Yes, I too have a story of theft whilst travelling.
Barcelona is an amazing place but unfortunately suffers from one of the highest rates of pick-pocketing in Europe. I had of course read this time and again on blogs/vlogs and many other mediums prior to travel. But like others before me I’m sure have felt, I said to myself ‘it won’t happen to me?’
Famous last words.
Living in a city like London crammed underground (metro) trains are a normality for me and, also in a weird way because of policing and CCTV in this city, bring a false sense of security. Instinctively I allowed myself to feel the same security on the metro in Barcelona. BIG MISTAKE. We jumped on a late metro from Jaume I headed towards the north of the city on a Friday night, having just celebrated my birthday. Somehow I got into a tight squeeze near the door of the carriage. Aware that people have suffered from thieves ripping cameras out of their hands, my focus was on my SLR. So when a very unassuming old gentleman squeezed on to the carriage and pushed up against me, I foolishly thought nothing of it feeling that my phone was tight in my jeans and camera was in my hand.
Alarms bells should have been ringing, and they did! But for the wrong thing. My mind was focused on the camera when suddenly as the doors were about to close, the old chap decided the carriage was too crammed and got off. Oblivious, I was happy thinking that my camera (way more value than my phone) was in my hands (Yey)
45 minutes later in my room, I thought hmm, better charge my phone, uh oh, where’s my phone.
After some extreme profanities and moments of rage, I suddenly thought to back the unassuming gentleman in his late 50s. This was the only contact I had with anyone aside my girlfriend. Next stop, Police station a report for my insurance. No chance of getting the phone back but hey, karma hopefully.
If you are to travel on any metro worldwide, ESPECIALLY Barcelona, try and conceal your valuables under tight layers of clothing, whilst even trying to hold them as much as possible. The same goes for very busy, crammed areas like the queue for Sagrada Familia and other attractions. This experience tainted our trip (as it was the first day) but it really brought to our attention the amount of people in Barcelona looking for tourists/travellers in the crowds. Something I haven’t experienced in any of the cities I have travelled to before. From our experience, we saw that actually the main culprits are really not the people your mind would lead you to believe (street hawkers/artists/beggars) so be very alert whenever on the metro or on foot in busy areas around the city.
Most importantly, don’t think it won’t happen to you, because it probably will…
Have you been pick-pocketed/robbed whilst travelling? Let us know your story in the comments below.
Where is Jaume I Station?
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