Lourdes, France

There are not many places in the world that the faithfuls of the Catholic Church can make a pilgrimage to. And though was not quite the circus I was expecting – quite possibly because we visited in the off-season – it was definitely something else. The surrounds of the church were astonishingly beautiful which befitted the fact that this was a site where a miracle happened.

I felt pretty moved by the sight of people waiting outside the famous grotto, especially those that were in wheelchairs – it reminded me how frail human beings are and how prone we are in our times of need to pray for a miracle.

There were lots of souvenirs available like these luminscent Virgin Mary statues – as you might expect, most of the stuff sold was pretty tacky. It makes you feel a bit sick to see the way people profiteer from religion, but hey, what’s new…

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