Sunday, February 17, 2013

Memorials, monuments and museums in Washington DC, USA


I explain this because surely there are many people who do not know that you can go to Washington from New York and back the same day. If you wake up early enough, you'll have time to visit the most important places of the capital. It has nothing to do with New York, but it is a place full of history, perfectly maintained and offers plenty of cultural attractions.
  • Tour. You can book a guided tour (about 13 hours) to visit the main places. Lots of agencies offer this possibility but I do not recommend it, especially if you are interested in the Second World War.
  • Train. This is the most convenient but also the most expensive. If you catch an express train you can get Washington in 2h 45min . The price of this train is usually more than $ 300 round trip . The regular train takes 3h 20min and roundtrip ticket usually costs about $ 100 . All trains depart from Penn Station (next to Madison Square Garden). To buy tickets online: .
  • Bus . There are plenty of bus companies that take us to Washington. An economic choice is Megabus (click here to go to the website). If you buy in advance you can get tickets for $ 8 . Sometimes out offers for less even. It has a few stops in New York and a fairly large departure schedule. The trip takes 4h 30min but there are even departures at 5 am to get there soon.


You can consult here the transport network of the city. It has the timetables and routes of the metro and buses. The metro is a pretty comfortable option. Here you have the map of the lines. It reaches Maryland and Virginia.


Location: here
Metro stop: Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines).  
Open 24 hours.
This memorial was opened to the public in 2004. It was built almost entirely by private contributions. They obtained more than 197 million dollars in donations from citizens, associations, foundations, veterans, organizations and even students (some schools raised funds for the cause). For more information please visit their official website .
This memorial is considered one of the most important American WWII monuments. It has received visits from major veterans ​​and even Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg did a little tribute to the veterans there for the promotion of The Pacific .

IWO JIMA MEMORIAL (Marine Corps War Memorial)

Location: here
Metro stop: Rosslyn (orange and blue lines) or Arlington Cemetery (blue line).
The monument dates from 1954 and was dedicated to the members of the Marine Corps of the United States. It is based on a photograph taken on the February 23, 1945 by photographer Joe Rosenthal on the island of Iwo Jima . The statue represents the Marines and the sailor who raised the second flag on Mount Suribachi : Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block, first-class soldiers Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes and John Bradley nurse. The same scene we see in Flags of Our Fathers and was used for propaganda of the American forces.


Location: here
Metro stop: Arlington Cemetery (blue line) 
Opening hours: 8am-7pm (April-September) 8am-5pm (October-March)
Open every day of the year. 

It is very large and here are buried veterans from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan or Iraq. We can also find the grave of Kennedy and numerous memorials, like this one of the space shuttle Challenger.

One of the most visited sites is the tomb of the unknown soldier . It is guarded 24 hours a day. At certain times we witness the changing of the guard with a small march.

Here you have a map of the cemetery:

Curiously, on their website they have created a mobile application that will allow us to locate graves and explore the map. You can download it here:

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AIR SPACE (Smithsonian Air & Space Museum)

Location: here
Metro stop: Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines). Open every day except December 25. Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 pm. (Until 7:30 pm from December 26 to January 1). Admission free
It contains the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was founded in 1946. After World War II many aircraft were donated. It is also famous for its modern architecture.

We can find such important pieces as the Messerschmitt Me 262 (model Nazi plane, was the first jet-powered fighter in history) or the Enola Gay (plane from which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima).


Location: here
Metro stop: Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines).  
Hours: 10:00 to 17:20 and from March 26 to June 8 expands the Monday to Friday: 10:00 to 18:20
Open every day except September 26 and December 25. 
Admission free

The museum is quite large. It takes at least two hours to see it well. Four plants of audiovisual journey which recreates through videos (historical films, testimonies ...), and photos the holocaust horror scenarios.
The permanent exhibition is divided into three parts: The Nazi Assault, The Final Solution and the last chapter.
You can click here to see a complete photo gallery.


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