camera gear and pickpockets in Barcelona

Old Aug 26th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Most of what you've seen posted here is pathetic and ridiculous at best.

Barcelona is not drug and gang plagued Mexico, or some other third world country on the verge of collapse because of internal corruption.

Of course there are those who will take advantage of a situation, or, given the severity of the ongoing crisis, might be desperate enough to try something really stupid, but it’s only a sign of the times. And yes, a number of tourist are really stupid, and shouldn’t be out on their own, but that description doesn’t fit everyone who travels.

Having been to Barcelona on a number of occasions over the last 12 years, a week this past March, I have never, repeat, never had a problem. All you have to do is stay alert to your surroundings and enjoy your visit.
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Old Aug 26th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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I sat with a family friend, a woman from Barcelona at a table on the ramblas having a drink in the late afternoon. Her advice was keep your purse on your lap. Keep your camera off the table and in your control and you should not have a problem with someone swooping by to pick up something on the run. I noticed her put her arm around her purse on the table when someone came close. Just be aware and keep your stuff within your grasp.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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chania's friend from Barcelona obviously has a different take than robert and danon's - listen to the locals and do what they do IMO.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 08:12 AM
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I've been many times and not been attacked, I have had to comfort other tourists though and do not want to have to tidy up another.

the BBC took a camera down the Ramblas 2 years ago and just iinterviewed the people who had been robbed. It went on and on. The Mayor does not care, I tried to talk to him about it and his website does not even work.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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If your passion is street photography, take the camera and just be vigilant. I don't see the point of having a good camera and leaving it at home. And if you think a point-and-shoot camera is good enough for what you do in Barcelona, perhaps you should abandon the more expensive one.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 08:25 AM
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I also have friends in Barcelona. They never go near the crowded, low end stores and restaurants lined , and yes, pickpockets infested Ramblas.( and some nearby streets)

Barcelona is a big city with some lovely areas :
Eixample Izquierda, Gracia, Sarria, Pedrables, Montjuic
and more.
Logically, three day visitors don't see more than the touristy areas - Ramblas being the worst.. Too bad.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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We've been to Barcelona several times, always carting a high-end Canon outfit, multiple lenses etc. We've been in the middle of huge crowds during La Merce, shooting away and paying little attention to the gear. We had no problem then, or any other time walking around.
No doubt pickpocketing is real in Barcelona and so is snatching unattended bags. So take the same precautions you would in any city, anywhere and enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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What Chania's friend suggested applies in every large city in the world. A purse hooked over the back of a chair or sitting on the floor in a cafe is a purse that is half gone. Ditto cameras. We had a rash of purse thefts in Boston a few years ago, and a friend lost hers the same way in New Orleans.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Thank you all. I am beginning to feel better about our visit. I definitely will bring my Nikon. I feel naked without it. Took a trip to Italy with a small Canon G9 a good camera buy boy did I miss my bigger camera. So thanks for all the posts. It is true the card is one of the most important things. I have 8 gig ones but will use a different one ever day just in case I have a mishap. I will keep reading info and post for any more tips and advise. I will post to let people know how we make out.
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Old Aug 27th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Why not bring two very expensive cameras. Just in case.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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+I think what I overheard a lady staffing the Madrid Tourist Office, on the Plaza Mayor, tell an American woman applies as well to Barcelona as to Madrid - she saw the lady wearing some expensive looking jewelry and she told her in no uncertain terms that she should take it off right now - saying even in the Plaza Mayor that would make her a target.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 02:20 PM
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Was the American women wearing a diamond tiara?

I often do.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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colduphere

I am not sure but was that sarcasm in your post. I am a person who enjoys taking pictures. My camera is the way I see the world. These are the cameras that I own. I was not trying to be funny or pretentious. I am just looking for good info on the subject.
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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6abc

Cold is known for having fun under all circumstances. Enjoy it in the spirit it was given. Pretenious would be bragging about owning a Nikon Dx3 which costs ten times the amount of a D90.
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 01:41 AM
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Cold being sarcastic? hahahahahahahaha That would never happen.

Just forgive 'em. I think Cold is ahem.
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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Ahem it is - I actually thought it was a good idea. We bring five cameras. If one of them gets lost we have four. Then three ... Mind you there are five of us.

Oh well. We were in Barcelona last year. Go up to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. If someone is playing a guitar on the front terrace it is magical. Unless it is Adu.
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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Cold is more awhell than ahem.
_____________________

If someone is playing a guitar on the front terrace it is magical. Unless it is Adu.

You have never heard me play the 13th century Catalan folk ballad, "Arest of the Pikpokt."
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 05:37 AM
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No forgiving necessary. I had just worked two 15 hour days due to the hurricane and had very little sleep. I might have read a little too much into your comment. Wish I could brag about a DX3. (not even with all my overtime this week, that will never happen)
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 08:03 AM
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Was the American women wearing a diamond tiara?

I often do>

then you are foolish to do so IMO in either Madrid or Barcelona, as the tourist office staffer would have told you in no uncertain terms.

That you repeatedly say Barcelona is just another city with the usual petty pickpcokets is misinformation and a disservice to readers who may then believe that as truth when in reality Barcelona, along with Madrid, is probably by far the worst city in Europe for not only pickpocketing but yes muggings - muggings that are rare in other countries.

This does not mean everyone will get mugged but to entice someone by wearing a diamond tiara is just plain stupid IMO and others should realize that if you do not.
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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we spotted a few shady guys in the metro stations. a man actually stood so close to me even though the station wasnt crowded. i moved away, and when the train came, he followed us in and stood close to me again. so i moved way to the other side of the train. didnt really see them in the tourist sights except for maybe las ramblas. other than that we thought barcelona was very safe. we were even out til 4am reveling in the nightlife and never not felt safe. Madrid, on the other hand, the pickpockets are rampant. we witnessed a couple. madrid is a very beautiful city but not the safest. but then again that was 5 years ago.

so by all means, bring your fancy camera and have fun. nothing to be concerned about just keep your wits about you. if you must wear your camera around your neck, can i suggest you wear a light jacket or sweater and zip it up with the camera inside your jacket.
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