Saturday, April 5, 2008

It Wasn't the Popemobile, but...

The line stretched around two sides of the wall enclosing the Vatican. There was nothing to look at, except the people who tried to cut.

I heard a helicopter overhead, and looked up to see the big white aircraft circling the area around us. The landing gear was down, and I realized it was the pope's chopper. I watched it circle and circle, but it still didn't land. I wondered what would be so important to keep the pope from landing, and then police officers ran down the street, ushering the crowds to hug the wall.

Suddenly I realized what was going on. The helicopter was part of a security detail, and was probably scanning the rooftops for snipers and keeping an eye on the route of a motorcade.

Two motorcycle cops sped past me, and, heedless of the police, I stepped past their line of control to look down the small thoroughfare.

That was when I saw the motorcycles flanking a pair of black sedans. The only camera I had was my point-and-shoot, and it barely turned on it time to get the first shot.

Unfortunately, as Pope Benedict XVI leaned forward and waved, my camera was not ready to shoot again, so I got a rather poor photo of part of his vestments.

But I still saw him, and even though I'm not Catholic, I thought it was a nice experience.

It even turned out that it was a fluke I saw him in the first place, as the Italian daylight savings time had taken effect that morning, causing me to be an hour late, and thus being in position to see the pope - and be an hour late to catch my train to Siena that night, which was just not good fortune at all.


Mandrew said...

Dude...I poped myself reading this.

Natasha said...

I was there! That was such a cool experience! I was too excited to think about taking pics haha but thank goodness we didn't know it was daylight savings!