VALENCIA was back to normal 24 hours after the departure of Pope Benedict, who left on Sunday afternoon after his first official visit to Spain, and the hundreds of Majorcans who attended the event started to return to the island. More than 500 people from Majorca travelled to Valencia for the fifth World Meeting of Families with the Pope, and they included the Bishop, Mgr Jesús Murgui.
Most of them had travelled by boat and coach.
Eight Majorcan priests travelling with the group took part in the concelebrated Mass which was one of the last acts of the Papal visit.
Mayor of Palma Catalina Cirer was also part of one of the Majorcan groups.
A group of about 50 people from Minorca, escorted by Franciscan nun Sor (Sister) Maria Bibiloni, who is the representative for immigration of the Minorcan diocese. The thousands of people who had travelled to Valencia to see the Pope had to endure temperatures of more than 27ºC and humidity of 60 per cent. One estimate put the number of visitors at 1.5 million, many of whom camped out in the park of the City of Arts and Sciences, where the religious services were held. There was very little sleep for anyone, as many young people spent the night singing and dancing. On Sunday, by 5am the best seats for the Mass, which did not begin until 9.30am, had already been taken, and for many people it was standing room only. During the week-long meeting, the Valencia street cleaning service cleaned up more than five million kilos of rubbish.
Preparations for the visit started as early as January.