I never had a desire of visiting the American capital, but since we were so closed, we simply couldn’t by pass it.
text & photography: Akis Temperidis
We stayed for two nights at a Wallmart parking lot in a Washington DC suburb. The largest supermarket chain in America – and No1 employer in the country – officially permits the overnight parking for RVs. For one night only. Since we found a one-libre propane tank for 135 usd and we could cook at home, we went for food shopping and then waited for the harsh weather to arrive. In the end it was nothing more than a massive temperature decline followed by a certain snowfall with no influnence to traffic conditions.
On Saturday, Vula found a parking spot – which was presumably free on Sunday – at L’Enfant Plaza, very close to the National Mall. Only 15 minutes walk from the Washington monument. We drove there Saturday evening, found a spot on the dead end road and stayed the night with a certain fear that the police might come and get us out of there.
Sunday morning was freezing. We took the metro and went to the Smithsonian National Zoo and spent most of the day there. There were pandas, lions, gorillas and urangutans, among many other animals Anastasia had never seen from so close. Early in the afternoon we went to the White House and walked from there to the Obelisk and the Abraham Lincoln Monument. Remember the artificial lake in front of it from various American movies? It was freezed.
We thought we should stay 2-3 days more in the city, in order to visit all the Smithsonian museums and the historical monuments but we decided to proceed. A city like this is not for nomads like us. It is actually the opposite of New York. Super clean, without skyscrapers, fully organised and by default designed to serve as the nation’s capital.
That’s why Washington DC is more similar to Moscow and other eastern block cities, than to any other American one. The wide avenues, the open green spaces and the absurd amount of unpainted concrete buildings are rather intimidating. Plus, in those quarters stays the most powerful fellow on earth, surrounded by a group of politicians capable of starting a nuclear war if they want. And the Pentagon is on the other side of the Potomac river, which controls the most powerful military machine in the history of man.
Let’s be honest; If it happens to have a diplomat’s salary and services, DC is a nice place for living, working and jogging. But it means nothing for us…