One of my reasons for visiting Washington DC when I did was to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon, site of one of the September 11th terrorist attacks. I got up early that morning, rode three different trains to get to the Pentagon station, only to find out the ceremony was for family members of the victims, invited guests and press. So I was turned away. Just as well, I guess, because it was raining cats and dogs. I decided to make the best of it, since I was up anyway, and headed on into town. But few things open in DC before 10 am, and this was around 8 am. I eventually made my way to the Washington Monument, where they begin giving out tour passes early. Because of the rain, I was able to get a pass for immediate access. These four pictures are the view from the four faces of the monument, albeit through a little rain. The picture above is looking West, over the Reflecting Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial, then across the Potomac to Arlington.
This is the Southerly view, across the Tidal Pool to the Jefferson Memorial. One of those bridges you see is for the Metro, DC's version of the subway. Coming from the airport, it pops up out of a hole in the ground right before crossing the bridge, and that's your first great view of DC. Then it drops back down into another hole, and you don't get anymore cool views from the subway.
West, down The Mall, towards The Capitol. Behind the Capitol, if you look close, is a football stadium. Is that RFK? On either side of the Mall are various Smithsonian museums, and behind those are government offices.
And looking North, you get the Ellipse, and a little white house called The White House. I wish I'd been able to get up to the top of the monument in good weather, but that didn't happen. Hopefully next time. I'll have to make that a priority.