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Published: October 4th 2015
Poolside At The Villa
Bacardi should pay me for this shot.
I had always thought that the lyrics to that Vengaboys song
were "we're going to eat pizza." But no - it is about that notorious Spanish party island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Ibiza. When I was at university, I remember watching all of those party documentaries such as Wild On (with Brooke Burke) and Booze Britain, on which Ibiza was regularly featured. Thousands of miles away, in my parents' house, I could only sit and admire the sun, sex, beaches, boat parties and superclubs that were appearing on my screen, wishing one day that I may be able to go.
Just over a decade later and my dream was finally coming true...except that it wasn't really much of a dream anymore. Massive clubs, electro music, world-class DJs, 25€ a drink...it isn't really my scene - but it's Ibiza and I told myself that it's something you have to do at least once in your life.
To provide a bit of personal context, I left London (again) after my last blog entry at the start of July and have spent the last two months (of three in total) in Barcelona studying Spanish. It's been a great lifestyle, I've met
The main room inside Amnesia.
so many people and my Spanish has really come on - but with the island being less than an hour away by plane from Barcelona, I thought this would be as good a time as any to reunite with some friends for my Ibiza experience.
So here I was, meeting up with Jaimee and Kristy, who some of you may remember from my trip to Cornwall a couple of years back
, and Steve and Sheree, who I met in Greece five years ago
. It was random that I met Sheree and was reunited with Steve in Greece in the first place - and so keeping in theme, it was down to the fact that they randomly and separately befriended Jaimee and Kristy that we were now altogether here again in Ibiza.
Also in our posse was Kiwi Scott, and Kiwi couple Rebecca and Grisha.
Our first night was spent in Ibiza Town, where we stayed at "Ryan's" - which was the epitome of that Brit-invaded, hotel resort that I saw on all those badly-behaved, British booze documentaries I watched all those years ago. I was finally on the show myself - literally, because there was an actual film crew onsite
filming one of the latest reality TV
The second and more picturesque of the beaches we visited.
With some big nights ahead of us, we all decided to stay in for a (relatively) quiet one.
It was to be our only night at Ryan's however - the next day we moved into our villa just outside San Antonio for the week, Casa Bello
Again, when I think of a villa on Ibiza I think a flash, modern pad with all the mod-cons and a swimming pool, like the ones I saw on TV. This, Casa Bello was not. Instead it oozed rustic charm and the place was huge - eight bedrooms and three bathrooms to be precise, where the ensuite bathroom was so big you could have had a 20-person foam party in there with room to spare - and came with tons of outdoor living space and furniture, the all important swimming pool, and our very own personal caretaker, Pedro. As the guy with the most- or should I say, with any Spanish, it was left to me to communicate with Pedro about any problems we had, from a lack of sheets, a lack of hot water, broken windows and getting cabs called for us. It was a duty I was more than happy
Ibiza Town Fortress
A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
to undertake. I was also on hand to interpret signs and cooking instructions which given the prevalence of Catalan on Ibiza, didn't really help me look that great.
We decided to make use of our rather arcadian dining table that night by (literally) stocking up the fridge with food and alcohol and cooking up a storm for a nice civilised dinner.
Joining us for the country banquet were four more guests; Amanda, Natasha, Scott and Tim, who had arrived that evening.
Club prices are notoriously expensive in Ibiza, so we had what turned out to be a bit of a mini-party pre-drinking at the villa before making our way to one of the superclubs on the island; Amnesia.
This place is massive and it wouldn't be far off the biggest club I have ever been into. I would probably number the amount of people in there that night at a couple of thousand. Most of us got in for just 20€ thanks to coupons we got off a promoter at the beach that day - those that didn't had to pay the full 50€. Ouch. For 20€ though, it was worth it; dancers on raised platforms, dancers in a
Washing each other off inside Amnesia. You see this kind of carry on at a normal club.
bathtub on raised platforms, dancers topless in a bathtub on raised platforms, dancers topless washing each other down in a bathtub on raised platforms, a topless dancer in a giant Martini glass swooshing around inside it getting everyone wet Showgirls-style...
Paris Hilton was also playing that night - yes, I think she was actually DJing - although I was completely oblivious to it. I was admittedly well on my way and having a good time, as was Jaimee, who was well
on her way...I will just leave it at that. To top things off, we managed to get into the VIP area as well, where we stayed for most of the night, looking down upon the commoners on the ground floor.
Overall, it was a fun introduction to what Ibiza nightlife is all about.
I slept for quite a while the next day, waking just in time for a trip to the beach. I was surprisingly not feeling too hungover.
The beaches that we went to - Ses Salines the first day and Cala Bassa the second - were both nice and were both backed by beach clubs pumping out chilled house (in Cala Bassa's case, a pirate ship
First beach we visited on Ibiza. As you can see, the weather was ideal for going to the beach.
in the distance was blasting out the tunes), the pictures being visual epitomes of Ibiza. Ses Salines is a long but relatively narrow beach and the more picturesque Cala Bassa is a small cove, but both were missing a key ingredient - the sun!
The weather has been pretty disappointing to be honest - the other guys get enough grey skies in London (not in Barcelona obviously) so I did feel for them a little, what with this being their fun in the sun holiday away from Britain. There was even heavy rain on the last day. And with the temperature hovering around the 20°C mark, I didn't even make it into the sea.
The island however is not just about big parties, famous DJs and super megaclubs. The island has centuries of history and the port of Ibiza Town with its grand fortress is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and so it was here in this tiny sliver of culture that exists on the island, that we headed for dinner at a restaurant called La Bodega.
Along with white sangria
(sangria made with cava
instead of red wine) and a few beers, we chowed down a
Swanky bar we went to on my last night in Ibiza.
shitload of tapas - although with my palate now fine-tuned when it comes to tapas, I will admit that they weren't as good as the ones I have had in Barcelona.
Post-tapas, we took a walk through the narrow old streets of Ibiza Town which were actually very lively. Unsurprisingly, there are loads of bars and the odd small club, but lots of boisterous restaurants as well. At the end of our walk, we ended up at the marina where all the multi-million pound superyachts resided. With Ibiza's reputation as a party mecca and with prices matching the hype, it is perhaps no surprise to see the rich and famous parked up here.
As it was my last night in Ibiza - yep, Ibiza was burning a big hole in my backpacker wallet and I had my classes to get back to in Barcelona - I probably should've gone out for another big one but to be honest, I was exhausted and so was everyone else. Instead, we checked in at what was definitely one of the swankier bars I have ever been to called Km5. Luxuriously comfortable sofas - not great if you're trying to stay awake though -
Going clockwise from myself; me, Kristy, Jaimee, Scott, Steve, Sheree, Rebecca and Grisha.
white upholstery, chilled house tunes, modern decor, suited and booted wait staff, soft fuchsia lighting, optional massages (taken up by Rebecca and Sheree) - it was a rather classy way to end the night.
I spent my last day poolside, as did everyone else. There isn't much to say about it; sun-lounger, swimming, beer, lunch...oh yeah, and later on, rain.
As everyone started getting the BBQ ready that evening and started to gear up for another massive night out, I unfortunately had to pack my bags and call a taxi to the airport.
It was sad to leave my friends but to be completely honest, I wasn't completely reluctant to leave.
As mentioned a few times above, Ibiza was killing me money-wise. 15€ for a beer inside Amnesia? I'm on a different budget now than when I was living in London with an income - things I used to buy without even thinking about it now have to be carefully considered.
Also, and this will sound weird, but I was actually really looking forward to getting back to my Spanish classes! Apart from talking to Pedro at the villa, I had pretty much parked my Spanish for three days
Our massive, rustic, Spanish villa.
and I could almost feel it slipping. I have really enjoyed picking up a second language, something I have always wanted to do, and I was really looking forward to getting back into my studies in a Spanish-speaking environment. Studies over partying in Ibiza? Well, I never...
But it's not that studying is all I do in Barcelona - far from it. I have been living an awesome life there - going out most nights, drinking, going to the beach - most of what I have been doing in Ibiza, I have been doing in Barcelona already and for a lot less. So for me, it wasn't like I was escaping work and the cold grey of London like the others were - so perhaps I didn't appreciate where I was as much as the others either.
But I think at the end of the day, Ibiza and I are perhaps just not made for each other.
Overall I felt I got a nice taster of what Ibiza has to offer - the superclubs, the beaches, the swank and the prices. But for me, I felt there wasn't much to Ibiza beyond the superficial. But if you just want
One of many. One day...
some sun, relaxation and are into big time DJs and clubs, then this is the place for you.
One way that Ibiza did surprise me however, was the general vibe of the island - everything felt a lot more relaxed than I had expected. There was an unexpected contrast between the busyness of the clubs and the parties, and the relative isolation and tranquillity of the villa. If you want to, you can completely escape the 'scene', so to speak. I was expecting things to be a bit more full-on - a bit more Wild On
, if you like.
To fully experience the island, you need to be able to get around the majority of it, so Steve and Sheree will have to take massive credit for organising our wheels as well as the villa. Jaimee too, for organising Ryan's for the first night.
In fact, I will thank everyone on the trip for allowing me to come along - it was great hanging out with y'all and I hope to see you again soon.
Meanwhile, I have another solo trip to make to Mallorca - in just five days.
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