Before I went to Ibiza for the 10th time this year, I decided that it would be my last trip for a couple of years.
However, upon arrival back upon the magical island that I like to call home, I immediately began to dream of ways that I could move to Ibiza to live there forever. Or at least a whole summer.
I flew with Monarch from Gatwick as usual, an even more rowdy and party-like flight than previous years, full of young people and far more young ladies than men on board, oh how terrible. Given the e-mailed warnings from Monarch and police presence upon arrival at the gate, it seems that they have had numerous issues with over-excited, drunken revellers on board – one has to wonder why they do a 10pm flight on a Saturday. Given the large increase in popularity of house music, and the large increase in twats in London clubs, I guess this has to be expected. Plus Ibiza is trying to appeal to a slightly different, and may I say it, less mature crowd.
It was however all good fun on board with no trouble, and just the annoyances of an aeroplane MC and someone playing drum’n’bass out loud. I am going to Ibiza however and have to accept this.
I was staying in San Antonio, yes I know perhaps slightly contradictory given my moan about twats but I do actually really like that part of the island and will always defend it, despite its well-known imperfections. Given the choice I would have stayed elsewhere on the island, but I was staying with my sister and her friend on their first stay on the island, we all had smaller budgets than ideal so needs must, and it is perfect for beginners like my sister and her friend.
We stayed in some very nice apartments called Sol Bahia, a small family-run business around the corner from Kanya in a suitably quiet area. The hotel was clean, the apartment had good facilities, it was reasonably-priced and pretty much free of idiots.
Sunday was quite chilled out, just had some drinks around the pool during the day, and then went out for drinks in the evening. Made the first mistake of the holiday by sitting down at Café Savannah just as the sun was setting, which was very pleasant for 3 minutes and then the electro started banging out. Loads of people were photographing the DJ, so my sister (who knows next to nothing about dance music) asked someone who the DJ was, to be told, “its Judge Jules, doh”. This was probably the most painful jug of Sangria I have ever had in my life. And the service wasn’t exactly to expected standards. We wandered around and ended up at Orange Corner, with suitably cheap drinks (€5 for two beers and a shot) and much better music in the form of house/deep house. Not sure what else we did…this is over a week ago now!
Monday my sister and her friend made the first of four failed attempts at catching a boat, leaving me to sleep. I amused myself with some cans of strawberry and lime Rekorderlig (the drink of the moment it seems) and made my way in the hot sunshine to Playa D’en Bossa, to meet friends (and wander around aimlessly trying and failing to follow direction for quite some time first), before making our way to DC10.
For some reason despite loving the music style and most of the DJs on every DC10 line-up, I have never been. Mostly because of the stories of over-crowding and the heat inside. However upon arrival the air conditioning was working and it was really quite nice inside, more pleasant than the outdoor area. However this didn’t last as the air conditioning broke, it became very hot, the queues for the toilets and bars were ridiculous and it became total chaos inside. The music was excellent, I cannot remember who I saw except for Soul Clap but I ended up rather frustrated and gave up shortly before midnight and went home to chill out and calm down (which erm took a fair few hours!). And I lost my shovel inside.
I decided against Cocoon. This is the first trip to Ibiza since I discovered it in 2004 that I hadn’t done Cocoon and I think I regret it. However Dubfire was in the main room and I am absolutely not a fan of his, and Mathias Kaden I know little of. Sven was in the terrace and both times I have seen him this year he has really been banging out the techno and I have well gone off techno. That and having lost my friends, and the cost of it meant that I decided I would wait until later in the holiday for more dancing opportunities.
Tuesday I met up with a couple more friends in the Welsh bar in the West End (during the day may I add!) for a few cheap beers. I did want to go to PDB to try to find the sometimes elusive Cocoon after-party but by time several drinks had been consumed it seemed easier and just as much fun to go to Mambo for their charity event with DJs serving the drinks. I had a crap bottle of San Miguel served to me by Carl Cox which was amusing however it was warm and I didn’t finish it. The staff were also a tad rude and unhelpful. It seemed like the customers were getting in their way. We left earlier than planned. Carl Cox was on top form though.
In the evening we had one of the highlights of the holiday with a trip to the amazing Tapas Restaurant in San Antonio, slightly away from the hustle and bustle and you wouldn’t find it unless you knew it were there. Between us we had 9 dishes, and the obligatory sangria. Culinary highlights including the pork belly which was simply amazing, the battered prawns…oh everything was simply delicious. Without doubt the best meal I have had all year, and my two accomplices agreed.
Not sure what I did during the day on Wednesday, I assume not a lot. I really wanted to go to tINI and the gang in PDB on the beach, with the super secret guest from Desolat (well I wonder who that was), however I had bought a ticket for Ibiza Rocks and that started at 7pm so there was a clash. Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand guitar music, especially indie and rock so this was a challenge to me. I just about stuck it out. I did dance for about 15 minutes to the headliners, Two Door Cinema Club, but it all sounded the same so I went to the back to drink rather strong vodka and chat to a few randoms.
It was an impressive set-up and as a band, TDCC were impressive, however musically it was just totally anathema to my house music sensibilities. If you like that kind of thing then I thoroughly recommend it. I did consider going to Sankeys afterwards but I had lost my excited spirit and was ready to go back and sleep.
Thursday was my last full day and night and I had had enough alcohol so decided on a chilled out and sober day. I don’t think I have ever had a sober day in Ibiza. We had a little wander to PDB to see if anything was going on, and walked there from Ibiza Town, but nothing of interest.
Friday we spent the day on the beach, Cala Torida, which was very nice. I said adios to my sister and her friend in the evening as they went to Ibiza Rocks once more, and I couldn’t resist going back to the super-lovely Tapas restaurant one more time before I caught a super-silent plane home. I even went for a gander through the West End and made it up the whole strip without anyone asking if I wanted to go in for a drink. Shocking.
It was a really good holiday, easily the most relaxing holiday I have ever had in Ibiza and unusually lacking in parties. Said lack of parties was the only real downside but as I was going to fabric the same day I got back, I contented myself with that.
It is the first time I have come back refreshed from Ibiza. Well…until I ruined myself back in London!
Ibiza seems a calmer island, and it really is a vastly different beast from when I first went in 1998. It seems a tad restrained and also it is much harder to chat to randoms than I have ever known it.
I would give it a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of holiday satisfaction. A million miles away from comparison to the amazing and crazy villa holidays of 2007-09.
I am not going to go back next year. I am going to try somewhere new. I am going to add to my list of countries visited for the rather embarrassingly first time in 5-6 years. I am done with Ibiza, at least for a couple of years.
Though never say never.