Friday, August 5, 2011

He is coming! Flee the crowds!

He is coming.
The Pope will stop traffic shortly.

(which is actually a week August 16-21 2011)
happens in Madrid this year.

For months (ok, so the whole time we have been here) we have seen the signs:

 They are everywhere on every single church/cathedral. But I am not ready.
I have never lived in a big city before. In the past, if someone important come to visit in the city I lived in there was enough urban sprawl between me and the VIP that I could hardly tell.
Yesterday I went downtown to do some craft shopping. I can not believe that I did not notice at first the number of police officers.! Also, even though Puerta del Sol is always crowded, I must have been really focused on my shopping to fail at first to notice that this: --->

<--- Had turned into this. The protesters are gone!
They have been there as long as I have been here. There was a big protest a police brutality incident that happened in Barcelona in early June. Then there were more protest about the unemployment rate in Spain.

Even though last week there were less 'residences' then the above picture (taken in mid-June), there was still some 'homes' in the square. Yesterday there was none. There were street crews cleaning and at least 50 police officers in the plaza. I hope the protesters were moved peacefully.

I took this photo from my bus stop, and just as I put away my camera three police officers took aside a 30 something year old man with a backpack for questioning. As my bus took me home I saw that the cleaning crews were out in full force, and that a stage was being built in front of the Palacio de Ciebles.

I have no idea what kind of crowd the second annual World Youth Day will bring into Madrid, but I for one and not going downtown again for awhile.

I live a 20 minute bus ride from the center, and there are "No Parking"for the event signs further out North then where I live!

What really makes my blood run cold? We should finally get our household goods from the US to us...the week of the 15th.
Wish us luck!

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