Lourdey Lourdey Lourdey!
Lourdes is a centre of pilgrimage. I hated pilgrims at school because we always had to sing that horrendous hymn "to be a pilgrim". Leaving that to one side Lourdes is a strange place. Entering the town there is a magnificent mediaeval castle on a pinacle of rock - I would have loved to have explored this. The town itself is bustling and historical. There is a sort of walk to the cathedral which is on a hill, underwhich are caves with magical waters, it is said. The cathedral inside is rather like any. Yes it is beautiful. The main street is a cacophony of street vendors selling Holy Water, Holy Bottles, Icons, Idols, nasty plastic bottles in the shape of the Virgin Mary in different shades of blue and pink, Holy hats, Holy t-shirts....it was almost like Las Vegas - but for Catholics.
I did not feel anything especially spiritual about the place. I tried. There are a lot of nuns and things around....I recall buying some bread and some marvelous local ham and enjoying this immensely over a pint on the main street. I watched a nun - or a woman masquerading as a nun - go into a hotel with an attractive youngman in a track suit. I wonder what they were doing. I would recommend Lourdes to a visiter.