Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BRUSSELS SKYLINER

Brussels Skyliner is a 85m (279 ft) tall steel tower. It is equipped with a cabin that will take you up to 70m (230 ft). On a clear day, you have a view of  12km (7 miles) 360° ! The cabin can hold up to 60 people on each trip.

There is a commentary of the major monuments that you will be able to observe during the about 10 minutes visit. Before it would be dismantled in February, I went there to see for once Brussels from above !



From far approaching the entrance I saw the tower



Standing there and waiting for the cabin to come down I was quite impressed by the steel construction of the tower.



The cabin arrives slowly



It was round and had blue seats all around. I sat down and watched the other people who were lined up to climb in the cabin.



and while we were taken slowly higher and higher I could see the Royal Palace as a whole building.



and I had a wonderful view on the Brussels Royal Park, where in summer time all kind of activities are taken place and an orchestra plays in the afternoons.



Unfortunately there were some raindrops on the windows but it didn't bother the view I saw the dome of the Justice Palace from far.













and the cabin turning around slowly, the whole panorama of Brussels lay to my feet !









And then slowly turning around we went down again and the ground approached



On the ground again, I was very satisfied with what I had seen and that I had been so lucky with the weather.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WATERLOO BATTLE FIELD RENOVATION

For the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, important works are done on the site of the Lion. They  had started in 2012 and should be finished by 2015. It had been a long time since I hadn't been there although it's only a few Km from home. When I arrived I saw a battle field on a battle field !



Still standing was the Panorama, in which the whole battle is painted in 3D and of course the Lion. Despite the very cold wind, brave tourists climbed up the 253 steps to the Lion from which you have a beautiful view over the battle field.





For the moment there are two other hills besides the Lion hill and everywhere they are digging holes !
The old farms around which once had served as head quarters to the officers and soldiers are being renovated which was about time, many of them hadn't changed  look since nearly 200 years.





The road was closed and the place where the underground memorial is been built paintings of the battle cover the ugly grids.





It had rained a lot lately and the construction site looked terrible.



Even Napoleon was behind bars, but still overlooking proudly the scene where he had lost the battle of his life.

This project should become a total restauration of the battlefield which is expected to find the " dreary plain " described by Victor Hugo in "Les Misérables".

What will change on the site of the Lion of Waterloo?



The Wellington Café will be demolished, which is a real pity. Waterloo's residents will miss it, each afternoon people can dance and meet here  and it's also a very nice place to have a drink. For the moment it is the only place on the site where you can have something to eat and drink from 10 am on.






The Museum hotel will be completely transformed and will contain a restaurant, a Brasserie (kind of Pub) , which will offer large outdoor terraces overlooking the hill and fields.

Nearly 20,000 square meters (50 acres) of land will be given back to agricultural activity , allowing the return of the "open field" character " of the battlefield and its surroundings .

A memorial is being built instead of the parking space and the former Hotel de la Paix, which has been demolished, as it was built around 100 years after the battle and therefore was not part of the original battle field and buildings.

The Memorial is totally under ground and the roof, probably covered with grass




And so it looks from a helicopter ! These pictures were taken end July 2013. (Not by me)

Here is a link to the Memorial how it should look like. Amazing !

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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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