So I had my last touristy day today as the pilgrims have started to arrive. I went to Harry's (see below) and then walked back to Circular Quay from The Domain a large outdoor arena near the Naval Pier (picture, left of the pier, that is) and caught a ferry to Taronga Zoo.
The ferry ride provided some spectacular sites. As it was a beautiful sunny 70 degree fahrenheit day--or as the rest of the world would say it-- 21 degrees celsius.
Here's a sunny shot from the ferry of the Harbour Bridge.
The opening ceremonies start tomorrow and my colleagues from Chicago have arrived. A great group of women from Charis Ministries--BustedHalo's retreat partner--and a Jesuit Young Adult retreat initiative. Lauren Gaffey is running the outfit and they've actually been at this a lot longer than me. They've been in Melbourne for the last week doing the Magis Experiements--which is a Jesuit-based retreat-like experience with other young adults from Jesuit Schools and parishes all over the world.
I've started to see other pilgrims from all over the world now too settling in. An impressive sight...or rather sound. There is a World Youth Day song chosen each year and usually sung in English. They ask pilgrims to learn it if they can. I ran into an entire group of teens from Turkey at the zoo. They wanted to entertain a Bishop who had just joined them and they began to sing the song. Now it starts out with the words "Alleluia" but I'm sure it's not the same in Turkish or even in Arabic. Regardless, the next words out of their mouth were said in perfect English:
"Receive your power...from the Holy Spirit."
My only words were..."Wow. If the World Youth Day song were in Arabic would any Americans dare to learn it?"
Or even if it were in Latin?