My first day in Ibiza was incredibly long. Considering I started my day at five in the morning and spent the better part of 15 hours walking, exploring, and hiking, I’m impressed I didn’t pass out midway through the afternoon. It’s actually quite surprising to realize just how long the sun stays up when you don’t spend half the day asleep. Regardless, I feel it is a requirement that while on the island of Ibiza one must remain sleep deprived for the duration of their stay.
…it’s just polite really.
Since nobody goes to the beach at 8:00am, I began my adventure around Ibiza with a trip to the old town, Dalt Vila. This wonderful little walled city sits atop a large hill overlooking Ibiza Town and is visible from nearly every vantage point around. The hike up Dalt Vila can be a bit of a trek, but from the top of the fortified walls, there is a completely unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, harbor, and mountains. Every single view is just picture-perfect and the rising sun off in the distance only served to enhance the atmosphere.
I wandered the narrow cobble stone walkways for over an hour and, aside from a few random cats, I didn’t see another living soul. I had all of Dalt Vila to myself. While I didn’t physically see anyone, I could clearly hear people going about their morning routines inside the cramped apartment buildings. The sizzling of breakfast on the stove, lively conversation among family members, and faint chatter of the local news on TVs all emanated from behind the dark shutters of the densely packed houses. While there are a number of rooms for rent in the old town, it's reassuring to see so many apartments still used as family residences. It gives this part of the city a sense of authenticity in a town that is notorious for lacking it.
As nerdy as it sounds, the one thing that stood out to me above all else was the interesting design of the bastions along the main wall surrounding Dalt Vila. The fortifications contain six large pentagonal fortresses jutting out from the main wall and, after scouring the information plaques, I found out the bastions were specifically positioned to allow for a complete view of the city’s perimeter. As for the bastion's pentagonal design, it apparently allowed for cannons to be hidden between them and the main wall so the city could fire on attackers even if they fought right up to the wall. I was fascinated by the remarkably design, but I think the simple fact that I’m comparing medieval fortification means I’ve seen far too many.
Hey! You there! Pick your head up and stop drooling on the keyboard!
After a few hours exploring the town, I headed down to the beaches. By this point it was around noon and I figured most people would be up nursing their hangovers from the prior night with Bloody Marys on the beach. Even though it was still technically off season, the beaches were packed full of people attempting to beat the rush. Thankfully the droves of visitors didn’t deter one bit from the spectacular coastline of Ibiza Town. The sandy beaches just south of the city center are absolutely stunning and the crystal clear water shimmered under the bright sun. All around, beautiful, scantily clad people lounged under their cabanas and umbrellas as the omnipresent “thud, thud, thud…" of electronic music echoed in the background complementing the sound of the crashing waves.
You have your paradise, and I have mine.
Ibiza has it all: bright sun, brilliant sparkling water, blaring EDM, and beautiful half-naked people lining the coast for literally miles! What more could a person want? And when I say “half-naked” I really mean like 95% of the way there. Nobody seems to wear any semblance of clothing on the beach. Naturally, being a European city, topless bathing is to be expected, but even still, the remaining clothing leaves little to the imagination. Anybody wearing a full bikini may as well be wearing a burqua, but regardless of whether you’re male or female, as long as you are young, hot, and ready to shamelessly flaunt it, this is the perfect place for you.
Or if you happen to be a doctor specializing in melanoma treatments.
Now I consider myself a forward thinking, liberal person who abides by the motto: if it feels good do it (just don’t hurt anyone), but walking along the beach in Ibiza I felt like a sheltered little Amish boy who never left home before. Normally, things like this don't phase me, but there were a number of times where I was surprised by what people wore (or didn't wear) in public. In retrospect, if there were ever a place for me to have this kind of "issue," I'm glad it was Ibiza. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pretty people packed into a beach all at once, especially considering how many packs of cigarettes these people suck down on a daily basis.
I should add lung cancer specialists to the list as well... this place is a gold mine.
While I’m thrilled to discover that Ibiza so far lives up to my expectations, I look forward to what shenanigans I can find during my first night. Until then though, I still smell terrible and am in dire need of a shower and a nap, less I begin string up clouds of dirt like the Pigpen from the Peanuts comics. Sadly the joys of partying will have to take a momentary back seat to the joys of laundry, but c’est la vie.
Thankfully it's still day one!