Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out

184 Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out 0Make Love, Not War 🙂 Is this slogan familiar to you? And how about this one? Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out ….  Yeap … I see you know them well. 😀  Who doesn’t know them, by the way? For sure, post-war generations were born with them as well as they were brought up with hippies’ subculture.

Probably your parents were members of that youth movement and adopted the unconventional and progressive behaviour of the hippies of that time.

M   À   T   A   L   A


The movement was created by young people in the US in the mid 1960s and flourished in the 70s of last century. The ideas shared by them were quickly spread out to lots of countries all around the world and hippies’ own communities were formed. Members were strongly alienated from well-known and already established social activities, institutions and values, and they followed one and the same philosophy of free love. They had their own music (at a time a little bit melancholic). Moreover, they expressed externally their ideas and beliefs through their folksy clothing. Yes, they established their own trendy and stylish but at the same time very casual hippy fashion.

184 Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out 10Their clothes were brightly coloured and had motifs taken from the Native Americans, Africans, and Indians and so on, and so forth. They usually wore simple clothes like peasant blouses, very long full skirts, bell-bottom pants, etc. As for the accessories, of course, we all know that it was typical for them to wear headscarves and headbands, and put long beaded necklaces. All these clothes and accessories were either self-made or bought from second hand and flea markets and shops. Thus hippies’ boldly coloured and freedom-expressing hand-made clothes opposed uniform, mass-production clothing.

184 Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out 11Hippies always chose an untraditional style of living. For instance, new beatniks from the four corners of the world found the perfect dwellings in the caves of Màtala, in the south-western part of the Island of Crete (only 75 km off the capital city of Heraklion). I will open a bracket here. The caves of Màtala are artificial, man-made caves which were carved in the steep cliff in the Neolithic Age, many thousands years ago. In the Bronze Age and Minoan period, Màtala was the main port of the ancient village of Phaistos. Later on, it was invaded by the Gortynians and then it became a Roman province, Màtala turning into the major port of Gortys. And last thing here. Because I love myths and legends (especially those about ancient Gods), I would not miss the chance to tell you the one about “The Seduction/Abduction of Europa”. As we all know, Zeus was the main God and at the same time a great lover in the Greek Mythology. He transformed himself and obtained the form of a white bull. Thus he managed to seduce beautiful Phoenician Princess Europa (by the way, the Old Continent was named after her). Then he kidnapped her and after having crossed the sea, he brought her namely to the beach in Màtala. He transformed himself again here but this time he turned into an eagle. He put the Princess on his back and flew her to nearby Gortys where he made love to her …. Obviously, he himself was a hippie by heart and supporter of free love. 😉 The bracket closed.

184 Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out 12So, you yourselves see that gorgeous beach in Màtala has been the place of freedom-lovers, supporters of free love and unconventional ideas and beliefs, and creators ever since Ancient Hellenistic period. 🙂 As for the caves, they became ready-made homes for the “Flower Children” who came to Màtala in the 60s-70s of last century. The natural cave dwellings as well as the awesome sandy beach and the turquoise sea waters of the bay were the perfect place for hippies where they could express themselves and enjoy freedom in their own hippie style. All this was immortalized in Joni Mitchell’s Carey. Unfortunately, the locals of this then-remote part of Crete experienced a great cultural shock. They couldn’t understand at all the hippie liberated lifestyle and the new cave neighbours and inhabitants were driven out. But despite this, the Hippie Myth in Màtala is still alive owing to the annual Summer Beach Festival which offers a true time and Mediterranean journey in the cradle of the European civilization.

Let the Sunshine In 🙂


5 thoughts on “Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out

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