24th May A trip to barcelona

My trip to Barcelona started off o.k. I got the free bus from Mataro to the city centre (Placa de Catalunya) were I met up with an open top tour bus (23 eur /day) which then proceeded to take me on a trip around the city. You could get on and off wherever you wanted I only chose to get off at the Sagradia Familia. I choosing to see the sites from the roof top of the bus, this took 4 hours. I had planned to go in the Sagradia Familia but the queue was about 600 meters long and not moving very fast. I planned on an early start on Thursday to go back to have a look. I say planned because what happened in the following few hours changed my mind.
I had a look around the Picasso Museum then had a bite to eat and by this time it way 19:30 and my bus back was at 22:00. So I bought some fruit at the huge market and then went for a beer, whilst going to the 2nd pub, down one of the many narrow (but not the narrowest) lanes a guy bounded up alongside me. “French, German, Dutch, English” I replied English.  “Ah great football Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United” naively thinking this was a friendly local (since informed he was probably Moroccan) I said Man United. He puts his arm around me “Barcelona me ha ha ha “ and at the same time pretends to tackle me all the time in good humour laughing. I jump his leg and carry on walking. Thinking that was odd I reached for my Wallet it is not in the pocket I had it in. I shout out no, no not my cards common give me my wallet back as I run towards him he throws my wallet to the floor and takes off. I only run a few paces and then collect my wallet off a guy who stops me running after him and stalls me (im almost certain he was his accomplice) he tells me wait there I will get him, how much was it? I only think he asked that because he wanted to know how much his share was.(no honour amongst thieves!).  I ran after them both but looking at the narrowing streets they went down I decide it would be fruitless, especially given the fruit that was weighing my rucsack down.
Luckily earlier in the day I had the presence of mind to put my credit card in a separate zip up pocket on my shorts. Unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to have my wallet in that same zipped up pocket; they may not have tried it then. So I lost 120 euro; I think because I noticed fast enough it meant that I got my Wallet back as a stall tactic. I was left with an empty wallet 4 euro in change and a credit card. Luckily I ended up at the same Irish pub I had been in and San Miguel was 1 euro a bottle, so after a chat with the doorman and him buying me a bottle I stayed there until I needed to walk for the bus home.
It has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Barcelona is a beautiful city just plagued by rats. I hope they choke on it, they truly are verminous cowardly scum, that’s probably doing an injustice to rats, but I want to avoid swearing, I did enough of that on Tuesday. I have pondered that day and I think that I was targeted earlier on as well.  Just as I was drawing some money out of a cash machine on La Rambla ((photo)a very busy wide street think o’connell street in Dublin but longer) as I was about to get my card back a guy walked from my left and behind me shouting at me in Spanish, I kept my hands near the machine and he kept walking and shouting as if talking to someone that was following in his footsteps. I am almost certain this was to try and distract me from what I was doing so they could grab the money as it appeared from the cash machine.  That is why my photos of the amazing Sagradia Familia will have to do. Barcelona has got all the money it’s getting from me.


Anonymous said...

"It has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Barcelona is a beautiful city just plagued by rats."

Very true. It's a shame such a thing has happened and jaded your view of what would otherwise been a good trip to Barcelona. These things have a funny way of sticking in the mind and blocking out the good things that happened. You have to remember that and focus on the good parts of your trip.

If nothing else you now have an interesting anecdote similar to the one I use almost every time someone talks about Barcelona.


Emma said...

:-( So sorry to hear that Alan, I've been to the place too and it's just rife. Not a great experience and I wish I'd warned you more than just the marmite comment. I don't think I know anyone that's been to the place and not been targetted. One family that I know had ALL of there luggage stolen from right outside the hotel. I guess if anything it will make you all the more aware although sadly a costly, frustrating and upsetting lesson.
I'm sure the rest of the trip will more than make up for it and I agree that train line is a bit TOO close for comfort :-0