27 October 2010

Chav Central - Ibiza [Day Four]

Having seen just about all that Ibiza Town had to offer, we jumped a bus to San Antonio, one of the more popular tourist destinations on the island. It is a short ride - about 40 minutes across to the other side of the island. We arrived having no idea where we were... That's OK I thought, we will just wait to see in what direction people start to walk. But everyone seemed to wander off randomly, leaving us scratching out heads. We ended up deciding on what looked like a main road and following our noses.

We wandered through the streets for a bit with no real sense purpose or direction. It was strange, but San Antonio felt... different... to Ibiza Town. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. We stopped for a quick bite to eat at a small cafe and it clicked; everything was in English. The menu's, road signs, restaurants, names. Every cafe had a blackboard outside advertising their 'Full English Breakfast'. Very authentic...

25 October 2010

Finding Heaven - Ibiza [Day Three]

Well rested, we were up early (-ish. I'm on holiday alright?!) to see if we could get ourselves across to Formentera. Lo and behold there was a guy selling tickets to a glass bottom boat - €20 return. Sweet! We purchased and within about 20 minutes the boat arrived and we were on our way.

Intrigued, I went to find this glass bottom. Only problem, it did not exist. What the flip? But we did find a nice spot on the deck to enjoy the sun to watch Ibiza slowly disappear behind us.

We arrived and were immediately confused as to what to do and where to go. We asked at a scooter hire place, who were completely hopeless at directions, but of course they could hire us a scooter for the day for €20! After some time we finally managed to find an information centre, who said its best to hire some form of transport. The island is about 6km long by 20km wide. And while a bicycle was the cheapest option, we would only get to see a couple of the beaches. We wandered back to the harbour, on the way asking one of the 50 scooter hire shops how much. They wanted €25, so we decided to go back to the first place. When we got there the price had suddenly reduced to €15! DEAL! I guess they just jack their prices up when the boats come in, and reduce them again after the rush dies down.

So we had our little black beast of a scooter and we were off! Our first stop was Platja d'illetes, at the very tip of the island, and apparently one of the better beaches. If I thought Ibiza was paradise, this was heaven. The most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I'm not going to tell you again about white sand and crystal clear water, so just check out the photos.

13 October 2010

High Town - Ibiza [Day Two]

I woke to rays of golden sunshine streaming through the window. I was actually a little worried earlier in the week as the forecast was for rain, but there were certainly no signs of it today. Not a cloud in the sky.

Unfortunately the beautiful sunshine did not help my hangover. I wasn't tooooo bad, but if my track record was anything to go by, in a few hours time I'd be feeling like shite. Time to get up and make the most of it.

We grabbed a quick breakfast then went exploring in the Old Town. The Spanish name for this area is Dalt Vila, which actually means 'High Town'. Trust me, it lives up to the name - its on a steep hill. Not hangover friendly. It is quite a traditional European Old Town - think thin cobbled streets, colourful buildings, overhanging balconies filled with drying sheets. Most of the Old Town is located inside a massive fort which covers most of the hill, and has been essential to the islands defences for hundreds of years. The top of the hill provides spectacular views over the bay and harbour, where you can see deep blue seas, beautiful beaches and countless super-yauchts. The hill also contains the cathedral of Santa Maria d'Eivissa from the 14th century, a beautiful white building with a breathtaking interior.

12 October 2010

HEY! We're going to Ibiza! [Day One]

2:45am, I am suddenly woken from a deep sleep and find myself sitting bolt upright in bed. SHIT! My alarm hasn't gone off and I'm meant to be out the door in five minutes. I quickly rush around, get everything together and am gone in about eight. Not bad. A quick side note - I love you internal body clock. This could have turned out much, much worse.

Ten minutes later I meet my friend Ana on a cold, windy train station platform in the south of London. We don't have to wait long before our train arrives to whisk us away to Gatwick airport.

We arrive and check in with plenty of time. Onto our flight at about 5:45am for a 6am departure. Doors closed, everyone seated, tray tables stowed... At 6am the captain comes over the speaker and tells us that due to a strike in France we wont be taking off... for another two hours! They didn't know this before they had us all worked up and ready to go? Besides, with a strike in France surely there are less aircraft in the sky? We have a pilot, he is not striking, we have air traffic control, they are not on strike, what is the hold up?

We end up waiting an hour before getting the green light. At just after 7am we are in the air and heading for IBIZA!

Three hours of smooth sailing later and I find myself looking down white sandy beaches and seas 100 different shades of blue. Paradise. I can't wait.

7 October 2010

Goodbye Paradise - Oktoberfest [Day Three]

After a bit of a shaky start (mildly hungover) I emerged from my tent at about 9am. Today I would be leaving paradise. After some breakfast and fresh air, I discovered I was not nearly as hungover as I should be. And everyone I talked to was saying the same thing. Apparently due to the pure German beer that can only be made out of three ingredients - hops, yeast and some kind of starch. No preservative or chemicals. Those Germans are pretty smart eh.

After waiting about an hour for a shitty shower that I had to pay €1 for, I packed my gear and got organised for our Munich city walking tour. If you are a 'hardcore' follower, you'll know I have been to Munich once before, and taken a walking tour. To be honest the TopDeck one was not as good... but still interesting. And it was nice to be wandering around in the sunshine in shorts and a t-shirt rather than wrapped up in sub-zero temperatures like last time. We visited Marienplatz (Munich main square) with the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and Glokenspeil. We went into Hofbr√§uhaus which was quite cool - they even have 'stein lockers' there for the seasoned drinkers to leave their stein!

6 October 2010

Germans: Awesome - Oktoberfest [Day Two]

Day two started relatively early considering the previous day's shenanigans. I met my friend Nic at breakfast, which was actually pretty decent (eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, toast etc). Soon after we jumped on one of the shuttles and headed into the festival.

It was a lot quieter than the previous day, so we wandered around the whole festival grounds - checking out the rides, stalls, and almost all of the beer halls. The halls are freakin’ awesome. All of them amazingly decorated with coloured ribbons, wreaths, lights... The weather was beautiful so we thought it would be a shame to sit inside (also we couldn’t find any seats!). We ended up settling down in the beer garden of Schottenhamel for a few steins. We got chatting to a middle-aged German couple who were really friendly. After they left we found they had forgotten two commemorative pins. A cool little souvenir. We held on to them incase they came back – but they never did. Unfortunately I somehow lost mine later that night.

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