Here's a pic I took of myself. Waiting.
Here's a pic of the excited (?) crowd.
And here's a pic of the cathedral, with Apollo seeming to be pointing towards it. The side door we were facing is under that middle tower:
It wasn't too long before the masses started to realise that in a triumph of unfortunate planning, il papa was going to arrive in the dark. Maybe it should have happened an hour earlier? Had someone forgotten that it's dark at about 5pm in Sydney in winter? Mutterings began about whether mobile phone cameras would be up to the job of snapping the pontiff as he drove slowly past in the Popemobile. I busied myself trying out various settings on the camera, taking and deleting pics furiously as I tried to decide which setting might cope with both darkness and a slow-moving vehicle. I phoned home to ask someone to turn on the TV and check where he was.
A ripple of laughter went around the crowd (which was getting a bit antsy) as one wag commented that this probably wasn't the popemobile.
Then the helicopters overhead increased in number (about 5) and proximity, one even coming quite low. And a group of cars whizzed past at high speed at the end of the road. I THINK the blurry streak of light you can possibly see behind the telegraph pole was perhaps the popemobile. Or part of his entourage. Someone said it was anyway, so I clicked off a snap.
We waited for the motorcade to round the corner, do a loop around the cathedral and come past us. A group of "official" pilgrims stood on the cathedral steps facing us and waited - at least people around me said they were the official pilgrims' greeting party.
Then a big burly cop with lots of stars on his shoulders came past and said "That's it folks, he's not coming round this way!" Some people thought he was joking and started to laugh. But big burly cops with lots of stars on their shoulders don't joke about these things.
The crowd was left to disperse.
As I was standing right near the merchandising tent, I had to go past the entrance to leave the park. There was a huge queue of people waiting to get inside. It was crammed full so they were only letting a few in at a time. I spoke to a couple at the head of the queue. I asked if they were seeking solace in retail therapy, and it appeared they were...
Moral: Next time, look more closely at the official route map.