Day 2 - Fri 11 Nov 2005
Veterans Day - Got breakfast at the Guesthouse and then walked down to the Metro stop to meet up with Em, then took the Metro downtown to Smithsonian we walked across the National Mall to the National Archives building. By happy coincidence we arrived at 10am just as they opened the doors, through a small queue at security and then onward to see the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I also got to see the Louisiana Purchase as well, where America almost doubled it's size for the cost of 15 Million dollars. The lighting is very subdued, but it's worth noting that the "American" documents are just over 200 years old, where as the Magna Carta dates from 1297 - but there are no crowds around it.
After that it was a stroll up the Mall to Capitol Hill - we got a 1:30 ticket, and with two hours to kill we caught the Tourmobile to the Jefferson Monument.
Caught the Tube from Arlington up to Capitol South, and only just managed to get in line for the 1:30 tour! The tour only shows two parts of the Capitol Building, the Rotunda (which is the dead centre of DC) and the old Congress meeting room (which has the same effect as the whispering gallery in St. Pauls due to the arched roof). The Rotunda is very impressive. After that it was a walk over to Union Station to get something to eat.
After that we attempted to get into the International Spy museum, but all tickets for that day had been sold out.