20 Jun 2016


This weekend was the 200 and 1 anniversary of the Waterloo battle on June 18, 1815. If last year there were people coming from all over the world and poor Waterloo was completely lost to receive about 300.000 visitors, this weekend was exactly the opposite.

It started on Saturday. According to the program there should be shows and music with the soldiers at the Lion Hill. I went there at exactly 3 pm and was a little surprised !

The site looked rather empty

The bivouacs were behind a fence, so you had no access, they were all closed and I only saw one soldier who lit a fire.

One returned to his car

There was at least one visitor sitting on the terrace

The French soldiers (musicians) were all standing there and chatted. I asked them when they would play, but nobody knew. Apparently the responsible was not there.

Their accessories were laying on the tables

I met one English tourist who asked me to take a picture with him and the soldiers, what I did, and then he took one of me, and that was the whole events I saw !

I left and thought maybe there is more to see at the last head quarter of Napoleon. But it wasn't better !

No people but three soldiers sitting at a table

They were all gathered in this tent to watch the football (soccer) Euro 2016 game, Belgium against Italy, which is a very important event in whole Europe and further on ! So I could understand that as there were so few people they preferred to watch the match. Some tourists joined too.

Then the shuttle arrived which carried the tourists from one site to the other, but there were not many people in there either.

The "playground" for children ! Nobody there.

I gave up and returned home where I saw lots of people screaming and celebrating on the streets,

dressed as devils because the Belgian football team is called "Les diables rouges" (The red devils) and they had won ! This turned the whole country crazy !

Nicole and I returned to the battle field on Sunday. Again according to the program for the whole day there was something to see and we wanted to see the horse show at the Hougoumont farm. At the Lion site there were people sitting on the terrace and not a single soldier in view. In short there was nothing unusual besides the few bivouacs I had seen the day before.

I took the shuttle to the Hougoumont farm with mostly English tourists.

The British bivouacs could be visited only the soldiers had disappeared or were packing their stuff, and it was only 3.30 pm. So I supposed that the day had been very successful !

The horse show too was disappointing, instead of seeing a show with the English or French or whatever cavalry there was a Spanish horse show ! I was disappointed and returned to my shuttle. I was not the only one.

We decided to try our luck at the Mont St. Jean farm, where folk dances should take place and also a guided tour through the new museum.

What we saw was an empty court yard, the entrance fee for the museum was 10 € (11 $) !!! and the folk dances was a Rock band !

Fortunately the restaurant is nice and we sat on the terrace and had a drink and looked at the beautiful views.

We thought that it would have been far better not to make programs if they are unable to respect the schedules.


Andrew said...

That is weird. Has the organisation been granted more money for commemoration that they know how to effectively spend?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - I haven't seen what's been going on - we're swamped with Referendum stuff .. and then the murder of the MP -desperately sad ... and the move on Friday ...

Something wasn't right was it ... cheers Hilary

Terra Hangen said...

How disappointing. I love the soldiers and their uniforms. To be there on a historic anniversary of the battle and to see so little activity would be rather sad.

Tamago said...

Sorry to see it wasn't very fun visit. Sounds like people were more interested in football. And I agree, if they can't keep schedule, don't make programs..

Jo said...

How disappointing to visit all these sites and nothing happening. I'm glad you could end at a nice restaurant with beautiful views.

Loree said...

Oh dear it sounds a bit disappointing.

Mara said...

Strange. Very strange. Perhaps they got the date wrong??

diane b said...

That must have been a disappointment for all those involved. After last year people must have had their fill.