Who would have thought in the 1960s that Leonard Cohen and Hydra would both become so famous? He was a young writer and poet, in search of his own identity. Hydra was a bohemian paradise, known only to those lucky enough to discover it. After spending some time in rainy London, the Canadian artist decided to come to Greece. And upon reaching the island of Hydra, he fell in love with it madly and eternally.
Leonard Cohen and Hydra: The Love Story Begins
Leonard Cohen reached the island and immediately realized that it was meant to be his home away from home. So he used some money he had in his possession (just $1,500) to buy his house. An emblematic house on top of a hill, overlooking the port and the infinite blue of the Aegean! It was a derelict inside, but Cohen recognized its beauty. He did not see the worn off walls, but the history of the navy men who had lived there. And he gradually transformed the house into a palace!
Marianne Ihlen: Cohen’s Muse
Leonard Cohen and Hydra were also bonded through his love for Marianne Ihlen. A Norwegian model visiting the island with her son was the reason Leonard connected to that place forever. The two became a couple and stayed together for almost a decade. She was his muse and their relationship marked him forever. “So Long, Marianne” was the epic song he wrote to say goodbye, after their breakup. But they never said goodbye…
It is worth noting that Marianne died just three months before Leonard. At her funeral, he wrote her a letter, revealing their connection once more: “… our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”
A Tribute to Cohen’s Memory
What made Leonard Cohen and Hydra interconnected is celebrated by the locals. They have named the street in front of his house after his name. More than that, a sculpture made of stone has been erected in his memory. This is the way to honor the man who praised Hydra throughout his life. A dreamer who loved this place fully and unconditionally. An artist who loved Hydra’s bohemian character and unspoiled beauty…