Lourdes is one of the most crowded Marian sanctuary of Europe, together with Fatima, Częstochowa and Medjugorje, but unlike these ones it’s also a beautiful place surrounded by a wonderful nature (Pyrenees, rivers, trees, etc.)
It is in the French Pyrenees, not far from the Spanish border and it is a small 15000 town; but here, in 1858, the young Bernadette Soubirous, a local fourteen years old countrywoman, told to have seen eighteen apparition of the Virgin Mary, in a cavern not distant from the small Massabielle suburb.
So far the Church has recognized miraculous seventy healings; and obviously that it is the supernatural field, inexplicable scientifically, and so everyone can believe what he wants but what is certain is that here, as in every spiritual place, you can breathe a special air and the “white train” experience is for “stretched bearer” and the “sisters” something unique that can change your life (in better obviously). It need to go with “free” and open spirit, otherwise you will lost the chance both to grew spiritually and making special friendship; what is amazing in these place is that beyond the miracles and people’s solidarity, do not exist “masks” and so there is an race, social class, career and richness resetting. It is not rare to see at the same table during the meals the humble person and the aristocratic, the rich northern manager and the southern widow countrywoman
Obviously the center of Lourdes is the historic cavern where Bernardette had the apparitions (there are similar reconstructions in several churches world spread – there is also a very in beautiful one on San Pasquale church in Naples), also the swimming pools are very famous (beware the very long lines; it is recommended to go while the others are having the lunch). The amazing fact, besides the miraculous capabilities, is that you don’t get wet, but after the immersion you get wet. The basil is sumptuous and the clearing is beautiful, often, in the very suggestive night torchlight procession are held. Also the visit to the places where Bernadette had lived is very interesting in order to understand the way people lived 150 years ago.
In these “spiritual” places, every hotel and restaurant is fine, it doesn’t make sense to suggest one, more or less are all similar, and the travel’s aim has not to be the “comfort” at any costs, but other. Besides the train going to Lourdes (there is the station), you can also go by plane (landing very close- 30 minutes car- at Tarbes airport), obviously fast solution, but very different from the “White train”.