|"I like the car, but this budget GPS seems like it might be broken..."|
We made our way to Waterloo and watched a movie about Napoleon's defeat, which changed the course of European history and also set a precedent to calling anything that threatens to destroy someone's career as 'so-and-so's Waterloo. Seriously, watch the news for an hour and count how many times the words 'Obama'a Waterloo' are spoken when they're talking about health care reform or tax cuts expiring.
We climbed the Butte du Lion, a huge hill erected over the field where Napoleon was ganged up on by the rest of Europe and lost. Mom made it up all 262 steps (a Belgian family counted them as they climbed ahead of us), which may have been a bit over ambitious, but Mom never backs down from a challenge.
|The view from the top...Mom wanted to show how many stairs she tackled|
|Proof that we made it to the top|
|The view from the bottom.|
Those of you who saw Band of Brothers, this was the wintery snow-covered Ardennes forest that was one of the most excrutiating parts of the series.
|A relic from a more dangerous page of Bastogne's past|
|Inside the museum, mom and dad stand beside one of the supply jeeps from the battle|
Outside the museum was a monument dedicated to all the American soldiers who died protecting the town of Bastogne.
|Each state had a section of the monument|
|A welcome sight for strangers in a strange land|
We finished out the Bastogne trip at a friterie, where my parents had their first mitraillettes.
|A friterie in Bastogne|
A mitraillette (French for Sub-Machine gun) is a Belgian dish that I primarily subsisted on as a missionary.
It consists of a baguette, sliced in half, stuffed with your choice of various fried meats, salted french fries, a sauce of choice (I prefer Samurai), and various vegetables (carrots, lettuce, sliced tomatoes are all common).
|They're very delicious|
We then returned to Brussels, nearly getting lost on the way back to Midi Station but eventually navigating the tight, twisting roads downtown. We celebrated our victory with more food. Our last night in Belgium ended with one last trip to the Grand Place to eat ice cream and waffles.
Thus concluded the Belgian chapter of our journey.