Today, Cultural Tourism DC offered its annual Passport DC - a free 6-hour tour of more than 40 embassies from 6 continents.
Thousands of visitors flocked to the normally exclusive compounds and stately mansions to experience native history, culture, art, dance, music, and food.
While many, guided by the brochure map that showed which embassies were participating, walked, others rode special shuttle buses.
To commemorate their experience, many of the visitors picked up a Passport DC souvenir passport which they could get stamped at each embassy they visited. You could download the Passport DC app on your smartphone for interactive maps, event listings, and exclusive content.
A new feature this year was a celebration of the International Year of Quinoa. A special tour honoring the origins of the grain was offered by the Embassies of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
For those wanting a longer, more in-depth travel experience, most of the embassies offered free literature about visiting their country and some, like Egypt, even offered a drawing for free air transportation.
(For the sake of full disclosure, we didn't win the free trip, but we are scheduled to visit Egypt in the fall so to prepare I sampled foul mudammas while my wife checked out the bakalava and roz bi laban a.k.a. rice pudding).
|A native of Ghana demonstrates drum technique|
|My wife discusses artifacts at the South Africa Embassy|
|A ceremonial Egyptian stick fight dance|
|Delicasies from Ceylon|
|Two young Malasians herald their country|
|This Pakistani rickshaw promotes a motto for all of us|
If you participated in the Around the World Embassy Tour today I'm sure you enjoyed it. If you didn't, don't despair. Next Saturday, Cultural Tourism DC will offer another free 6-hour tour entitled Shortcut to Europe: E.U. Embassies Open House. Countries expected to participate are:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom