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France/Lourdes, September


QUESTION: I was in Paris and Lourdes last October on spiritual pilgrimage with 206 tours,then went with them to Fatima last month. I was not pleased with the service I received so I changed to another Catholic tour company and made/paid for reservations leaving 9/11 to 9/18, Paris for two days, Lourdes the remainder.  They now inform me (to my horror) that they do not have sufficient interest in this tour and may cancel it.  However, I have no intentions of doing that personally.  I have received brochures from hotels in Lourdes (some quite expensive but that's not a problem).  I want to be close to (within walking distance of) the Shrine.  I know what I want to do there and when I want to do it.  Can you give me any advice because it looks like I'm going to have to plan this trip solo.  BTW, I'm an expert of over 5 years on this site in another category.  Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi . . . Jill from New York!

Which board are you an expert on?  Maybe I've been there and/or have an upcoming interest!

For Lourdes, unfortunately, I have not visited there.  Have been nearby in Sarlat and the Dordogne River valley, etc.  But, not to Lourdes, yet.  

Sorry for the challenges you have had in getting your tour lined up.  Fortunately, you have visited to Lourdes previously.  So you have a general sense for the options there.  Plus, a flexible budget.  That all helps.  

My main suggestion would be to contact the tourism office for Lourdes.  Tell them exactly what you are seeking, needing, etc.   They are at:
Office de Tourisme de Lourdes
Place Peyramale
Tel.: 00.33.(0)
On web at:

Reactions to this idea and option????  

Does this start to help a little? What are your needs for added information?  Be happy to provide additional info and answer other questions after learning more from you.  Be sure to complete the evaluation section so that our "bosses" on this volunteer service know we are working hard to make inquiring minds as happy as possible. ENJOY!  Merci Beaucoup!

Thanks.  Terry Casey in Columbus, Ohio

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: In answer to your question about which forum I'm in: Canine Behavior, any dog problems, ask me lol.

Brilliant info about the tourism office!  (Smacking head, why didn't I think of that lol).  I will contact them.  Really prefer not to go totally solo because with a group you have camaraderie and often get taken off to places you wouldn't ordinarily go.  I have found a couple of other tour groups, more $ to travel with a group but worth it for the company.  However, I will go one way or the other.  I'm contacting them tomorrow (Monday) and will get back to you if I have any further questions. Thanks!


Hi . . . again . . .  Jill from New York!

Appreciate your follow-up, nice comments and high ratings.  Very kind and helpful.  

Glad to know you're a Canine Behavior expert.  We have a ten-year-old female  Black Lab named Roxie.  And a seven-year-old male Yellow Lab named Rudy.  Both doing well.  Both have same mother.  But, very different in style and personality.  Makes life interesting.  No big issues, just the usual stuff.  We have a big, wooded back yard in a ravine area so they have lots of places to sniff, run, etc.  

Let me know any added questions.   Have you done in the nearby Sarlat area?  Below are some notes on that great ares with wonderful architecture, history, scenic sights,e tc.  

ENJOY!  Merci Beaucoup!

Thanks.  Terry Casey in Columbus, Ohio

While there, we stayed overnight at the nearby Hotel B˘nnet in Beynac overlooking the Dordogne River (hotel phone: 011-33-5-53-29-5001). The Sarlat-La-Caneda Market on Saturday is really great with its very attractive medieval quarter!  Hopefully Saturday will be one of your days there.

Sarlat-la-CanÚda, or simply Sarlat, is in the heart of the wonderful Dordogne River valley areas in southwest France.  It is one of the most attractive and alluring towns with a population of a little under 10,000. Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey.  Because modern history had largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. The center of the old town consists of beautifully restored stone buildings and is largely car-free.  There are several large foie gras production places in the area and this adds to its appeal. They also produce other cherished products (confits, pÔtÚ, etc.) from these ducks and geese. It is that architecture and history as being the super-star for this great town.   Their town website:

Among the other key options in the area are:

1. ROCAMADOUR- Perched on the side of a cliff with one of the most extraordinary sites in France, this village was one of the great pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.  This site is also a must-see at night.

2. BEYNAC - Large castle overlooking the Dordogne, it was the site of many battles during the Hundred Years War.

3. LES EYZIES - Known as the Capital of Prehistory, it has a famous national museum.

4. DOMME - Walled-town with spectacular overview of the Dordogne.  

5. ST-CIRQ-LAPOPIE - Village with a remarkable site perched on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Lot River valley.

There is also Cahors on River Lot, Cordes and a little farther away is the famed castle/fortress of Carcassonne;

There are other smaller castles, small town markets, wineries, etc.  It depends upon what you like to do and enjoy.  Just hanging out in and around Sarlat and doing nothing is fun and enjoyable.

For Sarlat, their tourism office is:
Contact them and let them know your specific interests and needs.
For the larger area, check at: á  


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Terry Casey


Most experienced for Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Dordogne, Alsace, Burgundy, Normandy and Reims/Champagne Country. Terry likes helping travelers get trip "flow and pacing" right so your adventure is neither . . . a bore, NOR a blur! Make sure your timing works, fitting your interests, tastes, personal experiences and needs. Terry has planned and done great trips to the Baltics, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Ireland, England, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Norway, Turkey and Switzerland, plus South America and Cuba. Did wonderful April, 2007, week in Paris, summer 2008 southern England trip, summer 2010 fjords/North Cape, Norway coast, etc. Has visited twenty=two different countries in Europe. You can check out our Norway coast/fjords adventure with lots of great pictures from last summer at: This live/blog has gotten nearly 52,000 views. For Villefranche, ports in Italy and along the the Croatian coast, you can check this live/blog. We are now at 42,762 views here. France is great, but these other parts of the Europe are wonderful, too!!!


There is much post 9-11-2001 worry about travel to Europe, but all reports and experiences say things are fine, with proper care and planning. From wide travels in many parts of Europe in 2005- 2008, my personal experiences are that things are good there and reasonably behaving Americans are treated well. See, enjoy the world and experience its great diversity! I have visited 20 countries in Europe and know that there's lots there to see and do. PROVIDE KEY BACKGROUND INFORMATION with QUESTION: To help me answer your questions better, please provide some info on your past France/Europe travel experiences, ages, general budget range, personal travel style/interests, number in your party, what you most want to enjoy and see, etc.

Ohio State University grad

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