It is justified to visit Washington DC for its museums. One of them- National Postal Museum- became one of my favorite. This museum was recommended by one of my American friends and, as always, this is an excellent way to know fascinating places. I don’t think I would go there if it hadn’t been recommended. Whenever it’s possible ask the locals. The museum is rather small which is a great advantage. In couple of hours you can enter to all rooms and see the majority of exhibits.
Each museum tells you a story. There are good museums and lousy museums, to make the long story short. After a visit in a lousy one you have a chaos in your had, you can’t say any sensible conclusion on what you have just seen or you feel overwhelmed with the exhibits. I will write about one really lousy museum in Berlin I visited some other time but let me tell you this: National Postal Museum in Washington DC is excellent!
There is a charming story told about the origins of American post, about the challenges of developing country, about the heroes and even about a dog who assisted in mail delivery (Owney the Railway Mail Service Mascot). The main hall hosts a variety of post vehicles and above your head small airplanes are placed to your delight. ‘Moving the mail’ – a permanent exhibition on mail vehicles is especially attractive. A railway postal car is placed and available to see from the inside which I found really cool.
There is also a romantic part of the story: the letters written in the old days by the immigrants and sent from the US to their loved ones. The letters are well displayed and some of them are recorded so you could actually hear it. It shows the importance of post services and the emotional aspect of writing letters and sustaining the family and friendship ties. Another romantic part of the exhibition is devoted to the Pony Express and tells an interesting story of a private venture to transport letters from California to Missouri across dangerous lands. To tell you the truth: each part of the permanent exhibition I saw was great. No, I’m not going to spoil your visit and describe here all details. So if you’re in Washington DC the National Postal Museum is a MUST!
Here is one of my most precious pictures taken in the museum: stamps from Bhutan!