Thursday, December 5, 2013

A guide To The National Mall And Memorial Parks


The National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC is home to Iconic Memorials and Monuments. The National Mall and Memorial Parks have something for everyone: enjoy the sites, exercise outdoors and expand your knowledge of Washington, DC.
Reflecting Pool on the National Mall with the Washington Monument reflected, Washington, D.C., by Carol M. Highsmith
The Reflecting Pool At The National Mall
Lincoln Memorial Close-Up
The Lincoln Memorial

WWII Memorial Pacific fountain
World World II Memorial
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Martin Luther King Memorial



The National Mall and Memorial Parks consists of the following:

    World War II Memorial
    West Potomac Park
    Washington Monument
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    Thomas Jefferson Memorial
    Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Park
    Old Post Office Tower
    National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
    Lincoln Memorial
    African American Civil War Memorial
    Constitution Gardens
    District of Columbia War Memorial
    East Potomac Park
    Ford's Theatre National Historic Site and the House Where Lincoln Died
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
    Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II
    Korean War Veterans Memorial
    and 150 reservations, circles, fountains, and park spaces in downtown Washington, D.C.


Getting Here
The following airports serve Washington, DC: BWI Thurgood Marshall, Reagan National and Dulles.
One can also get to  Washington, D.C. by Amtrak, Greyhound etc. Check here for flights to Washington, DC. Check out these hotel bargains and budget hotels, while in DC.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks are open 24 hours a day.

It is free to visit any part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Free tickets are required to visit the Washington Monument.

Enjoy your visit to Washington, DC and The National Mall and Memorial Parks.



  



  


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Visiting Thomas Jefferson Memorial In Washington, DC?


Thomas Jefferson Memorial - National Park Service (7554555326)Thomas Jefferson Memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
This Memorial, dedicated to the 3rd President of the United States, was opened on April 13, 1943.
The address is 900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, D.C., DC 20242
Thomas Jefferson Memorial is part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks and is run by the U.S. National Park Service.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Hours of Operation

Thomas Jefferson Memorial is open 24 hours a day. However Rangers are available to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily
Interpretive programs are provided every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Thomas-jefferson-memorial-sculpture-dome Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Fees And Reservations

 

Thomas Jefferson Memorial does not charge any fee and no reservation is required. However permits may be required for certain planned events.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Getting There

 

By Plane

 

Washington, D.C. is served by 3 airports: Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). These airports have limousine, taxi cab, or Metro services to the National Mall.

Check out flights to Washington, DC, hotels near Jefferson Memorial  and these other  Washington, DC Hotels.

By Car

 

From the North take George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway.
I395 provides access to the Mall from the South. From the East  take U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4.
Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway,  Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West.

By Public Transportation

 

The closest metro station is Foggy Bottom-GWU (2301 I St. NW Washington, DC 20037 ) on the blue and orange lines. There are also buses and trains to the Mall from the suburban areas surrounding the city.

Parking

 

Street parking is very scarce in Washington, D.C. Take the Metro to avoid parking headaches.
General visitor parking is available along Ohio Drive, SW between the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials. Bus parking is available primarily along Ohio Drive, SW near the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and along Ohio Drive, SW in East Potomac Park.  There are private paid parking garages and lots downtown north of the National Mall. Free on street parking is generally restricted to two hours (Don't get ticketed/towed).

Limited handicap parking is available near the Washington Monument and the Abraham Lincoln, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans Memorials and at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II Memorials.


Enjoy your visit to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the other memorials on the National Mall.

Related article.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

United States Capitol: What You Should Know Before You Visit

US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. is the meeting place of  The United States of America's legislature, the U.S. congress.
The Capitol also has important collection of American art. It is an office building as well as a tourist attraction for millions every year.
The first streets of Washington, DC begin at the Capitol i.e. 1st St SE, 1st St NE, 1st St SW, and 1st St NW.

United States Capitol: Visitor Information


Hours Of Operation:

The Capitol Visitor Center is open to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday except:
Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Inauguration Day.

Tours:

Tours of the U.S. Capitol are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday except visitors with official business appointments who may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m.
Although tours of the U.S. Capitol are free tour passes are required.

Security:

All visitors are screened by a magnetometer.
All items that are permitted inside the Capitol are also screened by an x-ray device.

Prohibited Items in the Capitol include:

Guns, replica guns, ammunition, and fireworks
Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices
Razors and box cutters
Any pointed object, e.g. knitting needles and letter openers except pens and pencils.
Liquid, including water
Non-aerosol spray (Prescriptions for medical needs are permitted.)
Knives of any size
Mace and pepper spray
Food or beverages of any kind, including fruit and unopened packaged food
Aerosol containers
Any bag with dimensions greater than 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep    

Prohibited Items in the Senate and House Galleries:

Video recorders or any type of recording device
Cans and bottles
Battery-operated electronic devices (medical devices are permitted)
Packages, briefcases, backpacks or suitcases
Creams, lotions or perfume
Cameras
Strollers
*Each Gallery operates a checkstand where visitors may store these items securely while they are visiting that Gallery.

There are exceptions to prohibited item deemed necessary and required to serve child care, medical or other special needs. Call 202.224.4048 for further information.  

*Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the Capitol
*Food and drink are only permitted in the Capitol Visitor Center Restaurant.

 United States Capitol: How To Get There

 The exact address of the U.S. Capitol is 1st St SE, Washington, DC 20004

 By Plane

Washington, D.C. is served by 3 airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). All these airports have limousine, taxi cab, or Metro services to the U.S. Capitol and its neighbors
Check out flights to Washington, DC and hotels near the U.S. Capitol. Check out these other Washington, DC Hotels also.

The United States Capitol is bordered by Independence Avenue to the south, Constitution Avenue to the north, and First Streets, to the west and east.  It is located at the far eastern end of the National Mall beyond the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

The Capitol Visitor Center is situated under the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol.

The Capitol Visitor Center Office of Visitor Services provides an on-demand shuttle service for individuals with disabilities.  The shuttles run from the southwest corner of Capitol Square at Independence Ave. and First St. SW to the Capitol Visitor Center entrance at the center of the Capitol’s East Plaza.
Contact the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services at 202.224.4048 for more information.

By Car:

Public parking is scarce near the Capitol. The closest public parking facility is at Union Station, to the north of the Capitol.
Metered street parking is found along the Mall to the west of the Capitol. The best way to get to the Capitol is by Metro (Subway).

by Subway:

There are three Metro stations within walking distance of the Capitol:

    Union Station – Located at First Street, NW, and Massachusetts Avenue.
    Federal Center, SW – Located at the southwest corner of Third and D Streets, SW.
    Capitol South – Located at First Street between C and D Streets, SE.
  
There are Tour Bus Route and Commercial Bus Restrictions on U.S. Capitol Grounds
contact the United States Capitol Police Public Information Office at 202.224.1677.

Enjoy your visit to the U.S. Capitol.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Planning A Trip To The Lincoln Memorial In Washington, DC?

Lincoln Memorial (Lincoln tall)The Lincoln Memorial, opened in  May 30, 1922, is a national monument built to commemorate Abraham Lincoln,the 16th President of the United States. It is situated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.

Lincoln Memorial is part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
The 98' tall memorial sits on 164 acres land on the mall. It's architect was Henry Bacon.
The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and made up of a 19' seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln. The sculptor was Daniel Chester French.

The North wall of the monument contains an inscription of Lincoln's second inaugural speech. The South wall has the entire Gettysburg address inscribed on it. Above the inscription is a mural depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave.

Lincoln Memorial and other memorials on the National Mall such as Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial are run by the National Park Service. All the Memorial are near each other. Over 25 million from all over the world visit the National Mall each year.

Lincoln Memorial overhead      Lincoln Memorial Close-Up

Lincoln Memorial: Plan Your Visit

The Lincoln Memorial is at the western end of the National Mall. The address is 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW, Washington, DC 20037

Lincoln Memorial: How To Get There

By Plane

Washington, D.C. is served by 3 airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). All these airports have limousine, taxi cab, or Metro services to the National Mall.
Check out flights to Washington, DC and hotels near the Lincoln Memorial. Check out these other Washington, DC Hotels also.

Public Transportation

The closest metro station is Foggy Bottom-GWU (2301 I St. NW Washington, DC 20037 ) on the blue and orange lines. There are also buses and trains to the Mall from the suburban areas surrounding the city.

Car

From the North take George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway.
I395 provides access to the Mall from the South. From the East  take U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4.
Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway,  Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West.

Parking

Street parking is very scarce in Washington, D.C. Take the Metro to avoid parking headaches.
General visitor parking is available along Ohio Drive, SW between the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials. Bus parking is available primarily along Ohio Drive, SW near the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and along Ohio Drive, SW in East Potomac Park.  There are private paid parking garages and lots downtown north of the National Mall. Free on street parking is generally restricted to two hours (Don't get ticketed/towed).

Limited handicap parking is available near the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans Memorials and at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II Memorials.

Operating Hours & Seasons

The Lincoln Memorial is open all day. Rangers are on duty from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily to offer assistance to visitors. Interpretive programs are scheduled every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Fees & Reservations

There is no charge to visit The Lincoln Memorial. A permit, however, may be required for planned events depending on the activity and number of participants.

Permits

 A permit is required for many activities to ensure that various events will not conflict with each other or with general visitor experiences. Certain areas within the memorials are deemed restricted space.

Enjoy your visit to the Lincoln Memorial and the other memorials on the National Mall.

Related article.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Visiting National Museum Of Natural History In Washington, DC?

National Museum of Natural History Rotunda pano

The National Museum of Natural History, opened in 1910, is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Open everyday except Christmas day, it is the most visited museum of its kind in the world.


This is the world’s foremost museum and research complex. The Museum is devoted to stimulating curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its incomparable research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs.

 The Museum exhibitions are on earliest human origins; development of world cultures; ancient and modern mammals, amphibians, birds,  insects, reptiles, sea creatures, scarce gemstones such as uniquely colored diamonds, and more. The Museum’s exhibitions serve to educate, enlighten and entertain many visitors annually.
The Museum's principal building on the National Mall is about the size of 18 football fields. It has  325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space. The Museum's increasing network of interactive websites is accessible to anyone on the world wide web. Do a virtual tour now.
Cypryinus carpio skeleton - National Museum of Natural History, United States - DSC08530    Homo heidelbergensis adult male - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17  Giraffe, Exhibit at National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C
According to the National Museum of Natural History, the Museum’s exhibition and research programs comprise more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. The collections include 7 million fish in liquid-filled jars; 4½ million plants pressed onto sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium; 30 million insects carefully pinned into tiny boxes;  and 2 million cultural artifacts, including 400,000 photographs housed in the National Anthropological Archives. Over 15,000 visitor days are spent in the collections; over 3½ million specimens are out on loan annually; and there are almost another 600,000 visits to collection data bases available on the Internet.
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper 02 Diatryma steini cast - National Museum of Natural History - IMG 2013 Necklace at the natural history museum Archaeopteris hibernica 2

National Museum of Natural History: Visitor Information  

 




The Museum is located at the intersection of 10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW in Washington, D.C. 20560

Museum Hours:

The museum is open daily except December 25.
Regular hours are 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Note: The Museum will extend its hours until 7:30 PM on certain dates. For a list of these days...

Transportation

Catch the Metro to the museum. The nearest Metro Station to the National Museum of Natural History is the Smithsonian Station (Mall exit) on the Blue and Orange line. Go to http://www.wmata.com for more information.

Parking

No public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National Mall; There are limited on-street parking. There are commercial parking lots and garages situated several blocks from the museum. There are also a limited number of parking spaces for vehicles with the appropriate license plate or permit for visitors with disabilities. Avoid the parking headaches. Catch the Metro.

Admission to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is free and no tickets are required for entrance to the museum. National Museum of Natural History programs are also free unless otherwise indicated.

Photography is permitted in all exhibitions except where otherwise indicated. Tripods may be used in certain areas.

Group Discounts


The Museum gives group discounts for the Live Butterfly Pavilion, Atrium Café, and for the IMAX theater. Discounts apply to any group of 10 or more.

Call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 357-1729 for more information.

Holiday Inn Washington - Capitol, Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill, and L'Enfant Plaza Hotel are some of the hotels near National Museum Of Natural History. Check out these other Washington, DC Hotels also.

Enjoy your visit to the National Museum Of Natural History.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Galungan, Balinese celebration

Galungan is a 10 day Balinese Hindu  celebration.  It is the most important festival for the Balinese Hindus. Galungan honors, Ida Sang Hyang Widi, the supreme creator of the universe. It also honors  the spirits of the beloved ancestors. It is the time of the year when the souls of the ancestors are believed to visit the earth. Kuningan is the last day of the festival. This is when the Balinese gods are believed to return to heaven.
Offering-Bali
The feast depicts the victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma).

Galungan, Balinese celebration: When Is It Celebrated?

Galungan is celebrated every 210 days and lasts for 10 days.
The past two Galungans were celebrated in
August 29-September 8, 2012 and March 27-April 6, 2013.

Street decoration for Galungan celebrationThe next two will occur in October 23-November 2, 2013
and May 21-31, 2014.

Galungan, Balinese celebration: How Is It Celebrated?

Tall bamboo poles called "penjor" can be found everywhere.
These bamboo poles are usually adorned with fruit, coconut leaves, and flowers, and placed on the right of every residence entrance. Special small bamboo altars bearing woven palm-leaf offerings for the spirits are placed at each gate.

Days before Galungan


Penyekeban: Three days before Galungan
"Penyekeban" literally means "the day to cover up ". On this day green bananas are covered up in huge clay pots to accelerate their ripening.

Kunigan2
Penyajahan: Two days before Galungan
Balinese cakes known as jaja are baked on this day. These colored cakes are used in offerings as well as eaten on Galungan.

Penampahan: A day before Galungan
Penampahan is the slaughter day. Sacrificial animals are slaughtered for altar offerings.

On Galungan day, Balinese visit families and friends. They pray at the temples and make their offerings to the spirits. Richly-dressed women carry offerings on their heads to the local temple, while the men bring palm fronds.

Ngelawang, exorcism ceremony dance, is performed in the villages by a barong. A barong is a divine protector in the form of a mythical beast. An offering of a canang sari containing money is made after the barong's visit.

Galungan festivities are fun for both Balinese and tourists. Tourists get an eyeful of the local color and enjoy Balinese food.

The tenth day and last day of Galungan is Kuningan. This is the end of Galungan. The spirits return to heaven and  the Balinese make special offerings of yellow rice.

To beat the Galungan holiday rush, it is recommended that you reserve a hotel in Bali and Ubud well in advance. Enjoy the Galungan.








Monday, October 7, 2013

Experience The Northern Lights

                         by Melania Anghel
long-exposure photo of the Aurora Borealis in Alaska
The Northern Lights, scientifically known as Aurora Borealis, are among the most impressive natural phenomenon. The most intense northern lights can be viewed in Iceland, Alaska, Yukon, and Northern Scandinavia.

Northern Lights: How Do They Occur?


Aurora borealis occur when solar wind collides with the magnetic forces of the earth's atmosphere.
The most predominant color of lights is green, but other colors can occur depending on the kind of particle and the altitude of the collision. The higher the altitude, the rarer the color. Blood-red auroras occur at altitudes of up to 200 miles from the earth.

Northern Lights: When Do They Occur?


Northern Lights are best observed between late August to mid April. The Lights are most intense in September and March. The best conditions to view the northern lights in Iceland: clear dark sky, and the colder the temperature the brighter the lights. The lights are most intense between 6pm and 4am.  Observing the Northern Lights is not 100% guaranteed. One's chance is, however, increased by arriving between late September and late March.

Northern Lights: Some places To Stay

Reykjavik, Iceland Hotels
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Hotels Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden Hotels
Tromsø, Northern Norway Hotels
Fairbanks, Alaska Hotel
Yellowknife, Canada Hotel

Northern Lights: What else You Need To Know


It is very difficult to take nice pictures of the Northern Lights since they move very rapidly usually  against a dark background. To have the slightest chance of taking pictures, http://wikitravel.org/en/Northern_Lights suggests the following:
  1. A camera that supports manual exposure (5 to 40 seconds)
  2. A fast lens (aperture f/2.8 or better)
  3. Fast film (800 ASA or better), or equivalent ISO setting on a digital camera
  4. A tripod to hold the long exposure
  5. Cable release or self-timer to trigger shots without stirring the camera

Enjoy viewing the Northern Lights. Stay safe.