Blogs from Lourdes, Midi-Pyrénées, France, Europe


Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes January 14th 2015

Although I am not a Catholic, I accompanied my friend and his wife to Lourdes one time during my 8 year residence in France. I'm glad I did because it was a spiritually rewarding experience for me. He was a long lost friend whom I had not seen or heard from for over 40 years. Back in the 1960's when I was growing up in what was then known as Rangoon, Burma (now officially called Yangon, Myanmar) we became very close and did what most teenage boys were fond of doing at that time; fooling around, drinking beer, chasing girls (most of the time unsuccessfully), etc. 40 plus years later, after re-establishing contact with each other, he and his wife came to visit me in France. It was a very happy reunion after all these years. ... read more
Beziers, France
Pau, France
Lourdes, France

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes July 30th 2014

During the Tour de France the king of the mountain wears a red polka dot jersey! Our planned route led us to Lourdes to see the fourth last leg of the tour, and the gruelling mountain legs of Col du Tourmalet and Hautacam. Seeing the Tour de France has been a life long dream of George's, and our holiday motto of 'don't leave a man behind' meant we were all committed to a very long, but exciting day. The mountain legs were about a fifteen minute drive out of Lourdes, so we were up very early to prepare for our day. We had baguettes,water, snacks, wine, towels, sunscreen..even serviettes, the bags were very heavy. Thanks George, Jen and Michael for carrying the bags. After brekky we drove Pablo to a little town at the base of ... read more
Crepe stop
Crazy kids having fun
Vincenzo Nibali

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes May 13th 2013

An early start, always helps if you read your watch correctly! Ian had pretty much packed everything by the time I had showered and sorted the mammoth out. With 258KM of road between us and our nights stop, we set off through kilometre after kilometre of Vin Yards, they seemed to go on forever. Through forests and finally through windy roads we could see the Pyrenees in the distance. Woolly says – My first really big mountains, I’ve seen Snowden and a few others but these provide the border between France and Spain, they looked incredible, no snow in sight but I’m sure we’ll get to that. Pitching up at Camping Arrouche in the foothills of the Pyrenees and within a kilometre of Lourdes, we had a stunning setting for the night. The lady in the ... read more
St Bernadette's Church
Front view of St Bernadette's
Stunning Decorations

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes April 26th 2013

Lourdes. Continuing westward on Friday morning, we entered the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains south of Toulouse, which mountains define the border between southwestern France and northeastern Spain. There were serious melts of snow in the mountains and the rivers flowing northward were in heavy spate. The Riviere Gave de Pau was in flood through Pau, to the west. The weather was quite cool and a misty rain was falling as we entered Lourdes, city of Sainte Bernadette. In 1858, a girl named Bernadette claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary – Our Lady of Lourdes - who directed her to a natural spring that arose in a small grotto at the foot of a hillside. This grotto and spring are said to possess miraculous healing powers and they are visited by millions of tourists and ... read more
The Grotto
The Sacred Spring

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes July 21st 2012

What better time to update my blog than a 6 hour train trip from Lourdes to Paris. So I left off in Beaune just about to join my group. In the drive from Beaune to Geneve airport (where i dropped off car number 2 and was picked up for the group) was incredible and I got to see 2 of the things I wanted to in France, a field of sunflowers and a tunnel that went straight through a mountain. The drive is absolutely stunning with some gorgeous countryside with sunflower fields dotted throughout and as you get closer to Switzerland and the Alps it opens up into these beautiful gorges. So you drive through a tunnel in a mountain and come out to look down over these huge lakes and rivers. I'm quite sure many ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes March 28th 2012

Hi all, Day 4. Made it to the foot of the Pyrenees. In a campsite south of Lourdes surrounded by mountains, simply stunning. The views take your breath away. The weather is still fantastic, beautiful blue skies and very warm. Rays broken out the shorts but Gill is still in GB kit. Owner of the site has given us bad news regarding our route over the mountains 3 passes are closed for repairs and snow. We now have to back track a few miles to a major road and take a long tunnel. That will stop the views, never mind perhaps they will be open when we return. Our progress is somewhat slow as we are not using any motorways, but we think you see more of the country you pass through. We still have 6 ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes November 14th 2011

I was getting into the swing of things, I really was. I was taking the bad with the good and enjoying everything I could. I was befriending strangers and hiking foggy mountains. I was sleeping on trains and feasting on unrefrigerated cheese. I was making plans and treating myself to excursions. I was caught by surprise by the half-way mark of my Adventure and worried that two more months wasn't enough. Sweden, Norway, and Finland werer beautiful, and Berlin was fun, and then-- I don't know exactly what happened. It's like I tried to sweep a tablecloth out from underneath a setting of dishes but didn't get it quite right, so all the dishes went crashing to the floor. It might be that I started to get too comfortable, formed expectations, and had those expectations smashed ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes September 2nd 2010

I am officially in the Pyrenees, after what was a comparitively simple day of skirting the North side of the real mountains for 95 miles. Having set off from Bayonne at just before 10, I immediately found myself going up a pretty steep hill surrounded by farm animals, which I hadn't really counted on. This was short lived as after a couple of miles I was heading back down which was was to be a recurrent theme throughout the day, a small taste of things to come no doubt. One thing I will say, is that the bugs in this part of the world are terrifyingly large. I swear something the size of a kitten landed on my leg at one point; my high pitch squeal seemingly scaring it away. Slight exaggeration, however it did scare ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes July 13th 2010

Stopped at Casteleret on the way to Lourdes. They were having a local Saturday flea market. Bought original oil paintings from the local artist, murano glass, and rosary beads for Lourdes. Lourdes was packed with people visiting this holy site where Bernadette saw the vision of Mary. Cart after cart was brought in of the ill visiting the site. We arrived just before mass so were able to talk with some of the priests (only in French though) and attend a little. At the holy spring, people were filling jugs, drinking, and washing with the water. There were candle after candle of prayer candles burning. Cauterets is a little ski village in the Great Pyrennes. There were hikers and rafters there that Saturday afternoon. We walked around the village and sampled the local food. A raging ... read more
artist at the market

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Lourdes November 5th 2009

I went to Lourdes because I wanted to visit the caves and to a day tour to the Pyrenees as mentioned online. However, when I arrived these (and nearly all other attractions) had closed 4 days before I arrived. Apparently 'through November' doesn't actually INCLUDE November. But that's okay because it was interesting eing in a tourist town when there are no tourists. Usually people flock here on a pilgrimage to see the Grotto where Saint Bernadette supposedly saw 'the immaculate conception' appear to her eight times. (I find it astounding that a whole towns prosperity and trade is still based on a story told by one little girl centuries ago). After the 31st of October this place has no spirit to it. Its incredibly quiet, even during the day until about 1pm. I did get ... read more
Lourdes Castle wall
Inside Lourdes Castle

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