18.3.07

WATERLOO CRUISE STOP 3

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Waterloo, of course has always been famous because Napoleon lost his battle here against the most important European countries and had been exilated after that.

Many people ignore this fact and relate Waterloo very often to the Abba song "Waterloo" with which they won the European song contest "Eurovision" in 1974 and had been the first foreign group in the British chart as n° 1 with this song. When I was in London, people often thought that I talked about the Waterloo Station and didn't know that this Londoner station had been named after the Duke of Wellington who had won against Napoleon.

I will not give a history lesson here or copy a tourist information, you can read everything in Wikipedia for that.

I also wrote already about Waterloo and will give you some links afterwards.

Waterloo had been quite a little city almost a village about 30 years ago but has now become a very demanded place to live. It is not far from Brussels only about 15 km and there is the motorway. Normally you could be in Brussels in 15 min, but that is only theory in practical it can take you more than 1 h almost every day during office hours.

A lot of foreigners, Scandinavians, English and Americans mouved to Waterloo, because the St. Johns International school and the Scandinavian school, settled here. Waterloo people take it easy and learn English.

The church of Waterloo and the Tourist center besides were already there during the famous battle. They are located in the center.

Waterloo is a very long stretched city along the main street it is not very large. Along the streets you have many boutiques and shops. Shopping malls are outside the city. During spring time, Japanese cherry trees are blooming and many streets are full of these trees.

We have a lot of parcs and woods around Waterloo and although the population has doubled and many new houses built there is still a lot of green space.

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us After this old tunnel there is a big field where people let run their dogs and children are playing. There is no major danger in Waterloo concerning criminality. Of course there are many burgleries because of the huge villas and rich people living here, but street attacks are very seldom. Haven't even heard of any.

Our farmer who lives near our house meantime became a millionair with all these demands of ground. When we bought our lot we payed 15 € /m2 ( 0.000 247 105 acre, sorry that's my converter) and it costs now 450 €/m2 and more.

Unfortunately the cows are gone since houses were built just down our street. But 32 years ago one looked into my living room window door and scared me to death ! Image Hosted by ImageShack.us The field just besides the farmer's house Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

an old private house and a few others The street which leads to the station.

The station hasn't changed at all and is still the old little one from the very beginning.

The only sign of modern times are the graphitis which so said "artists" (I call them pigs) paint on the walls. The city tries to have them cleaned off but they come always back during night, and then of course nobody is there anymore.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us The "Maison Communale" the city hall is very modern and new. Inside is a beautiful reception room for weddings, for people who don't wish a religious ceremony.

and from there you have a look on the church

Each Sunday is market behind the station. It is a place where people meet and go for an apperitif after shopping. Mr. Gattino of course has his sunday meeting there with all the Italians living in Waterloo and it takes place of course at an Italian stand.

Here a cat is greeting a dog who doesn't seem to be too happy.

The house were Wellington lived during the battle is today a Museum. Old Waterloo people used to play in Wellington's bed when it was still an empty house. Wellingtons bed is very small, today a 10 year old child would fit in it.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us When it rains (which it does very often) you can walk in the small shopping galeries, full of quite expensive boutiques and shops.

Besides the International schools Waterloo of course has normal schools too. This one is particularly nice and located in a parc. It is for young people who have difficulties to follow a normal schooling and learn hear a manual work. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us The Scandinavian school is located in an old Castle. It is very pretty and surrounded by woods and parcs. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Nearby is another Castle which is called "Chateau d'Argenteuil" where King Leopold II, the father of our actual King Albert II lived together with his second wife Lilliane and their 3 children.

The first wife Queen Astrid (from Sweden) died in a car accident.

Today it belongs again to the Belgian state and I don't know what they intend to do with it. Inside it is very beautiful. Lilliane was famous for her good taste.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us And now we are ending our sightseeing tour with the most famous place : The battle field.

From far you can already see the Lion of Waterloo. It was built on the bones of the fallen soldiers and women carried earth to cover them and build the hill. I don't know if that is true, but still it's a thrilling story. The Lion turns his bottom to France because they lost !

In the panorama you can see battle scenes with wax figures and paintings.

Each year a reconstruction of the battle takes place and soldiers from Holland, England and Germany are coming with their costumes. It's always a big event and a lot of fun and drunken soldiers (not sailors) which ends with a big firework in the evening.

A couple wearing the historical costumes Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

And this is the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed it and wish you a good trip to Barcelona where you arrive at

  • Mar
  • where I climb on board again and join you !

    The rest of the schedule you find on Mrs. Lifecruiser's blog here she is our capitain !

    A few other links

  • Waterloo battle reconstitution
  • on my blog "Countries and Cities" there is also another story about Waterloo
  • Scandinavian School
  • for those who are interested how foreign kids live and learn
  • St.Johns International school
  • Belgian Waterloo Blog
  • I don't know this guy who lives in Waterloo but his Blog is very interesting.

    After your visit they are exhausted !

    32 comments:

    mar said...

    What a lovely tour, Gattina! no wonder everyone is exhausted at the end, lol!
    It seems history follows you whenever you go in this place. Pretty train station! Loved the story about the lion, wether it is true or not!
    Have a wonderful sunday, I guess Mr Gattino is already chatting away at that Italian stand today!
    Cheers and happy cruise!

    Gattina said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    TorAa said...

    Oh Dear, thanks for a wonderful sightseeing in Waterloo. I so enjoyed, I was there. First time. As told before, I've been several times to La Hulpe, and we used to have many friends in Nivelle.

    PS. Hope you feel better. Renny still here. We have a wonderful time. Anna just served us one of her famous "omelettes".

    Hugs from all of us in Oslo;)

    Maribeth said...

    Great tour Gattina! And thank you for having that nice young man there to carry me up the steps (because of my bad knee! LOL)
    I love the old mansions and castles. Beautiful! I think I will go with Pookie and take a nap!

    RennyBA said...

    Never been to Waterloo but reading your post and watching the pics makes me feel I'm there with you!
    I would have loved to see the reconstruction of the battle as I love history of that kind.
    Your such a great cruise mate and I'm glad you had a great time with Tor and me in Oslo yesterday!
    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday:-)

    Irish Church Lady :) said...

    Hey Gattina

    Enjoyed the tour. Now I will be singing Waterloo by Abba for the rest of the day! I went to university in a town called Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. In fact my University was called The University of Waterloo. I wonder if it was named after the Belgium Waterloo? There are a lot of German descendents who live there.

    It looks like a very nice town, nice and quaint and relaxed but with some beautiful sights as well.

    Is that a picture of your house with the car in front?

    My sister has been to Brussels ~ I'll have to ask her if she's been to Waterloo. Sadly, I have never been to Belgium. I did work with a guy who lived in Belgium and commuted to Paris, France during the week for work!

    Anyways, my dear, I'm enjoying the cruise and this port as well! I've got my Belgium flag now flying with me at my blog. I'll see you in Spain tomorrow!

    Sanni said...

    *HOOT-TOOT*! Thanks for the great tour, Gattina - the soles of pair of shoes I bought in Olso yesterday have a few holes now... so I´m back at 436 pairs, which doesn´t matter, because the tour was great fun - especially the lion:

    "My my, at waterloo napoleon did surrender
    Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
    The history book on the shelf
    Is always repeating itself

    Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
    Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more
    Waterloo - couldnt escape if I wanted to
    Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
    Waterloo - finally facing my Waterloo" and the fact it didn´t rain! *LOL*

    Danke schön - bisher war ich in Brüüsel, Antwerpen (Zoo), in Geel und im kleinen verschlafenen Mol, wo Bekannte von uns leben... aber Waterloo is viel schöner!

    aka R'acquel said...

    What a CHEEKY lion and fascinating story about the hill! Thank you for great tour with all the photos. What a beautiful village! ...and somewhat "dry" on the days they were taken as it rains 330 days a year over there hey? =D

    Melli said...

    BRAVO!!! What FUN I had visiting Waterloo! What a beautiful, fun, fascinating city! I am SO loving this cruise and getting to see such wonderful parts of the world through the eyes of the folks who live there and love it! Gattina, you have done WONDERFUL! I really fear folks will be bored at MY port -- I have NO such fascinating history! We DO have a LOT of history ... near by ... but not in my little section.

    I'm sO sorry Bloogle Glogger was being drunk for you this morning! I wish on it a DREADFUL hangover! LOL! But I think YOU win the battle - your story plays out very nicely!!!

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    Oh, never mind the drunken bloogle, we'll throw him in the cargo room ;-)

    I really love the tour in Water Loo (as you said yourself) in the wonderful spring weather. I love cherry blossom trees too.

    You have quite magnificent buildings over there. I love old architecture too. That's perhaps why I love Mr L so much - ha ha!

    I guess the battle reconstruction is at the same date as the historical battle was, the 18th of June. I sooo wanna be there to see it. I love historical costumes too.

    Sometimes I wish that I could split cells of mine to be at several places at the same time - or transport myself in the speed of sound!

    The cats had too many ship rats, that's why they are so exhausted I think ;-)

    Now, I'm off to shop - I love to shop in dutch shops, because they have pants that are long enough in the legs for me. The Dutch are a very tall people - evn taller than us Swedes :-)

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    One more thing: How do you pronounce waterloo? I've heard from some one that you don't say it like ABBA does in their songs, more like with an ordinary a instead of the english pronouncing of the word water.

    Balou said...

    Hello Gattina! Thank you for the wonderful tour of Waterloo. What a beautiful place and the kitty welcoming committee was superb.

    I'm going to walk around and take some photos of the wonderful architecture. It's amazing how everything is so well maintained.

    Then I'll be ready for a nap with the kitties!

    Balou said...

    I just discovered that Belgium also has a royal family. Off to try to find a prince to dance with in Waterloo! Who knew this would become my cruising mission?

    Later cruisers! I'm off to break a prince's heart!

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    Now, Balou, are you making Prince Carl Philip of Sweden jealous now? *giggles*

    You know, they are related these two Royal families....

    My, are you having a princess time on this cruise ;-)

    Balou said...

    Toot Toot! I just earned another notch in my crowned jewels! ;)

    Has the chef on-board prepared a wonderful meal this evening because I'm famished.

    Regina said...

    Such a beautiful place and just what I needed being on vacation from the 4 little ones! Damn those little criminals that spray paint on such beauty!

    Gattina said...

    I am looking for the cook to prepare a cold buffet or something I suspect Mrs. Lifecruiser she probably has hidden him in her cabin !

    Melli said...

    Oh dear! MR. Lifecruiser will be MOST displeased with this situation! I have NOT seen the chef... But if he's in the Captain's Quarters this CAN'T be good!

    Gattina... I am searching and searching for the perfect Belgian hat! Can you help me? Let's go shop together!

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    No worries Ladies! I have my own cook, love cooking Mr Lifecruiser and won't even think of hiding any one else - at least not if he isn't offering us both some hot stuff ;-)

    What? No hat yet! My, my, how will this end?

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    But I must admit: I'm hungry as a.... monster cruiser!!!!

    VROOOOOARRRRRR.....

    No hot Italian..... food around? ;-)

    *starting to look at everything to see if it might be able to eat*

    Gattina said...

    I hope Mrs. Lifecruiser will find a nice restaurant where she can feed herself together with Melli who, I hope at least, will wear the hat I showed her :a green felt hat with long red ostrich feathers ! I will have to look after man and cats biw and some guests later! Tomorrow we will arrive in Barcelona at Mar'

    RennyBA said...

    Thank you for this special day in Waterloo - it has been a great pleasure meeting you and learn a lot about this lovely, historical place! Your such a great host Gattina!

    I think I have to call it a day since I am exhausted after the party in Oslo last night (didn't get more than three hours sleep at Tor's:-)

    See you all in in sunny Barcelona!

    Raggedy said...

    Thank you for the wonderful tour and photos!
    Have a wonderful day!

    Melli said...

    *perks up* ... GREEN hat? Ostrich feathers? Where? WHERE? I must HAVE it!!!

    Barcelona will be GREAT, I'm sure! But MY day is NOT done in Belgium yet! But... I AM FAMISHED! *grabs the Captain AND Gattina* ... C'mon ladies! We're off to the Grand Hotel Waterloo for a bite to eat! We're going to need our STRENGTH to search out the missing chef! I had NO idea this was to be a "Mystery Cruise"!!!

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    Oh, Melli true friend, how nice to have you to lean on when my hunger made me weak...

    Let's dine for ever, I'm hungry!

    Let's see what they have on that menu....

    *drooling starts*

    Mother of Invention said...

    Well, your cat better move over because I'm awfully tired after all those castles and boutiques! I love the Scandinavian school!

    Anonymous said...

    What a nice sightseeing! I just learned the name of Waterloo in historia at school with the story of Napoleon. It's always interesting to see the other vision of historia! It can help to open our poor eyes! Now, I'd like to meet people to learn the poker on the ship and drink a little champagne!
    Don't be afraid I'm not anonymos but it's the only way to publy my comment!

    Anonymous said...

    Anonyme is not Napoleon only Claudie: excuse me I forgot to write my name.

    THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

    I didn't know that bit about the Lion's bottom being turned toward France.

    Imma ( Alice) said...

    Beautiful pictures, Gattina.

    My Manic Monday post is up.

    Comedy + said...

    I'm a newby, but am making the rounds here. What a great history lesson Gattina. You are just plain talented. Have a great day. :)

    new house said...
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