Thursday, May 6, 2010

"He has met his Waterloo"

Waterloo is a nice little town near Brussells in Belgium with lots of green fields. About a mile from the town is the battlefield where Napoleon Buonaparte's french army, was defeated by the Duke of Wellington's allied forces in June 1815. The legend of Napoleon's invincibility was shattered at Waterloo. Hence the expression "He has met his Waterloo" (meaning 'he has met with defeat').

On the spot where the decisive battle took place, there's a memorial monument in the form of a lion a top a manmade hill with 226 stairs(!!) overlooking the battlefield.
(Ladies, please wear trousers not a skirt when climbing those stairs , otherwise you will be offering a panoramic view to the people at the bottom of the hill, prior to the real panoramic view awaiting at the top !!).

the Lion Hill

In a building adjacent to the Lion Hill - the Panorama Building - there's a huge circular painting portraying scenes of the battle fought on 18 June 1815. In the background, sound effects of battle noises, cannon and gun fire. The viewer relives the great moments of the battle. A very thrilling experience!

part of the circular painting

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - finally facing my Waterloo

The above is the refrain of the famous Eurovision Contest winning song (1974) WATERLOO composed and performed by the very successful swedish ABBA band.(see the video below).The song was inspired by the battle at Waterloo and Napoleon's defeat, and it's a sort of comparison of a lover's romantic surrender to that of Napoleon's surrender.


  1. Oh wow those outfits! My college roommate had an ABBA album - we played it all the time. Loved Abba!

  2. Oh my gosh girl, I've died and gone to oldies heaven!!! Ya know how I love to sing all the golden oldies. I'm off to work in the yard so gonna grab me an Abba cape and sing some Waterloo!!!

    Thanks for the very interesting facts and oh baby with those steps who needs a stinkin' gym???

    You have a fabulous day filled with sunny blessings sweet Duta!

  3. I always found it amusing that a French person travelling to London from Paris Nord would, until a couple of years ago, disembark at London Waterloo ~~ I mean, was this meant to be some kind of reminder to our French neighbours or what..??


  4. Oh this video gave me a lift of merriment, Duta. Just what I needed! Sang along for several replays of it, and felt thoroughly cheered. Thankyou.

  5. I just popped over from @eloh's. Great post from every aspect, History, Pop Culture, Fashion Advice. One great and important achievement you left out was the Wellington Boot, or "Wellie'. Can't live without them!

  6. Sage advice! I shall remember to wear trousers. I'm not sure the world is ready for my "panorama." Great story, great pictures and I dearly love ABBA.

  7. Love ABBA & love their Songs... (Mother was and is a huge Fan of them)

    thnx for the Info, I will wear trousers, if I ever go there. :)
    And it looks in one of the pics, as if there are many steps to climb.

  8. Oh yay! Is there one among us who does not want to dance to ABBA? I say, "Not one!" Or if there is, they likely aren't much fun.

    Duta, I have this song on my iPod, and I wear my iPod while I walk my dog (you're thrilled by this so far, aren't you? I swear there's a point!) and this morning? "Waterloo, couldn't escape if I wanted! Waterloo, knowing my fate is to be with you!" accompanied us. So this was a really fun moment of "Oh Deja vu! Okay, not really, but sort of! Musical Deja vu!"

    I fervently hope that is some splendid lion to behold after all those steps, was he?

    In aside Duta, on the way to a place called Breckenridge, traveling route 285 out here, you pass by a nunnery, basically. In the Rocky Mountains, the altitude is quite high, the air rather thin and at this convent there is a statue of a saint, a rather substantial statue pointed toward the highway, quite high up, with a trail leading toward it. A very steep trail.

    People make pilgrimages up there, to pray, to feel blessed. Years ago when I moved out here, we stopped by the place and my boyfriend at the time suggested we hike up there. Which we did, huffing, puffing and sweating. On the way we passed a woman and her husband, the woman was all done in. The husband haranguing her to keep going. She replied:

    "Oh shut George, it isn't as if it is actually Jesus up there, and unless it is, I'm not taking one.more.step."

    A wise lady, I tell you :-)

  9. Duta,
    Very much interesting blog...
    Though he tried to defeat every country, Napoleon is a real legend...
    He was very short, had phenomenal abilities like concentration and mind power...
    During college days, i studied a very good article about him...
    Gifted personalities sometimes happen to be the enemy of the world...
    He was a great personality who never give way his negative traits like height etc and tried to achieve his desires...

  10. A real time travel. Thanks...
    Now I have need to hear Dancing Queen...ahhhh

  11. Did you count all those steps?
    I knew the story of Waterloo but I have no informations about Lion Hill.
    Nice info!

  12. When aunty Pam over stepped the line of acceptability and annoyed her husband,he used to say Waterloo to her.Pam would shut up instantly and change the subject.Years later when he was dying,he asked me to keep her under control after his death,telling me to use the threat of Waterloo if she did not conform.I asked Pam what was so threatening about it and apparently they had had a row when they were newly weds and he had walked out on her ,saying she had met her Waterloo.!!!Terrified of being left to fend for herself the threat always worked.
    I loved the ABBA video,like everyone else who have commented,I too am a huge fan and have their CDs.

  13. The Bug,

    Very fancy outfits!
    ABBA's songs were, and still are, very popular. This particular song, 'Waterloo', was recorded in at least four languages: english, french, german, swedish.


    I'm a fan of oldies too. "...with those steps who needs a stinkin' gym?" - good question.
    Have a blessed, sunny Day , too!


    Thanks for stopping by. You might be right about the reminder. Anyway, Waterloo is indeed something to remember by both sides, the french and the british.


    I'm glad the video with Abba's 'Waterloo' song cheered you up. There are good Youtube videos out there playing some of this band's other famous songs.


    Welcome! Thank you for your warm words. You're right, of course, about the Wellington Boots. Wearing boots like the general used to wear, was the British' way to imitate their hero.

    Ronda Laveen,

    Your sense of humor is great!
    Thanks for liking the story and the pictures.

  14. Pink Panthress,

    Indeed there are - 226 steps! But the panoramic view one gets when one reaches the top is worth the climbing effort.

    Land of Shimp,

    The lion is very impressive; it's made of iron and stands on a high pedestal. The visitor experiences a magnificient view of both the monument and the battlefield.
    Your story about the convent, the statue of the saint and the steep trail leading to it is very interesting. I like the woman's reaction: 'I'm not taking another step unless Jessus is up there'.


    Napoleon was short of stature and very ambitious. He left us with what's called "Napoleonn syndrom" - that is, short men who compensate for height by striving for power
    and domination.
    Anyway, Napoleon's Myth as an omnipotent ruler was destroyed at Waterloo.


    "Dancing Queen" is my favourite among Abba's songs. It's a real treat.


    Of course not. I was busy watching my steps and hoping to finally reach the top.
    I'm glad my post had some new info for you.


    What a piquant family story! It appears the Waterloo battle played quite a part in the lives of your aunt Pam and her husband.

  15. such a great post - thank you ! Have a lovely weekend

  16. I remember very well this lovely song and the group! Have a great weekend.

  17. I love Abba!

    Thank you Duta, for the tour and the history.
    Such an interesting life of Napoleon. He somehow contributed a lot in changing the world.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. Interesting post - and not at all a bad song!

  19. Ballet News,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    The song is to this day a Hit, and the four members of the band - stars.
    Have a great weekend, too!


    Napoleon was indeed a great, influential, historical and military figure. And Abba a great musical band with great songs.
    Have a wonderful weekend, too!

    Dave King,

    Thank you for visiting and for leaving a comment.
    Have a terrific weekend!

  20. I love the story of Waterloo and Napoleon. Thanks for perking up my Saturday morning! Now, I've got to get back to the video of ABBA. Perfect video to go with my coffee.
    have a lovely weekend, Duta!

  21. I love, love, love Abba! Not so much the outfits. :) I don't know if I could make it to the top of those steps without a little rest - or some oxygen.

  22. Very interesting bit of history. I chuckled about wearing shorts or pants, I certainly can imagine the view if one wore a skirt! And that is alot of stairs, enough exercise for a week!

  23. I didn't see and escalator...that is probably the only way I could make it up there....

  24. Pinecone camp,

    I agree with you on the video. It's perfect to go with everything and every mood.
    Have a lovely weekend, too!


    You could hardly find someone who doesn't like Abba. As for climbing the stairs, I'm sure you could make it to the top. If neccessary,you could rest a little on the stairs holding on to the bar.


    Yes, the stairs are a good workout. To wear a skirt when climbing them is not a good idea - to say the least.

    Angel Mc,

    No, no escalator there. But you could make it, no doubt about it - "where there's a will, there's a way".

  25. Hi Duta :) I've come to wish you a Happy Mother's Day and I'm delighted by your post. Those stairs...what a workout! This summer they are having an ABBA festival at the Hollywood Bowl in California. I think it will definitely be a wild and crazy night! Thanks for the fun and educational post.
    I wish you great happiness today and always!

  26. The ChicGeek,

    Hi Kelly,

    I've greatly missed you. I'm very glad to hear from you. Have fun at the Abba festival for me too! Hope you come back soon to blogging. Hugs.

  27. Fantastic post!! Lion Hill is terribly impressive - what a view! oh, to be there & see it w/ my own eyes. Thanks for stoking my imagination!

    Duta you're really FAB! I was singing ABBA in my head even as I started reading the post (poor Napoleon, all that power - now associated w/ those groovy 70's outfits!) Ha!

    I'll come back later when I've got more time to spare. Your posts are worth savoring! ;)

  28. I'm so happy to see I'm not the only one who loves ABBA. I haven't heard that song for ages.

    Intersting post, thank you! And a lovely photograph of you. You have had some very interesting travels.

    Guess what song I'm going to have playing in my head today? :-)

  29. Susannah,

    Thanks for stopping by. You should write a post on your dog. He looks so cute with you in the picture! I bet he'll enjoy listening to Abba too.


    You're certainly not the only one to love Abba. They've got millions of fans to this day. Thanks for your kind words.

  30. DUTA! You're the second person who has said that (about writing a post on Otis) in the past little while. Do you remember the video I posted back in the winter?? I'll have to at least post another bit on Otis while I'm listening for that story...

    He is every bit as cute as he looks!! ;)

  31. Hi again Susannah,

    I don't mind being the second person, as long as Otis gets the front of the stage. Your cute, sweet dog deserves that.

  32. I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.

  33. I've always loved French history and Napoleon and Josephine were such interesting characters. Thanks for showing me this wonderfully historic place. Perhaps we should all take heed that we can and very well may encounter our Waterloo before the end of our days. Live life to the fullest, but try to be kind and tolerant of others.

    Great post, Duta! Love ABBA, listened to their music with my children.

  34. covnitkepr1,

    Welcome! Thanks for your kind comment and for the 'follower'!

    C.Hummel Kornella/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    Indeed, we should have no napoleonic behavior and take heed not to meet with our Waterloo.
    As usual, your comment is interesting and kind.

  35. These are incredible pictures! Thanks so much for sharing this, it has triggered my restless wanderlust now I have to tick off Waterloo from list!


  36. I'm waiting for "Dolphins and Humans".

  37. Culture served raw,

    Welcome! Thanks for your kind words.


    An error has occurred; it happens sometimes. Thanks for waiting.