2010 was a catastrophic year for the palm trees of Crete:
The palm forest of Preveli river got burnt , in a few hours numerous "Phoenix Theophrastii", an endemic cretan species mentioned since the ancient years, became ashes.
I couldn’t go to the forest right after the fire, it was difficult for me to see the burnt remains of a place I had memories since I was a child.
I went some weeks afterwards when I heard that the palms got burnt externally, but their interior part started to blossom again.
Since the preparing period for the Olympic games of 2004 there has been another great catastrophe :
the intruder beatle “Rhynchophorus ferrugineus” (red palm weevil) that came to Crete through palms from other countries, transferred here for the Olympic constructions, is threatening the palms of the island with total extinction
Hoping that nature will manage to find its balance again, but also fearing the extermination of palms by the weevil attack and the poor environmental protection by the state , I wait for time to show if palm trees will continue to exist on my island or if they will become a distant fading memory
The beat generation's sequel of time, the hippies' movement, was born in San Fransisco in the mid sixties and it was spread all over the world.
Peace ideology, sexual revolution, spiritual expansion by the use of drugs , return to nature etc were followed by thousands of young people.
A lot of hippies opposed together with other groups actively to the Vietnam War, a lot of them were just self-isolated and didn't have any relation with the real world.
This movement brought new ideas in music, visual arts, literature, leading many people to a more natural and less consuming way of life.
Anyway, finally the movement didn't make any important political world change, it seems to me more a reaction of the western world to the western way of life rather than a revolution aiming realistically to a more radical change.
Matala, a small bay in Crete with an ancient roman cemetary inside artificial caves in a big rock over the beach, was a place where a lot of hippies from all over the world gathered in the late 60's - early 70's.
The place after an article of Life magazine attracted more people to visit it and Matala became a worldwide hippies' destination.
src : google images
src : google images
Some famous musicians like Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens stayed there for a few months.
Here's the song "Carey", written by Joni Mitchell about Matala :
Last year a music festival started there based on the idea of a veteran hippie reunion by Arn Strohmeyer, author of the book 'The Myth of Matala'.
I visited the festival in 2011 and 2012. The peaceful beach of the sixties has nothing to do with its contemporary look, as after the hippie period, the place became famous and it was built and developped touristically in a rapid way.
The authorities adapted the idea of organizing the festival every year in order to help the local economy.
Of course organizing cultural events and strengthening through them the local economy or the reunion of old mates are good things.
I just don't know how much a party with luna parks established for these days, touristic products, tons of Coca Cola etc sold in supermarkets is related to the hippie culture...
Anyway , a music festival is a reason to go listen some music and shoot photos