We finally arrived in Washington mid afternoon, after a long car journey. We would be staying in a hostel called Hostelling International Washington DC for two nights. I’ve actually been quite impressed with this accommodation. Their beds are surprisingly comfortable, breakfast is pretty good, the bathrooms were very clean, and they even provided towels free of charge which is a nice treat from a hostel. In my opinion though, the best thing about this hostel is the location. It turned out to only be a ten minute walk from the White House, and the majority of the monuments and memorials we wanted to see were easily within walking distance as well. A map of the nearby area was provided by the hostel, showing all the museums, monuments, restaurants, bars etc. which was incredibly useful. This is definitely somewhere that I would stay again if I’m ever back in Washington.
Check out the hostel website link here!
The day we arrived we had a couple of hours before dinner, so a group of us decided to see if we could find the White House. As I just mentioned, it turned out that it was only about ten minutes away from the hostel which was incredibly convenient! Seeing the White House for the first time was a strange sensation. On the one hand, it was incredible to finally see a building that is so famous, and that i’ve grown up seeing and hearing about on the news. I feel like It’s such an integral part of American culture, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to see – and now I finally have! On the other hand, it wasn’t quite what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing to see and it was certainly awe inspiring. But it was also one of those classic moments of ‘it looked different in the movies!’ I suppose it just goes to show once more than you can never truly trust what you see on the TV.
Walking around to the back of the White House (which I have to admit, I’ve always believed was the front of the building) we were surprised to find that we couldn’t get anywhere close to the gates to take a photo. There were numerous barriers and men with ‘Secret Service’ written on bullet proof vests walking up and down, so we decided to ask what was going on. Apparently they were waiting for the first Lady to return to the White House, and thus no one could go anywhere close to the building. We decided to wait for a while and see if we could spot her (or at least the vehicle transporting her) but sadly it wasn’t the case and we had to leave to get ready for dinner.
My first evening in Washington may have been short, but it was still incredible. I got to see one of the most famous buildings in the world, and thus check yet another thing off my bucket list! I just hope that one day I can get a little bit closer to this amazing building and take some better photos of it. I spent the rest of the evening creating a plan of attack for the next day in the city.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide