Saturday, May 31, 2014

Capital Bldg. and Library of Congress.

The main reading room in the Library of Congress.  
We headed off to get a tour of the Capital Buildings, but it was not to be. The Visitors Centre was in lock down status and no one was allowed in.  In the U.S. American history is taught in the 8th grade and there were hundreds possibly thousands of teenagers waiting in line with their teachers.  We decided to go into the Library of Congress instead.  I have never been in such an impressive building.  The art and the architecture were stunning.

We did not take a formal tour but just wandered around.  We loved the maps they had on display, one showed the original 13 states, another was so old that the outlines of Hudson Bay were wrong, they showed the east side as being completely straight, not the rounded bay that we know now! Another room was all about Bob Hope, he was a very popular entertainer and he was shown with every president from Dwight D Eisenhower to Clinton. I really enjoyed the exhibit about the Gershin brothers, their piano and the typewriter they composed their lyrics on was on display. They also had a montage of the films that involved their music, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers were featured in quite a few of the musicals. 
We took the tunnel from the Library of Congress to the Capital Buildings but the line was too long to bother to wait so we headed off to the National Museum of the American Indian.
This building has no corners in keeping with nature and is made out of limestone from Minnesota.

This brought back memories of my youth.  These Bombardiers as we used to call them were used to haul houses etc. from one town to another back in the 60's in Northern Manitoba and then they were abandoned in the bush.  My brother and I used to play in them.  They are shown here as being used by the Métis in Manitoba to ice fish with nets. 
Next on our agenda was the National Gallery of Art. Barry was not impressed saying it all looked pretty much the same but I really enjoyed it.  After going through some galleries with painting from the 16th and 17th century I headed off to the Impressionist Gallery and gazed at paintings by Monet, van Gough, Picasso and Degas. 
A Renoir
A variation on a theme by Monet. 
Self portrait by Paul Gaugain
It was a miserable wet cold day and we headed home to snuggle up in the boat and relax.  All this sight seeing is hard work, we walk everywhere and most of the day is spent on our feet.  My age is starting to catch up to me and my feet get sore and my back aches from carrying around a backpack that has everything I might need during the day in it, ah me!
Barry took this shot, what an eye he has.