The Presidential helicopter buzzes back and forth along the Potomac (my, but the President must be busy) and Phil alerts us to every passing.
Extraordinary city Washington DC, and I feel oddly at home with the gorgeous mature bank of trees which line the river and the plush mansions.
It all feels familiar, right up until the moment I’m standing in front of a giant Abraham Lincoln in what feels much like a Roman temple.
No, it felt different before that. It was when we had walked all the way from Rosslyn to find our trail diverted past the Kennedy Centre. Sublime architecture on a scale which would attract the approval of Mount Olympus, peopled by precisely one security guard. It is like a vast deserted ruin without being ruined. A place to set the beginning of the world. A masterpiece, some of the most beautiful and overawing building I have ever seen.
We return soon. But tomorrow morning we all jump in a hire car to visit a place we have all wanted to go for a long time: the place named for Charles II, renowned for its beautiful and historic buildings and its mannerly people. A bustling port since 1670, Charleston has formed a part of many stories: stories of independence and slavery, buckskins and book covers, of the fierce battle to exist and the overriding instinct for hospitality.
A strikingly beautiful and gracious city, it is home to a story still being played out: the story of writer Andra Watkins, prolific blogger and author of a number of page-turning books. One of these tells of the afterlife of a key American historic figure:Meriwether Lewis.
We get to walk into the story for just a couple of days. Andra and her husband MTM are familiar faces to so many of you, and we’re off to meet them.
And now: read on.