So here we are once again my friends! It’s the new season at the legendary Café del Mar in San Antonio Bay, Ibiza.
On the 12th of April 2017, we celebrated our opening to herald another season of sun, sand, sea, and the best of times with friends and family.
I thought I’d open up the first English language blog by giving you my perspective on the island in winter. When the clubs close and most people go back to their homes around the world, what happens on Ibiza?
I live on Ibiza all year round- which is of course super tranquil and beautiful during the off season. As a part time writer (when I don’t have tables to serve at Café del Mar), the quieter months give me breathing room to put pen to paper. I try to experience all the things I heard about during the summer, but never found the time to discover.
The winter here is almost deserted. There’s hardly any tourism. Many Ibicencans also leave for a while, to holiday or visit friends and family on the Spanish Peninsula.
The result is truly amazing. A village island almost to ourselves. The few people that remain gather at St Jordi market on a Saturday, and the half empty hipodromo becomes the city centre.
The airport diminishes from a plane landing every minute to some deserted length of tarmac that a tube of screaming metal falls on sometimes. Noisy giants dropping through the winter clouds and disgorging maybe half a dozen humans from inside. Including the crew!
A year on Ibiza changes your perspective. A year ago we were stunned by the calm of Ibiza. My fiancée and I arrived on the island, on the 2nd of April 2016 after a pan-European adventure in a van that was at best a death trap. At worst it was a malevolent entity, a possessed, demonic machine with a cracked radiator who was determined to strand us in France.
Our first rental room was in Ses Salines, a short hike through the bushes to the Torre de sa Sal Rossa and the very southern tip of Plat’ja den Bossa. Time then felt like the calm before the storm, since the beach was essentially empty.
We walked from one end of the beach to the other and saw perhaps two people. At the time it was strange, like the feeling of being somewhere secret, like being a child who has sneaked into school when all the teachers had gone home. But it was so tranquil. Like the sea, the tides of Ibiza mimic breathing itself. Hot on the heels of this tranquility the intensity of the high season crashed in, and so we were submerged in a blistering schedule and surrounded by chaos.
The summer races by so fast it feels like each month is a week and each week is a day.
Across the island of Ibiza spring is a season of change. The almond blossoms in St Agnes start to fall, and this always tells us that the days of wearing woolly jumpers are over. It might surprise you but Ibiza does sometimes get cold; well, relatively speaking.
This time of year is a peculiar feeling on the island, as you see the streets slowly become busier as the hotels and apartments start sprucing up. Men in hi-vis vests are more numerous. The sounds of heavy drills and saws fill the air as repairs and new buildings are completed.
Yet as I write this blog we’re coming into the time of rebirth. As the energy is driven by the rising temperature returns to the Mediterranean, the cloudy days become less frequent. The flamingos at Ses Salines get a little noisier before flying off to the mating grounds in Europe.
Those of us who are here all year round feel the changing of gears. The streets are no longer deserted and the temperatures are creeping up. For many of my friends, it’s a bittersweet moment because they already miss the winter tranquility. I can understand that perspective.
Those brave Season Workers who are reading can tell you, summer in Ibiza is unique, challenging, and exhausting.
But then, I remember gratitude. I am lucky to be here, at Café del Mar Ibiza. Even in the bustle of a peak season, surrounded by many people, we are all united. The tranquil, enervating and near tribal experience of witnessing the greatest sunsets on Earth.
Are you joining us for your first sunset and Caipirinha or Mojito? or are an old friend coming back to the family? We all live for the summer season. As much as I was glad for the winter break at the end of Ibiza 2016, I’m now looking forward even more to my second season of sunsets at Café Del Mar.
The season ahead of us
So, what can you expect from our blog this year? Well, between you and me I thought that this season we’ll change it up a bit. The first and most obvious change is that now, since we have changed writers, we’re writing in English! My Spanish is improving, poco y poco, but I’ll stick to my native tongue here.
This blog will take you through what it is like to live full time on Ibiza, and of course how it is to work at Café del Mar. Mainly because I want to explore the history of this Café that has treated me so well, and brought such happiness to the world.
I’ll bring you some great interviews with the cool people I work with (and some DJs if I can grab them at Café del Mar) and talk about the secret history of the White Island. Then I plan on getting out with my camera and exploring Ibiza for myself. Look out for me on my little black scooter and say hi!
I’m also going to to see if I can get some secrets out of our bartenders, so maybe they will show us how to make Café del Mar’s secret mojito recipe to enjoy in your home, or hotel, or beach… or in the office.
Finally, I’m so looking forward most to getting to know you all; Encantado y mucho gusto. I’ll be back here next week with a new article, and every week through the summer and beyond.
I’ll probably be sitting down soon with the legendary El Chino, resident DJ Ken Fan himself in the near future. So, any questions you want me to ask him, let me know in the comments!
Peace, Sunsets, and Never-Ending Café del Mar Cocktails to you.