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Posted on Jul 15, 2012

Ibiza

Ibiza

Ibiza Nightlife

Ibiza Nightlife – Amnesia

It’s rare to find an experience as pure and eclectic as spending a vacation in Ibiza. Known since the 80s as the refuge for electronic dance music, DJs and music lovers have made the island a great destination for an eclectic experience at the beach only to be fulfilled by the outstanding nightlife. Everything seems special in Ibiza.

Welcome To The Island

The island tends to have it’s own vibe on the people, lifestyle, environment, and beyond. Walking through the streets would give you a surface view of how life is on the island. The people warm and always cheerful, and despite their limited ability to speak English, they’d do their best to convey the message, even if it calls for getting help from the neighbors or passersby. In the background of the majority of the shops lies a hint of music, be it house music or something to dance salsa on. it’s surprising to see the island not lacking any of the material you might find on the mainland, making the island sustainable and truly succeeding in keeping any worries beyond international waters. The beach is one of the main attractions. Spending the day at Playa d’En Bossa, particularly at Bora Bora, would guarantee an exquisite day at the beach like no other. Enjoy a couple of beers or any cold drink with house music massively churning the beach lovers in the background. A walk across the coast would give you a glimpse of the variety of people and diversity of their origin. From the tattooed and the pierced to the topless and the classy, they all cluster around the mystic sensation that blossoms in Ibiza.

The Food

The food on the island is surprisingly cheap. I first landed with the idea that the prices are going to be tough on the wallet considering the touristic value Ibiza enjoys, but i was totally wrong. A decent meal of burger and fries with coke would cost 5€ on average, with buffets and English breakfasts are common in hotels and range between 6€ and 11€. Definitely a good reason to hit the pause button on that diet program.

The Nightlife

The nightlife is what the island is famous for, and it made sure expectations are always met. Events are organized on a daily basis, from event openings such as Rock Nights in Privilege to astounding club openings such as Amnesia. There’s literally a massive party every day to quench the thirst of clubbers from all around the world, with big names playing equally in weekdays and weekends. Paul Van Dyk plays every Thursday, Deadmau5 every Wednesday, along with John Dahlback, Tiesto every Tuesday, and the line-up never ends! It’s a magnificent place to club with tons of vacation-oriented things to do, from tanning, enjoying the endless beach, yoga, having a nice picnic, or just strolling down the streets.

There’s something quite special about clubbing in Ibiza, far away from the stereotypical notion that you’re actually clubbing there. The clubs’ management have made sure their investment is made on enhancing the individual’s experience, all the way from easily attainable club tickets at hotels or street reps, and to the night itself where exquisite dancers, blinding lights and orgasmic aural sound systems pound their way to seize the night. Bouncers cover the whole premises and during 5 nights I didn’t witness any sort of violence inside the club or out, making Ibiza a relatively safe place.

Dress code is not that strict, either. People dress up between casual and sport-chic, a good range for both men and women to enjoy their stay without the fashion fuss. They practically let everyone in, except some irregularities that one may not find in a sane individual. It’s surprising and ironic how the best clubs in the world are the most open and quality-driven than all the clubs I’ve been to…and I’ve had my share to judge!

The best clubs I went to were located in the center of Ibiza, while the other bunch is located 20 minutes away in the town of San Antonio. Each has its fair amount of pros and cons, but based on reviews, it’s better to stay in Ibiza Town because it has the least amount of drunk Brits who tend to spoil your night on your way to the hotel. The best clubs [literally] were Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege, and Space. The order is not important, although Space was least recommended at that period I was in. The rest, though, were a blast to a world with no worries and no tomorrow. Euphoria would be build up across the night like no other, and the crowd would always be on the height of every tune and the breakdown of every beat.

Privilege:

Privilege is world-renowned for being the biggest club in the world, with 22,000 souls daring to join the cult. The sound system is carefully spread across the venue that made every corner in the place sound the same, although the bass effect would slightly wither when standing the middle, right before the pool. The complete venue wasn’t open, yet a significant part of it was. Most people got in for free with the ‘free tickets before midnight’, yet you pay some 15 euros for a post-midnight appearance. The night was Rock Night, a famous event now a regular Monday destination. While the event is dubbed ‘Rock’ it’s a blend between rock music and an electronic touch that makes the night worth attending. The music features several DJs that span till dawn, even featuring dubstep artists, live performances and dance shows, and all effects that appeal to the senses.

 Amnesia:

I managed to access Amnesia at its very opening this season, and boy was that an opening! It was one of the best venues I’ve attended, carefully crafted to cater masses and the experience they thrive for. It’s not for the commercial music lovers, though. The music played was mostly Minimal House, rarely giving some upbeats to stimulate the mood, then hitting it down low again. The light shows were simply amazing; mobile robot-like dancers would start walking across the crowded hall while talented light techies took the reigns from next of the DJ booths to dazzle the masses with colorful LEDs and laser shows. The place was also packed with people which made the ventilation systems rather ineffective in front of the hordes of people coming in and out, and the alcohol-controlled weaklings who spilled their vomit and drinks definitely didn’t help.

Pacha:

Forever a leading clubbing franchise around the world, Pacha Ibiza is the heart of where it all started. After following the advice of not attending Pacha – Barcelona and just settle for the best, it turned out to be truly the best club around, hands down. The club itself is a massive piece of estate, having a wide dance floor that fits a massive club mob, and steps in 2 corners lead up to a stairway to VIP tables and lounges lit by small aroma candles and neat table etiquette. Another set of stairs takes you up to get an overview of the whole venue, with the dance floor in the center and the DJ booth on the right and the Lighting booth on the left. Behind lie two passageways to the terrace, a nice, loungy setting with a snack bar serving hot dogs and other condiments for the ones with the great appetite, and the other corner holds a bar surrounded with hot female bartenders. The atmosphere changes completely on that terrace, with lounge music completely isolating the club music emanating from inside and giving the chance to relax and enjoy the view of the Pacha Hotel and the streets of Ibiza before deciding to get back to the life inside. I was lucky that night to witness Tiesto playing all night in Club Life which was an extraordinary experience. While the previous DJ was warming up, the crowd was getting cold until Tiesto showed up and enraged the whole crowd with euphoric tunes and high-skilled mixing. Truly a night to remember.

The Sunset:

Sunset in Ibiza is well-known for its mystical effect and outstanding scenery. The best location is in the Port of San Antonio, where Cafe Del Mar and other lounges famously reside. Upon reaching the port, people can be observed walking steadily toward the beachside, following the sun trail like sunflowers. The rocky beach is then slowly filled with people clustered around, waiting the horizon to change colors through the atmosphere. The effect that entails the sunset is truly a unique effect, and the notion of people gathering for this natural phenomenon adds to the hype of the event. It is truly something that adds a special emotion to the island, and makes you realize that sometimes the most simplest natural events are sometimes the most special.

End Thoughts:

Ibiza is by far one of the best party destinations across the world. A place where “there’s no RnB” [The waitress chuckled when my friend asked about it], a place where you enjoy your stay under the great sun and the never-ending mediterranean sea. From the landing to leaving, Ibiza was one of my favorite destinations ever. A very relaxing island with a bipolar night where the music takes you on a journey to dawn, right at the sunrise that’s as magical as its counterpart. I feel very lucky to have been part of the Ibiza experience. It’s rare to find a place to visit twice, but for Ibiza, it’s going to be the exception.

Gallery:

  • https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c0i3ho2wwmgvbyg/JMKPWyMdG5

 

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Posted on Jun 15, 2012

Barcelona

Barcelona

Playa de Barcelona

Just saying out loud ‘Barcelona’ generates a feeling of satisfaction and awesomeness. As a devoted FC Barcelona fan since 2000, being in the city that represents my all-time favorite football club is an honor by itself. Yet, the city’s reputation precedes it, in a good and bad way. Barcelona, as a whole, is an organized masterpiece of history and harmony. It’s vibrant atmosphere stems from the soul of its warm people that never hesitated to share a smile, a laugh, even a dance in the middle of the street. The life that flows in its streets is too obvious to be noticed, and too charming to be avoided. From the Catalunya Square to the Ramblas lies a broad street of merchants, restaurants, and packs of people admiring the beauty around. The warm weather and the cooling winds provide the best combination for a great experience while having a traditional plate of paella and some tapas on the side. While the dominating presence of immigrants, particularly from Bangladesh and India, would be a bit of an inconvenience after refusing to buy beer, refreshing water, or whatever gadgets they sell, they somehow add to the flamboyant taste that Barcelona enjoys and is famous for. It is almost always advised to join the hop-on hop-off touristic bus that every big city employs. Yet the advantage of being in the heart of Barcelona is the close proximity of touristic sites to the city center. A simple search through trip advisor would show how each important attraction is located near the city center, thus it is also advisable to find accommodation near the Ramblas area where plenty of tourists take a stroll and push away pesky merchants and prostitutes. La Sagarada Familia was one of our main destinations, and despite it’s unfinished construction and the visible cranes and scaffolding, the cathedral is an outstanding creation emanating a fusion between innovative architecture and perfectionism. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia is a landmark that maybe our children will witness it’s completion. During that time, i would highly recommend the rich open buffet nearby in Lactuca with an amazing price of 11€ (with a -2€ when presenting a coupon from your accommodation). I practically spent all my lunches there, always leaving with a satisfied stomach and a tranquil smile. Plenty of parks surround the city center. The most prominent is also designed by Gaudi, and for some reason the damn lizard seems to be the symbol representing it, although the hanging arena, the richness of oak trees, or the town church could easily be candidates of high caliber. On your way up, pass by Zuum, a fresh cocktail shop that creates the greatest smoothies. Take it easy on Oliver, a young tattooed fellow that’s a bit hyper from the overdose of fruit intake. Pretty cool guy, though. The city is notorious for pickpocketing and robbery. While the police is well scattered on a wide scale and at all times, criminals are good at evading and hold no certain sect or nationality. I speak as an observer and also as a victim of such behavior, where a man came into the hostel carrying a paper and when he spotted my friend’s phone, he approached my table and knelt down, begging for money and hiding the phone with the paper at hand. He got caught on CCTV and the police is enquiring about him, but the memories found in that phone are probably lost forever. The nightlife in Barcelona is commendable. Having a cluster of clubs situated closely together on the beautiful coast, tourists are offered cheap access to drinking in pubs and complementary bus trips to the venue, depending on the night. The PR crew clutters the Ramblas street and spotting them won’t be necessary; you’ll definitely be targeted by one if not half of them. The most common were Shoko, Catwalk, and xxx. While plenty of night clubs are around the city, their inconveniences lie in their high price, distance from the city center, or the type of music played. The threw clubs I attended were popular and cluttered by tourists and locals alike. The price of drinks start from 12€ and go uphill from there, so pre-drinking is advisable. The music was highly upbeat, with different rooms playing different genres, mainly electronic or RnB. It’s the place to be at night in the city that never sleeps, with all respect for Las Vegas for that quote. Personally, Barcelona is an amazing city, but far from being the best one. The subway is an efficient means of transportation, and the bus transit complements access to the whole city. The magic in Barcelona’s atmosphere reminds, yet it is smeared by sketchy foreigners, picketers, and the like. The food and rent are relatively cheaper than other European cities,  and the reputable universities in the city make it an attractive destination for international students. They comprise the majority of park dwellers, either reading their course material or practicing their street talent.

Here’s a collection of pictures from the trip in the link below! Enjoy!! If you like a higher res for any picture, just let me know 🙂

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Nicolas El Hayek located at Beirut, Lebanon , Beirut, LB . Reviewed by rated: 4.5 / 5