Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lourdes, Toulouse

Today my trip goes from Spain to France.
 In the morning at Canfranc station. A bus stop is located just next to the station, where there is a service to France and the town of Bedous.

 This bus is included in the Interrail ticket.
 After a long tunnel journey, the road is descending down from the mountains
 Located next to the road is the abandoned Pau-Canfranc railway

 Fort Portalet
 Many tunnels and bridges on this railway


 Last stop for the bus - Bedous, it was supposed to be the first stop for the train I was going to take. Unfortunately, the railway traffic between Bedous and Pau was suspended this day, due to heavy raining recently. No replacement bus was present either, so the situation was tricky.
 A van taxi was picking up 6 passengers that was supposed to take the train to Pau. The price was 30EUR instead of 6EUR for the train, on the other hand it was a better solution than just being stuck at Bedous.
Pau station is connecting the railway to Canfranc with the Toulouse-Bayonne railway
 Station in Pau opened in 1863
 My next, or I should say first train today is the TGV service to Lourdes

 This is one of the newest TGV Océane trains with the seats rotated to face the direction of travel
 All seats except this 4 seat group are faced in the direction of travel

 Gave de Pau river

 St-Pé (Htes-Pyrénées)
 Seat map of the TGV Océane 2nd floor
 After a short trip, I have reached Lourdes

 Unfortunately there are no lockers at the French stations (due to the terrorist threat), so there is no place to store the luggage at the station. Since Lourdes is a tourist town, some hotels are offering this service for a small fee.
 Today Lourdes is one of the world's most important sites of pilgrimage and religious tourism.
 Château Fort Musée Pyrénéen

 Basilique Notre Dame du Rosaire

 From Wikipedia: "The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes or the Domain (as it is most commonly known) is an area of ground surrounding the Catholic shrine (Grotto) to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes, France. The Sanctuary is a destination for pilgrimage; sick pilgrims are reputed to be miraculously healed by Lourdes water. This ground is owned and administrated by the Roman Catholic Church, and has several functions, including devotional activities, offices, and accommodation for sick pilgrims and their helpers."

 The view from the Castle

 Intercité train between Toulouse and Bayonne

 The hotel where I stored my luggage had a house cat
 Next train is also a TGV, a short trip to Tarbes
 There has been a strike going on since April 2018 on certain days every month. During my days in France, there has also been some strike days, but I did not even notice it.
 Passing by Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport, which is an aircraft storage facility

 At Tarbes, I'm changing to a TER service for Toulouse
 Two Régiolis trains, which are both versions of Alstom Coradia Polyvalent
 Z54900 is a suburban electric version
 Z51500 is a regional electric version

 Catholic Pilgrimages train from Italy directly to Lourdes

 Montrejeau Gourdan Polignan
 Montréjeau-Gourdan-Polignan is a junction station between Toulouse - Bayonne and the Montréjeau - Luchon railway lines. The latter one is closed since 2014.

 Final stop - Toulouse
 Regio 2N

 Boulevard de Strasbourg

 My hotel is located at Place du Capitole. Since it is very hot this day, I did appreciate the air condition at my room.

 37C in the shadow
 Chapelle Saint-Joseph de la Grave
 Garonne river, which starts in Spain and flows into Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux.
 Le Pont Neuf
 Notre Dame de la Daurade

Fontaine de Pierre Goudouli

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