The classic Hippie trail was
the overland route from Europe to Asia and it started with Istanbul
(Turkey) and then followed Lebanon,
Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan (Chitral),
India (Kashmir,Manali,Goa), Kathmandu
(Nepal). See map.
But there was also the route to Morocco,
A common factor of theese places was among others
the access to locally produced cannabis
and a local culture of using it.
The hippiesubculture was originally
a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s
and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology
of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially
used to describe beatniks who had moved into
San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. Both the words
"hip" and "hep" came from African American
culture and denote "awareness". The early hippies inherited
the countercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their
own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual
revolution, and some used drugs such as cannabis, LSD and magic
mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.
Essaouira was discovered
by the hippie movement in the late 1960's
and early 1970's. Rock stars such as Jimmy
Hendrix and Cat Stevens visited the town and the
Living Theater of Julian Beck and Judith Malina
found a home there for a time. Because of the presence of such
celebrities, Essaouira became a destination for young people and
artists who left an important mark on the cultural tourism that
would develop later. The Living Theater, which
combined elements of stage and visual arts, along with the psychedelic
paintings with which hippies decorated the walls of their rooms,
is thought to have inspired the first generation of Souiri
painters: Boujemâa Lakhdar, Houssein
Miloudi. It has also influenced the post-psychedelic
Tribal or Gnaoua style typified
by Mohamed Tabal and now closely associated with
the culture of the city. Yet the hippie “boom” was
short-lived and could not forestall the city's long decline.
" "I visited Essaouira in the late sixties and beginning
of the 70's. Usually we came from Marrakech by bus and stayed
some time before continuing the travel to the south to Mirleft,
Tiznit. In Essaouira we rented a room in the Dar el Pacha hotel.
A room only with a carpet of straw but where we could sleep 4
persons and cook our meals with coalfire. "
"The Hippie Trail represented an alternative Silk Road on which, instead of silk and spices, freedom and love were the ultimate gains. It was a kind of pilgrimage for many Americans who felt suffocated by the growth of materialism. The trail was a search for oneself and spiritual enlightenment through using different types of drugs or exploring various forms of religion. An escape from the “evil West” into the “more humane” side of the world."
"The hippies caught the last train to a world that nobody expected would one day cease to exist. They created a trail of which half is lost in history due to politics and terror. The Westerners who traveled the East during those two decades are considered pioneers of the spiritual journeys around the Indian subcontinent, Nepal, and Southeast Asia, but their style and naivety were unique."