World Youth Day has come to its end. The expected rail traffic organization is running as expected. The Pope has already returned to Rome, and pilgrims are returing to their homes, but as it turns out – not all.
On Sunday, at 2:00pm, at Krakow's Main Station (Dworzec Główny) the managing of pilgrim groups who are leaving Krakow by train has begun.
In both buffer zones there were no line ups. There also wasn't any control of possessions, or any counting of people able to enter platforms, as was expected earlier. “We had problems just after closing entrances outside of buffer zones, a temporary chaos.” says Joanna Wargua from Polish National Railways PKP S.A. “Most trains leave in the evening, so that is when most travellers appear,” she adds.
“Pilgrims there are still singing, dancing, and so have strength after today. We will miss these colours, this happiness a little,” says Violetta Szumilak from the PKP S.A. Service.
Among those leaving were also young people from Panama – the next host of WYD. “There had been rumors that we might organize World Youth Day, but no one was certain up until the moment of the official announcement,” says Valeria Tovar. She said goodbye to Poles with these words. “It will be amazing in Panama. We will handle organization. Come. See you in 2019!”
On the platforms pilgrim-travelers are waiting. “It is well, because in case of evacuation there are so many border guards and police that this would take place efficiently,” notes Michał Świokła sitting on the third platform. “It's hard to leave World Youth Day. Here I experienced amazing moments. Also from a spiritual point of view – something changed,” adds the resident of Szczecin.
Not everyone is returning home, however – two sisters from Buenos Aires decided to visit the Czech Republic on the way back. “We are going to Prague, but it is Krakow that will stay in our memory the longest,” said Manuel and Pilar Ramos Beytia, sisters from Argentina. “We got to know people from the whole world, living the same faith as us and with the same values. Now we do not feel so lonely. We are also happy that people from the whole world so love our countryman,” says the twenty year old Argentinian.
Piotr Oskwarek, Piotr Klejnowski