Barcelona – Photographs and Pickpockets (Updated 2017)

While walking along La Rambla, my husband, Danny, and I continued our adventure in Barcelona while very aware of pickpockets. We peeked down the narrow walkways and alleys and I took a few photographs.

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Our daughter, Courtney had lived in Barcelona all summer. She warned us about pickpockets earlier that night. I held my bag close to my body. Many locals wore backpacks in front of them. Danny kept our euros in a money belt. I never feared for my safety anywhere in Barcelona, but pickpocketing was rampant.

Pickpocketing scenarios:

Courtney warned us not to help anyone from the ground since they create scenes to distract you, then fish for valuables in your purse or backpack.  One of her friends found a little girl’s hand in his front pocket. He swatted her away. The girl’s father said, “Sorry.” Other times they approach with clipboards asking random questions. As the unsuspecting target sign their name, they would rifle through the victim’s bag underneath. If a victim sat at a table with their small purse and cell phone on top, they would set the board on them and snatch both before they knew they’d been hit. She said to hold our bags to our chest when in the subway since they use the crowds to hide their prowling.

Meeting locals

I met two cute girls, hired to promote a night club on the beach. They 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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Photographs of the night scene in Barcelona.

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 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 queue 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.

Barcelona Photographs and Pickpockets

Where is your favorite dessert restaurant?

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

78 thoughts on “Barcelona – Photographs and Pickpockets (Updated 2017)

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  1. 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?


    1. 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?


  2. 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!


    1. 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….


    1. 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!


  3. 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 🙂


      1. It’s good to spread the word. My daughter’s doing fine now that she’s got over that incident, she starts work tomorrow teaching English and she’s moved into an apartment so it’s all going well now! 🙂


    1. 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!


    1. Thanks Old Sage! It is a Sony Nex 3nl. I will add it to the post! It is a workhorse and takes such dramatic nighttime photos. I did have to figure out which automatic setting to use. For a while it was auto-cropping which was very annoying!!!


      1. It was cool! Part of the program included going out on our school ship for a 55 day training run. One summer I did an internship on a ship that is owned by the Navy and manned with civilian mariners. (I ended up working for this company after graduation). Got to see a little bit of a lot of the world! Last job (before coming to shore and becoming a mother) was ship’s second officer (navigator).


      1. 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


  4. 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.


    1. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


    1. 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!


  9. 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. 🙂


    1. 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!!


  10. 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.


  11. 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.


    1. 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!


    1. 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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