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MORE CULTURE ARCHIVES

Festival Veo 2006

Palau de les Arts opening

Andie McDowell in VLC

& SOME SPORT ARCHIVES

David Beckham

Eto'o

Luis Rubiales

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A PAPAL VISIT TO VALENCIA
Who? Pope Benedict XVI
What? V World Meeting of the Families
Where? Valencia
When? 7th and 8th of July
Who was there? Thousands of families from all over the world

The change within the City had already been noticeable for months -i.e. the Monteolivete bridge being cut off way too long ago and the colossal altar being built right on it, near the City of Arts and Sciences, the extra Movistar and Vodafone antenas everywhere, I could go on- but it was the last few weeks that the pre-pope preparations have been really obvious. Starting with the blatantly obvious - what's with the invasion of Portaloos ALL OVER the city? It made me feel suspiciously like Rose in Doctor Who, as if suddenly they were all about to sprout legs and march an attack on Valencia.

Of course this was not going to happen, I have an overactive imagination. However, were that many toilets really necessary? Were we Valencians really aware of just how many people would be descending on the City that weekend? The papers dropped phrases like "hundreds of thousands" but it was hard to grasp just how many people that really was. Huge families of numerous and multiple offspring were all desperate to get here to here the Pope's words about the importance of Family, Family values and the like.

Benedict XVI was in Valencia for a mere 26 hours, he has now has returned to Rome and left in his wake, newspapers full of stories, pilgrims filling every corner, people working over time to take down yellow and white flags, signs, flowers, millions of exhausted people and a slightly happier and glorious feel to Valencia.

What the Pope brought in to Valencia -
7.900 police men and women
40 giant television screens
3 km. of pipes
449 water fountains
2.264 taps
35 km. of barriers
7.000 portaloos (and there were still queues!)
1.000 security cameras
700 press from written media
40 different radio stations
15 different television companies
1.000 medically trained people (doctors, nurses, volunteers...)
200 ambulances
1 hospital made out of a tent

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