Saturday, October 15, 2011

Belgium Part 1

As soon as we got out of the airport we headed to our hotel and freshened up real quick and started our sightseeing in Brussels. We exchanged our American money for Euro. I think the exchange rate was $1.36 US for 1 Euro.

John and Shawn drove us around Brussels and we got to see a beautiful park, streets and shops, and the Royal Palace. We then had lunch in Waterloo at a yummy Gyro place and the sandwiches were delicious! They came with french fries served with little forks to eat them with. Most everyone ate the fries with their fingers, but I figured since we were in Brussels, I would eat them with the fork (the when in Rome [or Brussels in this case] mentality, right)? You can see Jimmy using the fork in the picture. They came with ketchup that was sweeter than what we are used to. I found out their ketchup is made with beet sugar. I prefer the states ketchup.

Right beside the eatery was the church where General Wellington went into to pray right before he fought and defeated Napoleon.

After lunch we went to a monument/museum that honored those who fought the Battle of Waterloo. Hopefully you can read the sign in the picture below. If you click on it it should enlarge so you can read all of the info.

It is a very impressive monument. We climbed the 200 some steps to the top of the lion and let me tell you they were S-T-E-E-P!!! We had to stop a few times on the way up and literally catch our breath. Once up to the top, you could walk 360 degrees around the statue and look over the beautiful countryside and just imagine the battles taking place. John and Shawn used to live in Waterloo near the monument and used to watch hot air balloons taking off from the grounds. I wish I had taken a picture of the fields so you could see just how gorgeous it was.

After climbing back down the steps we went into a domed building that exhibited a 360 degree panorama of the Waterloo battle. There would be little signs telling you to look for specific things in the art. There was also a small room showing weapons and a uniform from that time. The short video clip below shows some of the panorama to give you an idea of the art work.

Stay tuned for my next post which will be about the rest of our tour in Brussels....

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