MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Once or Twice in a Lifetime - The Return of Morpheus

Five years ago, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a mostly non-sailor like myself. I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean as part of a crew of four on a 50 foot sailboat. It was a great experience, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it.  Since then, Captain Jim and First Mate Debbie have been exploring and enjoying the Mediterranean on board the Morpheus.

Turns out it will be a twice in a lifetime experience. Morpheus is returning to the Caribbean, and I'll be on board. First I had a few assignments from the Captain to pick up and bring along.

Then it was time to get to where Morpheus is - Tenerife in the Canary Islands. This story started as a typical "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" trip ...

Uber to OAK, Norwegian Air to BCN...

 ... then the Metro train into town and a walk to Nouvel Hotel in Barcelona. This being my first time in Barcelona I decided to stay a couple nights before proceeding to Teneriefe.

Upon emerging from the Metro station, I am immediately charmed by the Barcelona architecture as I walk a few blocks to my hotel while wheeling my bag behind me.

Here I must digress from my usual travel narrative. We've done a lot of traveling and posting on this blog about our almost universally positive experiences. So, when things go bad I feel I should 'fess up and admit it on the blog.

While on the flight, my seatmate offered a suggestion for this first-time, short-time visitor.  He suggested I download the Rick Steves travel app and take his audio walking tour of the Gothic section in Barcelona. On that app Rick Steves warns about the well-heeled pickpockets that work the streets of Barcelona. I also received a text message from Captain Jim describing Barcelona as the pick-pocket capital of the world.  But I did not see or hear either those messages until it was too late.

Instead, on this day, in a jet-lag fog, I am traveling crowded Metro stations, strolling down a Barcelona tourist magnet boulevard, dragging my bags, stopping to take pictures of the architecture, with my wallet in my back pocket and pretty much carrying a giant neon sign over my head saying "EASY TARGET HERE".

And by the time I got to the hotel, I no longer had my wallet in my pocket. Fortunately, my passport was not in my wallet, and after an angst-ridden discussion with the hotel front desk, panicked wake-up call to my sleeping wife in San Francisco, and a scramble to get valid credit card info to the Hotel, I was permitted to check into my room.

Not much of a view, but I didn't care. I'm just glad I had a room.

So I spend the first night in Barcelona with a total of 7 Euros in cash, no credit cards, and wondering WTF I am going to do.

A solution soon arrived with a little help from my friends.  But I feel compelled to post this as, in addition to cash and credit cards, I also had ID's and business cards that reference this blog in my wallet. So this is a message to whoever "found" my wallet. Keep the cash. The credit cards are stopped. Use a little of my cash to send my license, cards, and wallet back to my home in SF.  You've got the address. Thank you.

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