I'm still catching up on things; flying round the world sets one back a little. You will already have read enough about World Youth Day but I'll post here briefly on it.
I accompanied the Sydney 02 group. Sydney 02 group was made up of about 90 young Sydneysiders, travelling first to Barcelona for the Days in the Diocese. About three and a half thousand young Australians came to WYD, one third of these were Sydneysiders! Our group was very warmly welcomed by the Parish of St Mary Magdalene in Barcelona, who also provided guides to accompany us in the city, including the elderly parish priest, Fr Joachim, who was absolutely thrilled that his parish facilities had been taken over by ninety young Aussies.
From all that we saw in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia church stands out in our memory. The superb architecture of Gaudi, and that of some of his successors, is a true contemplation of the Mystery of Faith. The columns rising above the ssnctuary and giving way to a light from above. Outside, on the Portico of the Passion, the extraordinary sculpture of Christ tied to the scourging pillar, caught our attention.
After Barcelona we travelled to Maresa and the cave of St Ignatius of Loyola, then onto Montserrat, before heading for Zaragoza where we spent the night.
On our first full day in Madrid all the Australians came together for a two-hour welcome event. The centre piece of this event was a tremendous proclamation of the Gospel by Bishop Chris Prowse.
One of the finest articles which I have read on Madwyd is by Michael Cook of Mercatornet.net: "7 reasosn for good cheer after Madrid". I attach the link here.
Finally, we came across this excellent still-life performer near the Plaza Mayor: