Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
of it, and then I was free to speak to those who had come to give me the first welcome. Until
late that night I was kept busy answering the telephone, reading cables, and interviewing re-
porters who asked me the same questions I had answered countless times before, including
how I had crossed 'that Panama Canal'.
I had been in Washington several days before I was free to have a look at the city, a thing
I always liked to do absolutely on my own. Social calls and visits to different clubs kept me
busy all day, and I had by no means a pleasant time.
The capital of the U.S. is certainly one of the finest towns I have ever seen, and is quite
different to any other I had ridden through. Most of the wide streets are lined on both sides
by splendidly kept and shady trees, and some of the parks, squares and monuments show rare
taste in beauty and design. The Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington cemetery impressed me
most, but although the George Washington Monument or obelisk is a fine construction, to my
mind it fails in many respects. I could detect nothing artistic, appropriate or original about it,
in spite of it being a wonderful piece of work in its way. It seems to be exclusively used by
tourists and sightseers who stand and scramble at its foot in a queue, waiting their turn to be
shot up to the top in the lift to have a look at the city and its surroundings from above.
The Arlington cemetery, which is situated on a hill on the south side of the Potomac River,
was once upon a time the home of General Robert E. Lee, and today thousands of America's
military and naval men lie buried there in the shade of stately trees among the green undu-
lations of the lawn-covered ground, where modest crosses stand in perfect rows, marking the
are dedicated to soldiers and sailors of fame.
A beautiful Grecian amphitheatre, built of solid marble, is a rare gem, and looks at its best
and the town on the other side, is the tomb of the unknown soldier, which, shame to say, has
to be guarded since souvenir hunters damaged it.
in which they drive about. I heard rumours that their prosperity is due to many of them being
'booze-runners', as Americans call a new class of law-violators who are prospering thanks to
the prohibition law.
In the South, negroes are kept strictly separate from the whites. In trains and in trams spe-
cial sections are reserved for them, and they are not admitted to shows, restaurants or hotels
where whites go, but have their own separate haunts, yet somehow they seem to be as conten-
ted and happy as their dusky brothers and sisters in the north of the country, who enjoy much
more freedom, which, I am told, is due to political reasons.
The aspect of some of Washington's finest streets is spoilt by small shacks in the middle
of a row of magnificent houses, and here and there a little Chinese shop positively ruins an
otherwise striking tout ensemble of buildings.
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