BRANCH VISIT TO WATERLOO & SURROUNDING AREA

Wednesday 1st May to Sunday 5th May 2019

This year we visited Waterloo in Belgium, setting out early on 1st May for the Channel Tunnel and arriving that evening. The next day we visited the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. This was an amazing museum with everything that you could wish to see. Many unique objects including medals, planes, guns, tanks, uniforms, armour, and military instruments. There is a partiularly spectatcular Russian section, with precious objects brought out of Russia during the Revolution. We then went onto the roof of the museum for the spectacular view of Brussels.
The next day we visited the Waterloo battlefield. Starting at the Wellington Museum, a former coaching inn. The Duke of Wellington set up his headquarters here on 17th and 18th June 1815. An interesting museum. We then went to the Lions Mound at the Waterloo 1815 Memorial, beneath which was an extensive interactive tour with many special effects showing various aspects of the battle. From there we went by horse and cart to Hougoumont. It was here that the turning point of the battle took place. We then visited Napoleon's headquarters, which is a personal museum.
The final day we went to the Wallonia area of Belgium where the Battle of the Ardennes took place in World War Two. On the way we experienced sleet and snow. We arrived at Bastogne to see the museum of the 101st US Airborne Division. The museum tells the story of the American forces who were besieged there during the Battle of the Bulge. Then on to Mardasson where there is an impressive memorial to the Americans killed in the battle.
The final day was spent travelling home and recalling the many moving and impressive things we had seen and heard during an exhausting but excellent time in Belgium.
Many thanks to our drivers, Len and Graham, and to Len for leading the tour.
Also thanks to Andrew for his usual excellent arrangements.