Today is a completely free day for our pilgrims. Stay tuned for updates to see how they decided to spend their last whole day in Rio!
Fr. Eric, 11:50 am:
Well, today is a free day since we are leaving tomorrow night. So, I am in an outdoor courtyard in a rainforest park, eating a baguette with a slice of brie and cured beef. They love their meat, cheese, and bread here! I’m hoping to find a trail to hike up Corcovado — where Christo Redentor is, and where we were a few days ago (but it was foggy up there). If I can’t find it, or if it looks too sketchy, then I will go to some botanical gardens and look at birds and small mammals, and hopefully a marmoset! My goal is to look for more sweet animals!
Fr. Eric, 12:24 pm:
Oh, yeah and last night, we went to a Botafogo vs. (Some other Rio team) futbol (soccer) club match at the largest stadium in the world: Marcarana. Those fans are crazy and it is exciting at the same time with their intense chants. Our guide, Marcella — the young, strong Catholic woman — roots for Botafogo, whose colors happen to be black and white. So, she told me I was already wearing their colors. LOL! I was there with 2 hours of sleep from the vigil the night before, since I had to stand in line with thousands of priests from about 4 am until 8:30 am, until the organizers and military finally let us in. Haha. So, we had Mass with the Pope after waiting in line packed like sardines. I think there were about 3 million people (including myself), who were camped out the night before on the 2 1/2 mile stretch of Copacabana Beach. One final note: I am amazed by the beauty of the churches in Rio! I had thought that there wouldn’t be many because of the city’s modern architecture and the fact that much of the colonial buildings were destroyed in the early 20th century to “de-Portuguese” the city. But, to my surprise, there is an abundance of not only Baroque, but also Rococo-style architecture!