BEWARE AROUND CATHEDRAL, Granada
Take some rosemary with you and try selling it to the gypsies!! It works every time, they try walking away from you but if you are persistent they will try to give you a few cents. Once you know where they keep their money you can nick it
and then leg it down one of the back alleys of the Albaicin On a more serious note one of them did once cure me of cynicism but alas it was short lived and in a matter of hours I was even more scathing than before.
Watch out for the little ladies who are on the sidewalks with the olive branches who want to read your palms and then get money from you. At first they may seem sincere, but they are really out for the almighty dollar!
Look, the gypsy women are cons. That's the reality. They try to give you sprigs of herb, and then demand 1000 pts for the pleasure. They slur their words so you, the unkoowing tourist, pull out your wallet. They grab the money and run, while you're still trying to figure it out. They're everywhere in Granada. Everywhere.
Be very careful of the gypsy women. Do not stop to talk to them and avoid them at all costs. They will give you a sprig of lavender and ask only a small amount of money for it. While you dig for the money , they confuse you by not telling you exactly how much they want. Then when you get your wallet out later all of your cash is gone. They are very quick and all dress alike so you cannot report them to the police. My sister-in-law lost a lot of money to them so be wary! (or be insured!)
If people suddenly come up to you, starting to read your palm, just leave. Don't talk to them. They'll tell you a few things about your future and demand money from you, and they get mad and threaten you if you don't pay. This happened to me and scared me quite a bit. Luckily I was helped by a friendly tourist, but my friend payed them more than 10 dollars...
Around the Cathedral there are a lot of Gypsy women who put sprigs of Rosemary into you hand and then demand money. This only happens around the cathedral. Don't let them put anything into your hand. Don't be embarrassed to drop the rosemary onto the floor if necessary. Just ignore them and say 'dejame en paz' (leave me alone) if they persist. What they are looking for is someone who is too embarrassed to say 'no'. This is not a dangerous situation.
I was approaching the cathedral when I became aware of someone very close behind me. When I turned there were two young women very close and right behind me holding city maps open in front of them. They did not meet my eyes and moved away so although I was suspicious, I thought maybe they just got a bit too close because they were busy looking at their maps. About 20 minutes later approaching a nearby Plaza, I turned again to see the same young women right behind me again with their open maps. I realised they were the same girls and I checked my backpack and found it open. I then realised that one of my purses was missing - one I was keeping loose coins in. There was about 12 euros only in it and nothing else, so I was lucky. The girls had disappeared by the time I realised the purse was missing. We then looked in a bin further along the road and we found the purse - empty of coins, also another purse with a car key and a computer flash drive in it, which we handed to the police. I was pleased to get the purse back but very annoyed to have been targeted. I had the backpack on my back and they had to pull the zip round to get inside. I think they used the open maps to cover their hands while they were trying to get access to the bag. I felt nothing !
I have a photo of the pickpocketers on my camera !!! Any ideas what I can do with it ??
Though Granada is a quite safe city watch out in the busy places, particularly around the Cathedral. There are pickpockets here.