Our Waterloo

Our overnight stop at Bunnik would best be described as adequate, once we found a pitch that was not waterlogged. It’s not the sort of place I’d want to spend any more time so Darwin knows what the seasonals did there, and there were quite a few of them.

We readied ourselves and set sail at 09:30, heading for Couvin, preparing to do battle with the ring roads of Antwerp and Brussel. We expected these to be a nightmare and we were not disappointed. Antwerp in particular was a bear. As in Germany in 2019, the Belgians had seen fit to put roadworks at the motorway junctions adding to the chaos.

Eventually, after much grinding of teeth, we passed Antwerp and headed for Brussels, which was slightly less chaotic … slightly.

With Brussels happily disappearing in the rear view mirror, Francine spotted that we passed within a kilometre or so of the Waterloo 1815 memorial. Well, why not? It would be rude not to.

PXL_20240530_111820722We dived off the autoroute and followed signs to the parking. The car length spaces were fine for Frodo ‘cos I could put his rear overhang over the flat grass behind the spaces. We disembarked and went in search of the memorial, which largely seemed to be a huge earth mound topped with a lion.

Clambering up the mound looked like fun so we went in search of the entrance. The entrance, it transpired, was through the museum which seemed to be charging a whopping €43 each for entrance. You have got to be bloody kidding! We won, for Chrissakes, we should get in free. The mound is another of those things best viewed from a slight distance so we skipped it. I must look the battle up on the Internet.

[We have since discovered that the €43 rate is either for a yearly ticket or a multiple attractions icket. We could have gained entry for €17 each which would have been a whole lot more reasonable. Quite why €43 seemed to be the headline rate remains a mystery.]

20240530_202811_083503‘T was time to make a choice of where to stop for the night. This is where Couvin comes in. A short distance from it is the Brasserie des Fagnes. We are just still inside the Belgian border and, with the Belgians being the world’s finest brewers in this writer’s opinion, this should have something interesting to offer. Best of all, the brasserie has an extensive car park and allows camper vans to stay overnight free. Naturally, they hope you will spend money in their brasserie and grill. Well, why on earth not?

PXL_20240530_134418481.MPWe arrived, parked up and went over the road for an initial sampler. This is a 33cl glass of their Triple at 8% and very toothsome it was, too. I started with their Blonde at 7.5% which wasn’t too shabby either. As we were paying, I booked a table for the evening, just in case. (There’s Andouillete on the menu.)

Having relaxed in Frodo for the late afternoon, we returned to the brasserie for our evening booking. This place is doing something very right ‘cos it was quite busy. Our table was distressing close to the childrens’ play area and we ended up surrounded by families with rugrats. Word to the wise: request a table near the front of the restaurant. I had my andouillette while Francine tucked into a rare entrecote steak. All very good, except for the rugrats.

“Time for bed”, said Zebedee.

Posted in 2024-01 Australia