11 August 2006

Great Weekend

This past weekend I visited my good friends G&D at G's parents' home in the Pyrenees, not too far from Toulouse.

Sunset in Toulouse.

It was awesome. The weather was perfect. What a beautiful area. They have an amazing traditional French country farmhouse just 35 km north of Spain as the crow flies. The home is very very traditional, lots of antiques, Napoleon paintings, hunting stuff, leather furniture, old books, antique porcelain fixtures, and a massive country kitchen with a fireplace so big they grill steaks on it. Beautiful traditional French gardens, with farmers making hay, and white cows coming down the lush hillsides to be milked with their bells clanking. Very bucolic and peaceful. The gardens are perfectly manicured by his dad, that is his hobby. Like stepping into a novel or movie. I slept in the gardens on the grass for three hours Saturday. It was great, really relaxing.

I found the Nimbus 2006 they keep hidden in the shed!!

We also went to Lourdes, a holy site where the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared to a young girl and told her to build a cathedral there, and since then there have been many miracles for people who have touched the rocks there.

Anyway, there were TONS of pilgrims there. My friends are very Catholic and so it was a somber visit for them. For me it was somber because once a Catholic, always a Catholic. I really enjoyed it because it was very encouraging to see how many people have such strong faith, in anything, to drive them on pilgrimages, to bring their sick, to such a place to just touch a rock in the hopes of healing. It's encouraging when so much other faith in the world right now seems mostly destructive.