Thursday, 26 November 2009

Back from my Hols

Good holidays always end too quickly.

Time just flew by as I spend 2 weeks with a friend in Denver, Colorado.
Didn't do any gaming, but did join in on a couple of local 4th Ed D&D games. Shame that my Wizard seemed to only be able to hit friendlies for most of the session, though this brought much laughter to the table. A small iota of revenge in the blue on blue fire stakes, eh?

I did manage to see Buffalo Bill's grave, up in the foothills of the Rockies, overlooking Golden and Denver beyond.

On my way home from the States, I took a weekend away to Belgium. I have always loved visiting Ostend, but this time I used it as a base to journey somewhere all together more "interesting", though my girlfriend Claire would probably dispute this.


It was a cold and rainy morning when we set off and being Belgium, the road signs were typically awful.
It was a strange feeling stood outside what is now the Wellington Museum, in the town of Waterloo. This building was of course the Inn which hosted the Iron Duke and his HQ on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo.

"Pass 1815" ticket in hand, I started my tour. The audio guide was very good, with options to hear more details on subjects such as the armaments, medicine and other interesting facts.
Each room was given over to a different subject. The stables are now a grand guide to the battle itself, with maps depicting the different phases of the battle.

Back in the car for the short drive south, we soon pulled into the car park of the Visitors Centre.
Built on the edge of the Allied line, between the road and Guards position, these buildings house a movie guide to the battle, a panoramic painting of the battle and a wax museum. In addition to this is the obligatory gift shop ;).

Finally, there is the Lion Mount, a massive earth mound topped by a massive Lion statue. Despite the way this feature has ruined the battlefield, it does provide a wonderful viewing platform.

From the Lion Mount, we followed the Allied position towards Hougoumont. I stood amazed at just how rolling the terrain is and I could easily imagine how you could have lost sight of the enemy not 20 yards in front of you.

The other thing that stood out was just how small the battlefield is. I know you can read this, but to actually look at it with your own eyes and try to picture the scene, it is truly amazing.

Anyway, most of this chat is worthless without some pictures, so these will follow shortly.