After New York City (article here), Washington DC is next on our exploration list. We pool our small students’ budget to rent a car for a weekend, pack our newly bought tent and sleeping bags, and we hit the road, for our first road trip in the US.

After a couple months on campus or on urban trips, some of us are happy to find true nature again!

Arriving in the capital, we are immediately drawn to the world’s center of power.

We are not alone, as tourists …

… and protesters are always present, undeterred by the inhospitable weather.

I may not always share their opinions, but I admire the courage of these people, who brave the elements – and probably boredom – to literally stand for what they believe.

Just a bit further afield, Abe Lincoln sits, forever watching over Capitol Hill.

Directly in his gaze, the Washington Monument stands tall as a symbol of power, reflecting into the reflecting pool. Up close, it looks even more impressive.

Like on campus in Philadelphia, squirrels (my favorite animal 😉) are everywhere – but here they are white!

It’s very cliché, but as the sun sets, the Capitol evokes a beacon of democracy to me.

A bit further the Mall, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is one of the most impressive I’ve visited.

Being able to see – and even touch – amazing engineering achievements like the actual Apollo capsules which went to the moon blew me away …

… as well as the real Apollo and Soyuz capsules reenacting their historical 1975 rendez-vous, just 12 years before…
I was totally amazed by how this gear, which appeared incredibly low tech even by the 80s standards (e.g., fabric lined cables – no plastic, unbelievably rudimentary processing capabilities, etc.) actually got people to the moon and back…

I went back to campus with starry eyes!

More to come, stay tuned!