Last full day in DC today, although we have some time tomorrow before the evening flight and a car to get around (it was cheaper to hire a car for the day than to get a cab to the airport!). It turns out that there is a Smithsonian outpost at Dulles with some cool (I use “cool” in the aerospace nerd sense here) stuff – Concorde, a Space shuttle, Blackbird and, possibly, Enola Gay. How did we not know about this before? Time has duly been set aside.

First outing of the day to the Newseum, Washington’s tribute to the first amendment and the rights of the free press. It’s an excellent museum documenting the history of the press and exhibits from major events…

Twin Tower Spire

World Trade Centre Tower Spire

…and some sections of the Berlin wall. Can you figure out which side is east and which west?

There are endless old newspapers, including one documenting the gunpowder plot, ancient copies of the Observer and the Spectator etc. and some interesting stuff from the FBI.

From here we went in search of lunch and ended up in Lincoln’s Waffles. A Vietnamese greasy spoon that made the Victoria Centre cafe look like World Service. There was actually a slick on my coffee. Tasty, but I felt like I needed a shower afterwards and was exuding grease for several hours. We were befriended by the resident nutter (Hi Steve!) who had considerably more knowledge of the dealings of Prince Charles than I do. At least I thought he was a nutter (albeit a very friendly and pleasant one) before he revealed himself to be a man of incisiveness and discernment by asking if Ethan and myself were brothers. I think I found it more amusing than Ethan.

A quick hike out to the Thomas Jefferson memorial before heading back to the scene of our earlier greasy crime and Ford’s Theatre, the location of Lincoln’s assassination.

Ford Theatre Balcony

Wait a minute, that’s not Lincoln!

Lincoln was shot on this balcony and someone felt it was a good idea to put a picture of Washington there. That’s just adding insult to (extreme) injury!

As it turns out, the Newseum is on the site of the old National Hotel where John Wilkes Booth stayed the night before he shot Lincoln. Almost as though we planned that link. What with the greasy spoon as well, synchronicity was playing silly buggers with us. Spooky.

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