When one mentions Ibiza, images of hedonism come to mind. It’s an island famous for parties. But with it less than two hours away from Paris, Chris and I thought it was one stop on our European adventure we had to make. But once we got there, I quickly realized my party train is running out of gas.
We partied only once in Ibiza. Saturday morning around 11 we went to Space. With three distinct terraces, the club is internationally known for its dance events. We settled into one of two sun terraces (with the third resembling a dark cave packed with sketchy leftovers from the night before). The music varied between progressive, house and circuit. The change was nice, but we would have preferred the genre to remain in place for a bit longer before jumping to the next. When we arrived, the dance floor was mostly filled with a heterosexual crowd – and fully dressed. After a few hours, the gays took control. Shirtless men infiltrated the space by 3 p.m. By then, however, we were preparing our exit.
We danced for a few more hours before deciding to leave. After cooling off in an area between terraces, we were ready to go. Paddy and I decided to exit through a nearby door. What we soon found out was it was a fire exit. Our realization came to late however. With a push out the door and a “Vamos” to boot, I felt as though my mother had scolded me.
We tried to venture out a second time – to DC 10 on Monday afternoon. But what we found was a tin trailer parked in a dusty field with a crowd full of teenage clubbers unmindful of the blowing dirt clogging their pores. We had been warned it was a trashy crowd – but with good music. We all agreed with the trashy crowd summary. But we found no redeeming quality in the venue or the beats. As a result, we quickly hopped back in our taxi and returned to the hotel. So with partying no longer the main attraction in Ibiza, other elements took center stage. It became more about companionship and the experience of enjoying the island together – whether good or bad.
While most venture outside Ibiza Town for fun in the sun, we remained inside the city’s center at our hotel’s pool. Sure, the Royal Palace Ibiza is stuck in 1983 with its paneled walls, gold bedding and mauve carpet. But the rooftop pool is its saving grace. We discussed numerous times the possibility of exploring the island's beaches – especially the gay one. But after admitting and accepting the fact that we all hate the sand, the cement pond won by a landslide. Besides that, it made it easy to shower and head into town for dinner.
Our hotel was a short 10-minute walk to Dalt Vila – Ibiza’s old town (as compared to the new town where our hotel was located). Most of the restaurants are located in Dalt Vila along a strip strategically placed to attract and capture tourists looking for an adequate meal for a pretty penny. On Friday night, we ate French cuisine at La Oliva. I didn’t enjoy my Skate fish but others seemed to take pleasure in their dining decision. Then again, I don’t like fish – except if it’s shaped like a finger and called a fish stick.
On Saturday, Patrick and Chris succumbed to my desire for Italian. Though, after eating at Tomato and Company, they probably should ignored me. Patrick’s pasta, as described by Patrick, “tasted like the smell of a petting zoo.” Chris’ ravioli had no redeeming qualities. And my spaghetti and meatballs plate was a bit reminiscent of Furrs cafeteria.
Sunday night, we decided to eat somewhere along the gay strip on Calle de Virgin.
After walking up and down the alleyway filled with restaurants, trash stores and Kitty square where cats ran amuck, we chose a small restaurant whose name escapes me. The mixture of salads, Italian dishes and pizzas won us over. Patrick and I shared a four-cheese pizza that was surprisingly tasty. Justin enjoyed his mushroom cream tortellini and Chris sampled all of the above. And, as a result of our pleasant dining experience, we returned the following night for round two (and yet I still don't remember).
In between pool time and eating, we spent our time drinking. – Chris, Patrick and Justin consumed alcoholic beverages while I sipped on Diet Cokes. Our favorite spot was Angelo’s on Sunday night. We of course arrived early (around 11 o’clock). But our premature sitting time allowed us to secure a table with ample views of the surrounding palm trees, fortress wall and incoming boys from all directions. Though, we were somewhat distracted by the older gentleman nestled in the corner across from our table who looked as though he stuffed a potato down his pants.
Bliss, a bohemian bar in the corner of Placa de Park located at the foot of Dalt Vila was a runner up for favorite drinking establishment. With 2-euro beers and foot traffic galore, Bliss was the perfect solution to our quest for entertainment on Monday afternoon.
As we head back to Paris, I’m already preparing myself for an onslaught of comments targeting our time in Ibiza. How could we ignore the traditional means of self-indulgent amusement for quiet dinners, peaceful pool time and repeat visits to the ice cream shop along the harbor’s edge? It’s simple: we’ve been there, done that. Not to say we won’t want to do it again. But most likely, the next time will be as a side dish to the main course of exploring a city’s history and cultural relevancies with good friends – as we plan to do in Berlin with Patrick next weekend.
So let the kids revel in their constant fanatical behavior. For us, it’s more about finding and sharing adventures with close friends outside the club environment. As a result, my party train doesn’t need refueling. It just needs a different track to run on.
PTT Travel Tips: Ibiza
1) Stay a week. Gives you ample time to sample parties.
2) Rent a villa. It's more relaxing.
3) Rent a car. The beaches and clubs are outside city center.
4) Excluding Space on Saturday, nightlife begins around 1 or 2 a.m.
5) Check for direct flights from Ibiza to Paris, etc. They exist.