ADLG in Germany - Coming home from Marksburg Castle, Braubach 2022
With the tournament safely wrapped up and a lovely 2nd place trophy in my stickly little hands, the time came to head back to blighty - but the trip was by no means over!
After dropping one Dave off at the glamorous internationally connected railway station, and with the event ending on Sunday afternoon the other Dave and I had taken Monday off so we had time to add a few more military things to the itinery
First up was a fairly short(ish) trip to the Ardennes, and the near-legendary town of Bastogne.
What's not to like about a town with Belgian beer and a Sherman tank in the middle of the town square?
Havinge been nearly schnitzeled to death in our three days in Germany, we took the opportunity to grab a seat in the railway carriage of what seemed like the best restaurant in town, and ordered a couple of the house specials. Quite why the middle of a Belgian forest would be a good place to have a fish bouillabase is beyond me in retrospect, but I can report that it was very nice indeed.
Sunday night was not the busiest of the week in downtown Bastogne, but more by accident than design we did end up in a very niche Belgian beer pub, which meant I had the unique experience of downing an Airborne Beer out of a small ceramic US paratroopers helmet. (the helmet, not the paratrooper).
We of course did try other beers, and also had a pint in the Nuts bar as well. I mean, how could you not?
After that we retired to our AirBnB and in the absence of a TV signal used the 48" widescreen to trawl YouTube for Bulge-related content, including this rather low-fi film of a guy going round trying to find the places in the modern town that appear in actual wartime photos
Very weirdly, our AirBnB was right next door to the big Chinese restaurant which is shown in the film as the site of a former hospital.
The next day started with a trip to the Bastogne War Museum. Tripadvisor is a little confusing as to what museums exist, and are open to the public in Bastogne at the moment but this one is recommended - it's next to the War Memorial, and covers all of Belgium's WW2 history in a contemporary-yet-still-good way. And it has 3 tanks
Hetzer gonna' Hetz.
Hetzer still gonna' Hetz.
This Sherman is very ripped up - you can see just how thin the armour actually was. Scary.
The inside view is even more shocking. Brave guys indeed.
Always good to be able to take one for the colour-chart painter grognards.
Come on, who hasn't wanted one of these at home to go down to the shops in?
The museum even has THE iconic sign.
This bit of historic memorabiliia makes one wonder why the "Battle of the Bulge" was so named?
After doing a full tour of the museum we headed Chunnelwards again, looking at roadsigns for somewhre interesting to stop for lunch on the way. A big sign with a picture of a massive castle on it was all we needed to pick our spot, and so as if by magic we were in Namur
The castle (in fact, Citadel) is bloody huge - the whole Belgian army could have lived there and never found one another, never mind been found by any of their enemies.
The Citadel by Drone
We roamed around some of it - being a Monday most of the interesting stuff like the Gift Shop was closd though.
So, having found our way back out and avoided altitude sickness, a hearty town-square lunch was had followed by a trip back to the seemingly inevitable post-Brexit pain of getting through customs and onto Le Shuttle to head home !
Comments from the Palmyran Commander
I am delighted that you managed to find some examples of 1940's era STD prevention technology on your travels, and als that there seems to have been a bit of military stuff too
This looks like a weekend which has cemented the reality that your hobby is not actually playing with toy soldiers, it's going away to different places with like-minded friends, drinking copious amounts of beer, visiting military sites of interest and (occasionally) interrupting that with a game of ADLG
The realisation of that should help you focus the mind on what events tp look at going forward. I hope to see more tourism and less bad puns and nonsensical captions going forward
That's all folks! Visit the Match Reports Index for more nonsense, or listen to the podcast where we talk about this trip next!