|A running record of our travels.|
Entry for January 18-19, 2007
Beaches, beaches and more beaches.
Virginia Beach is yet another Atlantic Coast attempt at achieving the ‘California dream’ for the millions of those who inhabit the US north east. All the trappings are there, sand, water, “potential” sun, high-rise hotels, places to eat (3 Subways in 3 blocks!) and T-shirt shops. But something is missing? Surf for one. And ‘the Vibe’ for the other. How on earth do these resorts survive when nature closes them down for up to six months of the year?
California and Florida, like Australian beach resort towns, can operate all year around. The north Atlantic Coast is definitely not an all-year resort location. Never-the-less, they try. Swim suit and surf shops valiantly open throughout the year. With snow drifts at the door, how the shop assistants remain sane in the face of the long hours of boredom they confront is a wonder?
Swinging inland towards Washington, we stopped over in Annapolis, the home of the famous US Navy Academy. An absolutely freezing, but sunny and clear day greeted us. The wind chill had the temperature down around -7C.
The history of Annapolis goes back to the early 19th Century. Many thousands of USN officers who achieved great things, passed through this very impressive institution. As with all their history, the Americans have done an excellent job of preserving, maintaining and promoting Annapolis, alongside the other great military institutions like West Point.
The town of Annapolis itself is a true gem. Relatively unchanged (in façade at least) since the late 18th century, the centre of the old town has retained its character in the face of the encroachment of suburban Washington, where we are settled in for the night, in a less than salubrious area, but what the hey? It’s cheap and close to “Downtown”.
2007-01-21 02:30:24 GMT