Ibiza. Eeh-beeth-uh. Party destination; earthy European glamour. The surreal, exciting, disturbing sensation of entering a bar in the dark of night and leaving it to find the sun. The sun has risen whilst your back was turned – you learn that the world does not pause for you to find a place to sleep. Tinted sepia-pink, greens morph into lush shades of olive, and the ocean moves quietly like a pan set to simmer. Simmering heat. White linen. Aperol Spritz. This is Ibiza.
Cala Moli is carved out from sea-licking mountains and appears from the highway like an unpretentious Hollywood, with its curving tarmac lined by gargantuan forest trees. Through the dry and drunkenly undulating branches, I see wide, white houses with flat roofs. Their entrances are tucked behind the tall foliage which grapples up the hillsides, majestic wooden gates off some silver gravel track. Everything is high, hidden, reeking of unknown wealth and romances. As our car fights round the knotted road, my nose is filled with the scent of the swinging alpine air freshener, which has been baking for its lifetime in the trapped Cala Moli heat.
Afternoon sun is the most vicious, so the locals simply do not sit in it. They’ll be under bright white parasols, sipping tar black liquor, a digestif for the paella. And whilst they respect the swelter of the midday light, boozing gently in modest shade, Ibiza’s visitors rush at the terrific sun. There doesn’t seem to be an in between. Either vibrantly lit or a silhouette against it; either so hot that the plastic chairs themselves sweat, or entrenched in the deep, cool shadow of the Old Town wall. The island is all over oozing with this fantastical perception of life, where there is no monotony, no areas of grey, and only the dreamy extremes of joy and joyful sin remain.
It is beautiful how the trees, cacti, flowers and all matter of green burst so audaciously through the ashy dryness of the earth here, to all hang with thirsty longing over the rocks and ocean. I love most the way that the Old Town and its bikini boutiques and rare restaurants feel as though they’ve been built inside nooks of hills and crannies of land, that have sheltered them into a moment of time which keeps them young whilst they grow wise – every laugh, every love at first sight, every choice and consequence, seen and captured and lingering still. You can feel it in the noisy buzz of tongues speaking, singing, kissing, as you wander amongst it, the European class and bohemian money.
As we sit on the edge of the sea, inhaling sangria, tearing shellfish apart with our brown hands, I am absolutely content. My limbs are heavy and my skin is dewy with the sweet steam which perpetuates the island. Feet slipped from sandals rest upon the terracotta tile floor. Ice cubes hit my teeth. I spot the hairs on my arms have turned baby blonde. It’s only two p.m. – dinner is seven hours away; cold strawberry gin & tonic is nine. I’ll be awake for another sixteen. The never-tiring day turns to night turns to day, seems endless, in its bubble of dusty rock and opaque blue sky. And yet the day did come, despite all efforts to halt it, to leave my siesta-induced dreams in Ibiza – which will be waiting there for me still, the next time I get back.
All photos are my own, please credit if you use them.