Friday, January 27, 2012

Montjuic-Barcelona...robbed at knife point

I had seen a man walked up the stairs that I thought lead nowhere.  I decided to take a walk up and found out that it was the rooftop.  Something I had only seen in movies and never stepped foot.  It was the roof top.  I took a few pictures of a school and the rooftops of an apartment next to 'ours'.
School Children playing
Some sort of garden/playground for the school children
What I saw on the roof top
The view fascinated me
Inside view-funicular of Montjuic
The Montjuïc (Mountain of the Jews) is a hill located near the centre of Barcelona. We were going thereWe took the funicular from the Metro Paral-lel station (It is free).  The funicular went right up to the level where it meets the Teleferico (cable car to Montjuïc Castle). We did not use the Teleferico as hubby said walking was the best way to enjoy a place.
Telefèric de Montjuïc
We took a slow walk and initially it was enjoyable.  Then it became tiring as the hill has steep slopes.  I would say we were lucky (actually it was I who was) as the weather was very cooling.  It was foggy.  We walked past a park and I told hubby it would not be a good idea to look for a toilet.  Hubby told me to wait for him whilst he went inside and looked around.  I stood waiting for roughly 15 minutes.  Geez, it was quite scary as there was not a soul in sight.  The whole place was deserted.  Finally, hubby appeared and said we would have to trek up the hill first.  Then, look for a toilet up there.  If I am not wrong, it took us about thirty minutes to reach Castell Montjuic.

Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer

Picture taken when we stopped for a rest...almost there!
It took us about thirty minutes of slow walk to reach Castell de Montjuïc. The feeling of having reached the top was wonderful.  The view was spectacular and it was worth every bit of muscle ache suffered. 
One 'cool' seagull
The same seagull--it stood long enough for six pictures

Side View of Castell de Montjuïc

View of the port from the Castle
A well

A bale of Hay
The toilets (both sexes) are located near the courtyard.  Whilst waiting for hubby I fed the pigeons and the sparrows.  It was also a time to take a rest.  
I had the sparrow circled, as it was the only brave one.  It came and stood next to the pigeon.  When food (in the form of chips) were scattered, it took some and 'passed' it to its friends waiting and chirping nearby.  It went on for quite some time and that was when I decided to take a picture.
Sparrows waiting for food.
Entrance & exit--Castell de Montjuïc
One of the Artillery 
Sardana Monument
The Catalonia community join hands and dance in a circle in sync with the drum taps. The dance is known as the Sardana Dance.  The monument depicts dancers dressed in their traditional gear performing the dance. It was the last picture we took of our visit to Montjuic.
We walked down heading towards the red port cable car station.  The cable car would that would take us from Montjuic hill station (in front of the  Miramar Hotel ) across the port to the San Sebastia beach near Barceloneta.  Hubby went and asked for directions and a man who was at the cable car station directed him (pointed in the direction) where we had to go.  That would be where we had to take the red port cable car.  We walked to an area where there was a restaurant (I cannot recall the name) and a waiter told us the cable car ‘is closed’. What puzzled us was why the man hubby asked at the station made no mention of 'the closed cable car'.  Another couple with us had wanted to take the cable car as well. We had to walk downhill as there was no other way to get down.  Unless, as hubby told me, we walked back up and check for other means of transport.  I was reluctant to walk back as it was windy with sand, leaves and all else blowing. The other couple had proceeded to walk down using the asphalt road. They spoke Spanish (could be locals). Hubby looked over a wall and shouted that he could see a road below (through some kind of park).  We decided to use that way. It looked like a shorter way.
As we walked down the steps, a black man suddenly appeared and asked ‘What’s the time’ in English.  I thought he spoke pretty well in English.  Hubby replied ‘2 pm’ and the man asked again.  Then hubby said louder ‘2 o clock’.  We continued walking down the steps.  I commented to hubby that it was weird asking for the time in a park.  Somehow, I had a gut feeling that something was not quite right.  I turned to look at the man.  He had followed us and stopped when I turned to look at him.  I noticed that he had something wrapped up in paper.  I told hubby that I do not feel good about the man and mentioned that he was following us.  I quickened my step and was quite many steps ahead/below of hubby. He remarked that I was paranoia after losing the backpack. I turned to look upwards...Everything happened very fast. In a split second, the black man had jumped down in front of hubby.  He had a knife pointed at hubby’s neck and the other grasping hubby's shirt.  He kept saying ‘Give me all money’ or I stab you’.  The first thing I did was to ask hubby to release the bag he was carrying over his shoulder.  I thought that would be my best protection as the bag was made of thick vinyl.  In addition, I was not willing to give up the camera that was inside the bag.  The black man was struggling with hubby. In the midst of the scuffle, hubby lost his balance.  He fell against a small hill behind and he stood reclined at 45 degrees.  Both of us remained calm.  We were angrier than anything else was.  I was prepared to swing the bag at the robber should he even cut hubby a little bit.  ‘Give me all your money now’ he said repeatedly.  Hubby replied ‘how to take money for you if you do not let me up’.  I shouted ‘let my husband up and he take money for you’.  He released one of hubby’s hands.  Hubby was not going to give him the money just like that.  His quick thinking saved us from further harm. He decided to throw the money and let it fly with the wind.  The robber looked at hubby and hubby asked him ‘you want money or me?’  The robber thought for a while and then went for the money.  It was then that we ran quickly down the steps.  We reached a busy area and sat at the bus stop by the side of the road.  It was then that I realised my heart was beating very hard.  I said this to hubby, ‘Do you know my heart stopped just now?’  It was that scary as the knife was about six-inches (blade alone) long. :o(
[I am not from Spain so the location is not quite clear.  However, when I look at the pictures we took, I remembered I saw a monument of Columbus when we were sitting at the bus stop after we ran away from the black man.  It had to be the steps leading down to the area quite near Placa Espanya.  Do not use this route (through a park) as it is really deserted and there is no one around.  It could be due to the winter season.]

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