About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Capitol Hill and the Library of Congress - Day 3 Washington DC

Today is the first time since I have been here that it has been fully sunny and rather warm. My agenda today is to cover the Capitol Hill and the adjoining Library of Congress.

Again it is quite a trek from where I am located and apparently it is widely known that Washington DC is a city meant for walking. I think I am beginning to get that!

Along the way up Pennsylvania Avenue, I saw some interesting landmarks. There was the Old Post Office which is now one of the federal government buildings.

The J Edgar Hoover FBI Building - extremely nondescript. I suppose it makes sense to have the building be as invisible as possible.

United States Navy Memorial

National Archives

Capitol Hill
The landmark building and surrounds stand out with the statue of Freedom standing right at the top of the rotunda. When I got there I wasn't even sure if I could get a tour of the Capitol. I have been trying to book a tour online for the past couple of days and it kept saying there were no spaces available.
The rear of Capitol Hill
The view from the rear
First port of call was to check into the Visitor Center. That's where I went through the tight security. It was at that point we were told there was to be no water or liquid allowed into the building. So I had to chuck out my freshly bought bottled water. What a waste but I didn't want to risk my chance of entering the building. Good thing I poured the water over a bed of plants so that way nature got its water back in a good way.
The front view
The Visitor Center
Then I queued at the Public Walk Up line to see if I could get a ticket for the tour. Yay! Got it and the first thing we do is to watch an orientation movie which lasts for about 13 minutes.

Then a guide takes the group to certain parts of the Capitol. We were in the Crypt room (even though no one has ever been buried in this room), then on to the Rotunda and then we went to the Statuary Room. The guide was very informative and I was trying to take in all the information she was imparting plus absorbing all the paintings, statues and views around me. The Rotunda was spectacular.
In the Crypt Room
In the Crypt Room
In the Crypt Room
The Rotunda 
The Rotunda
The Rotunda

And in the Statuary room, we were told about how sound carries across the very large room because of the marble floor. The guide proved it to us by crossing the room, she turned off her mike and whispered to us by bending and talking to the floor with her hand over her mouth. We could hear every word she said from across the room without our headsets on.

After browsing the Exhibition Hall, I headed to the Library of Congress via a connecting tunnel from the Capitol.

Library of Congress
There are 3 levels to this building. Ground floor had rooms dedicated to Gershwin and Bob Hope.

Level 1 had the very spectacular Great Hall. This hall was simply stunning, I was completely overawed by the architecture and art all around this great hall. There was the beautiful stained glass skylight and marble everywhere. On this floor, the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz are displayed.

Level 2 was where the Main Reading Room was located. I did so want to walk through the reading room but that was not possible. For privacy purposes, visitors now have to walk up some stairs to an alcove above the reading room where we could peer down to the reading room (through a glass shield) and we could also look up to the rotunda. No photographs are allowed in this room. As I was looking down to the reading room, I was somehow thinking of the movie National Treasure 2. For those of you who have seen this movie before, you will know exactly what I am referring to.

Note that my amateur pictures cannot do justice to these 2 landmarks. But I enjoyed visiting both these places tremendously. Another 2 more things ticked off my 'To do' list! Yay!

1 comment:

Edwina said...

You've really made the most of your time in Washington! Great pics and descriptions. Love to visit the National Archives.