30.05.2012 22 °C
And so the last day arrived, bringing lovely mild temperature and no rain. Perfect.
The first thing we did was return to uses the second day pass on the trolley tour. We sat through the same route (there are two different routes, we did both) but heard different commentary and trivia so that was good. The destination we wanted was the area of memorials near the man made lake across from the Mall. Here we saw the huge Jefferson Memorial which had an interesting basement where you could learn about this statesman. There's certainly no shortage of these illustrious men and it seems that each of them has his own memorial, big or small. We had to contend with more school groups. Over here, school kids wear team t-shirts with logos about what the school trip is. This must be costly for parents. It does make it easier to identify which pack they belong to. And to spot them coming towards you, much like a plague of locusts or screeching bats.
So we crossed the bridge and walked to see the relatively new Martin Luther King memorial. This one was impressive in scale and design, very imaginative and the design had lots of meaning. MLK is semi carved out of a massive boulder which seems to have been pushed far out from the middle of another. Hard to describe. His quotes are surrounding him on a wall behind. Anyone influential is full of quotes.... It was a quote overload kind of thing around there. Roosevelt memorial was large and went for quite a long way. On the trolley we were told he didn't want a big memorial, just a stone, which we saw and simple it really was. However it seems others thought more was needed. Indeed.
After lunch, we visited the spy museum which is not a Smithsonian. It was quite specky with much too much information to digest. In fact, those school locusts were back and in plague proportions, so it became near on impossible to read or use any of the interactive exhibits. We got through about half the huge exhibition and what we saw was top notch stuff but had to give up. Children were running amok and neither the school teachers nor the museum staff cared. Boo, hiss!
What to do next when you're all museumed out? Sit in the Old Post Office food hall area and eat a Ben and Jerry's mango sorbet. The exterior of this historical tall building belies the interior. It seriously lacks something inside. Or perhaps it needs to be converted into a super expensive hotel. Oh, that's right, Donald Trump's daughter has bought it and will convert it some time soon. It will make an awesome hotel, because the cheap and nasty food hall greasy spoons are not doing it any justice right now. And the viewing tower was shut.
Which reminds me, it's a strange phenomenon that Paul and I experience when travelling. So often the highlights of a place are under redevelopment, repair, covered with cranes or canopies, or simply shut or broken. Examples: In Geneva, 2 out of 3 things the lady at the tourist bureau told us to see were not working or visible. In Versailles the Hall of Mirrors was being cleaned and renovated. The Capitol has a scaffold around it for something or other. And a number of older buildings here have been cordoned off because the 2010 earthquake made some things unstable. Sigh.
Had one last trip to the Wholefoods Market. Do I love this place or what? So much to choose from, healthy, organic if you choose, ample vegetarian options, endless shelves of new, different interesting things. This was a treat.
Tomorrow, we have a flight to JFK in NY then a 6 hour wait. After that, the long haul via Frankfurt to Singapore. We arrive there at 6am and I hope to amble around zombie like, to get sun on my skin and reset my body clock to 12 hours ahead. The next day we leave for Perth on the good old afternoon arrival. Oh Perth airport and your customs hall, what a wonderful thing to look forward to!
So signing off for now, with a possible interlude in Singapore, thanks for following my first travel blog.