Blogs from Walloon Brabant, Belgium, Europe

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Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant November 12th 2021

The Siege of Bastogne was an engagement in December 1944 between American and German forces at the Belgian town of Bastogne as part of the larger Battle of the Bulge and today Finn took us to the Battle of The Bulge Monument. The views of the surrounding countryside, in which some of the fiercest fighting during WWII occurred were widespread and looked even more special with beautiful shades of autumn. The shape of the building is a Star with all 50 States inscribed on it & the Insignia of participating battalions are shown on the walls, representing the 76,890 killed and wounded during December 1944–January 1945 German offensive. Also located within the memorial is a chapel/crypt, with mosaic triptych to represent 3 religions Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism. There is also a museum which Finn had visited ... read more

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant November 25th 2018

Povodne som chcel vstavat uz o 6.30 ale nakonec som sa vykopal o hodinu neskor. Spolubyvajuci hovoril len po zabozrutsky tak zadna konverzacia. Bufetove prezieranie a nabalenie niecoho na dnesny den (2xmandarinka, 2xjablcko, 2x vajco na tvrdo) Vonku nahovno pocasi, hmla. Nakonec som ten najvacsi trh v belgicku len odfotil z mosta. Ono okolo 8.45 sa ludia len rozkladali a nic extra tu vidiet nebolo. Proste oblecenie a jedlo. Zadna exotika. Listok na stanici kupeny v pohode v automate len som sa musel opytat zamestnanca odkial mi to ide. Vlak ic, tak cisty a pohodlne sedacky. Bohuzial po dorazeny do namuru hmla moc neustupila. Po opusteny stanice hned dolava kde je info centrum. Samozrejme v nedelu zavrete. Nuz idem teda len tak po ulickach, ktore sa vobec nelisia od predchodzich miest. Zas volaky kostol, divadlo, vystavba ... read more

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant June 25th 2016

It was another night of trucks rumbling occasionally through the village going who knows where. Our hosts are very apologetic of the trucks but of course there is nothing they can do about it and we didn’t know that they would be a problem because of a road closure when we booked the apartment. Apart from that the apartment has been very comfortable and has had everything we needed to make our stay comfortable. Gretchen has ‘redesigned’ the apartment since we have been here. Certainly the bathroom is huge compared to say the kitchen which is a ‘skinny’ galley affair and there seems a lot of waste space in the bathroom that could have been better utilised. No time for sleeping in today as we have a lengthy journey ahead of us which will be made ... read more
German WW1 cemetery Hautecourt
German soldier killed in action 21st June 1916
Headstone for Jewish soldier in German army 1916

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant » Waterloo May 12th 2015

This morning I took a walk around the old city centre of Lille. I stopped at a bakery for a breakfast of hot chocolate and croissant. Later, I got myself a cafe-au-lait. I was feeling very French! Lille has a pretty downtown and I particularly liked the square in front of the opera (see picture). I checked out of the hotel and, on my way out of town, I stopped in at La Piscine, an art museum that is housed in an old swimming facility. I guess they figure that if Paris can put an art museum in an old train station, then Lille can put one in an old swimming pool. I was pleasantly surprised by the art work there and the watery environment added to the uniqueness of it all (see picture). From ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant » Waterloo October 2nd 2014

From Luxembourg, our Globus tour traveled across southern Belgium. Once again we crossed Meuse River, at Liège and then at Namur. The Waterloo battlefield is south of the town of Waterloo, not far at all outside Brussels. Waterloo is the Belgian battlefield where Napoleon met his defeat on 18 June 1815 and thus ended the Napoleonic Wars. People have been coming to visit the site of the great Battle of Waterloo almost ever since it occurred. Baedeker documents a thriving tourist industry in the 1870s. I imagined a visit would be something very much like a visit to an American Civil War battlefield. That really is not the case. The battlefield is preserved, but it is fenced off and accessible only via a tram tour. The visitor center is adjacent to the Butte de Lion (Lion's ... read more
Waterloo Cyclorama
French Grenadier
Butte du Lion

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant » Waterloo June 26th 2014

We had a 3 a.m. wakeup call and were out the door by 4m. Off to the airport for Brussels. We arrived in Brussels on time and a travel hint here: I did a little research and found that regional airlines were much cheaper but with lots of bad reviews. I checked with our friends who said that if we followed their rules we’d be fine. I found info on all of the regional airlines and then checked each out, deciding that we would fly on Ryanair. If you want to travel between countries I’d highly recommend checking out the regional. Read the details and all rules. I found that our carry one were just a little too big by using a sewing tape with both cm and in. By reading all the rules we flew, ... read more
A Toast

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant » Waterloo June 26th 2014

This was a day to reorganize and get ready for the next leg of this trip. Kids slept late, Dale and I sat and drank coffee. Ghislan had already been to the bakery and bought pastries for the kids, rolls for everyone and gluten free whole grain bread for me. My bread was still warm from the oven, OMG so fresh and so good. Why can’t we find this at home? The bakery is located in a little village and Bakersfield is big. Unfortunately, for everyone but me, Elias ate nearly all of the pastries, there was nothing left for the other kids. So, off we went to the bakery shop with all of the kids so they could choose what they wanted. We took the kids to Waterloo, the site where Napoleon lost his battle, ... read more
Fields of Waterloo

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant » Waterloo September 24th 2013

We were sent on our way early Tuesday morning last week by none other than David Cameron and arrived in Waterloo on Thursday evening – received by the British Ambassador – with plenty of pomp and ceremony along the way. It was a real challenge – and by lunchtime on day 1 I had cycled further than ever before in one go (40 miles)! The total distance I covered over the 3 days was 255 miles. An average of 85 miles per day and overall average speed of around 14mph. 18 hours were spent in the saddle (and don’t I know it). My top speed was 39.4 mph (down a very steep hill in Kent). I had 3 punctures on day 1, 1 on day 2, and was incident free from then on. I fell off ... read more
Ypres
GG Band - Menin Gate Ypres
Bikes Coming Home

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant March 29th 2013

Started off cold this morning, with a dusting of snow still on the ground from last night. We travelled down to the Waterloo battlefield sites today ... and were surprisingly impressed. The battlefield complex is not at all like you would think it would be ... kind of like Gettysburg. Instead, it is a visitors center, a huge pyramid with a lion on top that overlooks the main battlefield, a cyclorama and a wax museum. We started off in the visitors center with a surprisingly good movie about the battle. I think this movie featured some of the reenacters in the footage and it was narrated by a historian. The next movie featured excerpts from a Waterloo movie that was shot in Russia. It was good too. After both of these movies, even I had a ... read more
226 steps
The view for the top
Cyclorama

Europe » Belgium » Walloon Brabant December 26th 2012

26/12/2012 Today was the final carre, and was also the day I planned to give out a lot of my old clothes I either no longer wore, no longer wanted, or could not longer fit into my suitcase. Arriving at the carre, I threw all the t-shirts around, and people replaced their t-shirts with the ones I threw, which was pretty funny to see. The afternoon ended up pretty danm good, and we partied ‘till quite late as this was really the last time we’d ever do it like this. I’m definitely gonna miss the carre. No wonder it’s renowned world over by exchange students. 27/12/2012 FINALLY ! always wanted to patinage (ice skate), And during the winter season, there’s temporary rinks set up all over town, even in Verviers. But today we were going to ... read more




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