Barcelona – Part 2

April 28, 2012 8:46am Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 32 Comments

“What do you mean your purse is gone, we’ve been WATCHING OUR BAGS, it’s not possible” I said at double speed, in disbelief.
We checked the tiny handbag, again and again (just incase) I began to pat myself all over (Why?) incase it had somehow, as if by magic,  found it’s way onto my body.  But no.  The purse was gone.  The purse, 400 euros, 2 credit cards, a debit card, a driving license and an E111.  The whole kit and caboodle. Destitute before we’d even unpacked.
“I’ve been robbed, robbed, it’s all gone” said my Mother.
“We need a credit card for the room please” repeated the receptionist.
“What IS the spanish word for ‘Empathy’ “ I asked as I tried not to throw my credit card at the lovely sinorita.
I was incensed that my Mother had been pick pocketed right in front of my beady eyes.  I thought of the journey and who could have done it. 
 “It’s that MAN.  The well dressed man, who helped you with your case, YEAH.. WHILST HIS OPPO nicked your purse!” 
See how I deduced that.  Sherlock. 
Whilst my Mother spent hours in our room, cancelling all her cards and begging for money to be delivered to Western Union, I nipped downstairs to get a well earned beverage for us both.
“A jug of sangria por favor” I said to the waiter “And make it a good one” I added with a wink.  Trust me, this sangria was so potent I made him write down the recipe for medicinal purposes.
Two hours later, with a future mobile bill from hell, my Mother had managed to secure a transfer of money and cancel her cards.  Next stop- police station.
We decided, as it was now 10 pm that we’d get a taxi. I threw my bag, phone and card into the safe and stuffed some cash into the pockets of my tightest jeans.  Even Boy George couldn’t get her frisky hands in there.
The Argentinean taxi driver listened intently as my Mother told her story. When he dropped us at ‘The Ramblas’ he said “Be VERY careful.  VERY BAD PEOPLE on Ramblas. Knives” 
“Oh goody. Just what I wanted to hear mate”  I replied with a smile.
Off we went through the hoards of revellers. I clutched the arm of my Mother as though she were a 4 year old and gave the black eyed stare of a psycho vigilante, to anyone that came within 5 feet of my aura.  
First stop – Western Union.
“Watch your passport” I urged as my Mother collected her money.  I stood, like a hungry Dobermann, waiting for potential robbers/murderers/nutters/etc to attack.  I think I have mastered the ability to instill fear.
Then we had to find the police station.  The on duty copper, behind the desk, was far more interested in the pert little arse hanging out of a g-string style pair of denim shorts, of the blonde girl as she was leaving the building.  
After writing down our incident with about as much enthusiasm as a teenager on a saga trip, he told us to wait in a large room opposite.  A bland room with chairs, a clock and white walls. Have you ever played eye spy in a Spanish police station?  I have.  With very little to go on we had to really use our imagination.  I have to say I’ve played easier games of chess.   It took two hours and several  trips back to the police counter before they decided, in their wisdom, to let my Mother fill out the form herself.  It took them two hours to come up with that solution.  Awesome.
 I’ve got to be honest, at this stage I wasn’t feeling the love.  Though the sangria was helping, I was weary, annoyed, upset and hoping that the robbing bastard was choking on his tapas.
Eventually, at some point past midnight, we crawled into our beds.   
The next day, I decided that though vigilance was the word of the day, I was not going to allow the incident to ruin our weekend.  So, here’s what I loved about Barcelona:

One of Gaudi’s houses.  The man is genius.

Sagrada familia.  Like something out of a fairy tale book.  I loved it. 

Just look at the inside.  Supposed to resemble a forest as Gaudi took his inspiration from nature.  Did I mention that I love him?

Just LOOK at that ceiling.  The detail!  I know, I’m obsessing.

Just one of the many sculptures built into the crevices.

All of a sudden I was distracted by chocolate.

Food can be very artistic, don’t you think?

La Ramblas. Very bad people. I think it’s ok if you watch your bag.

The harbour. 

A marvellous, arty construction on the beach.

Doesn’t this just make you want to walk down the street!

 Sitges.  A beautiful, little seaside town, half an hour by train from Barcelona.
  See that storm coming?  I got soaked.

Highs: Barcelona is beautiful city with with wide boulevards, fabulous architecture, wonderful food (and sangria) cheap metro travel and oozing with culture.
Lows:  Watch your bag.  Oh, and listen to your parents even though they don’t practise what they preach.


Leave a reply

Did you not think of buying a Toledo sword Lara Croft!

I did consider it yes. I quite fancied myself as a sword wielding maniac!

Well, I hope you managed to revive your mother’s spirits after the ordeal. Did she eat any chocolate?

I think I was more upset than she was! No, we just admired the chocolate and stuck to the sangria.

Subtract the initial hours of hell – and judging from these wonderful pictures – you had a marvelous time. Added bonus – you’ve refined your Sherlock skills and perfected the art of being a “psycho vigilante.” Personal growth…

Didn’t think chocolate could get any more tempting!

Quite true Beth and yes, it’s definitely personal growth! I am now a force to be reckoned with!

400 euros getting lost in foreign country? I would have got panic attack. You are a wonderful writer Juliette. The pictures are awesome, but I wonder whether mom was able to enjoy those after this. I wouldn’t be able to.
That last line, carve it in gold, my mom preaches a lot and she is the first one not to follow them.

Why thank you. Actually, she loved it and was pretty ok about the incident. BUT YES! she didn’t watch her bag DID SHE!

Did you visit the food market just off La Ramblas? Incredible aromas, but watch you valuables.

Yes the food and chocolate photos are from there. Fantastic place but I was very wary in there. Perfect for pick pockets!

Your pictures are gorgeous! I’ve heard Barcelona was dangerous and full of thieves, but much like you I believed the stories were mostly just made up and exaggerated! If I’d been robbed as your mother was I’d have sat in a puddle of my own tears for much of the rest of the trip!

Thank you. I thought it was an exaggeration as my Mother is prone to it. However, one hit of that sangria and you can take on the world!

the last pix is simply gorgeous…surreal even.
again i’m sorry that your mother and you had to go through all that struggle, must’ve been quite a pain in the arse and it’s totally okay to wish for the robber to choke on his tapas 🙂

Thank you. That stormy sky was fantastic to see and made a great picture. Wasn’t so nice when it hit me and I hadn’t brought my coat..DUH. (yes, I can only hope he did choke or even better he got pick pocketed back! HA!)

God Jules that sucks. But you are a smart tough girl and didn’t let it define your trip. As Teddy Roosevelt would have said: Bully for you girl!

Oh, yeah. Surprise. I finally got on my computer at home so I could leave a message on your blog. So many people use disqus or other now, the firewall at work says…”I think not!” Bastards!

Not writing much on my blog right now but I haven’t forgotten: I need to write you something “Byronish” 🙂


Thanks! I have that problem sometimes, its annoying.
Looking forward to the new Byron 🙂

Me and the missus went to Barcelona once. Thought it was rubbish. Nothing to see. Dull, dull, dull.

Or was that Bilbao?

Yes, thinking about it and looking at your pictures, it must have been Bilbao.

Ha ha! That made me laugh. Not going to Bilbao then.

Looks like an awful start with an awesome ending… hope your Mom is ok! It makes one feel so helpless when something happens to one of our parents.

Oh and that chocolate looks to die for! 🙂

She’s fine thank you. I know, it looks too nice to eat, well, for a minute at least!

I’ve tagged you Miss jelly bobble 🙂

Oooh! Thank you 🙂

Why don’t all stories have a good ending, Juliette? Next time I find myself wandering around Barcelona again for no particular reason except to take a very long walk, I’ll think of the two of you, I’m sure. I hope your Mom has gotten over it by now. If not, I can only imagine what it feels like to have been robbed.

I don’t know RCB, why don’t they? I thought life was all about fairy tales- LIARS! Anyway, it could have been worse. we still had a good time.

So did I. And I’m a collector of fairy tales so I should know! By the way, I always thought Sagrada familia wasn’t finished on the inside. Now I have to go back!

Well if you do, make sure you watch your bag! It’s beautiful. Just like a fairy tale!

Now that I’ve read your post, Barcelona will never be the same again. I’ll make sure next time I go there I’ve wrapped a safe around my belly and call it my bag.

I’d never heard of Gaudi but I’m glad I have now. That church is amazing and the houses fantastic. I’ll have to google the name. I’m sorry you were robbed. Your poor mom. I would love to eat one of those ladybugs.

Gaudi is a genius Belle. His church is the best I’ve ever seen! And so are those lady bugs 🙂

I was reading thinking “this is quite a nice blog…. nice pictures…. blah blah blah” then i noticed you used the word CREVICE. I hope you are suitably ashamed of yourself.

Suitably ashamed, you’re quite right.

Wow!! very well written….. seriously I fall in love with the beauty of this place. It is hard to stop myself to visit there with family. Please share me the right time when i can travel here. I will be with my wife and 2 kids so must me comfort environment for kids. Will wait for your fast response. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published
Required fields are marked (*)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.