10/21 – now we leave Sunny Spain and continue our trek east. As we contemplated our next destination, there was no question that we had to visit Lourdes. After walking the Camiño and visiting Fatima, Lourdes completes our pilgrimage trifecta.
This is the first time I’ve ever been to France, and neither of us speak the language, so we may be in for a challenging week, as we’ve heard from other travelers that the French are not very welcoming to those who can’t converse in their tongue.
We travelled on three trains today; a first-class high-speed from Barcelona to Narbonne, another from Narbonne to Toulouse Matabiau, then a second-class local from Toulouse to Lourdes that stopped every 15 minutes or so. We reached our destination by 17:30. Our first aha was that in French train stations you must pay .50 to pee, and the WCs on the train have no running water to wash your hands (savon – oui, eau – non!)
Here are some pics of The French countryside from out our train window (including some window reflections):
When we got to the Lourdes station, we attempted to reserve the next leg of our journey. Our second aha for the day was that, although there are seats available on Friday’s train, there are no seats for EuRail pass-holders. We were warned that this would be a problem in France, and indeed it is. So, we ended up having to pay full price for our tickets, and will have to travel second class.
The third and best aha was that Jim booked us a killer suite here in Lourdes, with a full kitchen including a fridge, stove and a dishwasher! Unheard of! I think there may be a home-cooked meal in our future – magnifique!