Each year several of our 200 visitors to Pico Veleta observatory have to deal with unexpected problems. Some of these can be avoided.
The most common problem deals with baggage being lost during the flight. This occurs several times each year. The airlines should send them by courier to your travel destination. This should be our Granada Office (IRAM, Avda Divina Pastora 7, Local 20, 18012 Granada, tel. 958805454) and not the observatory (which is not reachable by normal cars). Please put the essential things you need in your hand luggage. In direct flights, loss of baggage is less frequent than in flights involving stopovers.
Unfortunately, problems with pickpockets are reported almost every year. Pickpockets concentrate in areas were there are many tourists (airports, bus and train stations, center of the town etc.). The pickpockets are quite ``skillful''. A common method e.g. is that they ``help'' you to clean a stain on your coat, and before you can say ``thank you'' your bag is stolen. Or, if you are traveling by car, somebody urges you to stop because of a technical problem with your vehicle, and as soon as you open the door of your car, they grab what they can. Our advice is to be careful, always keep an eye on your belongings, and to leave passports, money etc at our residencia when possible. Do not bring large amounts of cash. Credit cards can be used in most shops and restaurants (unfortunately they are not accepted at IRAM), and there are cash dispensors in every bank.
It does not happen often but can be very unpleasant that visitors become sick or have an accident. Please do not forget to bring the documentation of your health insurance (make sure it is valid in Spain). It can be very useful to have an additional travel insurance which also covers repatriation costs.
In order to help you in case you loose your luggage, your documentation or if you should need medical assistance, please feel free to send copies of your flight tickets, passport and health or travel insurance by fax or email to our secretary Esther Franzin (franziniram.es , fax: +34 958 222363). This may be particularly useful for visitors from outside the EU.