Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The World's Most Famous Farmhouse (Probably....)

This weekend just gone I was in Belgium to celebrate (some 22 months after the event) my 50th birthday. Laura surprised Father Dad with weekend tickets to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, by far and away my favourite motor racing circuit, and we had  a great time watching F1, GP2, GP3 and Porsches tearing around the track, finishing off with a picnic on the slope at the Eau Rouge corner (F1's best), watching fans toboggan down the slope on stolen advertising hoardings and a gang or joyriders make off up the hill onto the Kemmel Straight in a couple of forklift trucks (complete with "passengers" on the forks!). Crazy times :)

On the way back to Brussels we stopped off at Waterloo. I've been travelling to Belgium for work trips for nearly 20 years but this was the first time I'd been able to see any of the country outside Brussels or Bruges, so it was a "pilgrimage" long overdue.

I shan't expound too much as I'm guessing many readers will have been there, but it was a lovely experience. We didn't get to do much walking as we were both shattered (we walked about 50 miles over the weekend at the circuit, our campsite was some distance away and we circumnavigated the track each day). So we limited our vsiit to the 1815 Museum, the Panorama and Lion Mound, and then to La Belle Alliance and the world's mos famous farmhouse, La Haye Sainte. I received the Airfix LHS model for Christmas when it first came out and I've had a couple of others (plus one in 1/300) since then. So it was lovely to see the buildings in the flesh for the first time.

We finished off the day in the lovely grounds of the Chateau de la Hulpe  before heading back to the airport and home. Planning a longer trip now to revisit these sites, then Hougomont and the rest of the battlefield, museums and memorials.

Finally, well done to Herr Vettel for his win...

Laura had her photo taken with Lewis Hamilton.....

And we got a great shot of Stoffel Vandoorne's fastest lap around the circuit :D

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