The twenty fifth annual school pilgrimage to Lourdes took place between Sunday 14th July and Friday 19th July 2019. 30 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 – Pairs being extra busy on this evening due to it being Bastille Day in France, 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. From Bartres, the group then visited Centre Aquatique Lau Folies where they were able to enjoy the slides, pools and chutes of this outdoor aquatic park which were very welcome as the temperatures on this year’s trip were very high indeed. This year the students also visited the museum of Pyrenean life which is found at the top of the never conquered eleventh century built château fort de Lourdes. This was then followed by a venicular railway ride to the top of the Pic du Jour at a height of 921m to enjoy fine panoramic views of Lourdes and surrounding areas.
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 given to them by people back at 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.
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 2020 will be available from Mr. Postlethwaite by the end of September.