Praying for the marketing of Lourdes
If you are a believer, you probably already know about the saint place in Lourdes. Christians from all over Europe gather around the spring and drink water that is said to give you more health, more happiness, more freedom. My point of view is rather opposite than typical for such region.
To start with, the whole city is flourished with stores, shops that scream here and there “Buy plastic bottles with a Christ”, “Buy two Jesus statues and get third for free”, “We offer the clothes that our popes wear”. Sorry, but 3-euro plastic bottle just because the world “Lourdes” is written on it, what?? I would say that the Virgin Mary blessed the city with good marketing for centuries. Most of the people, don’t even enter The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, don’t pray or think about the good and evil there but head straightly to the queue to get 5l. of water to the highly priced bottle.
I found a much more pleasant place next to the old castle Château Fort de Lourdes where the view to the city opens. That’s just a great place to have a picnic or to chill out with music. It is also not crowded to compare with the Domain place. I had a chance to meet two Australians who were traveling all around Europe and exploring the unknown world to them. France is extremely easy to make new friends and share the experience. After some hours I headed to see less touristic streets and cafes.
I was surprised that the city is dead everywhere besides two main streets that take you to the main sightseeing points. The river Gave de Pa has many stone bridges, divides small valleys and creates many picturesque romantic places. I highly recommend you to go there and enjoy truly saint natural spots.
Lourdes is really great for a couple of days of you you get out of the marketing heaven and enjoy mountains, lakes, and rivers.