Doug, March, 2013
My friend, Fred, and I spent September 1969 at Matala. We stayed in a cave high up on the cliff. There are three towards the sea about three levels up. We were either in the one nearest the sea or in the middle. Carved our names Doug and Fred on the floor. The two bars, the Dolphin and (I think) the Mermaid were the centre of social life for those living there at the time.
I suppose the highlight of the trip was the arrival, in the bay, of a massive motor yacht owned by a Greek multi millionaire called Goulandrez who anchored up for two or three days. He invited us on to the yacht one night. About thirty people were living there at the time I suppose and we were all on board for two or three hours. Lavish entertainment and ferried from the small quay near the ‘shit cave’ to the yacht in a little rubber dinghy which only carried a couple of people at a time.
Matala was just a tiny village at the time where very little happened. It was idyllic. People came and went all the time. I have just written a book on a hitch hiking trip across Europe in 1969 which features the stay in Matala, takes up a couple of chapters. It's called See You In Omonia and its on Amazon Kindle. Think a lot of people would bond with it. Great site. Best wishes with its development.
Doug [...] Scotland.
I thanked Doug for his e-mail and asked if I could place it on this site.
I also mentioned that this was the first time I heard about the ship.
Hi Elzo, I'd be very happy for you to use the information I sent you.
The yacht that arrived was a large, motorised affair. It employed several crewmen and just suddenly appeared in the bay one morning. I think it was the next morning, three or four of us were lying on the beach when we saw the rubber dinghy being launched. A crewman looked after the engine and there was a smartly dressed, small man on board. The dinghy came straight towards us and ran up on to the sand. The small man got out walked and spoke to me. He said Mr Goulandrez wanted to invite six of the cave people on board for drinks that evening. We should turn up at the jetty at 6.00 I think it was. Of course the word got out and by that time there everybody, about thirty of us, were waiting. We were ferried over in twos and threes and shown on board.
Mr Goulandrez was a man, I would say, in his fifties. Very smartly dressed as you would expect of a millionaire. He had his niece from New York in the US with him and she told me they spent weeks just cruising the Greek Island. I spoke to him and he told me he owned a football team in Athens. Can't remember the name. He apparently owned 80 oil tankers. We were on board for two or three hours. I remember he had wine glasses dotted about all over the place. They were filled with those cocktail cigarettes that were around at the time. They came in all colours, pinks, reds, yellows etc. We were all ferried back to the beach later.
I've written about it in my book ‘See You In Omonia’ which is all about the hitch hiking trip my friend, Fred and I, did to get to Matala. It also takes in a trip home in The Magic Bus which ran between London and Athens. The book is available on Kindle if you fancy reading it. [...]
Congratulations for putting together a site that legends are born off.
Very best wishes.