Frequent flyer tickets to Spain donated by a generous friend – check. Three bedroom rental apartment with deck views of Sagrada Familia – check. An itinerary that would please the foodies and the culture vultures of the group – check.
As the details fell into place for our June trip to Barcelona, only one worry remained. I had foiled pickpockets in Rome and Nice before, but the sheer number of complaints I had read about Barcelona petty crime were a little daunting. “Make sure you are careful,” I cautioned my husband, Don. With the confidence of a tall man unused to being accosted, he assured me that he would be fine. I still took precautions, giving him a minimum of cash every day and storing the passport back at the apartment.
And boy, I’m glad I did. Our robbery took place at the Liceu Metro station on the lower portion of Las Ramblas, in the middle of the afternoon. As we attempted to enter the train, a bunch of guys blocked us at the doors. Concerned that we would be separated, Don pushed us both through the doors. As the gang got off, passengers motioned for us to check out wallets. My purse worn across my body was fine; I had clung to it tightly. But Don had kept his wallet in his front pocket – and it was gone.
Because I had limited our cash, the crooks only got away with 50 euro. We did have to cancel a credit card or two, and Don had to get a replacement drivers license when we returned home. We didn’t let the experience ruin our trip and otherwise enjoyed Barcelona with our friends. I would encourage anyone to go. Just watch out for your belongings.
What was your worst travel experience on 2009? Tell me below!