Tarbes & Lourdes


Weather a bit cloudy today still warm though, so we decided to have a drive to a bigger town than our nearest “Auch” to try to find some more life, you see the strange thing about France is that there does not seem to be many people around, there is nothing open at all on Sunday’s & Monday’s and everywhere shuts between 12:00 & 2:30 even in the large towns it’s quite surreal so when visiting a point to bear in mind. Tarbes is a large town looks quite industrial on the drive in but it has a lovely centre plenty of shops bars & restaurants. So we found a very nice café overlooking the centre fountain, and a very nice meal was had by all. After our meal and drinking a very nice expresso we look at the map to see if there were any other interesting sights in the area, only to discover that we were not far from Lourdes, although I knew it was in our region I did not think it was so close to where we were. So off we went to have a look.
Lourdes. Now I am not religious at all but I am a lover of religious architecture and Lourdes basilica is a stunning piece of architecture it’s absolutely enormous, and attracts 6 million visitors a year, it also has spawned many shops selling tacky religious items it’s just unbelievable it has to been seen to be believed, and as for the candle’s you can buy all sorts of sizes starting at around €5 the people then queue to the grotto where the apparition happened, but this is not to light them as you would expect but to hand them to chap who then neatly stacks them in a container to maybe be sold again? big business if you ask me. The other strange sight was around the rock base of the basilica there was a line of taps where people who had bought containers from the many tacky shops (see photo) and filled them with I suppose holy water? These containers ranged from very small right up to 5 litre ones, like the candles it had to be seen to be believed. Toulouse on Friday so watch this space.



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