What an amazing few days in Krakow! It’s been only two and half days but we’ve seen and done so much.
The purpose of the trip was to meet with the World Youth Day Organising Committee, explore the locations of the main events and become more prepared for the actual time when WYD arrives.
Upon arrival in Krakow, the first thing we did was go to the beautiful main square, take some photos and videos, and meet up with some Polish young Catholics, who have been involved in previous World Youth Days.
After an enjoying traditional Polish meal, we met Iwona, from Mazurkas Travel, which is a big travel agency in Poland. She graciously showed us around our accommodation for the World Youth Day week, at the University of Agriculture and answered our questions.
As we had such an early start that day, we had an early night in order to be fresh and make the most of the next day.
We began Tuesday by visiting the World Youth Day Organising Committee, where we met the charismatic spokesperson of the event, Dorota. She was very engaging and open to hearing our thoughts and questions. We certainly got the sense that they are very busy, but that the event is in good hands.
Dorota introduced us to her International Relations team, where we proceeded to film an interview.
We were then shown around by Gustavo, leader of the International Social Media team.
After lunch, we took the tram to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, which will be the location of the short Pilgrimage of Mercy, taking places during the Catechesis days.
After a quick visit in Blonia Park, site of some of the main events of World Youth Day, we met up with some more of the organising committee volunteers for dinner. They will be visiting us in London for our final pre-WYD meeting in June.
The next day, we had an early breakfast and took a taxi to our WYD accommodation. The reason being so that we could walk to vigil route from the location where we will be setting off from during World Youth Day.
The journey to Campus Misericordia, the name of the vigil site, took us about three hours to complete. We saw that there is still a lot of work to do, but we’re confident that it will all be ready on schedule.
We ended our visit of the site by going to the House of Mercy, which Pope Francis will visit whilst in Krakow.
After making our way back to the hotel to collect our bags, we had a quick meal and headed to the airport and back to London.
Overall, it was a great visit and opened our eyes as to what we can expect during World Youth Day. It was lovely meeting the hard-working young Catholics, who are making sure that the event, both before and during, is a great experience for all our pilgrims.