The best way to visit Lourdes when it drizzles
Lourdes is in the foothills of Pyrenees mountains in southwestern of France. It is perfectly known globally for its Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, they call it also a major Catholic pilgrimage site.
Did you know that millions of people millions visit the Grotto of Massabielle ? It’s normal cause the Grotto is where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a local woman in 1858.
Devotees or Pilgrims can drink or take a bathe in the water spring of the grotto freely. However what we didn’t know is that Lourdes has a tremendous other sites to offer, not only the sanctuary but also the beauty of its City as well.
A brief Road trip
Early in the morning in Barcares, we started to coordinate the necessary things that we need to transport with us. It’s a 3 hours and a half route to Lourdes, France. We took our companion with us and drive straight to the place.
Staring at the sky, hoping that it won’t rain when we get there. Fortunately “Pachimari” is there to make me smile, while jaunting I notice we pass 3-4 times of toll stop. It makes me think that we need to pay a bunch of euros for tolls again.
Few hours later, we embark in this lovely city full of people with unusual attire, they are actually Pilgrims who serve in the Santuary.
Arriving at the city’s main site, I noticed that the rains starts to pour. (luckily I didn’t forget to bring my umbrella).
So we started to search for a parking place and look for a cheap restaurant to eat lunch.
A 5 minutes walk from where our car was park, we didn’t hesitate to get in and ordered some food. We both chose scampi (large shrimps) accompanied with rice and salads.
The meal wasn’t bad a great way to spend time inside a restaurant while its raining outside.
There were old women in the restaurant as well trying to order in spanish and it was so funny cause their accent was different from the one I use to hear. (Castellano)
After our meal we ordered two cups of coffee, best way to end the meal of course. nothing can beat that!
Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes
As we were walking on the streets, I saw some souvenir shops selling certain empty gallons. The purpose of this is actually to put the holy water and give it as a souvenir to your family, friends or relatives.
I thought of buying one (5L) it was around 60 cents, the lady from the souvenir store was very kind to us. She even spoke with me in Filipino (my language) and I was truly surprise how did she found it out. I thought maybe because of my nose (an asian appearance).
Rain didn’t burden us to visit the sanctuary and besides I have dreamed of coming here for a long time. I wouldn’t devastate all our effort just because of the rain.
The interior part
Entering the interior part was has a huge impact to me, I can feel chills all over my body. A bizarre feeling that no one can explain. Watching those people kneeling, with their deepest thoughts praying it hits me down into my veins.
I saw a bunch of handicapped persons assisted by their chaperon, my heart was broken every time I see each one of them passing by.
Getting out, It still drizzling a little bit so we open out our umbrellas and march to get some holy water. We saw a couple of people queuing on a place where beside the big rock near the sanctuary.
Not knowing about what is inside, we also joined the queue and realize that It was eventually the Grotto.
Our Lady of Lourdes
The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a 14-year-old Bernadette has change the world of the Roman Catholic religion. It has attracted millions of people to visit this place, its said to have 5 million pilgrims every season.
The story of Bernadette started, when she told her mother that one day a mysterious in white, with a golden rosary and blue belt fastened around her waist, and two golden roses at her feet. the lady spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle.
Latter the lady admitted to Bernadette that she is the Immaculate Conception, and the story spread thought out the village.
Blessed Virgin Mary said to appeared to her 18 times and Lourdes became the major place of Roman Catholic Pilgrimage and of it miraculous healings. They say that if you are suffering a incurable diseases, the holy water of the spring will cure you miraculously.
Every season, the whole place of the sanctuary is filled with devotees even hotels are full of reservations. If you’re planning to go here? here’s a good advice. reserve your hotel in advance!
Did you know that the City of Lourdes has the second largest number of Hotels in France after Paris? Yes! it is.
Meanwhile when we finished visiting the grotto, we found the place where to get the holy water and filled our 5L gallon with. On the other there was a curious corner where people where sitting and waiting for something, I have no idea what was it.
I approached a man and ask him about the notion, and he said it was the water spring from the grotto where people can bathe and drink.
There were a lot of people waiting but I’ve clinched myself that instead of queuing to bathe in the spring.
I would prefer to pave my way to know who are more in need of it.
Upper Portion of the Sanctuary
Second part of the sanctuary was the portion where you will discover more about Marie-Bernadette Soubirous life. About her history, detailed story how she met the Lady Immaculate Concepcion, and how people believe her.
She is known worldwide as Bernadette of Lourdes, if it wasn’t of her people won’t affirm about the existence of Blessed Virgin Mary.
Third part of the Sanctuary
The milieu of the third part of the sanctuary was more intense, we visited the site and read every each of the descriptions of the memoir of Bernadette’s. The interior section has a bunch of thanks giving, prayers, and donation notes from pilgrims.
Afterwards we went to the terrace and took couple of photos from the top. The outlook was splendid, though the sky was in grey image. It was an absolute perfection with the city, lake, and the fort château.
View from the top
descending from the upper part, we walk for 5 minutes to take our car and next destination? the Fort that you can see at the end of the photo? that’s where we are going.
Don’t forget to follow our next adventure, a tour in the Château Fort of Lourdes, and be amaze of the skyline view of the City.