While my comments about overbooked sleeping bag spaces and underprovided bathroom facilities weren't really grumbling, I just now learned how lucky we were!
On his blog, Archbishop Prendergast reports the following, the first we've heard of it:
"With the rain at the opening ceremonies for the 2011 World Youth Day,we can certainly feel the frustration of our Spanish friends at Saturdayevening's vigil, having experienced similar moments of Mother Nature at World Youth Day in Downsview Park in 2002 and at the Eucharistic Congress on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City in 2008!
"Both the Toronto and Ottawa groups were among many groups that were not allowed entrance into the Cuatro Vientos Airfield tonight due to overcrowding.
"The police announced that no one would be allowed into the site on Sunday morning, and asked people to attend mass in a stadium in downtown Madrid.
"Cardinal Ruoco Varela cancelled all parish masses for Sunday as well! The Spanish Civil Protection Senior Officers reported that there were about 1.4 million people at Cuatro Vientos long before the event started. The area had been prepared for 750,000. Some police said that close to 200,000 people were not allowed into the area. Large national groups did not get access to the site, including many Australians."
So we pilgrims from Christ the Redeemer, wet, sweaty and dirty as we are, have arrived back at our hostel with much to be thankful for!