I spent about a week on Paxos in the early 1980s.

In Paxos I experienced my first Greek Easter. I did not then know to look out for the Epitafios on Good Friday and did not see the procession. I hung around outside the main church late on Easter Saturday evening. I was not dressed to go into church, but wanted to see what was happening. A local gave me a friendly tug and I was inside the church. People piled in and soon I ws no longer near the door.

On Easter Sunday I had arranged with some fellow tourists to catch a small boat to Anti Paxos. We were down by the harbour early, and could see that the chap who owned the boat was getting ready to leave. We spoke very little Greek; he spoke no English. He seemed to be indicating that we need not get on board just yet. As we was obviously about to leave we jumped on board. A handful of tourists - six of us perhaps - wearing shorts and dressed for a day on Anti Paxos.

Hold on, where is the boat going? We are heading to an island in the bay, and not to Anti Paxos. The boat went to an island in the bay. We hopped ashore, keeping an eye on the boat. Some priests / monks went on board. carrying what we later realised was an icon. We tourists tried to make ourselves inconspicuous. It was difficult to hide on a boat the size of a small cabin cruiser. We went back to Gaios port. And there were 100s of people waiting to greet the boat. The arrival of the icon was obviously a large part of their Easter celebrations.

The icon was reverently carried ashore. We tried not to look irreverent in our beachwear.

Later in the day, after the trip to Anti Paxos, the local police had set up a trestle table in the street laden with Easter goodies for passers by to sample. So we ended the day as the guests of the police - luckily not in custody!