Two Purpose Trip to Washington DC :
New National Christmas Tree + Russian Elections


A story, pictures and videos
On Sunday 2011 December 4th I went to Washington DC with two purposes :
  • To vote on Russian Parliament elections in Russian Embassy to say "no" both to Putin's "United Russia" party and to the Communists.
  • To see the new National Christmas Tree ( remember, this spring the winds broke the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House and I was curious to see the replacement... ).

          Here is my travel report...

          My initial plan was an easy and pleasant trip : I wanted to leave my car in my friend's neighborhood next to Metro station and then proceed further by the Metro not to have troubles with parking in the DC downtown...
          Well, only beginning of the trip went as planned...
          My friend who lives near "Wheaton" station let me park my car in the neighborhood, gave me a short ride and dropped me off near the Metro station being sure that I will take the Metro then.

          This was the beginning of adventures. I found the station closed.

          The poster was saying that the Red Line ( the line I needed ) was closed for weekend for maintenance between "Glenmont" and "Rhode Island Avenue" stations including "Wheaton" where to I was just brought... As a replacement, free shuttle bus service between "Glenmont" and "Rhode Island Avenue" was provided, so I had to take a shuttle bus from "Wheaton" to "Rhode Island Avenue" which was stopping on all intersections, traffic lights and STOP signs...
          This way, instead of a pleasant half of hour Metro trip from "Wheaton" to "Woodly Park Zoo" ( the closest station to Russian Embassy, not far from National Cathedral ) and then another half of hour walking from Metro to the Embassy, I spent more than one hour and half only in the bus before it reached "Rhode Island Avenue" station where I could eventually take the Metro... Taking into account the time I needed from Metro to Embassy as well as that it was already past 5PM when I left "Wheaton" and the polling place was closing at 8PM I was not sure that I will be in the Embassy before the polling place closes. I really needed to hurry... I even had to run on the final part of the distance to be at the polling place before closing. Very exhausted, I was there about quarter of hour before closing and I DID VOTE !

           When in the bus and when running on the final part of the distance I was thinking that Putin had somehow convinced Obama to close the Metro to prevent the electors from saying "no" to his party... Joke, of course... I am kidding...

          So, after I finished with the voting, it was already about 8PM. And I still had to see the new National Christmas Tree, and still had to return to "Wheaton" the same way : by Metro to "Rhode Island Avenue" and then again more than one hour and half by shuttle bus to "Wheaton" where my car was parked.
          I realized that if I go to see the Christmas Tree I may miss the last shuttle from "Rhode Island Avenue", so visiting the Christmas Tree was another hurry of that night...
          Nevertheless, I was lucky again. I took a plenty of nice pictures and videos of the new National Christmas Tree and succeeded to catch up both the Metro and shuttle bus before they closed...

          To my surprise, the new Tree was about two times shorter than the previous ( broken ) one, but I think it was because they had to plant a young tree to ensure that it will not die on the new place... Well, it will grow big then...

          It was about midnight when I was at "Wheaton" again... And quarter of hour later I was in my car ( having said "no" to Putinís party and enjoyed the New Christmas Tree )...

          In the conclusion, several words about the results of Russian parliament elections...
          The party I was voting for ( named "Yabloko" and opposing both Putin's "United Russia" and the Communists ) didnít cross the 7% election threshold and therefore will not be represented in the Parliament again... However, it has crossed the threshold outside Russia, while in Washington DC it even won the elections ! And one of those votes was mine !
  • Now, the pictures and videos...
    Each image can be increased by a click
         
    Pictures :
    Movies :

    Model Trains...



    National Christmas Tree and Music...



    Washington Monument...


    Thank you, and have a nice day !