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The white elephant

by miltonduff Online Now Aug 20, 2005 at 5:10 PM

Travelling in Limnos, I have been intrigued by the large turistic complex named Kaviria Palace Resort that is now completely abandoned. It is possible to have some more information about this story? Who built that, why it failed? Does some photo exist of the complex fully operational? I would really much know more about the story, that looks really intriguing. Thanks. marco

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  • magdaki's Profile Photo

    RE: The white elephant

    by magdaki Online Now Aug 22, 2005 at 11:18 AM

    i was in limnos last summer, but i didnt notice the building you are describing.. were was it? do you have any pictures?

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  • RE: RE: The white elephant

    by eleni_k Online Now Aug 22, 2005 at 1:23 PM

    Good question, Marco!

    Limnos is the island of Hefaestos, the son of Hera, and the god of fire and the forge. One day when Zeus became angry, he threw Hefaestos from Olympus. Hefaestos broke his hip when he landed on Limnos, and was lame ever after. This is where Hefaestos worked his forge, and taught the Limnians to do so. Limnos is one of the places sacred to the Kabiri -- the deities of the sacred fire that were worshipped by ancient Limnians.

    It used to be (and by that I mean in classical times) that Limnos had two main towns --what is now called Myrina and also Hefaestia, which of course, was named after Hefaestos. Three km. from Hefaestia is Kabirio, a sanctuary in honour of the Kabiri where mystic ceremonies were held. From this site you can see Samothraki, another island where the Kabiri were also worshipped. Also, the Cave of Filoktiti is found near the Sanctuary of the Kaberi. Homer's hero supposedly lived in this cave.

    But back to your question of the Kaviria Palace Resort that was built near Kabirio ("b" in Greek is pronouced as "v" in English), there's been a lot of speculation as to what happened. First it was a hotel, built in the middle of nowhere (at least as far as Limnos is concerned), by developers hoping the sites mentioned above would attract enough tourists to support itself. But it didn't (as you know, Limnos is not a big tourist area to begin with, even in the main town of Myrina). Then the hotel supposedly became a timeshare, but no one seemed to be buying. As far as I can tell, the best thing about the now-dead and bankrupt resort is that it caused roads to be built that allow access to Kaberio.

    I'm interesting in hearing more about your trip to Limnos. Why did you go there? What were your impressions? What did you do? Where did you eat? Where did you stay? Would you go back?


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  • RE: RE: The white elephant

    by miltonduff Online Now Aug 29, 2005 at 7:57 AM

    I'll take some pictures from my videocamera and post them here. It is an impressive building that looks like a very high quality hotel with something like 50 cottages all around. I went inside it. Everything was stolen and all windows are broken. But that silent giant is very fascinating and I was really intrigued. I am trying to get some photo at the time the hotel was operational but it looks really a hard task.

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  • RE: RE: The white elephant

    by miltonduff Online Now Aug 29, 2005 at 8:28 AM

    Hi Eleni,

    I did not know anything about Lemnos and I went there just because I was offered a 2 weeks stay at the Akti Myrina Hotel, from august 6 to august 20.

    The first 3 days were tragic: the weather was not good and the wind blew very strong. As a result the sea was dirty and bathing wasn't a pleasure at all. Moreover I am not a fan of holiday villages like Akti Myrina and I was very close to leave the island.

    But then everything changed: the weather turned nice and I could appreciate the nice climate of the island and its clear waters. I rented a little boat so i could go around in the north-west coast, were I was completely alone with my girlfriend, enjoyng a real paradise only for the two of us. Warm crystal water and small bays protected us from the dominant northeast wind.

    Then the second week we rented a jepp and went around the island exploring. The beach with the best sea is by far the right Fanaraki beach, after Moudros (it is a little too crowded after lunch, but nothing compared to the mess in the Akti Myrina beach). But there are other particular beaches wich we enjoyed most of the time completely alone. And the tour on the wild northern coast opened to us very secluded bays, in which we could have baths copletely naked.

    I liked a lot to have dinner in Kortsinas, as you have the sun going down just in front of your table in the little restaurant just on the sea of the bay managed by local fishermen.

    We also appreciated all the ancient ruins in Poliochni and Ifestia and Kavirio, especially because of the magic atmosphere of the places and the breathtaking views from there.

    Two last impressions: one is the ghost town of the old Pedino, completely abandoned after an earthquake, but now full of life very night beacuse of the small taverna in the old main square; and the other is for Myrina, a really nice village.

    And of course the Kaviria Palace, one of the most intriguing buildings I have seen in my life :)

    I am planning to go there next year again, to know better this fascinating island far from mass tourism but full of interesting things to do. I will try to rent a sailboat an navigate th three island of Lemnos and Samotrace.

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  • RE: The white elephant

    by limnos Online Now Nov 22, 2005 at 12:52 PM

    I live in Limnos so can tell you what local people say about the hotel. Firstly, it was supposedly built with government/EU grants (to promote tourism), however, the owners in typical Greek fashion declared, for example, that 1 bed cost 300 euros, bought one for 75 euros and pocketed the difference. This is why the quality of construction is so poor. Secondly, they say that hotel was used as a money laundering operation. That is, people won free holidays in the hotel, came for a week or so and paid nothing. However, in the accounts the same guests were declared as having paid full price for their stay allowing illegal money to be declared.

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