Cherry Blossom Morning
If you want to view the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin without the crowds, choose a weekday, just after sunrise. The tourists usually have not arrived in mass and there is plenty of parking available at the metro stations. Of course, you need to wake up early and it helps if you don't have to be at work that morning. I chose Tuesday morning because the blossoms were scheduled to be approaching peak and the weather was forecast to be clear and mild, which is not always a given for early spring in Washington. I was not disappointed.
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I had hoped to arrive at the Tidal Basin before sunrise to start my photo shoot, but I had trouble getting started Tuesday morning. I am not a morning person and the usual routine of taking out the dog, packing the gear, and driving to the Vienna metro station took longer than I had expected. I arrived at the Smithsonian Metro Station exactly at sunrise and took a quick photo of the Capitol (see below.) I wasn't too concerned about my late arrival, the first hour or two after sunrise is often the best time to photograph cherry blossoms.
I hustled to the Tidal Basin, walking past the Washington Monument, pausing just long enough to take a few photos of the blossoms near the monument. I walked the trail around the Tidal Basin, taking photos of the landmarks, the blossoms, and a few people shots. I was pleasantly surprised that the trail was not clogged with tourists and photographers. I encountered a few joggers and bikers, and the scattered photographer and news reporter.
By 8:30am, the crowd was arriving and I made my way back to metro station, arriving home before 9:30am. It was a very pleasant trip and I know the same trip on a weekend would have been much more chaotic. I have included a few photos from my trip below.
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