Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Travel Tips #3: Lourdes, France.

The third and final destination of our European escapades was Lourdes, France. Located at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, this wee little town is well known for the apparitions of the Lady of Lourdes. But just because it's a tiny town doesn't mean it can't cater for people like you and me. Oh no, even the Toulouse train station where we stopped by had some vegetarian baguettes and tabouli.

The price of 3 Euros may be a bit steep for a small 1/4 cup serving of some grains and a few chopped fresh vegetables, but it is certainly a development from what was available to healthy eaters then. Even the trains had some of these options, including a wrap, fresh fruit salad, and organic fruit drinks and snacks. 

Plus, when you have this wonderful view outside your window, you won't really be thinking about food, will you?

 These fields were literally everywhere between Spain and France, but I ain't complaining. It made me wonder whether sunflower seeds would be cheaper in these parts, but in the end I didn't manage to find any in the local shops.

We arrived at the hotel at around dinner time. I failed to find much information about plant based eating in Lourdes in the interwebs, so my first instinct was to go to the local supermarket and see what vegetables I can find there. 

You know what else I found? A couple of completely meat, dairy and egg free salads which also happen to be organic. My personal favourite was the lentil and tofu salad with vinaigrette paired with a half a huuuge bag of leafy greens and lots of juicy cherry tomatoes. I, being the health conscious person that I am, checked the labels too: 

green lentils, tofu, tamari, salt, spices, sunflower oil, water, wine vinegar, mustard, red onions, black pepper

Nothing funky and unrecognisable there. 

The following day, we went on to visit the basilicas around the Sanctuary. I would've loved to see the underground Pius X Basilica, but unfortunately it was still closed due to damages caused by the flood merely a month before our visit. Totally understandable though, considering how fast flowing the water was at the Gave de Pau- possibly the fastest flowing I had ever seen. 

We then went on to do more tourist-y things. That included taking the funicular at Pic du Jer to get a wonderful view of the Pyrenees mountains, going up to the Chateau Fort to view the rest of the town, and visiting the Petit Lourdes museum along the river bank. 

Dinner followed shortly afterwards, and to my surprise I found a petite food stand that boasts of being the only Filipino food in Lourdes (and it was). You know what else it had? Vegetarian samosas, spring rolls, noodles and fresh smoothies made right before your eyes. If you know anything about Filipino culture and their cuisine, you will know that it isn't exactly... Veg friendly. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a Filipino food stand in the French countryside would save me from my hunger. But alas, it did. And as it turns out, half of the lovely accommodating French/Filipino couple was a vegetarian for more than 10 years. How awesome is that?

Just before we left for Paris, I also found out that the Riviera Sol restaurant by the Pont Vieux offered a vegetarian salad that had a large serving of raw greens, carrots, beets, zucchini and tomatoes. It comes with some boiled eggs too, but that can easily be omitted. Mmm raw vegetables, I have missed you so. 


  1. Thanks for the vegan finds & share! I'm currently in Spain (instagram @veganmiam) and it's lovely to find vegan foods, too!

    1. Hi! Having caught the travel bug myself, I love the finds you have on your blog too. I currently follow you on instagram, and the lemon yoghurt + chocolate popsicles look so delicious! Pretty bummed I missed out on that while I was in Spain, but next time I guess ;)

    2. hi this Gina of Asian Délices( the only Filipino Food in Lourdes Frances) wow na surprises naman ako di ko akalaing makakakita ako ng blog about us; thank you very much, hope to see you again!!!!