Sunday, 21 September 2014

Summer Days in Ibiza

A month ago, I spent four days in the island of Ibiza  with two friends.

In the beginning, I too was a bit apprehensive about going to Ibiza.  Why would a thirty-something with no interest in parties or clubbing venture to an island  known for endless partying and after dark dalliances?  Well,  it turns out that  while Ibiza is known for its super clubs and superstar DJs,  the island has countless attractions for the not-really-in-their-twenties  people like me.

Eivissa: The Old Town

View from Ibiza´s Old Town

While Ibiza is more famous for  its nightlife and dusk-till-dawn parties,  there is a genteel side to Ibiza that is  equally beautiful.  The Ibiza old town, Dalt Vila,  is on a mountain fronting the sea, with a spectacular view of the island.  It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site,  the town  being an amalgam of  ancient and medieval architectures, stemming from the fact that at one point,  Phoenicians, Romans and Moors settled here long before the Catalans ruled the city in the 13th century.

                         The walls of the magnificent Dalt Vila, built over 400 years ago.

                                         Caves and little nooks are carved around the old town

                            A tableau of cannons and medieval armaments at the Old Town Museum

                                                   Winding, maze-like pathways

The Beach and Formentera
Our hotel was literally a few meters from the beach and we were lucky enough to be assigned a room with a balcony facing the sea.  Truth: this, for me, is the highlight of our Ibiza trip; sleeping  to the sound of crashing waves, the salty air clearing my mind of worries and work thoughts.
And in the morning, waking up to this view:

Ah beaches! That which we have in abundance, in various permutations, in  the Philippines.  It is  perhaps understandable then how the beach in Ibiza underwhelmed the island girl in me.  The sand while fine enough is murky beige in colour, and the sea, the poor homely sea, is not the aquamarine blue of my islands´ beaches.  But close to Ibiza, merely a thirty minute boat ride away, is a small island with beaches that are supposed to be so beautiful that one of its beaches was ranked by Tripadvisor as  the #6 Best Beach in The World.

So off we went to Formentera Island.

The beach in Formentera is beautiful enough: white sand, though not as fine as the powdery sand of Boracay,  and the sea is of the perfect aquamarine colour.  But it being summer, the beach was packed, and the sun was relentlessly harsh.  Still it was a relaxing few hours of beach bumming, watching armies of  lithe twenty-somethings cavorting by the shore.

Cafe del Mar
For anyone coming to Ibiza,  it is sacrilege not to drop by  Cafe del Mar.  Because really, what could be more apropos than to watch the sun set, crimson rays reflected like a splat of orange paint on the  liquid mirror that is the sea while sipping a mojito,  a slight buzz rising with the dum-du-dum-dum of the cafe´s house music.

                           The requisite touristic photo-proof of one´s visit to Cafe del Mar. Lol.

Partying for the Thirty-somethings
First, the facts,  the super clubs with the super DJs like David Guetta or  Paul Van Dyk are super expensive.  It´s like a 50€ entrance fee, plus drinks that cost at least 15€ a pop.  And as much as I enjoy David Guetta´s mixes,  I was not that crazy to plunk down 100€ for a night of revelry with what would most likely be twenty-somethings.  So instead, we went to a small, not too touristic bar-cum-dance club with no entrance fee.  The crowd was still  mix of mid to late twenties, and a few thirty-somethings, but it was fun enough.

Yes, the Ibiza party scene is really for the young ones, the nubile, reckless twenty somethings. Still, take heart, fellow thirty something, there are a lot of things to do in Ibiza besides partying.

Turo-Turo in Ibiza
On our last day, we stumbled upon this classy-looking eatery serving Filipino and Southeast Asian fare. Who would have thought that Ibiza has a pretty upscale incarnation of our humble turo-turo?

                                          A complementary plate of  kropek.

                                  Lumpiang Shangai on a bed of Arugula.  A simple yet striking presentation, no?

                                         A dish of sambal, ground pepper and salt.


 My main dish: pork adobo with rice.  The alfalfa sprouts topping on rice is pretty inspired. The mild, herby flavour of the sprouts balances the strong    soy-sweet-salty adobo.

Maybe there´s some Pinoy pride involved and  our longing for these dishes from home,  but although Turo-Turo wasn´t exactly cheap, costing us about 20€ each, it was still almost manna from heaven to us. The dishes had beautiful presentations  and just by the taste alone we were certain that a Pinoy cook was at the helm in the kitchen.

Crossed out on the List
And that rounds up  my first and perhaps last foray to Ibiza.  It was on my  places-to-visit-before-I-die  list and honestly,  it was, to my surprise, a fairly pleasant and laid-back vacation. But I also feel that there´s nothing in Ibiza that would compel me to go back.   Perhaps, it has something to do with me being now a thirty-something whose  idea of a beach vacation  is more aligned to a day spent in a tranquil beach spot with a book and a  few good friends.

1 comment:

  1. There is lot of articles on the web about this. But I like yours more, although i found one that’s more descriptive.
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