This will be the scene at Randwick Racecourse, the venue for the Final Mass for World Youth Day on July 20.
A group of us had the cool opportunity to visit Randwick now before much of the construction has taken place and any pilgrims arrive. There are still 700 horses training daily here, so construction has been very limited. What they have built are hundreds of the 3200 toilets that will eventually be built ... yes, built. These are real toilets that flush ... no overflowing port-a-potties. These pilgrims are going to spoiled.
As we stood on the station where trainers look out onto the racetracks and monitor their horses, we took in a 360 degree view of this vast space ...
... and imagined what it would be like full of pilgrims.
We also stood where the stage will be built and looked out over the course, as Pope Benedict XVI will do in 44 days. Look at alllll the people.
This is where the stage will be... this is where you really need to pull out the imagination. The stage will be more fancy than jst a few piles of dirt.
This is what we would look like if we hung out with Bob the Builder more often. And that's the direction of the stage you see over our shoulders.
Why, yes, these are the best toilets at any WYD ever. They're real. And they flush. (Franciska and David demonstrate pilgrim usage.)
Toilet village, with aforementioned real toilets. It really is that big of a deal.
The starting gates for horse races will be removed before WYD... but until they are, this is us with our best horse expressions (Hannah, second from left, is the happiest horse ever).