Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Countdown...

has Begun.

My trip out here has come down to its last 7 days.
And so I've decided, as much as I can, to write a post everyday, describing and reflecting on my travels and experiences in this foreign land, until the day I take my flight.


Hmmm...so where do I start? Right here..Right now.

DC Travel Logs-I

Since I hadn't written anything on my local travels here in DC (except the post about the weird Pentagon incident), cos I'd decided on writing them all in sequence, I think I should start right there. My stay for the last 3 months has been in the sleepy town of Rockville - quiet, peaceful and amazingly scenic. It many ways it reminds me of the Shire..and looking at the vast stretches of green and the huge trees, I sometimes almost expect Merry and Pippin to rush out from behind the bushes, with bags of stolen carrots. Well, this place is just 15-20 minutes away from "proper" or rather downtown DC...by which I mean, the National Mall, the White House and all that jazz. Travelling is pretty easy also, cos the metro is such an easy and comfortable way of going places. Sitting on the metro and just studying the different people aboard is so satisfying (seriously!) in many ways. People reading books, kids furiously tapping away on their PSPs, couples sitting n giggling close together, and ALMOST everyone listening to their shuffles, nanos and iPods. It's amazing how one amazing company can amazingly change peoples lives with one amazing product. (More on that in a later post ;))

Hmmm..I digress too much at times, (who cares!) but I'll try and force myself to stick to what I feel I should write upon. So the first place I wanted to see when I got my first free weekend here (which surprisingly was almost a month after I'd landed here!) was to go see the, no..not the White House..not the Pentagon..but something else that had caught my fancy ever since I'd watched Independence Day in my 7th std. In the movie, it was literally pulverzied by a bluish greenish laser beam from the alien spaceship. If you remember, it was the US Capitol (Something I've noticed many people actually mistake for the White House). Now the US Capitol building (which can be likened to India's Parliament) is situated at one end of the National Mall - the one place in DC almost every tourist would first go to (something like our Brigade Road?) cos it's oh-so-famous and oh-so-beautiful. The long-stretch of green is one landmark you can head to and be confident of finding everything else you want to see, cos it has the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Museums, a lot of Memorials, and the US-Capitol on its perimeter. It's pretty tiring to walk from one end to the other, cos its almost 2 miles in length! Anyway, in terms of metro-connectivity, the Metro Center and the Union Station are the best, and the former is where you would wanna get down if you wanted to reach the Mall fastest.

The Washington Monument is what would first catch your attention when you reach the National Mall cos its so huge and striking. You can see it from practically anywhere in downtown DC. The US Capitol is almost a mile away from the Monument but is still very majestic from even such a long distance. As you get closer to the US Capitol, you can't help but admire the architecture of the building, the greenery surrounding it, and the astounding symmetery of the Mall, making the whole experience breath-taking, and very photo-friendly. My friends and I made the long walk all around the Capitol, and behind it to the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court buildings, all the while gaping at how artistic each structure was. That is something that would differentiate downtown DC from other places here - class. Everything looks so classy and polished, I guess they want the Capital to hold its head high, worthy of its position in the US of A. And I'm not just speaking about these special buildings, even regular buildings and streets have this proudness about them that you don't see anywhere else.

Pics for now, more tomorrow.

MetroCenter













The Monument - view from the Capitol














The US Capitol and the Reflecting Pool














Capitol - view from the right














View from the Capitol gardens

5 comments:

Anu Nair said...

Mannn... Seriously.. i think u shud quit ur job and take up a job somewhere in NatGeo or Discovery (I prefer discovery travel n living... like a globe trekker kinda job) cuz u know wat... u got talent... i mean u can make people visualize things with ur writings... and if u can talk this good (which i doubt) u shud definitely be a globe trekker...

Otherwise also, u can do this writing stuff in ur free time... and besides how long r u gonna stay in software industry?? So take my advice... quit the job after say some 15 yrs or so..then pack ur bags and just go on a world tour. And most importantly, write abt that... i love the way u present things... Its sooo common man like... An overwhelming feeling of admiration and wonder n blah blah blah...
Man i can go on and on... But take my advice... u know wat it is...

stan_da_man said...

@anu: whoaaaa!!! u think so? naaaaaaa...hehehee...yea i've discovered i love travelling! wudnt mind doin all dat - u hav to fund me tho..hehe..n u can tag along if u want! :)

Anu Nair said...

I'll tag along for sure... but funding.. hhaaaaaaaaa

Ismail Bangalore said...

hey man... this page is absolutely cool!!... love the way u have captured things though u are no professional travel photographer or journalist!! U ROCK MAN!!

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