Dear Family and Friends,
This morning we checked out of our hotel in San Sebastian and took a taxi to the airport. There we met two representatives from the Peugeot factory. They brought a brand new car, straight from the factory, that we are leasing for the next 5 weeks.We will turn it in when we leave Madrid to fly back to Ecuador.
They went over the entire car with us. Here they are showing the engine. Yep, it's new alright.
After we got the car we headed due east toward the Pyrenees mountains to go to Lourdes, France.
We arrived in Lourdes in the early afternoon and checked into our hotel.
We walked to THE tourist attraction. The Grotto where Bernadette Soubirous, a 14 year old peasant girl, saw the apparition of a lady. The apparition occurred more than once....eighteen times in total. The apparitions occurred between 11 February and 16 July 1858. She would later receive recognition when the lady who appeared to her identified herself as the immaculate conception.
People have been coming to Lourdes for over a 150 years to seek healing from the waters.
Even though today was, once again, an overcast day, I did the best I could in taking pictures to share this place with you.
This is the chapel the lady requested to be built over the cave where she appeared.
There is a lower and an upper chapel.
This is the inside of the lower chapel.
After we came out of the lower chapel we went up the stairway to the upper landing. There we turned around and saw the gold crown that is on top of the dome of the lower chapel. You can see some of the city of Lourdes looking beyond the crown.
This is a look inside the chapel on the top.
After viewing the upper chapel, we went back down the stairs and behind the church to see the grotto.
Just before you get to the grotto there are spigots with healing water coming from a spring, I presume, located somewhere near the grotto.
Here is a lady filling a bottle with the water.
Chuck put his hand in the water.
A little further was the actual grotto. The church is built on top of the grotto, just as the lady requested.
A priest was giving a Mass. There is a statue of the Virgin where the lady appeared. She is in the upper right of the grotto.
Here is a picture of the grotto and church. The grotto is where the people are standing. The church was built right on top of it.
Tonight, like every night, there will be a candlelight procession. We are planning to go and I hope to take some pictures. If any of them turn out I will share the results with you later.