A few weeks ago, I dedicated an entire blog to the distinct lack of winter we experienced in Ibiza over the past few months. Well, it would seem I spoke too soon, because the minute the clock struck Easter (that’s the day before Good Friday here in Ibiza), our never-ending Indian summer came to a grinding halt. Which, if you’re a keen pre-season visitor to the island, a child on school holidays, the parent of a child on school holidays, a seasonal worker returning to your summer base, an Ibiza restaurant owner, a natural-born sun bunny or a devout practicing Catholic, made the extra long weekend you’d been looking forward to all year a total washout.
Over the course of those four days, all our winters came at once. If you’re even a little bit like me – and yes, I’ve been told I’m a bit dark on occasion and I’m totally fine with that – it was like a gift from the heavens. All that dark, gloomy grey sky, those dense rainclouds, the pitter-patter of heavy rain on the roof and the windows all night long, the soggy campo, the glistening, slippery cobbled stones in Dalt Vila, the icy cold wind, the wild waves (yes! waves) on the beach – it was what I’d been waiting for all winter! It was scarf weather, coat weather, Ugg boot weather, woolly sock weather, Netflix and chill weather… and to me, it was wonderful. It was like a dream come true (and it was so good for our poor dehydrated island environment!).
I turned my heater on (in April!). I turned my phone off (yes, in April!). I wrapped myself in blankets and duvets and spent the weekend traipsing from room to room probably looking a little bit like a hobo thanks to the layers of long socks, cardigans, scarves and yep, even a beanie (though I must admit that was taking it a little too far – one never really needs a beanie when the heater is on but I’d thrown myself into character). But I was a happy hobo. I made a hearty risotto. I stewed pots of delicious steaming tea. I may have consumed my body weight chocolate. I binged watched TV till it made me cry. I didn’t even leave the house once – not once!
I didn’t want the weekend to end – I felt the way people must feel when they come to Ibiza for the Easter long weekend and never want to leave. Ah yes, all those thousands and thousands of eager people who’d booked mini-breaks on the white isle over the Easter long weekend. And all those island locals and residents who’d been looking forward to a five-day long weekend in the sun. While I was having the time of my life, it hardly seems fair that Ibiza turned off its charms right in the middle of such a golden spell. It seems 2019 is the year we had no Easter – if I could apologise on behalf of a climate, I would. Because as much as I loved the doomy gloomy weekend, it’s not (gasp!) all about me, is it?
For the first time in history, the amazing Semana Santa procession in Ibiza town was cancelled due to bad weather. All those dedicated people who were poised and ready to don pointy hats and capes, play in a sombre marching band or hoist an enormous effigy of Jesus onto their shoulders for a night of marching from church to church were left high and, well, certainly not dry, because the pouring rain made it impossible for them to fulfil their duties. On one hand… maybe God was officially letting them off the responsibility of paying penance this year. But on the other… maybe it just rained. Really, really hard.
It wasn’t just the Semana Santa parade that was called off. Blue Marlin postponed its opening party, beach restaurants who were ready to reopen for the season just couldn’t even put their tables and chairs on the beach due to the high winds and stall holders who couldn’t sell their wares in the blustery markets. Many of the outdoor Easter egg hunts that had been planned for the little ones had to be called off too. But here’s what I love about the Ibiza spirit: there might have been less parties. There may have been fewer places to eat. Shopping was off the cards and there was definitely no fluffy bunny leaving chocolate left, right and centre but did that stop the people of Ibiza from enjoying the Easter weekend? Not for a single minute.
Restaurants (with an interior, or with outdoor heaters and plastic wind/rain protectors) were mobbed. If you think it’s hard to get a reservation at some of these places in the high season, try a rainy pre-season weekend! As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours – in this case, not just from the sky, but also for all the new staff working their first weekend shifts, for all the chefs trying to remember the ingredients and methods of their new season menus, for all the hosts and hostesses who were struggling to accommodate all the eager diners at their doors. For them, it was quite possibly a little more than they’d expected but here’s the thing about those crazy, chaotic, rainy days in restaurants. They bring people together.
Out on the restaurant floor, diners order more and more bottles of wine to make up for the lack of sun; behind the scenes, team members bond over the overwhelming weekend they just didn’t see coming. Ibiza wouldn’t be Ibiza without a party and do you really think a rainstorm or five was going to stop the eager-pre-season clubbers from hitting their rave spots this Easter? All the more reason to just arrive early! Dayspots – Bora Bora, Elements and Nassau Tanit Beach – and nightspots – B12, Pacha and Malanga – were also rammed (obviously my information is second-hand, since I was tucked up in bed, but I can assure you sources are very trustworthy!) and open till the last man standing… and even then, the last man standing found his way up to the after party in the notorious cave. When it rains outside, no one ever wants to leave a party after all… definitely not without Uber!
But surely the unsung heroes of the Ibiza Easter weekend have to be all the parents who had to keep little ones occupied, indoors, on an island that is totally child friendly on a sunny day but isn’t exactly the greatest place for a kid in the rain – especially if said children are hopped up on a sugar rush from consuming all their Easter eggs at once. Even moreso if you’re in a rented villa without all your toys or a hotel without a kids’ club – it’s a struggle. One of the funniest things I read on social media yesterday was a slightly frazzled mum who was praying for the end of the rainy long weekend in Ibiza because the indoor softplay park was as busy, hot and sweaty as a Space opening party.
It was definitely not Easter as we know it in Ibiza this weekend, but I bet most people who were here to experience it are still smiling at the memories. Whether you spent it in total hibernation like I did – enjoying the total calm before the summer storm – or whether you braved the downpours and made the most of a wet situation, it was the kind of weekend you don’t get to experience very often, which makes it even more special. And while I have spent the last five days rejoicing in this totally wintery weather, I’ve just looked at the weather forecast for the upcoming week and if you’re planning to visit us any time soon, fear not! It’s time to start singing like little orphan Annie because… the sun’ll come out… tomorrow!