St Savin is a small village located just 23 kilometres from Argeles-Gazost at an elevation of about 580 metres. This was a lovely quiet ride through the local countryside and we even checked out a 15th century church before it was visited by a group of travelling pilgrims.
In the afternoon, Rob, Frank, Geoff and I decided to ride to Lourdes along the bitumen rail trail. Lourdes is a really interesting place. It is the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France and one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the world. The small town of only 17,000 inhabitants receives more than 5 million pilgrims and tourists each year thanks to visions of the Virgin Mary reported by a young girl named Bernadette in 1858. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes incorporates 52 hectares of property and 22 places of worship, including a sacred grotto, two basilicas, and a variety of buildings for pilgrims and the sick. They have two services a day and we arrived after the morning service had ended.