Lourdes has been likened to Las Vagas with religion or a Rosary bedecked south shore Blackpool with its tat stalls and flashing Virgin Mary statuettes .. Let me tell you it’s none of the fore mentioned but we are seeing the place in winter ..
There ar’nt many pilgrims today and it’s a Saturday ..Small groups of people from the Sub continent in there colourful saris .. Sitting on the steps with a tiffin tinned lunch .. A group of what I assumed were Ugandans as the priest at the Grotto did say a prayer for Uganda ..an elderly couple who spoke English in cycle cloaks .. He at the top of the steps leading to the Basilica .. She down where the crowds should have been .. Looking up .. He directing her “a bit right .. No a bit to your left ” for the perfect photo probably for the Church slide show of their pilgrimage ..
Walking down from our empty campingcar site … Le Vieux Berger coords N43.10451 W000.03320 Payed for by a ticket machine which only takes credit cards €14 for power water and wifi .. Showers closed .. take out food closed .. Mini bus to travel into town not running .. As I said Lourdes is closed but for the hardened few..
A long walk into Lourdes but mostly down hill .. Buses are from a stop called Mozart but I didn’t see one .. Past the tat emporiums selling candles of all sizes ..gallon water container for your Holy water.. Taps found near the Grotto des Apparitions .. Even Yobs in Lourdes sound and behave as yobs do everywhere..
It’s damp and cold .. Nose runningly cold .. Leaves near gone from the trees but the Golden top crowns of the Basilique du Rosaire and the Basilique Supériere shone in the winter sun shine .. The tiled fresco …again gold plated are depicting Bernadette Soubirous visions ..18 in all ..seen in the years1844/79
Unlike religious establishments such as York Minster and The Basilica in Syacus Sicily to name a couple ..these churches are FREE .. Zilch € .. Magic .. We love free places to visit
All in all a very enjoyable place and memories of my early teens at Colne Convent collection money to send prayers for poorly people in Colne
Our one thought on seeing gigantic candle and tiny €2 ones ..”Does a big candle prayer get heard before the small ones ?” Any theologians out there to answer our query ?