My sister, Terry, has a friend, Ronda, who lives in the suburbs of Paris. Using her apartment as home base, I explored Paris on foot for three days(35 mile warm-up). Everyone knows what the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre look like so I am not including pictures from the city. It was a first for me, though, navigating a huge foreign city on my own. Trains, buses, metro lines and street signs! Thank goodness for Google maps and Google translate!!
I took the eurail to Pau, in southern France. My childhood friend, Tina, connected me with a couple who live near there in the foothills of the Pyrennes. It is not far from Lourdes. Today we drove there for mass and a visit at the Grotto of Lourdes where St. Bernadette and the Blessed Virgin had a meet-up over 100 years ago. IT was a very spiritual and peaceful experience. We went early to avoid the huge crowds..today is Palm Sunday which begins holy week.
My hosts, Alan and Patricia Duthu, have a lovely home with a most incredible view of the Pyrennes. I feel like a princess here. When we returned from Lourdes he drove through the mountains along the route of the Tour de France. Very magestic, steep hills and all.
Tomorrow they will drop me at the train so I can take the short ride to St Jean. After receiving my official passport to walk the Camino I will truly begin the Journey.
Bon soir, mes amies