Due to being about to study American politics in Year 13, the politics teachers took my class on a three-day trip to Washington DC. It would be an understatement to say it was the best trip we’ve all been on, despite being so short. 


We were taken on a walking tour around all the main sights in DC. It was a bright, sunny day with clear blue skies which complimented the cherry blossoms which Washington is famous for. We went by the White House first, which looked wonderful in the Spring sun, and the lawn in front of it ran all the way down to the gate by which we were standing. We then went to the Lincoln Memorial, which was fascinating to see, as the Lincoln Memorial Inscriptions were right above us so we could read the original artefact. We then went to the Smithsonian Museum where we were lucky enough to see an original draft of the Declaration of Independence, as well as letters written from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Banneker. 


The Cherry Blossom festival occurs once a year to commemorate the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to Washington DC. Just beneath the Washington Memorial was the festival, where there were hundreds of people flying kites, including a kite flying competition. The Capitol Reflecting Pool was lined with cherry blossoms and there were petals floating on the surface of the water, creating a warming feeling of summer. 


On the second day, we visited the US Capitol and were toured around the different rooms while learning about the history of each one. There were statues of leading figures around all the rooms, and paintings on the walls beneath the dome of a timeline of American history. We then went to the International Spy Museum where we saw pieces of the American U2 spy plane which was shot down while flying over Soviet airspace back in 1960. It was an incredible experience to be able to see all these things, and bring the stories I’d heard to life.