Blogger’s Eye View Of Barcelona
Barcelona is one of my favourite cities and a place that I know quite well after several visits (the highlight of which was watching my little grand-daughter come in to the world there in June last year).
However –with or without babies or eye congresses – I don’t see Barcelona through rose-tinted glasses. I recognise all too clearly that it has a terrible (and, unfortunately, well deserved) reputation for street crime. The historic El Born district (where my daughter and family live) is popular with tourists and home to many immigrants. It is also a crime hot spot and bag snatching there is a multi daily occurrence.
Unfortunately a couple of members of the London Vision Clinic team were also targeted. Clinic Manager Emma Pinker had her wallet stolen from her bag by a pick-pocket on the Metro; while nurses Alena and AnaRita had quite an adventure during a lunch break in the conference grounds. They were sitting on the grass when they noticed two young men had joined them. After the men left, Alena realised that her bag had also gone. Fortunately, Staff Nurse Ana Rita, speaks Spanish (perhaps due to that fact that her father comes from neighbouring Portugal) and was able to give a good description of the men to the Congress’ security guards and those of the next door hotel. Both men were apprehended within ten minutes and a shaken Alena had her bag returned to her.
Sadly, such a happy ending is a very rare occurrence. The nurses were told that the police would take action as the theft was labelled a “serious crime” (or delito; as opposed to the less serious infracción or offence; this was because the contents of the stolen bag were valued at more than 400 Euros. (With lower valuations the thieves find themselves out on the streets again a few hours later).
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