Victoria here with time for just a note. Yesterday, we roamed the various sites of battles here, at Ligny, Quatre Bras, Wavre, etc. Also visited Napoleon’s headquarters at Caillou, then La Belle Alliance, and numerous vistas of the battlefield known as Waterloo, well south of the village where Wellington spent the night before the fight.
Finally we arrived at the Lion Mount and Panorama, already exhausted and in definite need of spirits and food!! We had seen the reenactors for the French army in splendid unniforms, camped (bivouaced) near Caillou. All around the various memorials, etc. were more unifored men and women, some in men’s uniforms, others as wives and/or camp followers, cooks, provision-cart drivers and so forth.
So nature’s necessities being what they are we stopped for an Italian (!) late lunch at the battlefield and then went to — you guessed it — the Gift Shop! It was also the Visitor’s Center — and you will be appalled to know that Napoleonic trinkets ( and there were thousands) filled the shelves — hardly anything was devoted to the British victors and Wellingon might as well have stayed hone for all the homage he gets here!!!
Eventually we slogged through a muddy field (it rained on and off, just to prove its authenticity) and reached the Chateau of Hougoumont where the British and Allied forces were bivouaced. We finally saw OUR redcoats, along with the Black Watch, the Hanoverians, lots of Belgians, etc. with their horses tents, fires, and dogs.
We hope some of the pictures turn out. Kristine is off today to the reenactment and the Wellington Museum — which ought to have some memorabilia worth seeing — while Ed and I must get a train north. Hate to miss this morning, but there are thousands of people and wild traffic jams, so Ed and I are foregoing the reenactment in favor of making our cruise this afternoon.