The twenty fourth annual school pilgrimage to Lourdes took place between Saturday 14th July and Thursday 19th July 2018. 31 students from year 7-11 travelled to Lourdes via Paris by executive coach enjoying full board accommodation at the Hotel Croix des Bretons.
On the outward journey to Lourdes, the group stopped in Paris for a few hours to experience the sights of this famous city and had a one hour cruise on the River Seine before continuing the journey to Lourdes.
Whilst in Lourdes, students took part in the torchlight procession, Stations of the Cross and visited the places associated with the Lourdes story and life of Bernadette. The village of Bartres was also visited where students had the opportunity to see the home of the Lague family which was the home of Bernadette whilst she experienced bouts of illness. Students also travelled on the Pic du Jer funicular railway to a height of 921 metres experiencing fantastic views of the town of Lourdes and outlying villages.
Some students also took the opportunity to watch the World Cup Final between France and Croatia which resulted in France being crowned world champions the atmosphere that early evening in Lourdes truly being an electrical one as the town embraced the nation’s victory.
The group also visited the Caves of Betharram which gave them an opportunity venture deep underground to marvel at the stunning delights that were formed over millions of years by underground rivers forming varies caverns as well as stalactites and stalagmites (still can’t remember which is which!)
A full day trip to the Spanish town of San Sebastian saw the group spend a few hours on the beach as well as making the ascent of Mont Igeldo via funicular railway to enjoy a picnic, fun fair and facilities at the top.
On the final night the group visited the grotto, lit candles, said prayers and deposited the petitions that had been brought from back home. The last night is always a special night and gives students the opportunity to think about and to inwardly thank those parents/carers/family members who have made their trip to Lourdes possible.
Afterwards we returned to the hotel to conclude our evening with a few songs being sung as well as Mr Postlethwaite’s penned version of Allez allez allez Lourdes:
Allez allez allez Lourdes
We got the coach to Lourdes
We left at 5 o’clock
From Aintree down to Paris
We arrived at 9 o’clock
The grotto and the convent,
The mountain and the lake
Followed by the beach
We stayed up very late
Allez allez allez ..
We travelled all through England
And travelled down through France
When we arrived it Lourdes
It was time to dance
The candles and the water
The rosary and the zoo
Visits to McDonalds
Ice creams one or two
Allez allez allez .
Inevitably on the return journey the question "can I put my name down for next year" is asked and details for the trip in July 2019 will be available from Mr. Postlethwaite by the end of September.