Pilgrims or Tourists?
There were many pilgrimage groups in Lourdes, from all over the world and especially from other European countries. My then-boyfriend and I both had no religion, so we felt quite uneasy in that almost fanatic ambience.
As we get closer to the cathedral, the number of elderly people and wheel chairs increased. This is world famous miracle/healing spot, however my lesion to be healed was already healed by then, so I had nothing to ask for. Instead, I prayed for my country.
The cathedral looked brand new. It was obvious that this place received so much tourist income named offering. It was pretty, but lacked solemnness.
When I looked at the long line of people in front of the cave, I could only think of Disney Land.
I just recognized myself detached from any form of religion.
If the cathedral was smaller or simper, my impression could have been different, but I could smell money more prominently than the Vatican.