Day 2 in Washington DC. We had more of a plan today. Morning in the Air and Space Museum, afternoon at the National Gallery of Art - East and West.
The Air and Space museum was good. We joined a very international group for a tour. We were British, and there was a Danish couple, a couple from New Zealand, a French guy and a Russian woman. Our guide was Chinese. The guide told us to head in one direction and the Russian woman immediately disappeared in the opposite direction. We don't know if she misunderstood, or if she thought the guide had insulted her, but she was never seen again. We found out lots of interesting stuff about the Wright Brothers, other early flyers, supersonic flight, and the space program. Our guide was very knowledgable.
We then headed over to the National Gallery - west wing. They searched our bags as we have come to expect since we have been here, but they didn't mention at the time that I couldn't wear my bag like a back pack (it's like a small leather backpack) so when they saw me later on I was sent to check it in at the door. That's twice I ahave been reprimanded by security since I have been here - they will soon be looking out for me!
We saw lots of paintings including Genevra de Benci by Leonardo Da Vinci. His painting made all the others around look like daubs by young children. Another highlight was the Constable exhibit including the Hay Wain. What was interesting about this exhibit was that they showed the sketches and drawings he had done in preparation for the final painting and explained what changes he had made and why. I always remember learning about Constable at school. I can't remember our teacher's name, but I do remember that she told us that Constable always included a tiny splash of red in his paintings - and it was certainly true in the ones we saw today - maybe a boy with a red vest, or horses with red on their harnesses.
Once again I have to say that I am sorry, really really sorry, but I just don't get some kinds of abstract modern art. Like some of the sculptures in the sculpture gardens. Why do a few metal cubes welded together (and not particularly neatly) make a piece of art? Why is a pyramid built from concrete blocks ( and not as elegant as the Egyptian pyramids) art? I feel like there is a secret I have not been let in on. Maybe one day this world will be unlocked for me.
Tonight we ate at the Merkado on P Street. We ate very well indeed - Asapeo, like a paella.
Tomorrow we must leave our little B&B and head out on the train for New York. I will see you when I get there!