Lourdes, France is a beautiful small town south of Paris. It’s a place between heavy tourism and quiet agricultural life. You could just marvel at the gorgeous views of the Pyrenees region.
If you are going for the main tourist attraction: The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, from the train station (Lourdes). In the main plaza of the of the Upper Basilica, they prepare for the morning mass. They give the people with ailment their own wheelchair that looks and works like a rickshaw and wheel them to the front of the grotto. Most of the people that gather in the grotto looks either mournful or sad. It wasn’t a place to celebrate, it was a place to be solemn and prayer for healing.
To the Grotto: The lower part of the Basilica is still closed until around October of 2013 (Maybe more). If you’re going for pilgrimage, I’d wait until the Lower Basilica, Grotto, and Bath open to take a trip to Lourdes. When open, the Grotto and Bath is on the bottom right if you’re facing the Upper Basilica. Do not go inside the Basilica instead stay outside and walk towards the River (Gave de Pau). When you walk further along the River, you’ll find yourself at the Bath. The spring that St. Bernadette dug up after the Marian apparition. There is actually a 24 hour webcam if you do not have the money to travel to France.
They dip me in that cold spring water in a tiled tub, naked. They wrapped me in a bathrobe that was still wet from what I assume was someone else’s wet body. They also do not allow you to wipe the the water off your body. So, if you’re going to visit Lourdes for the Bath. Please wear some flip-flops. If not, there are always shops along the the Rue de la Grotte and Pl. Marcadal for sandals.
Lourdes had a live webcast of The Grotto: http://en.lourdes-france.org/tv-lourdes/
2013 Flood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDPEeL-ZR3M
DIRECTIONS FROM PARIS TO LOURDES VIA TRAIN (TGV):
- Overnight Train: Board the train from Gare de Austerlitz and your stop will be Lourdes, there’s a huge stop at Toulouse, do not mistake it for your stop.
- Day Trains: Board the train from Gare de Montparnasse.
From the Lourdes train station:
As you leave the train station towards Av. de la Garre, turn right and then turn left at Rue San Pierre, keep going straight, then make a right onto Rue de la Grotte. It’s a 20 minute walk from the Train Station to the Grotto.
Please go to www.raileurope.com for schedule.
From the Lourdes/tarbes airport:
There is a bus route every 20-30 minutes to/from Airport to Town for approximately € 2.20 each way. NOTE: The bus does not operate from noon to 2pm for lunch break.
For bus schedules: