The country that I never was quite interested in traveling to while abroad was Spain, however I did find myself on a Spanish island named Ibiza. My black-cladded friend, whom I have mentioned before, and I were looking into a secluded place to visit during our final weeks of school. First it was Piran, in Slovenia, a small city that his cousin suggested, but it was slightly difficult to travel to. Then there was the excitement of Santorini, Greece, but the prices of a flight into Athens tore down those dreams. So then finally we had the shared thought of Ibiza, the party island of Europe. So here are some things I have learned from traveling this little island off of Spain:
1. The people were 50-50%: We stayed in an Airbnb with a host couple named Izzy and Elder and their little Jack Russell terrier named Poncho. They were fantastic. Elder picked us up from the airport and drove us home, they made us some quick snacks because we got in very late at night and were very excited to practice their English with us. They were interested in Obama and what we did during the day. However, there were some VERY rude workers in the city / stores. For example, the last day, we had to get to the airport but we could not find a taxi! So I walked into a restaurant to ask for some help and was turned down instantly. I’m not sure if it was because we were clearly tourists; and I know of many cities that dislike tourists, but I was just offended that they were so unwilling to help me.
2. The off season: We also did not plan exactly when we were going. Perhaps the reason we couldn’t find a taxi was because we visited Ibiza during the off season. This meant that all of the clubs, most of the restaurants and bars, activities like snorkling and such, were all closed until May 15. However, this did mean that we had beaches to ourselves, which we took much advantage of, and we could explore alone without loads of people hoarding the island. Going off of this, it was colder than we both expected. 67 in London proves to be quite warm, but that breeze had a chill in it and the water was no bathwater–although we still dipped ourselves in and swam with the tropical fish.
3. Great drinks: I can safely say that even though the bars and clubs were closed so we couldn’t get our “freak on,” we still drank plenty at the few beach bars we could find. And those bars knew how to make a drink. I have never had drinks so colorful, so fruity and sweet before in my life. I’m not sure what is even in them, but all I know is that every drink should have pink sugar around the rim and be the color of a sunset.
4. Transportation Story Part 1: For some reason, we struggled very hard with transportation. To start, the airport was a mess. Stansted in London is generally a great airport, but we seriously caught every annoying thing that could happen. First, I did not know that with Ryanair, each passenger has to wait in the Check-In line, even if you have no bags to check and have checked in online because some girl behind a desk needs to scrawl a signature on our papers and glance quickly at our passports. Then we got to the dreaded security. My stuff goes through just fine, but I don’t and then need to be patted down and searched. He didn’t need to be patted down, but both bins of his things needed to be searched. All they checked, though, was the empty flask I got him for his birthday, but there were about four other people in front of him being thoroughly checked so it took forever. Then we only had a short time to board our plane, but we were both starving. He did not know you could bring food onto plans, what a silly child, so he only got a small wrap while I got a large meal that required cutlery but of course I didn’t have any. Finally we got on the plane, found a fork, and I bought us alcohol.
5. Transportation Story Part 2: When we finally get to the island and settled, the next morning we walk around a little before jumping into a taxi to be dropped off at the place we rented a car from. Well there was an experience and a half. We looked up the car rental place’s address on Google to find that they are rated 1 star because they swindle money out of people. And sure enough they tried to do it to us too. Originally the price for our car was 52euros or something close, but then he wanted to charge us 600 as a “deposit”! We didn’t even had that money collectively! So we tried to argue that the paperwork didn’t match what he wanted to say, but he was not having it. So we left and took their free shuttle to the airport where we tried to rent another car, but they were so much more expensive. Downtrodden, I tried to life our spirits up by making the bus not sound so bad and that is how we got around the rest of the weekend.
6. Transportation Story: The Final Chapter. I am cursed when it came to traveling, I suppose. Not only could we not get a cab at first, which I finally called using my UK phone and charged up the ass for, but once we got to the airport with just an hour to spare, there was yet another line to wait in to have our Passport / tickets checked and signed. And that line was out the door. Apparently Ryanair was the only airline with flights that day, so we were in line with a whole bunch of people on our flight, but also going to Madrid and other cities elsewhere. It seemed like forever, and it truly was for like 45 minutes or so, when we finally got to the desk, when the person sitting behind it said we were in the wrong line! Since we didn’t have any baggage to check, all we had to do was go to the Ryanair service desk and have them check our credentials there. We waited for nothing! Security was thankfully a breeze, though I did get patted down (do I look intimidating?), but then when we got on the plane we couldn’t even sit next to each other! I had an older couple next to me, and then a family on the other side, and he had a young, very touchy-feely couple sitting next to him. No one wanted to switch with us. It was a nightmare.
Overall, once we were in Ibiza it was basically a real vacation. We didn’t need to go anywhere or do anything if we didn’t want to. We could just lay in bed and do homework, which we did, or walk to Cala Bassa (a 2.5 mile hike through a forest), which we also did. I do wish that we had gone during the “on season” so we could have been a part of this crazy party island, even though the private beaches were great. And then the journey was not a cup of tea and that in and of itself was a deal breaker for me. I’m not sure if I will find myself back in Ibiza, Spain any time soon, but it is an experience I am not going to forget.