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Getting There -- Sixteen trains run from Pau daily (trip time: 30 min.; one-way fare 8€); there are also five trains from Bayonne (trip time: 2 hr.; one-way fare: 20€) and Paris (trip time: 7 hr.; 94€ one-way). For train information and schedules, call tel. 36-35.

If you're driving from Toulouse, take N117 west until you reach Tarbes, and then take N21 south to Lourdes. From Paris, follow A10 south to Vierzon, take N20 south to Limoges, and continue on N21 south to Lourdes.

Visitor Information -- The Office de Tourisme, place Peyramale (tel. 05-62-42-77-40; fax 05-62-94-60-95; www.lourdes-infotourisme.com), fields questions about Lourdes. But for questions regarding the religious landscape of the city, including its shrines, grottoes, Masses, cults, ecstatic visions, and snake charmers, seek out the Le Centre Information des Sanctuaires, avenue Monseigneur Théas (tel. 05-62-42-78-78). Staffed by members of the clergy and religious volunteers, it's the coordinator of everything to do with Catholicism in Lourdes.

Special Events -- From Easter to mid-October, tourists and pilgrims can join the Day Pilgrims, or Pélérin d'un Jour (tel. 05-62-42-78-78; www.lourdes-fr.com), a pilgrimage in English that begins daily at 8:30am July to September at the statue of the Crowned Virgin with a prayer meeting in the meadow facing the grotto. The services include the Stations of the Cross (8:30am) and an 11:15am Mass. At 2:30pm, assembling at the same spot, pilgrims take a guided visit to the sanctuaries, or places associated with Bernadette. In the sanctuaries, you'll hear the story of Lourdes and Bernadette, complete with a free 30-minute slide show (also in English). At 5pm, a Procession of the Blessed Eucharist starts from the grotto. The 9pm Marian celebration, rosary, and torchlight procession all start from the grotto as well.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.