Not even one week before the great re-enactment starts, I wanted to see how the lion site looked like before the crowd arrives 200.000 tourists are expected from all over the world ! The King and Queen from the Netherlands, Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess from Luxembourg are coming for the bicentenary of the battle. The only once who won't come are the Frenchs ! Apparently they still haven't digested that Napoleon lost the battle here, although it is 200 years ago when it happened. It's only the government, there will be lot of French tourists, who find this as ridiculous as the rest of the Europeans does.
Before the Lion site will be closed during the re-enactments people had free access to the Lion and the Panorama which represents the battle. At least I thought so. The next day I was told in the Tourist office, that it was not free at all, only an employee had forgotten to close the door to the Lion Hill ! They must have lost quite some income, considering all the buses packed with people and all the others I included went in there for free. That I call a good organization !
It looked as if it was almost ready, only little details still had to be done. The new restaurant was open, and lots of tourists had arrived to climb up the 226 steps. Some of them had to give up and went down again. I sat there and watched. Wherever I went I got a VIP treatment, even on the terrace I was served immediately while others had to wait. I didn't understand until I suddenly realized, that I wore my Tourist guide jacket and they all probably thought that I was here to check if everything worked smoothly and I had only thought to help out tourists in case they were a little lost !
On Sunday I worked again from 9.30 til 1.30, answered the phone and gave information. I discovered another glitch. On the Webpage of the Battle there was written that you could rent bikes at the Tourist office from Friday on. I talked about that to the responsible of the Tourist Office and she rang her hands in despair because nobody had informed them and of course there were no bikes. But how explain that to the people who want to rent a bike ? Somebody asked for the house number of the Office, none of us knew it I had to go outside to look and then gave the information. A Canadian lady asked me if I could tell her the history of the battle, because to read it all was too long. I gave a quick resume of not even 2 min and she was very satisfied.
It seems to me as if they are totally lost and some of the volunteers are really useless because they can't handle a computer and all informations are in the computer.
I stayed a little longer because the 3 volunteers who came after me, didn't know anything, not how the telephone worked, not how the back door could be opened etc etc. Finally I left at 2.30 !
After this hectic morning I sat in our garden and rested a bit, before I started to do my own business
which meant writing this post and answering emails, while my cats kept me company !