It now seems like a bit of a distant memory, but at the end of July Miss W was on holiday in Ibiza (Eivissa in Catalan) and Formentera. I had previously spent a few summers in Mallorca as one of my good friends is from there, but that was the only Balearic island I knew. Having lived for so many years in Barcelona I am still shocked that I never made the trip over to Formentera, especially as many of my friends raved about it.
The 29th of July was my fated 30th birthday, which by the way I was dreading. Most of my 29th year I spent fretting about turning 30. I was determined I was not going to be living in London at that point, but as it approached it became clear I would have to settle for a holiday on my birthday. What better place to celebrate than an island with turquoise waters? I spent the day on the beach drinking mojitos and swimming in the sea; in other words, it was perfect. (Feel free to send belated birthday presents, they will be greatly appreciated.)
I have always loved being near the sea. When I am standing in front of the water with the sea breeze on my face it seems like anything is possible; I get this strange feeling of expansiveness which makes me feel like I am part of the Universe and feel this intense love towards everything… The soft swaying of the sea calms the effervescence of my soul. Ok, enough of the hippy speak, I just feel really good near the sea! A few years ago I listened to a podcast where an expert explained that each tiny drop of water that forms a wave takes thousands of years to assemble and travel to the shore. When I see the crashing of the wave on the sand I think about how far these droplets have travelled and that I am experiencing the exact moment of their end. Thousands of years of energy are coming to their end right in front of me. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?
In particular I love the Mediterranean, firstly because of the blue intensity of the water, and the temperature. A few years back I travelled round the USA and one of the most disappointing things I experienced was that the Pacific Ocean in California is absolutely freezing! I just love jumping in to the sea and it being warm. It is just the right balance of warm and cool. I remember being in the sea in Miami and then in Colombia and the water just being absolutely hot, almost like bath water, which is not refreshing at all. I also like the small waves: during my trips in the USA and Australia I felt like I couldn’t fully enjoy the ocean because the waves were just so huge. Although I love being in the sea I’m not a super confident swimmer and I felt overwhelmed by the sheer power and height of the waves over there.
One of the coasts I love the most is the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona. I love the craggy bays with pine trees peeking over and the pebble beaches. I adore the feeling of getting out of the water and not being breaded in sand; it’s a clean beach experience.
There is a poem that I think perfectly sums up what I feel about the Mediterranean, it is by a famous Catalan poet, Joan Maragall. It is called Sea View: (I will clumsily attempt to translate it below)
Vistes al mar
El cel ben serè,
torna el mar més blau,
d’un blau que enamora
al migdia clar:
entre els pins me’l miro…
Dues coses hi ha
que el mirar-les juntes
em fa el cor més gran:
la verdor dels pins,
la blavor del mar
The tranquil sky
makes the sea even more blue
a blue that makes you fall in love
at the clear mid day
I look at it through the pine trees…
there are two things that make my heart expand
when I look at them together
the green of pine trees
and the blue of the sea.
Here go some pictures from Formentera and Ibiza to whet your appetite.