pilgrims visiting Lourdes need to be very careful as professional pickpockets mingle with pilgrims and in a place like Lourdes you can be inclined to think people are all there for the spiritual pilgrimage when in fact these people mingle everywhere especially at the grotto and believe it or not in churches whilst mass is conducted as we found out when a member of our group attended mass in the church in the shopping area,she remembers giving to the collection during mass but between that and the hotel,which is only a short distance away her purse disappeared.the police told her that criminal gangs come in from Italy.so be carefull~
Just because Lourdes attracts pilgrims en masse you might think that somewhere along the line there might be some limits to the commercialism that runs rampant in Lourdes. To be honest, this was a big turn off for me. Almost the whole downtown area of Lourdes near the grottos is packed to the rafters with souvenir stores peddling the usual stuff. However, if you are in the market for rosaries you can find every color or shape and an almost unlimited selection of plastic, wood or metal. There are crosses, there are vials for pouring the holy water into. Its like a department store for religious items. Really, everyone is in these stores, even the pilgrims and the nuns and so forth.
In my opinion it was tacky and tasteless.
On the other hand, tourism accounts for a huge portion of the city's income, so providing jobs is a very good thing for residents. I tried to remember that people have to make a living.
HOP Air, a subsidiary of Air France operates reasonably priced flights out of Lourdes/Tarbes airport, however, please be careful about what time you are leaving. Why?
There are no early morning services to Lourdes/Tarbes airport, so you will have to take a cab, which will cost about 40 euro (from near the train station). The flight lasts about an hour and 15 minutes so if you can take a later flight and take advantage of more transport options to the airport you will save some money.
don`t be naive, even if this is the town where Our Lady appeared store owners will still give you tourist prices for the items they sell. learn to bargain.
and be reminded that no matter how expensive the crystals your rosary beads are made of - it will not matter. what matters is the quality of your prayers.