Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trip to Spain (Part 7) - Thursday

Today, we met for lunch. We went to Foster's Hollywood, a Spain-only restaurant. That was a more authentic American restaurant than the one from yesterday—the hamburger had buns. Foster's had a great pilgrim meal, and everyone ordered a desert.

So, with all eleven us ordering desert, that ended up being an extra $50 that went straight to the restaurant. I mention this, because at the riot/protest rally last night, a lot of the local business owners came together and counter-protested the rally. The way they see it, big riots = no business. Letting 500,000 tourists wander around the city for a week = great for business. It was nice to know that some of the locals really wanted us to stay, even if others didn't.

After lunch, I bought about six souvenirs from an official World Youth Day shop. The tourist shops are the only ones that stay open during siesta time. I'm slightly disappointed that our schedule is too busy to accommodate siestas; it would be interesting to try a set afternoon nap for a week or so. However, I'm not here to sleep, so I can't siesta like the real Spaniards.

We had the mass for our local diocese today, with the bishops and priests from our diocese. It was nice, but I didn't know half the songs. After that, I went with the group from St. Francis parish to a plaza for the Pope's arrival. He was too far for us to see in person, though. We watched on a big screen, and over thirty different groups of people wanted to take pictures with me and the American flag.

The Pope speaks English with a heavy German accent, as you would expect, so he's not the easier person to understand. He spoke in about seven languages, but he spoke mostly in Spanish because we're in Spain. He gave a short speech, after a Gospel reading, after his big introduction.

People from all the continents gave him a gift. Asia made him rice, and Europe, I think, provided him with a large bread platter. The North Americans gave him a Mexican-style cowboy hat. We probably should have checked in with the other continents before making that decision.

Next time, I swear I'll bring my notebook to write down the Pope's speech, although I can probably find it online.


Anonymous said...

That dessert looks so good!!!

I would want to pose with you!

Anonymous said...

Cool a tillie hat!