Saturday, January 9, 2010

Los Pireneos 2010 – Part 8

9 Jan 10 – 1000 Local
Location: A Laundromat in Lourdes, France

I have been in Lourdes for the past 2 days and 3 nights. There is not much to do here. The first night was spent sorting Dan out and staying in an expensive hotel near the hospital. The next morning I went back to check on him before he went in for surgery and then started tooling around the city. There are a lot of churches here and they are all pretty amazing. The Rosary Basilica is part of La Grotte area and is the biggest church in Lourdes. I went to see it on my first day in Lourdes; it was gorgeous and recently visited by the pope. I toured as much of it as I could, but there was a mass going on in the crypt while I was there. I have heard that the crypt is the most amazing part and wish I could have gone in. After my trip to the La Grotte, I continued to wander the town with the occasional trip to the hospital to see if Dan had got out of surgery yet. Finally, he was out and seemed fine other than the cast, IV bag and drainage tube sticking out of his leg, haha.

Figure 1: The Rosary Basilica near La Grotte.

Figure 2: Looking out over Lourdes.

Figure 3: In the hospital.

That night, I went to La Barcelonne for dinner. It turned out to be the ex-pat local pub. I had duck for dinner and some beer, before returning to the hostel I was now staying in. The hostel was, by far, a better place to stay than the fancy hotel from the night before.

Figure 4: Waiting in the hostel.

I woke up yesterday and went to the hospital. We had hoped to leave that day, but the insurance company and the doctor were moving slowly. We soon realised we would be stuck in Lourdes for at least another night. So, after sorting the gear, I went to the train station to ensure I could still get to Barcelona in time to catch my flight, if we stayed for another day. I could, so I am still in Lourdes. I would have hated to abandon Dan in a French hospital.

Last night, I went back to La Barcelonne. It was great. I talked about everything from bare knuckle boxing to the French (a usual topic) to Lady Gaga with two guys from Manchester, Tommy and Steven. I think they were just happy to speak English with someone. It was a great atmosphere. I ordered drinks in Spanish, talked about my trip in French and discussed the politic situation in the Middle East in English with an Iranian guy. Around 10PM, I headed back to the hostel.

Figure 5: Wandering around Lourdes.

This morning, I woke up to do some laundry. Soon, I will head to the hospital and try to get Dan out. I hope he can come. If they don’t let him out today, I have to leave without him. I have to get to Barcelona!

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