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Pilgrims Make Slow Progress to Lourdes

Tuesday 05 February 2013

Five Asian tourists travelling to Lourdes mistake the Celestial City for a village in Brittany.

Leuhan is a small, undistinguished commune of 800 inhabitants in the department of Finistere, Brittany.

Although not known for its miracles, five Asian tourists clearly expected one when they arrived at the doors of the commune last month.

They had taken a flight from Los Angeles to Paris, from where they travelled out to the village, a distance over 500 kilometres.

On arrival they made enquiries at the local bar about a hotel reservation they had made for their stay.

When the owner of the bar checked their paperwork he saw that the hotel was in Lourdes, in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees, some 800 kilometres away.

It seems that before setting off on their journey the pilgrims had tapped the name Lourdes into their GPS, but without giving the name of the department, only to be given the coordinates of the 19th Century chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in the Finistere village.

None of the travellers spoke any French, so the bar owner produced a map of France showing them their destination and route, after which they quickly made their way, showing no inclination to visit the chapel in the village.

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