Feeling small in a sea of people
On Saturday I decided to go for it and head up to the Basilica where Pope Francis was celebrating Mass at 5pm. Even though we were hours early we got no where close to the Basilica, and instead had to settle for the road his motorcade would take perhaps a mile south of where we had hoped to be. Even there the crowd was deep and was being managed in segments of blocks – once you were let into a specific zone we were boxed in and couldn’t travel any further. Above: waiting for the motorcade to pass.
Not being part of the official press cuts both ways. You have almost no “access”, but on the other hand you see a lot that the normal press misses in the frantic rush to follow the Pope. Unfortunately much of how the visit is being portrayed in media (here, at least) is the Pope doing cute things: putting on sombreros, interacting with children. There is so much more going on! It’s not that I wouldn’t have liked a little freedom to move – I would have. But I felt lucky too for what I could see and photograph. Above: part of the ritual. The Pope’s motorcade has barely passed and everyone breaks into groups to look at pictures and see what they captured. He goes by fast … so it’s a challenge. I too looked – the first time.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting about the actual experiences, and more.