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Our Ibiza

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"This is our island!"

When the first Phoenician stood on mount Sa Talaia and gazed at the beauty surrounding him he knew: this is going to be our home and base in the West from where to discover new shores.

And so the island was dedicated to Bes, the god of joy and happiness (correspondingly named Ibes), and Tanit, the goddess of love and fertility. Henceforth, it was their mission to look after the island and make sure that their good qualities would prevail.

It seems to have worked out: until this very day Ibiza has not created anything that could possibly be of harm to man (except possibly for man himself): no wild animal, no scorpion lives here. There aren't any dangerous snakes, not even poisonous mushrooms grow on the sacred ground.

The sheiks know Ibiza very well

Nearly 3000 years later, one of the regions most prominent estate agents, German-born Matthias Kuehn, says: "It's Ibiza, not Mallorca, where you will find the jet set. I have presented projects in Riad, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the sheiks know Ibiza very well but none of them ever set foot on Mallorca." As a consequence, he himself bought the small island Tagomago in the North of Ibiza and it is precisely there where he goes when he needs to retire from the hustle and bustle of his business ventures.

There seems to be something special about that smaller sister of Mallorca - in the past just as much as today. Already in ancient times Ibiza played a prominent role for visitors from the east: whilst it was first the Phoenicians who settled down here (Hannibal's father used to be governor of the island), later the Romans took over (they calld the island Ebesus) before eventually the Moors (Yabisa) were pushed back by the Catalonians as recently as 1299.

The magic word is "tranquilo"

All of them left their mark on the island, not only physically but also in the collective awareness: tolerance, openness, respectfulness and a relaxed attitude towards life - the magic word is “tranquilo” - are probably some of the attributes that would best describe the locals. Moreover, those who grow up on the island have their pride and think of themselves as being independent of any kind of external government. Whilst officially they are part of Catalonia and the choice between FC Barcelona and Real is an obvious one, they remain suspicious of the Catalans formalizing their influence on the island. It seems that the "Ibicencos" feel best doing their own thing and focussing on business with the multicultural crowd that makes Ibiza their home during the summer months.

And yes, it is the beauty of the island and the mentality of its inhabitants that makes life here so enjoyable. As a matter of fact, you are more likely to bump into true celebrities here rather than on Mallorca but nobody would bother them for a picture or an autograph. Here everybody is the same and - thank god - it is mostly only those who think along those lines who come to visit the island. Let the Bohlens and Beckers, the Schiffers and Drews go to Mallorca and have the crowd stare at them, the celebs on Ibiza aren't after that.

Es Vedra or the mysterious encounter

Since Tanit's times there has been a mysterious touch to the island. Above all, it is Es Vedra, the ghostly rock, that people believe to have magical powers. According to legend, it has been more than once that it has distracted compasses and made whole ships disappear. More recently, some people claim that the rock has been a destination for UFOs and the likes. In any case, up to the present day some of the more esoteric folks and yoga disciples enjoy exercising opposite the rock and the inspirational surroundings. And, believe it or not, there might even be some hippies left living in one of caves beneath.

The chill-out sound was invented here

Speaking of hippies: it was mainly during the late 60s that they came over to Ibiza and the smaller neighbouring island of Formentera. They gave the island its special status as a breeding ground for alternative lifestyles and music. Later, it was at the Cafe del Mar in St Antonio that the chill out and sunset sound of the 90s was invented. Earlier on, musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dyland lived here, groups like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Spandau Ballet and others came here to get inspired.

And then there's still that "other" Ibiza. The original interior of the island with its field and farms, its small villages and churches or the wild-romantic north where tourism has only just begun to develop.

Lucky are those who have a base from where to explore and enjoy all of the above. To make matters perfect, enjoy the sunset from your own terrace and ponder about Tanit and Bes, Hannibal and Nostradamus, Dyland and Hendrix. All of that with the sound of Pink Floyd's "Set the controls for the heart of the sun" in the background. On the quest for the meaning of life you might have gotten a little closer already.

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