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Posts Tagged ‘Front Royal’

I left Woodley Park Guest House on Friday morning after an excellent four nights’ stay. First destination was Dulles Airport to collect a hire car. This time I used the metro to the end of the Silver line, then the ‘Silver Line’ shuttle bus from the metro station to Dulles airport, and finally the car hire company shuttle bus round to their lot. All in all it took me abut 90 minutes, but it was easy enough. There was no problem with my large bag on the metro – there are lifts at all the stations both from ground level to the mezzanine (ticket barriers) level, and from there onto the platforms. Much easier than the London Underground, but there again the DC metro system is much more recent.

a Hyundai Veloster!

a Hyundai Veloster!

The car is a Hyundai Veloster, which is a model I’ve never seen before. Small, sporty-looking, 3-door hatchback and automatic. In other words, rather different from my VW Golf. The first few minutes were pretty panicky, and I then missed a turning a few minutes later so for a while I was driving without knowing where I was going. But I realised that I was in fact headed in the right destination (south), even if I wasn’t on the right road, and that I ought to hit the road I really wanted, Interstate 66, if I just kept going, and that’s what happened.

My first destination of the day was the Manassas Battlefield (US Civil War) site. It’s maintained by the US National Parks service. I arrived there at about 2 o’clock and started by watching a 45 minute film about the site and the two battles that happened there, in 1861 and 1862. I was especially interested in the 1861 battle which was the first significant battle of the war. Some 900 soldiers died altogether. It ended in a Confederate victory, but more significantly it signalled to both sides that the war would not be won quickly or easily. There was a warden-led tour of Henry Hill (part of the 1861 battlefield) where the crucial part of the battle occurred. The tour was very instructive; the warden didn’t pull any punches about what happens to soldiers who line up in front of other soldiers who are firing rifles and cannon at them. He knew the details of the various troop movements on that day and why and how the top of Henry Hill came to be the decisive location. It was an interesting and sobering visit.

Woodward House porch

Woodward House porch

After that I drove down to my next bed and breakfast in the town of Front Royal, Virginia. I’m staying at a small B&B (Woodward House) where I’ve been made very welcome.┬áIt’s also the case that there was a Food Festival in the main square in the evening, and a wine festival tomorrow (in fact, today as I write this). I had no idea about either of these, really; but sometimes things just work out well.

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