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 ...
... 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.