side of you. It would be impossible to thoroughly explore them all in a day but it would be a fun challenge to try!
It’s all about walking in DC, it’s the best way to see as much as you can. I recommend walking from Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. You can get some striking photos because the lighting is mint. I made my way to the World War II Memorial, circling the columns of each US state then reaching the famous Reflecting Pool. I looked ahead and could see Lincoln Memorial lit up in the night. As I followed the pool to the other side, where Martin Luther King made his famous “I have a dream” speech, I started to realise how gigantic Lincoln Memorial actually is. It’s quite a surreal feeling to be standing where Martin Luther King and many others have stood. As well a stare at a truly massive statue of a man that many people believe was one of the greatest presidents of the United States.
If you want a slightly different DC experience, try exploring the trendy neighbourhood that is Georgetown. I wasn’t there for very long but I did manage to wander around Georgetown University, with it’s beautiful old architecture, and have a meal in one of the many warm and welcoming eateries in the town’s centre.
For me, DC is all about education, so if you want to get your nerd on, add it to your travel list. I learned a lot about American history while I was there. But I will always associate my DC experience with white, fluffy snow.