My first Easter on Thassos Island
Author of the text: Milena Matic
I had second thoughts until the last moment if I should go now or wait until the summer. I had some doubts that it is not like in the summer and that the trip is long and hard to get there. On the other hand there were exhaustion, problems and the need for something different and better... This is how I decided to come to Thassos for Easter.
The ferry was very crowded with Greeks and tourists. That is when I remembered that Thassos is one of the favourite places for Greeks to go for their holidays.
I get the same feeling when I am on the ferry and I start getting closer to Thassos. Waiting to see "an old friend". On the island you can not see many people, just a few cars. It is very peaceful. The weather is sunny with a little bit of clouds.
This time I decided not to stay in Limenas, but to go to Potos. There I will meet Ana, the person who organized this trip. Most of the people know her as Nikana. She rented a house and generously offered it to the guests for free. We stayed in the big house with big balconies and magnificent sea view and view of the sunset. We also didn't have to worry about the heathing. The owners took really good care of us.
Around us there were fields full of olive tries. Our street that was going straight to the sea was full of villas and hotels. It was so quiet. Only things you could see were seagulls and goats. For us who came from big cities this was just what we needed. The whole house was full. The next few days were full of joy, laughter and friendship. It was like that the island has some special power to relax you and wakes up the best in you. Good attracts good. The big gesture of the organizator attracted amazing people. What luck!
Greeks celebrate Easter in the churches, monasteries, on the streets and at home. On Good Friday everybody goes to the church in Potos. Their celebration is a bit different than in Serbia. The service finished and everybody got flowers from the priest. Everybody who was in the church then continued to walk all around the village.
On Saturday everybody goes to the Monastery of Saint Archangel Michael and attend the midnight Easter liturgy. The monastery by itself is magnificent. It is located on the cliff with a spectacular view. Everybody was impatiently waiting for the midnight when the coloured eggs were brought out and everybody started congratulating each other. We noticed that we are not the only foreigners here but at the same time we realise that we are not even foreigners. Everybody is one no matter where they come from. Our group from the villa also feels like we have been friends for a very long time.
Sunday, the first day of Easter, Greeks celebrate in nature, next to the sea. Nikana has also made a surprise for us, such as picknick on the beautiful beach Psili Ammos with lamb and a lot of other food.
The day is sunny, the sea dark blue-turquoise and with small waves. The rest of the day we spent in laughter, taking photos, fishing and walking bare foot on the beach. Two of our friends were real experts when it comes to BBQ. When the lunch was served next to the sea you start realising that you are surrounded by friends and that you are a part of something so simple but yet so rare and beautiful.
In the evening we went to Theologos for a Greek night. I know that most of you have already been there and you have enjoyed it. Greek music, sirtaki traditional dances, buzukia, lamb and standing crowd... However, our group made out of it much more. With each song the atmosphere was getting better which led to the fact that we didn't even try our food. We are really unprecedented when it comes to having fun.
When the official program was over, the program we arranged with the musicians started. Everybody was dancing, improvising, breaking plates. We were amazed how our Greek friends were dancing.
As it usually goes, after parties like this you don't want to go home. We decided to go to Limenaria and we were surprised with the number of young people who were out in the bars next to the sea.
On Monday came the time to say goodbye. I stayed a bit longer with our hosts, two Annas and Marios. We went for a walk in Potos and Pefkari to see once more how they look like in this off season period. Athos was covered with snow. It is something that you can not see in the summer time.
I started thinking about what this island has that we love and that keeps pulling us back to it.
I believe that everybody has his own answer to this question. Mine is very subjective but i believe that a lot of you will agree: Thassos wakes up the most beautiful part of us, it brings us back to our roots, we become happier, friendlier and filled with optimism. It is not like this only in the summer, the magic is present even in April.
This is how it was in the Easter 2012.
Big thank you to Nikana, Ana Kostic, Marios and to everybody who I had a chance to meet and share these beautiful days with. See you in Thassos! Milena