Pickpockets in Barcelona!!!!

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May 13th 2010
Published: May 13th 2010
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Sagrada FamiliaSagrada FamiliaSagrada Familia

With our "whisper" earpieces on tour.
May 12, 2010
Oh gosh, the adventures continue! From Jean…
This morning about 9:30 we took the shuttle into Barcelona where we were left at the bottom of Las Ramblas, a beautiful tree-lined thoroughfare that runs about a mile through Barcelona and has shops and places to eat along the way. Just beautiful. We were warned that pickpockets abound there because there are so many tourists so we should watch our belongings, keep money in front pockets and generally watch out……and we did!!! So… instead of staying in that area we decided to head for a cathedral out of the downtown area, that has been the works for over a hundred years and they don’t plan to have it completed until 2026. One hundred years from the death of the architect, Antoni Gaudi, who was hit by a tram and killed. He had already worked on the cathedral for 40 years before his death. Hope you enjoy this photo of Sagrada Familia and us on tour ;-). It is magnificent and so humbling. How many times does someone get to see a magnificent cathedral under construction that will be here for centuries to come.
We then headed off in the rain towards another Gaudi building that looks like waves and is also magnificent and along the way stopped at a little shop for lunch. We then headed for the subway (Metro) to visit one more building in Barcelona before heading back to the ship.
That’s when the “adventure for Barcelona” really began. We got our tickets from a machine and started for the turn stiles. Cope wasn’t paying attention and put his ticket in one turn stile while trying to go through the adjacent one. Easy mistake to make, but it backed people up and got a little confusing. I was a few people behind him and noticed the problem so helped Cope move to the correct turn turnstile. After we got down to the right platform for the subway, Cope noticed that his wallet was missing! In the confusion of the turn stile some pickpockets had made quick work of taking his wallet with credit cards, cash and his driver’s license!! Our friends, Sharon and Dave, were as shocked as we were as we had all been so good to keep our stuff in zippered pockets and out of easy access. But they are professionals and the wallet was gone. I finally convinced Sharon and Dave to go on to their last stop. There was nothing they could do. We would make our way back to the ship and call the credit card companies. And that’s what we did. Took the next subway to Las Rambles and then walk to where shuttle busses were taking people back to the ship.
While we were waiting on the shuttle bus I looked out the window and there were Sharon and Dave heading back but they hadn’t noticed the bus, so Cope ran to flag them down. When they got on the bus I asked them how come they were there as they were going to visit another building…… You’re not going to believe this but, as they were on another platform from us and just got on the subway, a man dropped his cell phone and it broke into a lot of pieces so there was confusion as people tried not to step on it. And guess what happened? Dave was pick pocketed too!! Lost their credit cards, his and Sharon’s drivers licenses, and their money as well as their passes to get back on the shuttle to the ship. I couldn’t believe it. I thought they were making it up, just because it had happened to us. What an afternoon!
When we got back to the ship and reported it, Princess let us use there phones to report it to the credit card companies. There were a number of people on the ship that had this happen to them all over the city. Four people were even on a ship tour when it happened to them. If you’re ever thinking of becoming a pickpocket I’d suggest you come to Barcelona. They are truly professionals!! ;-) Anyway, we are now laughing about our adventure du jour. We are all safe, credit cards are cancelled, had a lovely dinner with a GREAT mushroom soup and I’m now writing to you while watching “the Girl with the Pearl Earring”.
Tomorrow Marseille ;-) Despite the losses, we loved Barcelona and hope to return one day, but for now…. Adios Spain and Bonjour France! The adventures continue!!!


13th May 2010

This is truly one trip you won't forget! I love Barcelona too! Pick pockets are professional and are even worse in Prague and Hong Kong. I also always warn clients about the rental car scams that happen in Barcelona, the car companies will not issue warnings about the things that happen but they should. The adventure continues............... Sorry about your problems, we had same experience in Hong Kong so know what it's like.
13th May 2010

Jean: I'm so sorry that this happenned to you and your friends. Let it go though and enjoy the rest of the trip.
13th May 2010

this blogs have the making of an excellent travel guide....you have had more things occur in a short amount of time than most travlers have during their entire adventure! stay well my friends, Kathy B
13th May 2010

Keep them comin'
Hi you guys! I am enjoying your blog and the pix (well, the ones of Jean... sorry Cope). Look forward to hearing everything... sorry about the loss of your wallet... we are fine here. Heading for Wichita on Sat for a week. I will take a side trip to PA to meet with a friend who is running for Congress... it's primary day on Tues and I would like to be there with him. other than that, it's quiet. r
13th May 2010

Oh noooooooo!!!!!
13th May 2010

scam in Madrid
Although we didn't have problems in Barcelona, a scam perpetrated at Avis at the Madrid airport, well known to embassy officials... A tire of the car just rented has been slashed, so customer/tourist has to pull off at the first exit. A "good samaritan" is there waiting to help, goes into car ostensibly to get the spare tire out of trunk, takes purse situated between 2 front seats, and overnight bag. Police are called and come; insist that we go to police station, although embassy is near-by. There we are held under armed guard, ignored, not allowed to call embassy for hours, while $5000 being charged on credit card. Finally get to embassy who write letter to American Airlines so that I can board to get back home, with no ID, no drivers license, cards or money. Will never go back to Spain. Even Gaudi is not enough of a draw.
15th May 2010

Driver's license
So, will Cope or Dave be able to drive? Can they get interim licenses for whichever country? Probably. BOTH boys got pick-pocketed! Have you considered hiring a nanny? You know you shouldn't tell that story, it makes you sound like AMATEURS!! You'll notice I got the blog to work. I love the monkey picture!
16th May 2010

Advanture Travel
That is a very informative article about place for tourists .thanks.

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