If you ever visit Washington D.C., take the time and go to as many museums as possible. They are marvellous. They are not only for free for everyone, but they also contain exciting exhibitions. I had always wanted to go to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, but it just never happened. On my previous trips to the capital, I either didn’t find the time to go there or I instead spent the day in an ER with a (very very nice) student. So once I knew that this time I would extend my stay by a day, I had only one goal: visit this one museum. And so I did.
We walked there on Sunday morning right after breakfast and arrived shortly after the museum opened at 10 a.m. There was already a long line in front of us due to security checks at the entrance. The line was moving fast though. Inside we put all our coats and bags into a locker (bring a quarter!) and then started to explore the giant museum. I totally understand why this is the world’s most popular natural history museum. All exhibitions are modern and have interactive elements. They cover all kinds of topics like dinosaurs, geology, butterflies, the origins of humans, etc. Because it would have been to much input for me, I focused on three exhibitions that I was most interested in: the Ocean Hall, the Hall of Human Origins and the Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology. Okay, to be honest with you, I only really wanted to visit this museum because of the dinosaurs. I love dinosaurs. They are my second favorite animal. After cats obviously.
Instead of writing much more, see for yourself in my photos how cool the Smithsonion National Museum of Natural History is:
One of the giant entrance halls:
The Ocean Hall
There were many preserved specimen as well as skeletons.
The museum draws again and again attention to human impact on destroying the ocean, but also other habitats.
In the Hall of Human Origins
There, everybody could use a computer to see what we would have looked like as prehistoric (wo)men. My face was changed into a Neanderthal – I chose that because Neanderthals lived in the area of nowadays Germany. Also, I recently took one of the genetic tests and got as one result that I contain a larger than average amount of Neanderthal genes (which makes totally sense).
The Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology
Ooohhhhh, dinosaurs! Dinosaurs everwhere!
Two of the best things about dinosaurs: They are not dangerous at all (anymore) and they have all the patience in the world.
The posters and charts were incredibly interesting and well made.
My new best friends and I:
This giant shark hangs actually over the entrance of one of the cafes in the museum. We were a group of four visiting the museum. Because it is so vast and everybody had different interests, we split up. At the end we met and had lunch together. Another piece of advice: If you ever visit Washington D.C. and you go to the museums, have your meals there. The food selection is really good. The food itself is delicious and affordable.