Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waterloo

After spending three days at the Scheepens' farm enjoying their hospitality and touring their installation we left on Sunday the 31st — the last day of October.

It is quite amazing what Kees and family have done by creating a brand around their organically grown cattle and pork.  We tasted every day the difference that their care gives to the meat.  Also I was impressed with his many ideas to commercialize his installation; with the introduction of safari's, for instance.  Who'd ever have thought of setting up safaris around a cattle farm?  Kees did, and it works!  He says he has groups of twenty or thirty at a time from the city—people who have never seen a cow or a pig in their lives!

After a delicious breakfast on Sunday we took off with the idea of making it home by end of the day.  However Claire had a different idea and had her heart set on seeing the battleground around Waterloo.  So, since nothing couldn't be changed we drove there (just south of Brussels) for lunch intending to break our journey there and make it to Amiens for the evening.

Well, as you can imagine the tourist industry has not let this site stagnate and have found many ways to make a living from the way others made a dying.

Full of kitsch: the museum located right at the battlefield
More interesting was the museum in the inn having served as Wellington's headquarters

Commemorative plaque on the outside of the inn

If you're expecting a photo of the battlefield I suppose I'm going to disappoint you.  In order to get an overview you have to take the little tour and climb the Lion Mound that was apparently erected soon after the battle to preserve and protect and commemorate the battle site.

We are not in the mind to glorify war, fighting, or soldiers in any form.  We remain steadfastly opposed to any sort of unkindness to each other.  So this really wasn't our thing.  Historical events (like them or not) are one thing but the annual re-enactment that takes place here every summer seems a little overkill.  Apparently they are expecting a big crowd for the 18th of June 2015—the two hundredth anniversary of the battle that changed European history.

So having marked the spot we were off for our last outing of the trip—Amiens.  More tomorrow!

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