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SESSIONS2 goes to IBIZA 2006 (by Karo)
19.10.2006
by: Karo Holmberg

SESSIONS2 Goes To Ibiza 2006

It is a rainy morning up in the north in a little Finnish sea town called Kotka. There is a little mind thinking about his future trip. It’s been several years since he last travelled somewhere far. Last time it was China, today it is Ibiza, the dream of almost every clubber! Or is it?

It had been a dry and hot summer except for the day we gathered in the basement of a parking lot in Kouvola to find shelter from the pouring rain while loading up our cars. Our little group of twelve were mainly people from Club Fiilis: Toukka and his wife Marja (the trip to Ibiza was their honeymoon), Anselmi K and Anna, Riikka S, Niki, oc, Teddy Roo, Pelle D and Me. The rest of our group, Pia and Teija, joined us at Tampere Airport.

Toukka was driving, and the car trip to Tampere went well in the rain. I tried to get a decent photo of us sitting in the car, while Teddy Roo, following us some distance back, was looking at our flashing car in confusion. In Tampere, Pelle D got the first effects of homesickness, as he felt the urge to use IRC for a while. Luckily someone was nearby with his camera.

Tampere airport is mainly used by Ryanair, the airline we used to get to Stansted, London. When I got inside the plane and saw the seats, I was a bit terrified - I don’t think anything larger than my neighbour’s Chihuahua could fit comfortably in those seats. After a while of twisting and turning like a madman, I managed to fit half of me into the seat and even got the seatbelt on. Incredible! These seats were meant for humans after all! The flight attendants were pretty nice, if a bit girlish (despite the fact that not all of them were girls).

Finally we arrived to Stansted Airport, and I was anxious to get some "travelling & airport” -photos. Unfortunately, after I had taken a few shots of the airport building’s structure, Anselmi K pointed out that photographing was not allowed there. Luckily the guards didn't notice me or my half a meter long teleobjective that knocks people down whenever I turn around. There was some time (about six hours) left to be spent before our next flight. Anselmi K put up a little music quiz using his DJ talents to the maximum. I was one of the highest scoring participants with five and a half points of maximum 35.

After 16 hours of travelling, we finally got to La Isla Blanca, Ibiza - the white island! We stayed in San Antonio in a Hotel called Es Mitjorn, right next to the Coast and 300 meters from Cafe Del Mar. Es Mitjorn was air conditioned, had a swimming pool and, most importantly, two computers with internet access in the lobby. (I spent most of the daytime using IRC & klubitus.org).

The first morning we were having a real English breakfast while waiting our rooms to be cleaned. On the first day we had to go to check out the Sunset at the beach, which was crowded. Half a thousand people were sitting on the beach and terraces while the sun was setting. We chose a Restaurant café called Savannah, right next to Café Del Mar. The feeling was quite unique when all the people at the beach started clapping their hairy hands exactly at the same moment as the sun went beyond the horizon. Unfortunately, our group had a little different opinion of the music that the DJ was playing; Oasis' Wonderwall wasn't the best tune to lift the feeling up. At that particular moment I would have wanted to hear something like “You take my breath away” by Berlin.

On the second day I was IRCing at the hotel when two friends from my hometown dragged me to the terrace of Savannah. We sat there for hours having cold drinks and checking out the scenery while watching parasailing (which seemed to be quite popular among the tourists). We decided to walk the coast further just to check out what was behind the first cape. There was a small cove that seemed to be a place for unappreciated items. We found one shopping cart at the bottom of the cove, one bicycle under the sand and one moped stuck in a little cave.

In the evening, when we were sitting at the Hotel bar drinking Smirnoff Ice, the hotel manager Toni suggested that we visit Eden with him after the night clerk comes to work, and so we did. Normally it's not allowed to take camera equipment inside to any club, but obviously because we were at the VIP list, they didn't seem to be interested in our gear. Eden had two sides open: the main side with more popular music and another room with House music. Toukka and the DJ who was spinning there seemed to know each other from a shared DJ gig back in Finland. It's a small world for clubbers.

The second club night for me in Ibiza was 'Love'. I had some difficulties finding the place, and had to ask a local granny in the bus if we were at Playa d’en Bossa. Obviously we were, because the granny started nodding her head like a friend of mine who listens to heavy metal. I jumped out and took a taxi, who didn't give me a ride "because I was at the street where Love is". After 40 minutes I found Love from a totally different street, about a kilometre away in the opposite direction that the taxi driver pointed for me. I think he wanted to pull a prank on me because I looked like a British tourist with my map that Toni had given. The night at Love was the night when Jamie Lewis showed how to "be thankful". The place wasn't full, which astonished me. Obviously there were some bigger and more popular names playing somewhere else. The interior was all white with decorations using red and UV lights. I liked the place; it had some underground kind of feeling.

Next days went by while shopping through San Antonio. I was amazed by how commercial clubbing in Ibiza was. The biggest clubs had their own stores all around the island. There was at least two or three Pacha’s shops in San Antonio alone. Music was played everywhere and all of the adverts had something to do with clubs or clubbing. But hey, this was THE place for clubbers who wanted clubbing all day long. At the evening I took my photo gear and went to the beach where Savannah, Cafe Del Mar and Mambo are located. There was a parasailing and a pyro show at the beach, which was quite a nice surprise. The town really wakes up when the sun goes down. The terraces were crowded, and people were hanging around waiting for club-buses to clubs like Space, Pacha and Privilege.

During these "non-clubbing" days it became pretty clear what kind of things belong to the "not-so-nice about Ibiza" -section. First of all the garbage service was a bit of a shock for a Finnish tourist: big dumpsters at the side of the streets, some of them stinking real bad, if not always, at least by the time they were emptied. The way of life at Ibiza is quite nice with the "don't take it so seriously"-attitude, but the attitude reflected also to the ways of living, which are almost sacred to Finnish people, to our precious cars. It's quite normal that you park a normal family sedan in a space of a Fiat Uno. The show is quite entertaining to be witnessed, I can say that. So if you’re going to rent a car, it would be best to get a good insurance.

Another not-so-nice feature of Ibiza are the pickpockets. I got myself pickpocketed at a bus station while waiting for my turn to buy tickets. There was a warning "beware of pickpockets" and I thought I had a closed pocket, but obviously I didn't.

One of the irritating features of cafés is, that when you dine with a bigger group, they tend to add fabricated things to the bill. For example a group of five paying for six plates of french fries despite the fact that they only ordered and ate five. I also paid 3.20 EUR for a bus ticket that costs only 1.60 (yes, it was a one-way ticket).

The service was good in almost every place we went in, and in some places I would consider the service to be great. We gladly gave tips wherever we went. Actually there was only one place where I didn't tip because the service was far from professional and really sucked (a small restaurant at the other side of the island). One of the not-so-nice features of the Island was the great number of tourists from a certain area of Europe. To make it short, I would have to say "British tourists acting like Finnish teenagers on Friday night".

Then came the Pacha-day, the [long-awaited] Pacha! The rest of our group went to Formentera Island (right beside Ibiza island) but I had to spend the day picking up a press pass to Pacha. I had to ask the Hotel manager Toni how to get there and he showed it from the map he had given me a couple of days earlier. Getting to Pacha, however, was another episode. After getting out of the bus I started to walk to the wrong direction, just to find myself lost in some beach. The map given by Toni was a big help when I was jumping on it and relaxing my nerves by shouting "perkele" out loud. Luckily the locals thought I was British. After a while I found a Hotel where I could ask directions. They pointed out that I had walked 2km to a wrong direction. Of course the street was loaded with taxis so I could just pick up the cutest one of them all and get to Pacha in time - not. Just start walking. After 50min of fast walking I arrived to Pachas press office just in time. Got my press pass and started walking back to the bus station. I was cursing that I should have taken my gear with me, so I wouldn't have to just walk all day long.

Pacha was a place I could call a real fine club. They had invested a fine penny for building up the place. The interior of Pacha changed a lot wherever you walked. From outside it looked like a normal Spanish scene with white walls and ceramic tile floors. As soon as you walked in the place turned out to be a fine nightclub with a lot of different kind of rooms made with style.

The main room was a chapter of its own. The main DJ-booth was covered with fine wooden surfaces and had up to date Pioneer equipment with Technics turntables. And the booth for the LJ – Man! There were tons of equipment, which were highly allergic to alcohol (compared to the shitty equipment used in an average Finnish disco). I was sure that while in Finland the LJ drinks beer in his jeans, the LJ of Pacha must have an Armani suit and a cup of cappuccino (later on I found out that the LJs looked like regular people, nothing too fancy). The Main room had three floors and different kind of areas for spending your time in. There was a little café terrace kind of a place, a sofa-area, couple of dancefloors and at the third floor there was a little bar and a railing just above the DJ booth, where people were leaning and posing around. I counted at least five or six bars from the main room alone!

There were many rooms in Pacha and I didn't even find them all. I visited a place called the Funky room. It had a nice touch for just hanging around and chatting with your friends, and after the funky room there was a strange middle-room with stairs. It looked like it was from the 19th century and led to the terrace and some other places such as toilets. Unfortunately I found out about the terrace a bit too late via SMS message from Niki. Just after I had left Pacha and was on my way back to our hotel. Before leaving I wondered my way to a some kind of a hip-hop room. Which had a dancefloor at the lowest point of the room and a chilling zone with sofas and tables at a higher level. There were also an interesting design with the hip-hop -rooms bar. The bar itself was embeded half a meter lower than the chilling levels floor. That gave people the opportunity to order their drinks while sitting in a sofa which back rest operated as the table for the bar. If I understood correctly, Pacha is the most popular club in Ibiza. So if you’re going to the white Island you should find some time to visit Pacha.

The food in Ibiza was mainly quite good. We found a pizzeria called David's, which seemed to be the only place for getting some decent pizza in San Antonio. We also found out that if you want to have for example seafood or just chicken, you should go to a restaurant, which is specialised in those particular types of food. Don't order seafood in a steak restaurant, it will probably be something you’ll recognize only from the menu. The best restaurant I went in San Antonio was definitely Tihuania - a Mexican restaurant about half a kilometre from our hotel. The interior was something incredible. Just as we got inside the restaurant there was a hanging bridge made of wood and strings above us. The whole place looked like it was made inside a cave, with roots crossing all around the ceilings. The lights were warm and dim. And they had a speciality at each table: early 20th century look-a-like telephones! You could tease other customers by calling to their table! And the food was magnificent!

We had some discussion about renting scooters with Niki and checking out the Island that way for a day. We went to a scooter rental shop with the intention of renting two scooters, but unfortunately my wallet was stolen a couple of days earlier by a pickpocket so I didn't have a drivers licence, which was needed to rent the damn moped. Instead of two scooters, we rented one 125cc scooter. Yes, just one. And no, I didn't ride the thing, Niki did. First of all I had real difficulties getting a helmet of my size. I tried three different helmets until they gave me the biggest one they had, and that one fitted. As soon as we left the rental shop, Niki riding and me sitting at the back, some locals started laughing out loud. I'm pretty sure they thought we were British. During the day we took some scenery shots while riding through the island. Wherever we went, people were pointing and laughing at us. Could it be because Niki, who was behind the “wheel”, is much shorter and about 100kg lighter than me?

At the end of our little scooter trip we almost caused two girls to drive off the road with their scooter. We didn't do anything, they were just laughing too hard (obviously at us, since there was no one else around). Luckily they managed to stay on the road.

On one day Niki and Teddy Roo found some free tickets to a Silicon-event at the biggest club in the world, Privilege. Privilege has a capacity of 11.000 people! We decided to pay a visit and look around the place. First of all I was impressed about the PA-system. Funktion One with Resolution 5 series sounded pretty good despite the fact that the hall wasn't acoustically perfect (I didn't find any damping from the walls). We found our way to a nice chill out bar with no music. The chillout bar had some lounge areas (reserved for VIP's) and the atmosphere was quite nice with trees pointing out with vivid colourful spots.

The location of the DJ Booth in Privilege was something very interesting. There was a round pool filled with water (approx 15m in diameter), and two bridges leading to the DJ booth that was standing in the middle of the pool. At that particular night, Silicon, there was some kind of a dancing group of 12 around the main hall. Four of them in the front, two at the sides and six at the rear. Some of them were "flying" using safety cables, and it looked pretty nice. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my camera in that night. I went there a couple of days later to take a few photos of a smaller club night, but unfortunately we were scheduled to leave the hotel at 7am so I couldn’t be there for more than a couple of hours.

The way back to Finland didn't go exactly as planned. At Stansted airport I had some difficulties with Ryanair’s “extremely flexible” service. Because we ordered our tickets via Internet and because Ryanair’s basic assumption is that you are travelling without any luggage, I had to pay 7 pounds for having luggage with me. But of course you can't make the payment at the check-in point, you have to go to another line to pay the fee. After 20 minutes of waiting in the line I had some "service" with an announcement that they don't take Euros (!). Yes it is in England, but it is an international airline, which takes euros for their other services. Even stores at the airport take euros! Well, let's go to another line to exchange some euros to pounds and back to the luggage payment service, just to wait for about 40 minutes because the line is about 30 meters long. Finally I had to get ahead of my turn in several different lines to get to the plane in time - which was in the end 30 minutes late.

Despite of the difficulties I really enjoyed the trip! The most I enjoyed of the time spent together with the rest of the group. Those warm nights at the balcony having cold “non-alcoholic” drinks and watching spanish people giving parking lessons while listening to Robbie Williams' 'Angels' performed by drunken tourists below.. It really was something! Many thanks, had a blast with you guys 'n girls!

I would also like to thank the following people and organisations for making this trip worth while:
Toni, the manager of Es Mitjorn (www.esmitjorn.com)
Ecoway for lending camera equipment (www.ecoway.fi)
Jason McCarthy of Club Love (www.loveorganisation.com)
Pacha and their pr-people (www.pacha.com)
Privilege and their pr-people (www.privilegeibiza.com)
Club Eden (www.edenibiza.com)

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