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Thread: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Alright so I spent a bit over two weeks wandering around Europe. I visited two (technically three) new countries, met four Orgahs, and had a fantastic time. I visited a bunch of battlefields, saw the King and Queen of Sweden, and attended the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was the original point of this whole trip.

    I took almost 850 pictures but I obviously wont put them all up here so I uploaded what I thought was the best of the pictures. There should be around 56 of them so I will put each section into a big spoiler because 56 images is a lot.

    A weekend in Stockholm:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    So I went to Stockholm for a weekend, had a fantastic time! Technically not my first time in Sweden as the farm I visit in Norway is on the border with Sweden so technically this was my third visit to Sweden, if we want to be pedantic.

    So here is the Riksdag, or the Swedish Parliament.



    And here is the King and Queen of Sweden! I was in Stockholm for the Swedish National Day, which wasnt much especially compared to the Norwegian National Day, but the Royal Family goes around in their carriage so that was pretty cool.




    Five days in Norway:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Same farm I have visited two times before, so this is nothing really new. Except for seven piglets that were born on the day I arrived.



    I liked this picture, just a dog and his sunglasses.



    Escaped pig! One of the pigs escaped and decided to start eating the mat in front of guest cabin. We eventually rounded him up and got him back to where he was supposed to be.




    A weekend in the Netherlands:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    So I spent about a day and a half in the town of Amersfoort. Its a nice town, and I coincidentally was there for a jazz festival so that was pretty cool.

    The main gate to the old city.



    One of the jazz bands. I particularly loved these guys, a bunch of old men in pajamas!



    Other side of the main gate.



    I also spent a few hours in Amsterdam on my way to Belgium. Not very impressed. It was very dirty, but that might have been from last night's partying as I did arrive at around 9:00 on a Sunday morning.




    A day in Antwerp and Leuven:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    This is probably my favorite shot I took in Antwerp. That is the main cathedral in the background.



    Steen Fortress/castle.



    A statue to the builders of the cathedral.



    And my favorite picture from Leuven:





    A day in and around Ypres
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I spent an entire day in and around the town of Ypres. I and another Orgah rented a car and drove around, visiting various First World War museums and battlefields, and we closed out the day at the Last Post Ceremony, which was pretty cool!

    Some original trenches, as closely as they would have looked like during WW1:



    The Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial. There are 12,000 Commonwealth soldiers buried here, and the names of 35,000 more who are still missing in action. I think it is the largest Commonwealth cemetery not on foreign soil. It was a very somber experience.





    The Saint Julien Memorial (Brooding Soldier) Memorial, for the fallen Canadian soldiers in the war. I also wanted to visit the US memorial but we could not figure out where it actually was for some reason.



    Ice cream with Trappist beer in it! It was amazing.



    Cloth Hall in Ypres. it was completely destroyed in the war and was rebuilt.



    German soldiers paying their respects to the dead during the Last Post Ceremony.



    There are almost 55,000 names of Commonwealth soldiers listed. It was incredible to see so many names listed.




    Days in Bruges, Ostend, and Brussels:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A view from the belfry in Bruges.



    A surviving part of the Atlantic Wall in Ostend.



    A memorial to the Belgian soldiers in both World Wars in Brussels.



    A building in Brussels that has a lot of gold on it, which was pretty cool.





    And now, for Waterloo! I spent two full days there, including the day of the actual anniversary of the battle (June 18th). It was amazing to walk the battlefield just 200 years later. There was something special in the air as I watched reenactors and thousands of history enthusiasts walk around and do their thing. Just an amazing experience, even if I wasnt able to get passes to enter any of the museums, the Lion's Mound, or the encampments with the reenactors.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Former enemies.





    The famous entrance to Hougoumont Farm.



    Practicing their drills.



    Square formation!



    Just a picture to show you how big the reenactment field was, and how many people were going to be there watching. Every seat was filled.



    French lancers being all threatening.





    And we are off!



    British riflemen fire the first shots.



    But they have to fall back to French pressure.



    The French attack Hougoumont.



    The French advance! One of my favorite photos of the reenactments.



    Day 2 of the reenactments-

    The Old Guard are marching.



    But some just want to relax.



    The cavalry are getting into position.





    And so are the cannons.



    Napoleon, or the guy playing as him, would ride around periodically to the cheer of the crowd.



    So much smoke would be emitted from the cannons!



    If you look really closely to the left of this cavalry engagement, you can see an Imperial Eagle.



    More fighting.



    More smoke!



    Another Orgah did his own version of some of my pictures to make them look older:







    A day in the Ardennes! I went with another Orgah down there for a day. The museum by the Mardasson Memorial is amazing!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Here is a bit of the town of La Roche. A really beautiful town nestled in the hills of the Ardennes.



    Memorial to the 101st Airborne Division. The sculptor was there tending to the statue and surrounding garden. He seemed rather proud.



    The Mardasson Memorial.



    So according to the map, in this direction, beyond the water tower I think, is where the 506th was deployed, made famous by the show Band of Brothers. Sorry for the dark corner, the shutter was a bit faulty.



    And here is Namur, another lovely town in the shadow of a large citadel, which was pretty cool!




    Hope you enjoyed!
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 06-30-2015 at 00:30.
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  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Was nice to have you over, kinda embaressed about the state I was in, screw these medicins. It only lasts an hour or so then it's over. Klazien always gets me home luckily she's a great friend. That isn't the main gate by the way, it's was just for ships, the real entrance is the Kamperpoort. The oldest ring has long be destroyed it's a hundreds of meters further and only a tiny but of the old wall remained intact. Amersfoort is really old, lots of history.

    This is the entrance http://www.panoramio.com/photo/63828077

    This is a little bit further, the old entrance used to he there, no existing impressions

    https://www.buurtlink.nl/buurten/bee...mersfoort-muur
    Last edited by Fragony; 06-30-2015 at 08:52.

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    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    So, what did you like the most?
    I'd be for Bruges, one of the most beautiful European cities, second only to Strassbourg. Excellent architecture.

    In what concerns the Waterloo re-enactment, the feedback has been rather negative, with complaints about lack of organisation, amateurism and disrespect towards history (according to British nationalists). Is it true or the Brits overreact, as usual?

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Brugge is beautifull but a bit of a tourest-trap, can't recommend to go there. It's reall pretty but there are towns just as pretty all-over Belgium. Take a beer-tour if you go to Belgium, best advice ever.
    Last edited by Fragony; 06-30-2015 at 10:16.

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Great pics there hooah, looks like some trip.
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    That is really cool
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. It is sounding like Europe is going to be a second home for you.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Was nice to have you over, kinda embaressed about the state I was in, screw these medicins. It only lasts an hour or so then it's over. Klazien always gets me home luckily she's a great friend. That isn't the main gate by the way, it's was just for ships, the real entrance is the Kamperpoort. The oldest ring has long be destroyed it's a hundreds of meters further and only a tiny but of the old wall remained intact. Amersfoort is really old, lots of history.
    Don't sweat it! I had a really nice time with you and your friends! Also my bad, I will change it... eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crandar View Post
    So, what did you like the most?
    I'd be for Bruges, one of the most beautiful European cities, second only to Strassbourg. Excellent architecture.

    In what concerns the Waterloo re-enactment, the feedback has been rather negative, with complaints about lack of organisation, amateurism and disrespect towards history (according to British nationalists). Is it true or the Brits overreact, as usual?
    As Frags said, Bruges is a nice place, but its basically one giant tourist trap. Native Belgians Ive talked to said that Ghent is much better as it has the old buildings of Bruges but is much less touristy so I will have to visit there next.

    As for the Waterloo reenactments, its a bit complicated. On one hand, the reenactors themselves were amazing. Absolutely professional and did a great service to the people they are representing who fought and died 200 years ago.

    The organization, on the other hand, left something to be desired. Its kinda a long list.

    First off, the whole thing was such an obvious money grab by the organizers. Charging to ascend the Lion's Mound and then only give a couple thousand of those tickets out? Come on! I have a friend who ascended a couple months ago for free. And the encampments? Very well done, the reenactors are truly devoted to their craft. But they did not add more tickets to the encampments when they added seats for the reenactments. I hung around the battlefield and encampments for two days. I did not have time to get a ticket for the encampments, came too late for it, but when I was there I saw a sparse crowd among the reenactors. They could have easily added another few thousand tickets for the encampments, but they didnt, much to my annoyance. Though I dont know about the museums, they might have been right to limit the attendance.

    Now for the reenactments themselves. They butchered the seating. If you bought tickets in the second round of sales, you were basically condemned to a not such a great view. See the picture I crudely drew:



    So you can see that I could not see a good chunk of the action, and I didnt have the worst seats either. If you were further back from where I was, you were basically screwed. I did get a great view of the cannons, but thats pretty much it. My camera wasnt so good either so thats why my pics are not so great. Arent terrible but they leave much to be desired. Didnt see most of the infantry action or it was too far away to get a good view.

    And for seating on the second day, this was my wonderful view:



    A number of people asked them to remove at least that banner, but the organizers refused as it was a breach of contract or something. Stupid.

    Especially on the first day, hundreds left the stands to try to get a better spot, so many that the employees had to push people back a bit to ensure they didnt enter the battlefield. People were generally angry that so many people got screwed out of a good view of the action. There were so many better places they could have put stands which shows the amateurism of the organizers.

    Now for the actual reenactments. They were done well as in the movements of the reenactors and all that stuff was great. The sound of gunfire and cannon was amazing! To see the smoke over the battlefield was awe-inspiring. I now have some semblance of an understanding of what that battlefield might have looked like with the smoke and how hard it was to see for commanders. So yeah, I didnt see everything I wanted to, but there are other videos from other people, and the overall experience was well worth it. I do not regret a thing.

    I do wish that the commentary was better, besides the whole "I cant see very well" thing. I dont want to know the background or what Napoleon had for breakfast. I want to hear whats is going on in the reenactment right then and there to make sense of what I am seeing. In that sense they failed, but all in all, I had a fantastic time. So yes, I do think those Brits were being a bit dramatic. In no way was the legacy of the battle disrespected, at least in my view.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gregoshi View Post
    Thanks for sharing your pictures. It is sounding like Europe is going to be a second home for you.
    Oh how I wish...
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Thank you for sharing and good to know that you had a great time.


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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Glad to hear, welcome any time. All orgah's are, just let me know in time so I can arrange things, I will, and I will do it free. Got plenty of friends that have a nice room available at any time.
    Last edited by Fragony; 07-01-2015 at 10:24.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Glad to hear, welcome any time. All orgah's are, just let me know in time so I can arrange things, I will, and I will do it free. Got plenty of friends that have a nice room available at any time.
    Likewise!

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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Great post, Hooah, thanks much for sharing. Looks like a fantastic trip.

    Loved the Waterloo pictures, despite the event challenges you described in the follow-up.

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Great stuff Hooah, cheers for sharing the pictures. I was really interested how the re-enactment of Waterloo looked like.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Likewise!

    Sure thing, and don't say I didn't warn you about going to Amsterdam, it sucks it's not worth a day of your life.
    Last edited by Fragony; 07-12-2015 at 12:30.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A summary of my gallivanting around Europe over the past few weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Sure thing, and don't say I didn't warn you about going to Amsterdam, it sucks it's not worth a day of your life.
    Well, then its a good thing I only spent something like 3 hours there then. Most of that day was very well spent in Antwerp and the evening in Leuven.
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