Barcelona – Photographs and Pickpockets

While walking along La Rambla, my husband Danny and I continued our first day’s adventure in Barcelona. We peeked down the narrow walkways and alleys.

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Our daughter Courtney had warned us about pickpockets earlier that night at dinner. I held my bag close to my body. My husband Danny kept our euros in a money belt. I never feared for my safety anywhere in Barcelona, but pickpocketing was rampant. Courtney told us not to help anyone from the ground since they create scenes to distract you while fishing for valuables in your bag. Many locals wore backpacks in front of them. One of her friends found a little girl’s hand in his front pocket. He swatted her away. Her father just demurely said, “Sorry.” Other times they would approach with clipboards asking random questions. As the unsuspecting target signed their name, they would rifle through their bag underneath. If a victim sat at a table with their small purse atop, they would set the board on the bag and snatch both before they knew they’d been hit. She said to hold our bags when in the subway since they use the crowds to hide their prowling.

The girls, promoting a night club on the beach, enticed their new friend to come for free admission. He was reluctant, so I joined in the conversation. They wanted to hire me! Later they confided that there really was a cover charge. Ah yes. The scamming begins. But they were such nice girls!

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We discovered the Placa Reial filled with hungry people out enjoying the energy of crowds while searching for a late dinner.We joined the hunt for a dessert in the square.

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A feast for the eyes, the soul, and the tummy, restaurants lined the plaza.

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A cue formed for this popular restaurant.

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Many enjoyed conversing with friends and family with nary a cell phone in sight.

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Bicycles and motorbikes are the preferred mode of transportation in the maze-like downtown.

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Danny made some new friends and promised to visit their popular restaurant tomorrow night.

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I found some willing subjects taking a quick break during the rush.

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“Wait! Where does this tunnel lead us?” I pulled Danny out of the Plaza Reial to explore again.

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Back out on La Rambla where my tummy rumbled as we rambled. Tee hee!

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Street performers exhibited their gymnastic prowess.

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The extraordinary lighting on some of the buildings had me snapping away.

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The Rita Blue Restaurant, tucked into another a much smaller plaza, the Placa Sant, had exactly what I’d been looking for.

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I found my just desserts! No pickpockets here. Then home again to our rented flat for a much-needed night’s sleep after staying awake for nearly 36 hours. It was 2:00 AM! We had adjusted to Barcelona time.

Where is your favorite dessert restaurant?

All photos taken by Susie Lindau with a Sony Nex 3nl DSLR

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About susielindau

I am a Boulder, Colorado writer and artist who loves adventure both real and imagined. Come with me. It's always a Wild Ride!
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77 Responses to Barcelona – Photographs and Pickpockets

  1. Pingback: Reflections On a Perfect Night – Photo Essay | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  2. dmswriter says:

    Our favorite dessert restaurant is either Il Ritrovo or Trattoria Stefano, both across the street from each other in downtown Sheboygan, WI. Wonderful atmosphere and absolutely yummy desserts!

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  3. No sign of cell phones because apparently if they set them on the table they would disappear! It is unfortunate about the pick pockets giving the place a bad name but it still looks like you had a wonderful time. The photos are lovely.

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  4. Beautiful photos! Barcelona is one of my very favorite places – I’m lucky enough to have a friend there so I’ve visted a few times. Gorgeous!

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  5. The Hook says:

    Beware that which lies beneath the surface, right, Susie?
    As always, beautiful pics. My heart swells at your happiness, my beautiful friend.

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  6. I think “Photographs OF Pickpockets” would have been a much more fun post! lol I am so glad you are enjoying your trip.
    Scott

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  7. What a wonderful place! I’ve never been to Spain, looks amazing…apart from the pickpockets, though I guess they’re a hazard in plenty of places.

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  8. zannyro says:

    WOWZA! What an adventure! Lights(on the beautiful gorgeous buildings), camera, (that Sony is amazing) and action, (pickpockets lurking high and low)..WHAT A TRIP!!

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  9. Favorite dessert restaurant? Hmmm… I remember a place in California that served only pie. I think. Maybe I was mesmerized, but I only recall a menu filled with all sorts of pies. :) Lovely photos, Susie.

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  10. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . End of Life Care Machine « Bayard & Holmes

  11. Just when I thought my vicarious trip couldn’t get any better….I’m in love with this city, pickpockets and all.
    Ps. When your daughter warned you of these potential thefts, did you use the opportunity to roll your eyes as if she was crazy? It’s always heartwarming to know your child has been listening all these years, but I know I would have given mine a good ole eye roll first…lol

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  12. 4amWriter says:

    Pickpockets are nimble-fingered, aren’t they! I’m actually impressed at some of the tricks they come up with. It’s too bad they can’t put their creativity to better use.

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  13. Great images for a great city Susie – I pick pocketed a pocked pickpocket on my visit!

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  14. I have found your Susie Danny Barcelona adventure very entertaining, but was there any Spanish guitar playing on your soundtrack?

    When I’m hanging out with my pal, Coco, we often grab dessert at Sweet Revenge in the West Village. They’re famous for pairing dessert with drinks. Imagine that.

    http://www.sweetrevengenyc.com/

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    • susielindau says:

      More SDB adventures are yet to come!
      I will have to check out that restaurant the next time I am in the Big Apple. Yum!
      We are finding all kinds of adventures here in giant lake that is now Boulder County!

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  15. The Guat says:

    The bicycle shot is a great one. I don’t know something about it … very cool trip Wild Rider :)

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  16. PapaBear says:

    OK, Susie, the pictures are wonderful…, and we could all tell that Danny was there, but did you make the trip???? I don’t see you in any of the pics…, anywhere ! :) Are you anywhere near the flooding. Clips on TV looked terrible. Stay safe & stay dry.

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    • susielindau says:

      I am in my last post’s pictures taken the same night. I really was there!!!!
      I have been out storm chasing and would love to go to Boulder, but all the roads are still closed. Courtney is going to send me some she took of the Boulder Creek this morning. It is now a mighty river!!! I live in Boulder county and took several yesterday.
      I hope to blog about it tomorrow!

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  17. Wow, the city has beautiful energy. Shame about the pick-pocketing, though I guess times are tough. Funny thing is I never noticed anything like that in Bali. I was always clutching my bag, but there really wasn’t any sign of trouble. Sometimes it felt safer than my own city, but who knows. Probably have to live there a while to really know.

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  18. adinparadise says:

    Barcelona is a wonderful place, and I think one has to beware of pickpockets everywhere one goes. Our guide in Strasbourg pointed out a whole gang of them outside the cathedral there. Looks like you had a load of fun, but I was looking for a pic of your dessert. :)

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    • susielindau says:

      I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it. I probably thought it was way too dark out and the flash would have made look very strange.
      I agree about pickpockets, but they had such obvious techniques I’d never seen before.
      Tanks for reading!!

      Like

  19. filbio says:

    Love all the great pictures! Really give your post a life of it’s own. Such amazing spots to eat outside. I am surprised at how bad the pickpocketing is there.

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    • susielindau says:

      It is crazy. Several of Courtney’s friends were ripped off when she was there. She constantly reminded us not to set anything on the the table. New York is like Mayberry in comparison!!!!
      Thanks for taking a virtual trip with me!

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  20. marydpierce says:

    Love the photos. They give me a good feel for Barcelona. I really want to go one day. Thanks for the tips on pickpockets – what a nuisance they are! We’ve been to Paris several times and never had a problem. Paris, by the way, is where we had the best dessert ever. A small restaurant off the Champs-Elysees served a mousse au chocolat that was to die for. You could order it at an “all you can eat” price and they bought out a large crock of it. The first time we had small dishes of it after dinner. The second time we went back just for the mousse and got the crock. It was THAT good!

    Looking forward to your next travel installment.

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  21. Laura Hilger says:

    Looks like wonderful fun Susie! I enjoyed Barcelona too; such a cool vibe for a big city! I’m glad you avoided the robbery scams.

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  22. Laura Hilger says:

    Looks like wonderful fun Susie! I loved Barcelona when I was there-such a cool vibe for a big city. Glad you avoided the robbery.

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  23. Emma says:

    Great pics. I loved Barcelona.

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  24. bEAUTIFUL!!!!
    My daughter inlaw encountered pickpockets in Greece too. Of course she was shocked coming from a small rural area.. I loved where you ate.. wow such beauty!

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    • susielindau says:

      Thanks Linda!
      It was gorgeous and so exotic compared to the US. We had to be vigilant in Europe. We are careful here, but it is nothing like how protective and on guard we were during our trip.

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  25. So beautiful, Susie. It’s literally causing us to drool and the architecture alone took our breath away. Mathair’s great, great grandmother was from Barcelona and was a flamenco dancer if I’m not mistaken. She was 4’9″ and married a redheaded Irishman that was a whopping 6’7″. Would love to find some pics of them. LOL. Thank you so much for sharing your holiday with us. We don’t eat out much, but Mathair and I love the bourbon caramel yellow cake from the Café Rel, which is owned by a very dear friend of ours.

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  26. Barcelona is lovely, but are you guys OK? The flash flooding looks pretty bad. They evacuated some of the dorms?
    Hope the power stays on and you stay dry

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    • susielindau says:

      Thanks Phil!
      Yes we are high and dry. I am taking photos and hope to blog them tomorrow. It is INSANE!!! We got about 14 inches of rain here in Niwot!

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      • Hard to watch news when you’ve walked those streets and know those buildings. Here headed to wedding weekend after this in Vale, then on to Estes. Only one way into Estes over trailridge now. They are going to have to release more water from dam.
        Here we can handle the rain/water like that – there with the canyons, not so good. Sooo Glad to hear from you (we’ve been getting forwarded pix from some playful CU students…kid! Deep water dangerous…shiver.) Take care – will check back

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  27. Beautiful photos. The time I was in Barcelona, I was a maritime student and only had a few hours over about 2 days to take in as much as I could. Love it though.

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  28. It looks so beautiful! I had to run away from pickpockets in Paris. That was exciting! ;)

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  29. These are great pictures Susie. What type of camera did you use and please don’t tell me it was your iPhone. :)

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  30. joehoover says:

    I recognise the restaurant on the square having eaten there. Your pictures are great, I spent a fortune on a DSLR once and still couldn’t get clear nighttime photos

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  31. Juan Knows says:

    Barcelona is such a lovely city…never imagined that pickpocketing exists even on a first world country…nice insights!

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    • susielindau says:

      Yes. I would say that Barcelona is one of the worst for pickpockets, but a tourist we spoke to in Paris had his camera ripped off in the subway. I guess thieves are everywhere.
      I would love to go back to explore more of the area.
      Thanks Juan!

      Like

  32. Great post and photos! Glad you highlighted the pickpocketing… as you know, my daughter had her mobile stolen from her bag three days after moving to Madrid! So it’s good to make everyone aware of how rife it is out there! Looking forward to seeing more of your travels :)

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  33. Love the images Susie, almost makes one think they are there with you, keep enjoying yourself, life only goes around once and memories are beautiful and lasting. Blessings!

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    • susielindau says:

      Thanks Wendell. It was quite a trip. Looking back I can’t believe my energy level after going through surgery less then 6 weeks before.
      It was an amazing place. I am just getting started. The real sightseeing hadn’t begun! Next stop the Segrada Familla!

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  34. Brigitte says:

    Great pics, Susie! Talk about a wild adventure. I so want to visit Spain, Italy, France. I can’t pick a particular place for a dessert, there’s just too many. ;). Have fun and be safe!

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    • susielindau says:

      Thanks Brigitte!
      It was wild! I found it easy to be immersed in their culture. They are so laid back. Everything about Spain is different than the US. We only had two days so they were packed with sightseeing. I would love to go back….

      Like

  35. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Great photos, Susie! Your shots of the Plaza Reial brought back great memories. I’ve been to Spain twice and was amazed at how quickly we got used to the late night life. Most restaurants don’t even open until 9:00 p.m.! Are you guys okay with the flooding down there?

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    • susielindau says:

      Everything Courtney told us about Barcelona took a while to sink in and we only had two full days there! We stayed out until the cows came home the first night and slept until 10 the next day! Our clock was shifted like that for the rest of the trip. England was like the US. They rolled up their sidewalks at 9!

      It just started pouring again. We live up on a hill, but our guest bedroom has a roof leak. It was a problem when we first built the house 12 years ago and has never been fixed properly. We just had the roofer come again to fix it. Needless to say, we are hiring another roofer. Drip, drip, drip….
      Are you warm and dry?

      Like

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