The Nation’s Capital is one of our favorite Travel Places visit because of its diversity, vibrancy and beauty. There is always something to do, something to see, a great public transportation system that makes it easy to get around and at this time of year plenty of great little local restaurants serving up delicious crab cakes and oysters. Even the weather was pleasant with low humidity and temps in the 70’s courtesy of Hurricane Arthur whose low pressure eye pulled cool dry air down from Canada.
We started on the morning of the 4th visiting the National Cathedral for the annual Fourth of July organ recital. It is a fantastic, quasi non-denominational national house of worship and the 6th largest cathedral in the world. We arrived early to sit behind the alter across from the organ console among the over 10,000 pipes. To hear a classic Aeolian Skinner from the 1930’s in full throat playing traditional classical and patriotic hymns was as they say, priceless. Susan and I both had to pinch ourselves to believe it was real.
After the concert we spent a few hours exploring the cathedral enjoying it’s beautiful architecture, chapels, crypt and fantastic stained glass windows. Avoiding the hundreds of thousands on the Mall for the fireworks we instead sat out on the roof of Perry’s in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, and watched fireworks in the surrounding communities of Bethesda and Silver Spring while enjoying cocktails, sushi and the wonderful summer evening.
The rest of the weekend was spent visiting the National Portrait Gallery, The World War II Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial and the Library of Congress. On Sunday we rented bicycles and rode from the Capitol down the Mall around the Tidal Basin and back taking in the sights and visiting memorials along the way.
The WW II Memorial was not completed during our last visit. It was especially moving to see this memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of men and women who lost their lives in this war. It might have taken over 50-years to honor those lives, but this is a beautiful and sobering tribute to those sacrifices. Sometimes we do not appreciate how many people in our history have made sacrifices of their time, their labor and even their lives so that we can be free to express ourselves in this great country.
All images were taken with Fuji X100s 35mm, f2.0 in Velvia film mode with ISO ranging up to 1600. Lots of crop applied to most images, very little or no post processing. Loving the X100s – it is now my de facto travel camera…