The Boat Trip
To start the day we all gathered in the small chapel in the accommodation and had mass as a group in English. All the masses so far have been beautiful and reminded us of how multi – national the Catholic Church is. However, it was nice to celebrate mass alone as a group today and it made the experience very intimate and personal.
Following mass we all boarded the bus and headed to Augustow lakes for a boat tour of the area. This was the same boat tour Pope John Paul II took in 1999 and we stopped at a local statute dedicated to his visit. All pilgrims kissed the hand and ring of the statue as locals believe this brings luck and blessings. The boat journey provided us with the opportunity to view Augustow from outside of the coach and enjoy the river scenery. We were able to experience the beautiful surroundings around the lake and enjoy the weather from the top deck of the boat.
After our trip in the boat we headed back to our accommodation where we were treated to more delicious food including soups and cakes. We then got back on the bus and travelled back to Holy Waters for a talk from the parish priest who explained the history of the parish and then gave us a gift of a dedicated cross to the Archdiocese of Cardiff to commemorate this WYD pilgrimage and the cross was then blessed. The cross had a dedicated plaque clearly stating who this cross was for, and it will now stand amongst the other crosses on the hill for years to come and for other pilgrims to pass and see.
We then proceeded to travel back to Bialostocka town square where a concert was taking place. We spent the next hour here exploring the square, eating ice cream and dancing to the music. After some picture taking outside the cathedral, the group board the bus for the last time that night and headed back to the accommodation for some rest and recuperation ahead of tomorrow’s activities.