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A beautiful day in the sun

Memorials, Madame Tussaud's and a cruise on the Potomac River

What a day!! It started with a clear blue sky and a very fresh cool wind. It settled down though we wished we had taken heavier coats with us today.

We caught the Red Loop Bus from Union Station (built in the 1920's at a cost of $125 million which is approx $3.2 billion in today's dollars).
First off was the newly opened Dr Martin Luther King Memorial.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with massive blocks of granite

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial with massive blocks of granite


Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial - sculptor's signature dated 30/12/2010

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial - sculptor's signature dated 30/12/2010

Most of the memorials are clustered together in the National Mall. The National Mall is administered by National Parks and is nearly 3km long from the steps of The Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. The Capitol is aligned to the Lincoln Memorial some 3km away with the Washington monument is a little past midway between them.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed Washington as a capital city. Brasilia in Brazil and Canberra in Australia are members of this very select group of cities designed from scratch as the capital. Street are numbers from north to south and letters from east to west with the city divided into quadrants with the centre being The Capitol.

A long curved wall contains famous quotations of Dr King.

Next we walked down through Constitution Park (part of The National Mall) to the National World War 11 Memorial.
National Korean War Memorial - sculptures of soldiers<br /></p><p>After this we walked through to the Lincoln Memorial. This was opened in 1922. There are 36 columns for the number of states when Lincoln was President. The names of the 48 states are engraved around the top. These were the states when the Lincoln memorial was built. Alaska and Hawaii were added later.<br /><img class=

The Lincoln Memorial showing the Saturday afternoon crowd on front steps


The Lincoln Memorial view from front steps through to the Washington Memorial with the WW2 Memorial at the end of this pool

The Lincoln Memorial view from front steps through to the Washington Memorial with the WW2 Memorial at the end of this pool

The next visit was to the National Vietnam War memorial. The design competition for this was won by a 21 year old female Chinese American university student. It is simply outstanding. There are 58 282 names on the wall in chronological order for when they were killed.

National Vietnam War Memorial - statues near the Memorial Wall

National Vietnam War Memorial - statues near the Memorial Wall


National Vietnam War Memorial with 58 822 names on those who lost their lives on the wall

National Vietnam War Memorial with 58 822 names on those who lost their lives on the wall

One boundary of The National Mall is Constitution Avenue. It started as a canal and after it proved uneconomic (and people dumped their rubbish into it) it was filled in and paved and became an 8 lane avenue. The original Loch Keepers Cottage built in 1831 still stands.
The Loch Keepers Hut built 1831 on Constitution Avenue

The Loch Keepers Hut built 1831 on Constitution Avenue

Further along the street is the South Lawn of The White House.
The White House, South Lawn viewed from Constitution Avenue

The White House, South Lawn viewed from Constitution Avenue

We caught another bus on a different loop and after a very delicious lunch at Le Pain Quotidienne we visited Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum which features all the Presidents of the USA. I met one whose views were certainly different to mine.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum where David meets the immovable George W Bush

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum where David meets the immovable George W Bush


Madame Tussauds Wax Museum where Colleen eyeballs J Edgar Hoover

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum where Colleen eyeballs J Edgar Hoover

Just up the road from Madame Tussaud's is Ford's Theatre where President Abraham Lincoln was shot on 14 April 1865. He was taken to Peterson's house across the road and died in the early hours of 15 April.

Ford's Theatre, Washington - scene of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

Ford's Theatre, Washington - scene of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

Late in the afternoon we went on a river cruise on the Potomac River. The steps in the foreground are named the Watergate Steps. Close by is another complex known as The Watergate. This became famous during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

Lincoln Memorial from the Potomac River

Lincoln Memorial from the Potomac River

Tomorrow, Mt Vernon, here we come. This is the ancestral home of George Washington.

Posted by Kangatraveller 19:00

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