Inspecting the battlefield

The rolling landscape of the Waterloo battlefield is quite a surprise as you get closer. At first glance, its hard to imagine how the two armies didnt just flatten each other.

As you get closer the dips and rises emerge from the ground and the explanations for the final various scirmishes becomes clearer.

How the French and English soldiers stood their ground against the mixture of the cavalry charges, infantry volleys and cannon fire is a mystery. What remains today, is of course the victors view with Wellington’s position now turned into the Lion Monument:

The rest, as they say, is just a fun cycle ride and a great lunch:

Prep Day in Waterloo

A DAY OF TECHNICAL PREPARATIONS before WATERLOO
 
 On June 15, 1815 Lord Wellington was caught unawares by the wily Napoleon, and while Wellington attended a ball of the Duchess of Richmond up at Brussels, Napoleon moved his considerable army north to Charlois, just south of Waterloo. “He has outfoxed me”, exclaimed the Iron Duke. John and I could not let the same fate befall us.
 
 
 Jay had flown to Holland to meet John in preparation for the Battlefields touring. Below is a candid shot taken as Jay is entering the airplane for the flight from Washington DC to Amsterdam, helped by a beautiful blonde stewardess, where he was met by John.
 
 


Jay’s bicycle, a specially constructed Giant Envy with bigger tires and gears to better keep up with John, had been carefully packed in its luggage container, and was reconstructed in John’s house in Leiden, Netherlands. Note also the disc brakes and other features designed to battle the fields that our paths often traversed.
 
 


John’s bicycle was also due for some upgrades; here we have ace technician Jay installing a new camera bag on the handlebars of the Cannondale steed chosen by John for the trip.
 
 
 


We made it to Waterloo, well ahead of Wellington, and found the town to be a “location vacation spot” filled with quaint shops, a plentitude of restaurants, inattentive waiters, avid tourists with bored teenage children and a nice hotel for us called the Cote Vert, the green shore.
 
 


Deciding not to overdo it on the first day, we simply visited the brochure-laden Tourist Office, located in the town center, and …
 
 


then we watched a movie on Waterloo with John’s amazing new video projector, so tiny it fits in your hand, but powerful enough to project the movie on the wall of John’s room.
 
 
 


That was good, but dinner beckoned, so we
 called it a day well spent.
 
 


Best wishes,
 
 Jay
 
 
 
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 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Waterloo, Belgium

Mustering for the Tour

It is so fitting that the start of our travels around the Battlefields of Europe is commencing in Leiden, the Netherlands, about a block from the below:


The plaque marks the mustering point for soldiers from Leiden. On that very spot began the travels of the, perhaps, last campaign of the soldiers joining to fight along side the Iron Duke, Arthur Wellesley, the First Marquess of Wellington, the Anglo-Irish army commander who, with Austrian General Bücher, led the final and definitive battle against Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo, in Belgium.

But I get ahead of my story. I’m writing these notes after my day of travel from Washington, DC to Amsterdam to join with John in a bicycle tour of two famous influential battles fought respectively 200 and 600 years ago, Agincourt and Waterloo. Yesterday saw me eye-to-eye with my KLM jet transport that conveyed me comfortably to Amsterdam.


Assembling my bicycle from the parts in the big box,


And transforming the parts into my marvelous customized conveyance for the next two weeks exploring.


The little beast is now assembled and traversed the Dutch streets of its new home, Holland. It will not be returning with me to America. But here its the view.


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– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Kort Galgewater,Leiden,The Netherlands