Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WATERLOO BATTLE 2010

more participants here

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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

THE BELGIAN COAST

The Belgian coast is only around 150 km (93 miles) far from Brussels, with the result that as soon as there are 3 sunbeams whole Belgium rushes to the sea (or nearly). That's what I did too together with a friend. The highway although quiet large is so packed that sometimes police leads a bunch of cars to the sea while the others have to wait for the next convoy ! That happens especially when the school holidays start.




The beach is sandy and it's ideal for children to play. Hundreds of buildings have been built along the coast to host more and more tourists, now also coming from France, Holland and Germany.





In some places like Ostend old mansions have been destroyed to make space for more apartment buildings, which is a pity because of this all along the Belgian coast the seafront is quiet ugly.





But still it's nice to go there at least for the day to breath the good sea air, and those who like very good food will not be disappointed either.





Unfortunately the sea is mostly cold so that it takes some courage to go in there and swim, I honnestly have done it twice in the 50 years I live in Belgium.

It's also quiet expensive when you can't lay on the beach, so I think for holidays I would rather go for great value holidays to Benidorm





These shells are rather strange and I have been told that they only exist in the western part of the coast. They look like a cigare when they are closed and they also have approximately the same size.





You could climb in this baloon and roll around. But I haven't seen anybody inside.
It can be a paradise when the weather is nice, which, unfortunately doesn't happen very often. Bad languages call the Belgian coast : Costa del Drash, which means "Shower coast"




But when we went there it was just perfect as you can see. Here my friend and I spent the whole day.





There was an airplane exposed but I couldn't find out what it was




Fast foot of course wasn't missing, and of course the famous Belgian Chips.




Some of the city centers escaped the demolition




all along the coast there is one restaurant after the other. There is something for everybody's taste.





The season hasn't started yet in one week you probably can hardly find a place to sit










In all towns along the coast are Casinos where you can loose or make your fortune



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CASABLANCA (Morocco)

My roundtrip through Morocco

During my round trip through Morocco we also stopped in Casablanca to visit the most the Mohamed V place, and the beautiful Mosque Hassan II.

Casablanca has a population of over 3,299,428 and is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco. The Capital is Rabat.

Casablanca hosts headquarters and main industrial facilities for the leading Moroccan and international companies based in Morocco. The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world. Unfortunately we had no time to visit the port but saw it from far

In June 1907, the Frenchs took control of Casablanca. This effectively began the process of colonization, although French control of Casablanca was not formalised until 1910. It lasted until 1956 when Morocco gained its independence. You can read more about Casablanca's history here.

Everywhere you see the French influence in the architecture. In the City all people speak French. English is another story.

The traffic is quiet impressive, cars are arriving from all sides. A lot of drivers are color blind when traffic lights are concerned.

Along the city wall or Medina.

Old and new together

Villas, houses, appartment buildings, it depends if you are rich or poor as everywhere.

vibrant life on the streets, to the left a shoe cleaner and to the right a couple discussing over a garbage container.

the sea with in the background the Mosque of Casablanca. To the right you go to the beach

The Christian Cathedral, a mosque and a government building

and very special, the stock market building

The old medina (city wall)

and the huge place Mohamed V

Our bus stands there

People walking, enjoying the sunshine and feeding the pigeons

and then comes the beautiful Mosque Hassan II

Gorgeous mosaic work

The entrance, it's only open 3 times a day for tourists (if I remember well)

I had enough to admire outside

chatting in the shade

the place is huge

also local tourists

A beautiful view on the sea

a last look on the Mosque

in the background you can see the cranes of the port

and we are leaving Casablanca direction Rabat

related post on Writer's Cramps blog

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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