So, I’ve been feeling pretty shite since having a tooth ripped out of my head this week, but I said I would brave the crowds at Royal Randwick to photograph the pope’s final mass for work. Really the last thing a super anti-Catholic feels like doing on a Sunday morning, but hey.
After finally finding somewhere to park, feverish and white as a sheet I tottered down towards the course. But I first came across a crowd of people gathered at Centennial Park gates… I could see they were cheering for an approaching motorcade… oh, I thought it must be the pope.
It was then that I saw the popemobile further down the road, back door open, ready for loading of pope… the motorcade was going pretty fast, so I charged down the road to the popemobile and managed to beat most of the crowd. Once everyone else realised what was happening, they followed pursuit. I managed to get to the fence next to the popemobile before everyone else and just as the pope was getting into the popemobile.
He looked up to see the crowd running down the hill as he was loaded in and caught my eye. I was literally half a metre away from him.
“Hello!” I said. “Hello” he said and smiled. Then he got into the popemobile and they shut the door behind him. George Pell was in the popemobile as well and looked like he was practically orgasming at getting to take another turn about Randwick in the fully sick popemobile.
Unfortunately I was still fumbling trying to get my camera out of my bag at this stage after my hill sprint and only managed to get shots of him once he was in the popemobile and they were preparing to take off on their journey.
But how hilarious! I exchanged a casual hello with the pope, someone that half a million people were clamoring to see and that I really wasn’t that fussed about.
It was interesting attending the final mass… quite a freaky event. Such a huge huge crowd. I’m still trying to figure out how I am going to describe it for work.
More pics of WYD 2008 on Flickr.