Friday, May 23, 2008
We arrived at Puerto de Ibiza after a quick 11 mile trip shortly after noon. Again the wind was too light to sail so we motored. Together with Formentera, Isla Espalmador and a few other islets, Ibiza was called Pitiusas, meaning the pine islands, by the Greeks. We hope to find some pine trees and quiet coves amid the raging club scene and tourist developments here on Ibiza.
There were several marinas from which to choose and we selected Marina de Botafoch. The pilot book says it is an upmarket marina with excellent facilities. It sounded expensive. We heard a story on Espalmador about another yachtsman who paid 130 euros a night recently at a marina here. That seemed excessive and we were put off by a line in the pilot book about the other large marina having problems with theft. Fortunately the price here is reasonable at 38 euros per night, about the same as we paid along the Atlantic coast. The staff are friendly and helpful, the showers are nice and we have wifi so we are happy here.
After a nap we took the small ferry across the harbor to the old section of Ibiza ( Eivissa to the locals). The upper town, Dalt Vila, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. We enjoyed walking the narrow streets on the steep hillside.
Miles Smeeton described Ibiza in Sunrise to Windward: "...the old town rose in tiers of narrow houses crowned by a cathedral and a fort of such massive construction that the hill seemed overburdened with its weight. The city is built on a promontory and the outer walls of the fort enclose the older part of the town and dominate the only approach not already protected by the cliffs and the sea." I cannot describe it better today.
The town of Eivissa as seen from the harbor
Part of the wall separating Dalt Vila from the neighborhoods below
The Gothic cathedral above the tiered dwellings in Dalt Vila
Looking down from Dalt Vila towards the harbor
24 lb. cannons protect the city
A Gothic doorway
The cathedral perched above the harbor
A church in Dalt Vila
Jim resting at the top of the hill overlooking the Med.
The main gate into the walled medieval town of Dalt Vila
A produce stall at Es Mercat Vell in the center of town
We liked this statue of a mariner in the corner of the port
The Phoenicians founded Eivissa in the mid-7th century BC. The Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans also settled here. The last invasion was during the 1960s when hippies discovered the beautiful beaches and coves, laid back lifestyle and tolerant islanders. in the 1990s the island was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the entertainment island of the world. Clubbers arrive from all over to party and listen to music spun by famous DJs. Fashions started in the clubs here eventually work their way to the rest of Europe. Remnants of the 60s still linger with sightings of aging hippies and wannabes and stalls selling tie-dyed shirts and beaded jewelry.
Street scenes in Dalt Vila
The street along the waterfront
May 25, 2008
Today is Sunday and it is raining off and on. We took a walk and came across this exercise park. What a great idea! Not many moving parts and they use your body weight as resistance. They have been designed to withstand use, abuse and the weather.
Katie tried all the equipment
Don't know if we worked hard enough to burn off the calories from our simple but tasty lunch - Spanish baguette slices drizzled with olive oil, topped with fresh tomato and sprinkled with sea salt. Eating here is a real treat. The fresh seafood, fruit and veggies are all incredibly flavorful. Yesterday we found Pimentos de Padron grown on Mallorca. Jim stir-fried them in olive oil and ground salt on them. We enjoyed them with squid rings, also stir-fried, with a little lime squeezed on top. Simple but delicious - just our style.
Looking towards Dalt Vila at sunset from Tenaya
May 26, 2008
After seeing enough of Eivissa over the last 3 days we wanted to explore the interior of the island. We went to the bus station and found that busses only go to the other two cities on the island, not all over it. Our choices were the large, touristic, party town of Sant Antoni or the "very beautiful" route to smaller Santa Eulalia. We chose the latter. It was a lovely drive with pine, almond, olive and citrus trees growing on the rolling hills. Few towns, houses and businesses dotted the peaceful countryside. Here and there ancient looking meter high stone walls stretched along the fields. Everything was green. The town of Santa Eulalia rests on a quiet cala (cove) with a beautiful sandy beach. There are just enough rocks to make the landscape interesting but do not interfere with sunbathing or swimming. A few boats swung to moorings outside the small port. Although it was a tourist spot of many white buildings, mainly for the English it seems, it was a cute town with a very nice beach.
Lunch at a beachside cafe in Santa Eulalia
Tomorrow we will leave the marina and search out some pretty anchorages on the eastern side of the island since the wind is forecast to come from the west.