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French Shrines I

DAY 1 MADRID – PARIS Meeting in the airport at the indicated time to take a flight to Paris. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 2 PARIS – LISIEUX – MONT SAINT-MICHEL Breakfast. Departure for Lisieux, one of the most enchanting places in Normandy. The city where Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus lived has become since the beginning of the 20th century one of the most important places of spirituality. Lisieux conserves its houses with wooden sides and numerous sites that bear witness to its valuable historic past. Here are found the Basilica, built in honor of Saint Thérèse with the tomb of the saint, the Gothic Cathedral, the lovely bourgeois house the “Buissonets”, etc. Lunch. Continuation to Mont Saint-Michel, built in an immense bay. Constructed in the year 709 by the Bishop of Avranches at the request of the Archangel Saint Michael, a Benedictine community was established in the year 966. Over the centuries they continued to build, enlarging and embellishing the Abbey, to the point that it was assigned the name of “Wonder of the West.” It was, along with Rome and Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important pilgrimage centers during the Middle Ages. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 3 MONT SAINT-MICHEL – SAINTE ANNE D’AURAY Breakfast. Departure for Sainte Anne D’Auray, where Saint Anne, Mother of the Virgin appeared to the peasant Yves Nicolazic. The Basilica combines the impulse of the Gothic with the grace of the Renaissance style. In the top of its tower rises a bronze statue of Saint Anne. Lunch. Other monuments that we highlight in Sainte Anne D’Auray are the cloister from the 15th century, the Fountain, the Scala Sancta, the Monument to the Victims of World War I, the house of the peasant Yves Nicolazic, etc. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 4 SAINTE ANNE D’AURAY –NANTES – ANGERS – TOURS – CHENONCEAUX – NEVERS Breakfast. Departure for Nantes, a city full of history that enfolds true treasures like the Cathedral of Saint Peter or the Castle of the Dukes of Britain. Continuation to Angers, which features a Cathedral that is an example of Angevin Gothic. Lunch. Continuation to Tours, city of art and history, and birthplace of Balzac, where we can contemplate Town Hall and the station, beautiful buildings from the 19th century, the Royal Castle, from the 12th century, the Cathedral of Saint Gatien, the palace of the Archbishops, Wilson Bridge, and the narrow and picturesque medieval streets with numerous façades of wooden trusses, that date from the 15th and 16th centuries. Continuation to Chenonceaux, whose castle is possibly the most beautiful of all the French castles. Continuation to Nevers. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 05 NEVERS – EXCURSION TO PARAY LE MONIAL Breakfast. Morning tour of Nevers, known worldwide thanks to Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who was born in Lourdes but lived for 13 years in Nevers, and where her relics are found. Nevers also has splendid emblematic buildings, like the Ducal Palace and the Cathedral of Saint Cyr-Sainte Juliette. Lunch. Afternoon departure to take an excursion to Paray Le Monial, where we find the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where Jesus appeared to the nun Margaret Mary Alacoque. Return to Nevers. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 6 NEVERS – VEZELAY – REIMS – PARIS Breakfast. Departure for Vezelay, miniscule walled city surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes of Burgundy. Constructed originally on the top of a hill, in the 10th century it became an important pilgrimage center, and later a meeting place for royalty. The most important point in Vezelay is the Basilica of Saint Magdalene, an old Abbey founded in the 9th century and that in the Middle Ages housed that which was believed to be the relics of Saint Mary Magdalene. Lunch. Continuation to Reims, situated on the banks of the Marne. with its imposing Cathedral, from the 13th to the 14th centuries, where the kings of France were crowned until 1830. The lovely windows of Marc Chagall stand out. Continuation to Paris. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 7 PARIS – EXCURSION TO CHARTRES and VERSAILLES Breakfast. Departure to take an excursion with Lunch to Chartres, capital of luz and perfume, and Versailles. Chartres, city of medieval splendor, with its old town with streets and alleyways borderd of old houses, staircases that descend to the lower city, etc. Tour of the Cathedral, whose blue-colored windows glow, capturing all eyes. Continuation to Versailles. Its origin goes back to 1623, when Louis XIII built a hunting pavillion. The king felt so comfortable that he he ordered the amplification of that place, today known as the old palace. The palace spectacular rooms, like the Hall of Mirrors, the Salon de Guerre, the Salon de la Paix, etc. the Chapel, the last important building constructed during the reign of Luis XIV, was consecrated to Saint Louis. Return to Paris. Dinner and lodging

DAY 8 PARIS Breakfast. Morning panoramic tour of the city, one of the loveliest, richest and most remarkable in the world, due to its monuments, splendid buildings, magnificent museums and very active commerce. We will pass through the Champs-Élysées, the Place de la Concorde, the large boulevards, l’Île de la Cité, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower. Lunch. In the afternoon, free time to visit Montmartre, with its small, bohemian and zigzagging little streets, and the Sacre Coeur. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 9 PARIS Breakfast. In the morning, ascent of the Eiffel Tower, myth and symbol of the city, constructed for the Universal Exposition and inagurated March 31, 1889. Then, we will take a walk through the Sena in Bateaux Mouches, where we will see The old and beautiful bridges that cross the river, like Pont Neuf, near Notre Dame, the Alexander III, and many of the celebrated monuments of Paris, that are situated on the banks of the river. Lunch. Afternoon free. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 10 PARIS – MADRID Breakfast. Transfer at the indicated time to the airport to embark on the return flight to Madrid. Arrival and END OF TRIP