Philadelphia, Washington DC

Spent so much time in historical buildings I probably know more about American history than British! Spent the first day in Philly visiting the Liberty Bell, Washington Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Benjamin Franklins Grave, the house where Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the National Liberty Museum.

Next day, I took the tour of Independence Hall and saw the rooms used for the Treaty and planning the war against Britain. Also, saw many other historical buildings including Congress Hall, Franklin Court, the Portrait Gallery, the US mint and City Hall. Most of it was quite interesting, but there was so much propoganda on display its a wonder all Americans dont hate the British!

Went to DC, one of these cities where security measures have just gone crazy – you need ‘government issued photographic ID’ just to enter the visitors centre. Went to visit George, but the only way to get a tour of the White House is to apply to your Congressman at least 30 days in advance so that was out. Saw all the main monuments and memorials including Lincoln, Jefferson, F D Roosevelt, the Washington Memorial, Vietnam war, Korean war, World Wars I and II and the Capitol Building, Supreme Court, FBI building and the two places where Lincoln was shot and then alter died. My feet certainly hurt after all that walking.

Next day, I went to the International Spy Museum, which was a lot of fun. You got to pick a cover story on the way in, then test yourself against computers later on to see if you could remember it and would be let through passport control. In the afternoon, I went over to the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetary which houses a Tomb to the Unknown Soldier, in front of which they change the guard every half hour, and the tombs of John, Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy.

On my final day there, I thought Id better check out the Smithsonian Museums. They are so big you could spend a whole day in one and still not see everything. First museum was the National Air and Space. Probably wouldnt usually have been top of my list but had heard such good reports about it. Very interactive and although some sections were boring, there were so many to choose from that you could find something that interested you.

Went up the Washington Monument after lunch to break up the museums. Definately some great views. North was the White House, East was Capitol and the Mall, South the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon and West was the Lincoln Memorial, World War II memorial and the Reflecting Pool. Then went to the National Museum of American History, which wsa probably the museum I preferred. Had no time to visit any of the others.

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