What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca

mallorca spain travel

What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca

We emptied the very last trash can, fumbling through its contents with reckless abandon. Stolen purse, credit cards, and inhalers, not even my tube of Red lipstick I just bought. But most importantly no passports. Our passports were stolen in Mallorca– a mystery we’d never able to solve.

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Mallorca What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca

Our Passports Stolen on Vacation

A Mystery in Mallorca Spain

I looked down the now deserted, dimly lit street and saw the mess we had made. He picked up the empty basket, his fingers grasping the metal latticework, and hurled it 20 feet down the main boulevard. It landed with a heavy thud. The light wind spread the trash and debris evenly across both sides of the street and up against every building.

The kids were asleep in the car; oblivious to the precarious consequences of stopping in this sleepy little town by the sea earlier in the day. I couldn’t help but reflect on what a wonderful day it had been up to the split-second we realized my purse was gone.

Moments later a little old lady appeared in the doorway at the end of the street—probably scared to death at being startled awake in the middle of the night. Her silver hair sparkled under the street light above her. I didn’t care; someone had ruined our vacation by stealing my purse right from under my nose. As far as we knew we had stumbled into a den of thieves and she, and not the girl from the KFC, was its unlikely mastermind. She didn’t care that my kids’ had asthma or that we were hundreds of miles from home. Sorry whether we had a bed for the night or money for food in the morning. She peered down at us for a moment, closed her door, and switched off her light. She just didn’t care.

Living the Vida Loca
The promise of Warm Weather

It’s cold in Germany during the month of January. My neighbor suggested I look into Mallorca, joking that there were more Germans there than in Germany itself. The large island is located off the coast of southern Spain. It’s midway between the continents of Europe and Africa. And temps on the island are always mild. During the winter months, a light jacket, sweater, and a few thick scarves. That’s far less cumbersome than the layers of clothing we were wearing back home. And the promise of sunshine was a no brainer. So when a cheap flight to Mallorca presented itself, I didn’t hesitate to book four tickets for the family.

Mallorca-cathedral-1 What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca

Free and Scenic

There’s a lot to be said for life’s simple pleasures. Many of Mallorca’s most worthwhile attraction is free or near free. You can’t beat the jaw-dropping views from the West Coast, or the tranquil, almost deserted beaches in the South East.

You can stroll along the Paseo Maritimo watching the tiny boats bob up and down in the harbor or try to understand the speed Catalan spoken in the local markets. Well-marked hiking trails weave through groves of ancient olive trees and require nothing more than a pair of comfortable shoes. You can channel your inner explorer while standing on top of the world or pirate yourself deep in the caves carved out by the force of the sea—drop by drop. Find shade and appreciation for the artistry left behind by the Moors or wine taste in one of the wineries first planted by the Romans.

Many have all left their footprint on the lush island of Mallorca. Now it was the Peters family’s turn.

The day started like most, with a quick breakfast near the hotel. Every country has its version of a donut, sweet bread, or fried dough. Austria has the krapfen, Germany has the Berliner and France has the beignet.

Every Country has a Fried Dough

Ensaimadas

In Mallorca, it’s the Ensaimadas. Shaped in the form of a coil and sprinkled with a heavy coat of powdered sugar, locals eat it at breakfast dunked in hot coffee, or as an afternoon snack, or dessert. They can be filled with cream, almond paste, or fruit. They can even be pre-ordered from the local bakery for a morning delivery at most Palma hotels.

Julia, the shop owner, happily took our order for the next day, handing me a good back of treats for the road.

After breakfast, we headed 17 km north to the hill town of Valldemossa. The ancient white stone buildings and narrow, cobbled streets, worn, shiny, and slippery from years of use, have escaped the natural and modern elements of time. It was founded in 1399 by Carthusian Monks and made famous by a renowned pair of notorious lovers.

Binssalem What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca
The road to Valldemossa is lined with the twisted trunks of thousand-year-old olive trees and served as an organic muse to the French novelist George Sand. In her novel, A Winter in Mallorca.

The Road to Valldemossa

The road to Valldemossa is lined with the twisted trunks of thousand-year-old olive trees and served as an organic muse to the French novelist George Sand. In her novel, A Winter in Mallorca, she writes, “When in the evening, one walks in the shade of their spreading branches, it is necessary to remember they are trees, because, if the eyes and imagination were to be believed, one would stay rooted to the spot in the middle of all those fantastic monsters.” Sand brought her lover, Polish composer, Frederic Chopin, to the tiny hamlet after being denied housing in Palma. Ultimately, Sand found the weather too harsh and the people even harsher, she did recognize Valldemossa for its inspiring energy, serenity, and majestic views of the sea below.

spain9 What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca
Paella is a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan.

My Kids Love Paella– Go Figure

Dinner back in Palma found the four of us sitting around a huge platter of paella, chocked full of chicken and seafood. My husband and I drank 3-4 bottles of local wine that night. It was that good and really cheap.

Our trip was coming to an end and with the conclusion of every good trip; you begin to agonize over the return to work and school instead of living in the moment right up to the end.

The kids were happy they had shed the heavy coats and itchy wool hats and I was grateful for the chance to wear the beautiful sunglasses I received for Christmas.

I placed the bottle of wine on top of the counter as gently as I could, which apparently wasn’t gently at all. Thomas sprang up from behind the counter, reached in the drawer and opened the bottle with a toothy grin and without a hint of physical exertion.

Wine and the Town of Binissalem

He looked at the bottle telling us the winery sat just outside the pretty town of Binissalem in the mountains, a 30-minute drive north from the capital. He disappeared into the back office, returning with a pamphlet that said that Bodegas Jose Luis Ferrer 4th generation vineyard, started in 1931, sits on 300 acres just outside of town overlooking the ocean and mountains in the distance. Specializing in the native varietals: Mantonegro, Callet, and Moll grapes.

Sold! Combine good wine and travel and you have the recipe for a memorable experience.

Delving into the wine of culture gives you a unique insight—a perspective that teases their palate. You learn about the spices, fruits—the flavors that speak to their nature, to what inspires them—essentially how they live.

It had been a long day of sightseeing, trying to get in the last few things we wanted to see on the island before returning home. I’m hungry, bellowed my youngest son from the backseat. Me too, said the teenager, loudly over the headphones, music so loud, he had no idea he was shouting at the top of his lungs.

Offseason Mallorca

Offseason definitely has its advantages, that doesn’t always produce the best variety of options. A few minutes later, we saw a sign for KFC a few miles up the road. We pulled into town, buzzing, for that time of year, with what looked like mostly locals.

Meals with kids in tow usually consisted of foods that rarely tested their comfort zones. We didn’t have the funds for wasted food, so we generally acquiesced, cozying up to the KFCs and McDonalds when we had to, just to keep the peace.

May I Steal your Passport?

Hola, how can I help you? Hola, Yolande, looking into the eyes of the pretty brown eyes of the girl who greeted us. We would like to order a family meal, please. After giving us the total, Steven handed her his credit card.

May I see ID, please, do you have a passport?

I hesitated for a split second. Reaching into my purse, I searched through the small stack like a deck of cards. She glanced at his passport. And after matching the name and face, she handed it back.

We joined the boys at a table near the back under a large TV tuned in to a soccer match in Italy. I slung my purse, a gift from my daughter, over the back of the chair. We laughed and ate the chicken which I recall was very tasty.

The Beginning of the Mystery

Afterward, I motioned to Steven that I was going to the bathroom. When I returned, the boys had finished and cleared the table, waiting for me at the front door. We thanked the Yolande and made our way back to the car.

It wasn’t until we were on our way to the airport and I wanted to put on some lipstick that we discovered my purse was gone. Our passports were stolen in Mallorca.

spain6 What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca
Climbing the stairs of the Cap de Formentor. It forms the eastern end of Majorca’s Formentor peninsula. The Majorcans also call the cape the Meeting point of the winds.

 

spain3 What to Do When Your Passports are Stolen in Mallorca
The caves are impressive: huge rooms full of stalactites and stalagmites, large and small. You don’t need to make any reservations. We were lucky enough to have the caves all to yourself that day.

Passports Stolen in Mallorca

Perhaps it was the wine, maybe we just let our guard down. Maybe we were the victims of an organized crime ring able to capitalize on a little of both. We will never know for sure. And it’s hard to imagine a sleepier town to have our passports stolen. But we found one, nonetheless. We reported our loss to our bank and the local authorities. And we seek the comfort of the hotel we had much fonder memories in. With limited identification, we really had no choice.

Steven had his wallet, but the old lady had his passport too. Thomas repeatedly apologized for our experience. He assured us it would all work out in the end. With no US Embassy on the island, we were unable to leave Spain’s borders. However, our police report allowed us to fly to Barcelona where we acquired new ones.

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Comments

    1. duffelbagspouse

      In a heartbeat. We loved it and would go back any day of the week. I would never let a few bad apples spoil it for me.

  1. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    Scary. I am glad that you were able to recover from it. Mallorca has been high on my list of places to go. We try to keep our passports and a secondary card in the hotel safe just incase this happens but those are not always available.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thats what we usually do, but were exploring and then heading to the airport because we had checked out. But, you are right, it all worked out in the end and I hope you get there because it is a beautiful place… just watch your purse. lol

  2. vyjay

    Sad you lost your purse. Reminded me of a similar incident when I had my pocket picked and lost cash, cards and a lot of other important docs. It was a really harrowing time. I understand how hopeless you would have felt at that juncture.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thank you. You should have seen my kids reaction when I told them. They didn’t seem to have a problem with our lost at all.

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