Old Feb 12th, 2001, 09:12 AM
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We will be in Paris in early March for six nights. My friend would like to go to Lourdes for a day. Has anyone done this and is it feasible and worthwhile?

Thanks so much.

Old Feb 12th, 2001, 10:24 AM
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I'm not sure how you would be traveling, but by train it is my recollection that Lourdes is 5-6 hours away from Paris, one way. So feasible in a day, yes, but not tolerable! My geography may be off, so please check a map as to mileage.
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 12:09 PM
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Lourdes is in the Midi-Pyrennes region, not too far from the Spanish border. So it is quite a distance from Paris. (Check out a map of France.) My guidebook on France says that you can get a TGV from Gare Montparnasse, 439FF, and that it's a 5-and-a-half-hour trip (each way); or regular rail from Gare d'Austerlitz, 487FF, nine-hour trip (again, each way). I'm not sure how up-to-date the prices are, but the point is, you can visit Lourdes if you've the energy to fit all this train travel into a short space of time. Also, depending on the timetable for these trains, you might have to stay overnight in Lourdes.

Another possibility is taking a connecting flight to Lourdes upon arriving in Paris, and then training up to Paris later. However, you really do not have a lot of time in Paris, and if this is your first trip there, I'd save Lourdes for another time.

Perhaps a daytrip to Chartres Cathedral, not far from Paris and easy to fit into a day, would interest your friend. This has been a pilgrimmage site for hundreds of years, and the church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the many wonders of the place is a well-preserved labyrinth, which visitors may use in a form of Christian meditation. This is something quite unique. When I visited Chartres, the labyrinth was made available to visitors in the early evening, an hour before the Cathedral closed to visitors.

In closing, perhaps someone else has actually done the trip to Lourdes in a day and can give you further info. But it sure seems exhausting to me.
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 12:13 PM
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PS You could check out details of the trains to Lourdes at and/or (Forgot to include this above.)
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 12:33 PM
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I've heard that Lourdes is pretty tacky, anyway. I would suggest if your friend is very religious and interested in Marian apparitions, that you go to the Chapel of St. Catherine Laboure. It is right in Paris near the rue du Bac metro (the chapel is at 140 rue du Bac); this is the saint whose apparition at this site (chapel of ther convent) was the basis of the Miraculous Medal. You can buy medals there and her remains are there. I don't think that theologically a particular site and ground is supposed to be worshipped, so I would think this would suffice.
Old Feb 13th, 2001, 01:48 PM
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Judy, in regard to my PS above, that should have been

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