Come reader and let me rest my weary head on your shoulder. I am tired. I haven’t slept for a week and my feet hurt. My ears are still blocked from the plane and I think I am coming down with a post-holiday flu. Despite all of this, I can not stop smiling. I am happy. I have just had the holiday of a lifetime, on one of the most famous islands in the world, Ibiza.
We arrived at our hotel in the wee hours of Sunday morning, fatigued and eager for a few hours sleep to recharge before the anarchy of the forthcoming week was to begin. I was a little concerned as we were staying in San Antonio, notorious for those English beer monsters who overtake the streets with their shag radar set at high, confidence elevated after skulling 6 pints of San Miguel. It was a pleasant surprise to find that most amorous drunks had departed the island by mid-September and the remaining tourists were a bit more chilled with interests branching outside of getting pissed and picking up.
We checked in and Magnito (known as this for his magnetic ability to attract randoms at any given moment) and I hauled ourselves up the stairs to room 320 in our bid for some sleep. It was hot and the boisterous voices of the locals on the street below floated up to our room, giving us little hope for the sleep we know we needed to get through our holiday. I removed the pink paisley bed spread from my bed, wondering who was responsible for the cigarette burn in it. I fell into a broken sleep wondering what the week ahead would bring.
Our first stop was at We Love Sundays @ Space, arriving at around 2pm on Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere of the open air club is cool and modern; a backdrop of designer Spaniards (both male and female) with modern-day mullets and huge sunglasses strutted their stuff, whilst hot pants and stilettos were in abundance. A surreal feeling overtook me whilst I was dancing to the sounds of Groove Armada in the sun, as low flying planes soared at what seemed to be only metres above us, reminding me somewhat of a certain U2 film clip.
Everything you hear about the phenomenal prices is true. Entry into clubs can be as much as 50 Euros, where you, the captured market, can (and will) pay 13 Euros for a vodka and coke and 8 Euros for a bottle of water. However, being in Europe, the standard 30ml shot is non-existent and bar staff will happily “free-pour” (“would you like some coke with your vodka?”), making the exchange of cash for beverage a little more bearable.
On Monday night, we found ourselves in the biggest club in the world, Privilege, which hosts Manumission, a spectacle not to be missed. Our group, consisting of 11 people (9 Aussies, 1 Zimbo and a New Yorker – together we are Team Trash) dwindled to broken groups of two or three in a matter of minutes upon entering the club. With a capacity of about 10 thousand people, Team Trash had dispersed amongst the masses, losing each other within the crowd. The club is an array of everything; trees and open air terraces, a catwalk over a swimming pool houses the DJ box, the back wall is a massive dolls house, housing beautiful women bearing their breasts and gyrating to the music. You’ll see dwarves, trapeze artists and mono-cyclists. Wonder further along and you’ll find a Saturday Night Fever dance floor lit up in colourful squares, a clothing store, angels offering massages and the open air golf ball, changing colours as a multitude of clubbers on their high gaze at it in awe. There is even a DJ playing in one of the toilets! Manumission is a must.
Although Ibiza is famous for its night time vibe, there’s more to it than that. There are several things that you can’t leave the island without doing. One of those things is watching the sunset from the strip that houses the famous Café del Mar, legendary for putting music to the sunset. Sitting on the rocky strip of beach in front of the illustrious café, we listened to the gentle music and watched the day come to an end. Although September is quite late in the season, resulting in cloudy sunsets on most days, this didn’t deter their beauty. As the sun dropped behind the clouds, the skies turned sunburnt in different hues of pinks, oranges and red, casting beautiful patterns along the clouds. In fact, the sight was so spectacular we watched the sunset from Café del Mar three times during our week in Ibiza, enjoying the chilled ambiance. When twilight beckoned, fire dancers entertained the crowd in hope to earn some euros, lighting up the skies yet again.
A cruise to neighbouring island Formentera was the perfect day trip. Embarking our vessel one day later than planned, (black clouds ahead made it too risky to take us out onto the water – the storm eventually hit at about 2am the following morning. Oh well, better safe than sorry) it was two hours of bliss sailing the Mediterranean to reach our destination. Our stay was short, but long enough to have the most delicious sea food lunch (grilled squid, sangria and olives) and a dip in the clear blue water. On our way back to Ibiza, the captain stopped the boat in a secluded cove and we dove for bottles of horrific-tasting champagne, yet most of us continued to drink it anyway, twisting our faces into disgust with each sip. The sun dropped into the ocean, the best sunset we’d seen all week as we turned to dock near Café del Mar, our boat banging out some hard house, surely disturbing those watching the sunset from the serenity of shore. Oops, sorry!
Before we knew it, the week had passed in an array of strobe lights, sunsets and sangria. With many euros passing through our fingers, we left Ibiza with nothing but a smile on our tired faces and the memories of a lifetime.
By Natasha Vuckovic