I’ve just spent the past week in the beautiful city of Washington DC. I must admit I had no plans to go to Washington but an old friend of mine, Arin, told me she was living there so I’d thought I’d go and visit for a few days.
If like me you don’t know what the ‘DC’ part stands for, it actually means District of Columbia. Columbia was a poetic name for the United States at the time and the area was especially chosen for the ‘Capitol’ to be built on.
I really liked DC. The only things I really knew about the city were that the White House is there, that it was once the murder capital of the US. It’s far from that now, and that that the long reflecting pool is where Jenny jumps in to meet Forest in Forest Gump. All these things I deemed essential knowledge before actually going to the city.
The city is packed with beautiful iconic buildings such as the domed US Capitol Building, the beautiful library of congress, the Supreme Court building and the towering Washington Monument.
The White House wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would be but it was still quite cool to see it in real life. It looks bigger on TV!
The National Holocaust Memorial Museum
Something I was told was a must see was the National Holocaust memorial Museum. I think it’s fair to say that we all have a pretty good understanding of what happened during the holocaust so I won’t go into detail but it was a horrific time not only for Jewish people but also for humanity as a whole.
The museum ‘uses the history of genocide as a model of how society can break down, and emphasises how current and future generations must carefully examine and learn from these tragedies’.
The things you see and learn in the centre are unimaginable and at times it was hard to believe that humans did these awful things to other human beings.
There was a lovely story at the end of the tour where a holocaust survivor is telling the story of when the Americans liberated her camp. She said, “a young man came over with tears in his eyes and asked if I was ok. He then asked if there were other ladies with me and if I could lead him to them. He held the door open for me and I walked through. It had been six years since I had received such respect where I was called a lady and having a door opened for me. That man went onto become my husband”.
Despite seeing all the horror that is displayed throughout the centre it was this story that had me welling up. A story of how love came out of the darkness of a living hell.
All the memorial buildings are stunning but it was The Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King memorial which really caught my eye. The Lincoln memorial for its beautiful architecture and the speeches inscribed into its walls and the Martin Luther King memorial for its beautifully displayed quotes about humanity and hope. Incredible monuments for incredible people.
I spent the 4th July in DC but didn’t get a very good view of the big firework display unfortunately so no pics. On the way home Arin and I walked through her neighbourhood and all the houses were out on the streets having their own firework display. It was so lovely seeing everyone sitting there watching the fireworks and wishing us a happy 4th July as we walked through. Love the sense of community there.
I also got to watch my very first football match of the World Cup. USA v Belgium. Great match! I was watching it in a bar with my red 101 t-shirt on when a girl came over and asked if my name was Greig Trout. Her name was Marta and she was a friend of my cousin, Alexa, who lives in Malaysia. She only recognised me because of my t- shirt as she follows my page on Facebook. What a small amazing world. Thanks so much for saying hello Marta (see photo).
I’m now back in New York for a few days before heading north and back to where my American adventure began and will unfortunately end, the beautiful land of Connecticut.