Lourdes is a small town in southwestern France that rests below the beautiful Pyrenees mountains. It is a major Catholic pilgrimage site, as in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a young girl now known as Saint Bernadette. Being honest, in the past I haven't been one who speaks about my faith in the media, but when I say that this was one of the most peaceful and holy places that I have ever experienced, I do mean it. The place just had this positive energy and feeling surrounding every part of it. From the people that lived there who greeted you with smiles (even if they couldn't understand your language!), to the beauty in the nature. There was so much light and goodness in this little town, and it was without a doubt worth visiting.
We began our journey to Lourdes with a very scenic two hour drive through some of the most picturesque rural landscapes I've ever seen. My younger sister and I freaked out to say the least when we saw our first sunflower field. Little did we know, that was nothing compared to what was coming. Throughout the drive from Toulouse to Lourdes, then Lourdes to Arles, we must have passed at least 30+ gorgeous yellow fields, blooming with the biggest and brightest of sunflowers. Of course, we had to stop and take photos. Featuring my first photo appearance on this blog:
One of the most interesting parts of Lourdes, other than visiting the grotto where miracles have occurred, had to be the cultures and languages present. You can sit down at a restaurant and hear five different languages being spoken around you at once. The town itself was so cute and quaint. River Gave de Pau ran through the center, giving yet another scenic view with the Mountains in the back.
Annndd my personal favorite, the Pyrenees Mountains themselves. We took a funicular up the steep slopes of the mountains and what we saw was breathtaking. We spent almost an hour just taking in the view from the top. If you looked far enough, you could see snow capping the mountains in the distance. Big birds soared above us, through the clouds that touched the tops. It was so amazing that no photo or video footage could do it all justice.
Lourdes, France-- you've won me over. Next stop: Arles.