This place is growing on me as I settle in to the rhythm of the schedule. After letting myself sleep in this morning, I was off and running at about 1030. First stop was the tourism office to plan the rest of my stay. I already knew that I would be going to the 5pm Procession of the Sacraments and the 9pm candlelight procession. It was very overcast so I have put off going to the top of the mountain until tomorrow. The lady that was helping me reminded me that today was market day. If you’ve known me long, you know that I adore farmer’s markets. So, with map in hand, I set off. What a treat, culinary and otherwise. It’s funny, I was so worried that my French wasn’t strong enough for this trip, but I seem to be understanding and understood very well. I bought some local cheese, a local cake type thing, and some tomatoes and those apricots that look like little sunsets. Following that, I stopped in a hardware store and bought a travel iron. Neither my apartment, nor the boat have one and I feel strange all wrinkled up. Quick side trip (not really, got lost again) back to drop everything at the apartment and I set off again, this time to the Sanctuary. I was most interested in seeing the underground Basilica able to hold 7,000 plus people. While huge, it doesn’t feel like it and you don’t feel overwhelmed by people. The old church is beautiful and I also got to see St Bernadette’s crypt. By that time, I was ready to go to where the Procession of the Sacraments starts. It’s very impressive to see all the groups gathering with their banners. The languages were French, Italian, and German. Although, several times they used English. I was thankful for the German. I’m eating dinner now, as is everyone else here. I opted for a mushroom omelette and it was fantastic!!! This morning at the market I had seen a mushroom as big as my head, guess it was still on my mind. I’m going to break a rule and have a coffee before I leave, it’s going to be a late night. I also want to warm up in case it gets chilly during the candlelight procession. Then, I’ll head back over to the Grotto, to offer prayers for friends and family. I’m planning on trying again for the baths in the morning. If all of this sounds like a foreign language to you, google Lourdes and St Bernadette. I’m here for the healing miracles, the pilgrimage, and some family history.
Last night, I posted about changing all my pump settings and then promptly forgot to write about it. Duh! I really was tired. For this first half of my vacation, I’ve been having lows all over the place from too much walking and climbing. On my T-slim, I duplicated my settings into a new “pattern” and then lowered the carb ratios and correction factors. Happy to say, today was much better. Climbing hills (mountains) has always made me go low.
Brief intermission while I go to the candlelight procession and the grotto.
The candlelight procession was everything I had hoped it would be. The pictures speak for themselves. There is something so basic about receiving light and giving light. My heart was warmed numerous times this evening by people who offered to hold my candle while I took pictures, none of whom spoke English. I walked with an Irish group for awhile and then an Italian group. Couples are plentiful and it seemed as though it was a beautiful experience to have together. One favorite moment was asking the Pacific Islanders if I could take a picture. I have no idea where they were from, but we smiled a lot and sometimes that’s all the communication you need.
And so tonight, my parting thought for you….. Being kind and smiling require no translation.
unable to upload pics tonight, will edit in the morning.