I visited Gettysburg yesterday – confirmed I did have my bearings and could find my way back. [note to self: returning on beltway during rush hour wasn’t good planning]
Morning exploring downtown DC, finding where my meetings today are, route, where to park etc. – then off, not ‘as the crow flies’ due to beltway, parkway, turnpike and every other description for busy road, confounded further by Potomac crossings – then headed north, through entire depth of Maryland, into Pennsylvania, realizing contrast between my speed/mode of transportation vs. pace of foot-soldiers, horses and cannons on lands where civil war battlefield drama unfolded.
Gettysburg’s attraction – central pavilion, information and tours, museum, book store, gift shop – walking portion, self-guided driving tour, far more than monuments and granite, grave markers and town, but a battlefield where so many thousands fought, so many thousands died, so much history and fate of most powerful nation in the world hung in its balance. And my knowledge of Lincoln’s speech expanded. I’ve stood where he stood, pointed where he faced his audience and better appreciated that solemn occasion.
Today and tomorrow I’ll walk museums, but yesterday I felt history, something incredibly moving about walking that ground where events took place, imagining how it was – with no idea how history might have unfolded if the other army had won that battle.
Most countries fight wars on their borders, or help fight with allies on foreign shores – but this one really exemplifies cliché about ‘seeing where the bodies are buried’. Being there, in that place – where things happened, isn’t just history. It is humanity.
Best tourism experience I’ve had in a long time …
written / published from Arlington, VA
morning walk: 26C/78F, sunny and calm – loving the heat; my walks are feeling more relaxed because I know my way around, watch people running to catch a bus, people I recognize at the bakery where I bought muffins again, realizing people have routines everywhere they are home, or where they feel that way. I’m still getting ‘used to this place’ but each day of walking and driving around I’m feeling more at home for a while. I know it’s not home, but much of what I’ve seen so far is pleasant and interesting – and makes for peace of mind.
My parents lived in Washington for a while ... Love it there. I like anything smith simian plus civil war sites (Antietam , Harper's ferry etc.), DT, Calgary, AB
Hello Mark, It’s been a while. I just visited DC two months ago, for the first time. There were three things that really stick out. If you want some fine dining, Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons is absolutely incredible. Pricey, but incredible. Arlington Cemetery, we almost didn’t make, but were glad we did. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Those were our favorites. Of course the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the pools is quite an experience for everyone. Hope you enjoy your time in the USA, KH, Stuart, FL