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  • Payal Nayar

Visited Washington DC during the pandemic!

Every trip to Washington DC makes me grow to love it even more and this time was no different. Experiencing 4 distinct seasons heightens the anticipation more so because I live in a tropical country with only one season all the year round.

This trip was during autumn which is especially charming. I spent three weeks recently totally enraptured by, the splash of beautiful colors on the trees and the ground, crystal clear blue skies, crisp air, gorgeous sunshine almost the entire time spent there.

The temperatures makes you layer up loads but feel totally refreshed and energized. I would walk miles and miles everyday without getting tired at all and would be up early the next day to explore, discover more interesting places.

As we all know Washington DC is known for its historical buildings like the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, The National Gallery of Art and of course the amazing Smithsonian museums. All within the National Mall, which is not a shopping mall but a gorgeous extended tree lined park.

The Capitol Hill and The White House are also around there. I never tire of The National Mall and admire it in all its splendor every single time discovering something I may have missed on previous trips. It is impossible to visit all the museums during one trip so I earmark the museums that I will visit before I arrive.

The highlights of this trip for me was the Holocaust museum, the Van Gogh immersive experience and a memorable weekend spent with a friend from Toronto who flew down to DC just to spend time with me, oh and we were catching up after almost nine years.

I had been pre warned about how deeply it impacts people who visit the Holocaust museum. I was not prepared at all for how extremely disturbing the experience was going to be for me and I must admit I was so moved by what I saw and the stories of survivors that I heard that it took me a few hours to process the cruelty and inhuman conditions which led to millions of people either being murdered or dying because of disease caused by the .

The one exhibit that is now imprinted in mind is the hundreds of discarded shoes and slippers of people who may have been murdered all piled up in what was referred to as The Shoe Room. This exhibit is heart wrenching and displays to me the fragility of life and the cruelty capable by humans towards other humans.

Moving on to a vastly enthralling experience which I am so happy to have managed to go to because I was told that the exhibition is leaving DC soon. The entire show is a sound and light show featuring a collection of some of Van Gogh’s most captivating and famous art works including the sunflower and starry nights.

It gives us a glimpse of his life, the techniques he used, the influences he had during the course of his life all of it beautifully masterminded in a digital format. I absolutely loved it and cannot resist a quick foot note to that, while watching Emily In Paris recently got really excited when Emily and gang end up at the Van Gogh immersive experience not in DC but in Paris.

I could share so much more about my trip to DC but will close for now with a small mention of Georgetown which is also in the District of Colombia. A beautiful neighborhood situated along the Potomac river with very quaint cobblestoned streets that remind me of a town in Europe. I ended up going there almost every day for a meal, shopping or just exploring.

I end this writing with a short quote from a scholar and explorer “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta

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