I have to start my post today with some kind of meditation of what happened during my last trip. It was a nice trip with nice people, but wasn’t exactly a trip that I would normally plan and go, it was more of a trip that is dedicated to your soul, meditation and to one extent religion.
Now, it’s not that I’m a very religious person, but I did liked that trip and if you ask me whether I’d go back to that place or not, I’m going to talk about shortly, I’d say yes…but with some small adjustments 🙂
The place I was visiting last month is a place very known and popular among Catholic religious people, it’s one of the must visit places in Europe and it’s in France in the region of Hautes Pyrenees, called Lourdes.
Now, I know that some of you might not be interested, but let me tell you something, I’m not Catholic and this did not stop me from visiting such a place and I even said that I’d go again there. Why?
Because the place is so beautiful and you can breathe some clean mountain air and of course because March is a month when you cannot go skiing and you cannot really go hiking, it’s something in between and I recommend you to head there during warmer months.
Besides the Rosary Basilica, The Grotto of Our Lady, you have there a quiet place with a some other nice places to visit.
I think it’s important to mention here that if you’re not a Catholic, but go there, pay some respect to those who visit this place for praying, attending ceremonies, etc. It’s their belief and we should be respectful one with another.
Now, back to our subject. As I have said earlier, in Lourdes are many other nice places to visit, that aren’t religious buildings.
One of which is Fort du Lourdes. It’s basically a fortress that faces the religious complex. To visit it you’ll have to pay 6 Euros. The opening hours vary, therefore you must check it before going there.
In the fortress are held exhibitions, tools, pieces of furniture and clothing that are typical for that region of France. You can visit the temporary exhibition called: Diverse perspectives of the mountains.
Bellow is just a short description of what you should expect to see there:
Images played an important role in the discovery of the Pyrenees. This picture-based discovery and scientific approach can already be seen in the work of the pioneer of “Pyreneism”, Ramond de Carbonnières, or, in the 19th century, of Franz Schrader, Vincent de Chausenque, Emilien Frossard, Paul-Michel Hossard and Count Roger de Bouillé.
Another point of interest is Pic du Jer. To reach the top of the mountain you’ll need to take a cable car of a century old. If this doesn’t scare you, then you’ll be taken to the top (about 1000m) in about 6 minutes. The views from there are promised to be magnificent. We decided not to go, because the days we were there were foggy and most of the time rainy.
Some notes here:
- on 20th of April in Lourdes is the season opening, and therefore from that date on a lot of tourists will be visiting that place.
- Bordeaux and Toulouse aren’t very far from Lourdes. You can take the train to one of these amazing cities or you can do it otherwise, stop in Toulouse or Bordeaux and have a day trip to Lourdes.
- if you stop for more days in Lourdes and you’re not really into everyday prayers, then you’d be pleasantly surprised of how many other activities you can do there. And here is the link to a long list of them, from hiking to rafting, from spas to wildlife parks and why not gourmet tours? 🙂
- try to find apartments for rent instead of hotel rooms, because you’ll have more privacy, more flexibility and by eating breakfast or dinner at home you’ll save some money.
- there’s a big Carrefour Market in Lourdes from where you can buy your groceries. If you want to feel the real local life then head to Les Halles or the food local market. There you can find a wide selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, olive oil, cured meats, specialty foods, fish and wine. Les Halles market is housed in an elegant building in the centre of Lourdes.
I hope my post will help you plan your trip to Lourdes.
Whenever you are TRAVEL SAFE AND WISE!