Matala Caves

Caves Matala

Hippies came from all corners of the world to Matala, where they found finished houses in the caves. In Matala we called to visit the beach and had no idea that these caves were here. Artificial caves in the rock of the bay of Matala were created in the Neolithic period. During the Minoan period, Matala was the port of Phaistos. It is a fishing village on the island of Crete, Greece, with artificial caves carved in the sandstone rocks.

Matala' s hippie caves, where Joni Mitchell was.

These were the 60s, and a hippy fellowship had established itself in Matala, a far end of the Mediterranean where most of the natives had never seen a visitor before they arrived. Here Joni immortalized the perfect hippy scenery in her 1971 hymn "Carey" with a view of the untouched beaches and the deep sea.

At the end of the Stone Age, the caves were home to leprosy patients and were then used by the Romans as tombs. The caves became the city' s lowest priced hotels when the Hippy came looking for tranquillity and illumination. Things in Matala were easy, perhaps too easy, because the hippy-nomadic were finally expelled by the churches and the army junk.

Penelope and I were on a boat a few nights later to see what Matala was all about.... Most of the teenagers who had travelled there were asleep in small caves hewn into the rocks on one side of the shore. That'?s how Cary came into my existence. Mermaid Cafe, referred to in the hymn, was a true institution run by Stelios Xagorarakis.

Later, he followed his hippy clients and established himself in Southern California. Penelope and I went with Cary to the Mermaid Café for a while. There were several of them with some troops. and started a rapport with him. Besides, I had a little glory until then, and wherever I went, there would be hyppies to do it.

I' clung to Cary because he was angry and kept the crowds away from me. The caves were very comfortable. During the 1950s, when the hippies began to populate the caves, they excavated more rooms, but the sleep there was harsh and the only thing they had to macerate the surfaces were sand stones on a flagstone roofed with sand weed.

When Joni was writing the text for "Carey", we can say that she began to miss the comfort of home on the evening before her depart. With Cary Raditz Jon introduced himself in Matala, the'e' in'Carey' was an incorrect spelling of his name. Writing her tracks on her hammered chopping board, smaller than a guitars, she took them wherever they went around Matala and the Isle to find the loneliness away from their band.

Cary, called after her friend on the islands for his birth. Cary and Joni traveled to Athens in the spring to see some of their hippy boyfriends who were occupied by "Hair" in a Hellenic theater film. Joni didn't want to go back to Matala. Prior to a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1971, where she played "Carey", Joni talked to Rolling Stones about Matala.

Several of the hippies began making'Roman art' and collars from wooden man's tooth (don't ignore that the caves were also ancient romaine crypts). "Greeks couldn't comprehend what was going on," Joni said. Today Matala is a small town that still lives mainly from the tourist industry, and while the caves where the rabbis once resided (now enclosed ) can be seen, they are sheltered by the Archaeological Service, and certainly no one is permitted to stay or work there.

Matala no longer has a real hippy naturist hippy life, but there are references to its Czech past and some have tried to follow the way of life on Crete, at the disco in Lendas. And Cary?

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