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Month: September 2018

Castle 20

Waterloo, Belgium

A day trip to the south of Brussels, to be more precise – Brabant region in Wallonie which is the site of the Battle of Waterloo, where the resurgent Napoleon was defeated for the final time in 1815.

We started with the visit to the museum which takes you to the times of enlightenment and ideas of the 18th century philosophers like Rene Descartes or Diderot, Immanuel Kant (my ever time favorite), Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Voltaire  … whose main ideology based on the idea that a human is allowed to advice for itself without being oppressed by the government nor church: in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church

Soon evolved the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1789 (Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen de 1789, fra) – a human civil rights document from the French Revolution.

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Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1789

However, Napoleon – even though sharing these principles (he established the civil code etc), soon started to rule in authoritarian way and battling the Europe in Napoleonic wars.  So, the european leaders allied against him in  The Gret Coalition.

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Napoleon vs rest of Europe leaders

The Europe that time after so many battles looked liked this:

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The most south battle was Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife which I mentioned in my previous post when visiting the Canary Islands. The battle between French Empire and British Royal was famous for admiral Nelson loosing his arm.

However, the wars through Europe continued and The Great Coalition decided to invite Napoleon for the battle at Waterloo.

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The Battle of Waterloo took place near Waterloo on 18 June 1815 between the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Seventh Coalition (troops from Prussia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau), under the main allied commanders, the Duke of Wellington and General von Blücher.

Napoleon lost and the allies decided to make a tribute by building the butte with the victorious lion facing the France. We climbed up with 226 stairs, in order to see the battle and the strategy drawn.

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Time for the beer: of course, in the country of beers, the Waterloo commemorative beer 🙂

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The day was still bright and there was so many things to see around the field: the barracks of both enemies where the soldiers were sleeping, or the Hougoumont – the small house with the yard where finally the enemies met again to finish the battle, it was kinds the battle within the battle.

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In his novel Les MisérablesVictor Hugo describes how 300 bodies were thrown down a well at Hougoumont. Most of them were still alive.

Fun fact: a celebrated 400 years old wooden crucifix which survived an inferno during the Battle of Waterloo was only to be looted from a battlefield chapel has been rediscovered in a Belgian flea market after a four year hunt by Interpol. The crucifix is now there, at the Hougoumont farm and it well respected.

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400 years old wooden crucifix which survived an inferno during the Battle of Waterloo

The visit to the battlefield was very touching and sensitive. We decided to walk the land field which is nowadays full of agricultural goods but once the place of terrible battlefield.

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The day finished in the city of Waterloo with the dinner. In the city center there is a small museum dedicated to the winner of the battle: the commander Wellington.

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Museum of Wellington

Funny, isn’t it? Even though he is the actual winner of the battle who stopped Napoleon for long time, his name is not even close mentioned and celebrated as Napoleons’.

Life is strange sometimes.

 

Life in Brussels 16

Walibi park, Belgium

One day trip to this amazing park of attractions, located in Wavre, close to Brussels, since 1975.

We started with the hardest ones: the roller coasters like the Vampire and Loup-Garou. 

It literally spins you around, up and down and in all possible directions. Although the rides are short…

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However, the Loup-Garou is a rollercoaster made of wood. And unsurprisingly loud! The map shows it is one of the longest routes.

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Some funny things we took like Spinning Vibe or Calamity mine or the Tutankhamon experience  🙂 A bit childish but why not? Never stop feeding the kid in yourself.

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But the most recent thing opened and what brings the most attraction is the Pulse. Although it looks scary, but once it brings you up and down, you kinds start to enjoy, at least I did. But then it is over.

Although I was not aloud the scream cause I just recently healed the hematoma on my vocal chords. -.-

After it brings you up and down, the last downing is actually almost diving into the water. So we were wet, completely.

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