Back again after 2 years – and oh so much yet to see – that pretty much sums up Washington. Unfortunately the regular station (codename Vienna) we head to was closed due to construction so we boarded the bus (for which Zayne was super excited) and headed to East Falls Church. If you remember from one of my previous posts’, we had checked out the Museum of Natural History and American History; but since all museums close at 5.30pm, I wasn’t able to visit the Air and Space Museum. According to the reviews on TripAdvisor, this is one of the top museums to visit – so it was a must do this time round!
And what a visit it was! – check out some of the images below, there were huge turbines, and fighter planes, there was a separate section about the Wright Brothers first turbine powered bi-plane aircraft, it was such a throwback in history to think and understand how they managed to get it off the ground in 1903 – even if it lasted for only 12 seconds.
If you had to pick just one of the Smithsonian Museums, I think this would be it. It’s has some US & Russian space vehicles on display, as well as 100’s of other aeronautical displays (technical & historical). It seems to have a more international attraction- there’s something for everybody to be interested in. I saw space vehicles that were actually used by NASA, the Ellsworth TransAntarctic flight, the E10, learnt about Naval flights and the USS Enterprise and even learnt about the postal service that dropped packages.
This museum has everything related to flights and aerodynamics, including lift, torque, thrust, drag – what they are and how they work! If you’re anything like me, you are going to be super excited to be here.
I also visited the Holocaust museum, another one that you HAVE to visit. Everyone knows who Hitler was and what he did, but to actually see the systematic process whereby Austria voted to have him in, and the way the Nazi party managed to get children to rat out on their parents, or hospital staff to kill terminally ill / disabled people is another! It was surreal when you think about it – the way laws and people can be manipulated to make them believe in doing something they wouldn’t ordinarily do, and still they felt good about it. It is something that you will remember the rest of your life. As it was said in the museum, this was the first time in history that people were segregated not by race, gender or color, but by their birthplace. I can’t spill any more of secrets here – you have to visit this museums if you want the true low down.
We also paid a visit to the National zoo, you can see that I had a gala time. This zoo is great and has plenty to see and do for a whole afternoon, full of fun and plenty of walking. It is surprisingly big for being free yet has all of the exhibits you would except: birds, reptiles, and oh did I mention pandas! That’s right, a giant ball of black and white fur. I did manage to snap him too! This zoo is a definite treasure. Animal habitats are updated and the Asian Trail allows viewing from several areas for the Giant Pandas. Definitely much better than the Byculla zoo (though I have heard that they’ve spruced it up a bit now).
And if you are in Pennsylvania, don’t forget to check out the Hershey’s factory – in fact the entire town is named Hershey’s – a fabulous way to spend a Sunday learning all about Milton Hershey and how he created such beautiful chocolate in 1903. Unfortunately I’m not that huge a fan of Hershey’s – but I’d be crazy to turn down a kiss!