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Lourdes

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#1
My planned starting point now is Lourdes on October 9. There seems to be "no room in the inn" for that night using internet reservation services! Is there a festival? Does anyone have a recommendation for very low end accommodations between two-star and a manger (but I won't have a tent)?
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
Perhaps you could email the Tourism Office in Lourdes for advice? A 2006 pilgrim said that he slept at St Pierre:

The first night I slept at cité St Pierre, where pilgrims to Lourdes are welcomed, but they also welcomed this pilgrim to St James. You'll have to arrive there in time: dinner is served until 20:00 only.
The Chemin du Piemont de Pyreneen guide book lists these pilgrim's hostels for Lourdes.

Lourdes AC Entraide Saint-Martin Près Porte Saint-Joseph --- 05.62.42.79.94
Info pèlerin – hébergements religieux
Lourdes AC La Cité Saint-Pierre Av. Monseigneur Rodhain --- 05.62.42.71.11
2 ch libres pour gens de passage & pèlerins + crédential – participation libre
Lourdes AC Accueil international 3,chemin de L’Arrouza --- 05.62.94.34.54
90 pl ch & dortoir coin cuisine participation aux frais Tél. avant
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#5
I found on the Lourdes website that the 7th- 10th October is the "Rosary Pilgrimage". I guess that could swell the numbers who have made online bookings already...
http://www.lourdes2008.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11&Itemid=0

When I stayed in Lourdes in 2006 I found a 'no star' hotel not far from the Railway Station. It didn't look like it was a thriving business so I couldn't be sure it would still be there. But it wouldn't be on the internet I shouldn't imagine....
 

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Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#6
As this year is the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions, Lourdes has been packed all year. Agree with other suggestions about La Cite St Pierre, it's on the outskirts of Lourdes, still only 1km from the Sanctuaries, and caters for low income pilgrims.

The Lourdes Tourisme website http://www.lourdes-infotourisme.com/uk/ is useful for finding accommodation at all levels, and provides websites and email addresses of hotels you can follow up.
 
#7
Re: Lourdes, hotel, bookshop

hi. i walked the camino aragonés in june 2008 and began in lourdes. i was not sure what to expect as i heard that the commercial side of lourdes could be a little overwhelming ... but even this part had a strange beauty ... and the experience was more moving than i could have imagined ... a rich beginning for my very long walk ... i even went into the baths.

i can recommend a place to stay ... it is not too far from the grotto ... the hotel le menvielle (3 chaussée du bourg) ... two english ladies own the small hotel ... janine and margaret ... they are very funny, the place is inexpensive and there is a small english bookshop owned by nicole and barry griffin ... just down the street and they carry the camino aragonés guidebooks.

please tell them kimberly from key west says hello and that i made it to santiago near the end of july ... and found everything that i was looking for.

i don't have the telephone number to the hotel but the bookshop number is 33 (0) 5 62 42 27 94
lourdesbks@wanadoo.fr ... they are the ones who told me about the hotel, so they would be able to give you the number if you want to make reservations, etc.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#8
Hi Kimberley,
I'll be walking from Lourdes in 7 months time - counting down the weeks now! Did you walk the Aragones route? If so, do you have a blog we can read, or a diary you can share. I have got a couple from this forum but it is always useful to read a new, up-to-date account of a pilgrim's journey.
Hugs,

http://en.federal-hotel.com/hotel_menvi ... _11641.htm
 
#9
lourdes and the camino aragonés

hi silly

i did walk the camino aragonés and i am so happy that i chose this 'road less traveled'. my first camino was four years ago and i walked from vezeley during the winter ... so, you can imagine that for me, walking in the summer time was very, very different ... this camino was all about flowers and taking my time. another part that i enjoyed was walking near the rivers and streams of the aragonés, hearing rushing water in the background was a beautiful contrast to the longer, hotter days to come.

please feel free to email me if there are any specific questions. also, here is a quick peek at wandering woman's blog ... i made it to arres while she was a hospitalero ... i highly recommend staying here.

http://wandering-woman.blogspot.com/2008/06/ermita-de-santa-gata-arrs.html
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#10
It would be wonderful if you could put some little jottings down in the Vezelay section on your Vezelay trip - or put a blog address there if you did one. That I know of, there are at least 2 of us headed that way next year. Any general comments you make might trigger questions from us. Thanks, Janet
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#11
Accommodations were easy to find when we arrived on October 16. The Tourist Office provided us a list of places in our price range (dirt cheap). The first one did not seem to be open, but the second one, an Irish-operated religious hostel with single rooms, had plenty of space. There were hundreds of lodgings with "vacancy" signs out, so I had the impression that finding a bed is no problem unless there is a special event.

I have never seen so many wheelchairs in my life.

The underground church is over two football fields in length! There was a mass being conducted, but it only used the first few dozen pews.

We ate lunch at a Scottish fish and chips place, and the hostess, referred to Barack Obama as "that abortionist," so religious passion runs high! Personally, I have always thought of him as a lawyer and politician, but then I never checked his briefcase for medical instruments, and perhaps she had. The hostess must be in a high froth by now over the election results, but the rest of Europe seemed pleased.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#13
I stayed in Lourdes for six days in 2006. I am a 'lapsed' Catholic and went more from curiosity than anything. And I thought that I might only be there for an afternoon. I already knew that Lourdes was full of tacky souvenir shops. What I wasn't prepared for was the way I would feel 'drawn in' to the prayerfulness within the whole sanctuary area.

I arrived on a sunny, warm May afternoon and got a room in a very cheap hotel close to the railway station, that happened to give me my own personal view out onto the Pyrenees. I then walked down to the sanctuary itself for my 'afternoon' visit. There were so many people, wheelchairs, church buildings, that I was almost overwhelmed, and I was getting ready to leave. But I was standing high on the ramp that is near the tallest of the churches, when I noticed people gathering down below. It turned out that the daily procession of the Blessed Sacrament, accompanied by many of the sick and their carers, was about to begin. I went down below to watch, and found myself immersed in the prayer of Lourdes. As the sick went past, everyone else was quiet in respect and prayer.

I wasn't on the Chemin/Camino at the time, but for anyone interested I wrote some reflections on my visit: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/margar17/Lourdesreflections.htm

I know that sil plans to start her next Camino from Lourdes. And I have already decided that my 'next' one will start from there as well. I just don't have a definite year in mind yet!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#14
I visited Lourdes in 2004. I was walking the Via Turonensis with a Christian friend and she couldn't pass up the opportunity of a side trip to Lourdes. We got a morning train from Dax and spent a day there. In the afternoon we got a train back to Peyrehorade where we then had a 15km walk up the hills to Bidache.
Yes, the busy, frantic, touristy town is like a Mary and Bernadette Disney World, with souvenir gift shops full of religious trinkets, plastic water bottles in the shape of Mary, pictures of Mary and Bernadette on everything from ashtrays to aprons and Christ being crucified with eyes that blink. There was a constant stream of large luxury busses bringing in tourists and pilgrims, jamming the narrow main street.
But, once you cross over the river into the sanctuary, there is a completely different vibe. It has a sacred air about it but I found it overly businesslike with volunteers hurrying up the queue at the grotto, (no time to tarry or pray) people filling their plastic 'Marian' bottles with water from the taps, queues at the confessional boxes and a general air of a well run, business like organisation. There are three chapels and a huge underground basilica where up to 25,000 people can take mass.
And then there are the thousands of ill, dying and disabled. I have a child in a wheelchair and have been involved with disability groups for over 30 years. The look of hope on the faces of those in wheelchairs as they were being wheeled in the procession really upset me. Officially the Catholic Church says there have been only 65 miracles at Lourdes which means that many, many millions go away disappointed.
I think that the miracle of Lourdes is that a lot of people with disabilities learn to accept their disability - they have made the journey, tried the scared water and even though it didn't work, they are happy that they went there.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#15
An international doctors' panel appointed by the Roman Catholic Church says it is getting out of the "miracle" business at Lourdes. The panel will no longer judge whether pilgrims to the French shrine could have benefited from "miracle" healing – a huge shift from the centuries-old way.
"It seems 'miracle' may not be the right word to use any more," said Bishop Jacques Perrier of the Diocese of Tarbes and Lourdes.
 

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