Friday, June 3, 2016

Tours, France

Our visitors leave and the next morning bright and early we headed out on our pilgrimage to Lourdes.  We broke the 12.5 hour drive up into two days by stopping in Tours, France.  We found an apartment to rent overnight outside of the city.  It was extremely spacious, to say the least.

We dropped our stuff off at the cottage in the pouring rain and drove into Tours.  We parked at St. Gatien's Cathedral and went in there first.  They have a relic of St. Martin of Tours there.  This was a particularly stunning church, inside and out.  The stained glass windows were my favorite.  The church was burned and rebuilt several times, but the last time was built over three centuries (13th-16th) and, therefore, has Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles in it exterior.  

Amazing Stained Glass Windows

Weird altar, but amazing windows.

See what I  mean?  Stunning!

Tours Cathedral...wish we could have gotten Bobby in there.

Found a store named Genevieve LETHU
Then we walked a short way to the Basilica of St. Martin of Tours, discovering a shop next to it that has my Genevieve's name.  Inside we found the tomb of St. Martin in a crypt.  There was a place to write prayers.  We all wrote prayers down and slipped them in.  We didn't do as much prep work for this part of our trip and we weren't sure going in what all these two churches had to offer.  We stopped at a information desk on the way out where you also buy prayer cards and rosaries.  Brian asked if the lady spoke English, but she said, "No, Deutsch?"  So we then told her we spoke a little German (a heck of a lot more than French anyway.  She had a thick French accent when speaking German so the first two things she said to us were hard to glean anything from.  Brian caught a few words and repeated them to me.  Once we were able to orient ourselves to her accent, we had a nice long conversation and she told us a lot about the church.  Brian asked if St. Martin's cloak was at this church and she said it wasn't anymore.  We asked for a restaurant recommendation for families, but she didn't have a specific one.  So we left with some free prayer cards that she gave to the children and walked back toward our van , finding a bakery on the way that had quiches, sandwiches, and pizzas.  Did I mention that it rained a lot?

This church was under some pretty heavy construction

In the crypt

Tomb of St Martin of Tours, in the bottom the prayers are slipped in
Where the prayers are collecting

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