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On the weekend of 18 June I went to the Waterloo Lion, to see the preparations for the reconstitution of the battle of Waterloo which took place on the 18 June 1815.
Living in Waterloo since 35 years I had seen this many times, but this year it was a real special event. It always had been a rather small reconstitution of Waterloo Battle fans, coming from all countries which had participated ... France, the UK, Holland and Germany. I could see them everywhere in their historical uniforms, doing shopping or just visiting Waterloo. Of course everybody could watch the battle and there were no entrance fees, it was just a big friendly celebration of all the countries, who are all friends now. So you could see them all together sitting and having a good Belgian beer in their French, German, English/Scottish (in skirts) and Dutch historical unforms.
But this year it was different. Our clever major organized a big show ! 3000 soldiers, 50 pieces of artillery, and a cavalery with 150 horses. Journalists from all over the world were present and of course the hotels full.
I went there before the battle on the Friday afternoon, when the last preparation were going on. I thought it might be interesting to see how this usually rather peaceful place will be transformed into a huge show.
It started well, even when there was nothing to see yet, they first didn't want to let me through, but being an old Waterloo inhabitant and telling them a few lies I could go through.
While I was driving the few meters to the Lion I saw all these tribunes which had been built up. I wonder how much money the farmer got for renting this place and the destroyed harvest.
From the main street you saw nothing. This had never happened either.
I don't know exactly how many seats there were certainly for a thousand people
In the evening a firework and light show against the Lion hill took place from here
A whole village was built
still making space, building stands and on the big parking of a supermarket a camping place had been installed.
and you can see a soldier who went up the steps to see the battle field where he should be killed the next day.
It was nice to see the people in their historical costumes
and having a drink together
I had been lucky to be able to take these pictures, because when I came back on Sunday when the battle took place, there was no way anymore to approach the Lion by car and all parkings were full.
But I saw two soldiers who probably missed the bus, walking to the battle field to fight.
And to give you an idea how it was, I found two videos on YouTube