We’re in Ronquieres (no we don’t really know where that is either except that it is on the side of the Brussels-Charleroi canal). It is our first attempt at being true campervan people and not booking a site. We had asked in the tourist information office in Waterloo and were told we had ‘authorisation’ to park in the police station car park. We passed on that, thinking we may be able to park by the battlefield. We could have done, but the side of the A19 Brussels to Paris route didn’t seem to be conducive to sleep, so we followed the campervan guide and the satnav into the wilds of Belgium through lanes that were smaller than we’d have ideally wanted to drive (though still bus routes) trailed by a line of mad Belgian drivers! And here we are by a canal in sight of a transshipment point where boats are lifted on a conveyor belt from one canal to the next.
So obviously, we have been to Waterloo today. It has been drizzling all day so the ‘unique view of the battlefield’ from the top of the lion mound was not as spectacular as it could have been, but still worth the climb to the top. Sadly the Waterloo in Lego exhibition shut at the end of July (odd given that it was designed to get children interested in the history and we are still in prime school holiday season). However, the multimedia displays in the new Waterloo museum are spectacular and definitely worth the visit.
Mark was fascinated by the story of a soldier who was shot in the head during battle. The bullet lodged in his brain, but he didn’t die. Three weeks later, it was removed without issue by a Brussels surgeon. The most painful part? The barber shaving his head pre-surgery!
Finally, we walked to Hougoumont farm along the British defensive line, which helped to give an insight into battle positions.