Sparta in the Peloponnese.
Trip Start May 08, 2010
39Trip End Jan 23, 2011
We come to our hotel late in the afternoon.
The city of new Sparta is beautiful with many Neo-classic buildings, and what gives life to the city are the many young people who study here because they attend University and who come from different parts of Greece.
The Cafes and Restaurants are full of these youngsters who are studying here, and I do hope they are not here just to spend their parents' money. I know most young people are just lazy these last couple of years and it is so disappointing!
Our hotel is centrally located and we are given a nice room
The hotel is called Maniatis, (www.maniatishotel.gr) and I just pity the people working here, and the people living in the round area. The antenna can only be seen if you open a back-yard window, which not many people do. I discovered it because I am always trying to find the prons and cons of the hotels I visit so that I let other people know about.
We get some rest and I leave the hotel much earlier before it gets dark to see the city and take some photos. Unfortunately by the time I come to the Statue of Leonida's it is already dark so my photo is not so bright.
I return to the central square where I meet Yianni and the rest of friends infront of the Town Hall which is so beautiful and bright. With some women we decide to do some window shopping. (The majority of people in the group had a headache earlier as well). There are fantastic shops and the prices are really very low, especially clothes and shoes. There are Sales of 70% still on. I am afraid that after the Sales season most of these shops will close down for good. I feel thankful that I am not a shop owner as the situation is really bad with the economy in Greece
We end out at a cheap restaurant and since everyone else is here we decide to sit as well. It seems very popular! All seats are taken, and one has to wait till somebody leaves to get a seat. We are lucky to get seats after 5 or 8 minutes. We have to wait for at least half an hour to be served, -even more. It is a popular spot here because it is full of university students and some of the tables are really long – 12 to 15 persons are gathered all around them. A restaurant where we have to be patient firstly to find a seat and secondly to be served.
Our kebab comes and it is really tasty! I guess people really know that it is good and this is the reason why the place is so crowded.
It is a little before midnight when we get back to the hotel, and I am really looking forward to see for a 3rd time the Caves of Diros, visit Gythio, and Monemvasia tomorrow
FACTS AND HISTORY ABOUT SPARTA
Facts and History about Sparta or (Sparti) in Greek.
Although Sparta was established in the early 19th century, the area is mostly famous for its history, as this was the site of ancient Sparta, the town with the strict rules and the brave warriors.
Ancient Sparta was mostly a military city-state. The inhabitants believed that their only purpose in life was to become strong soldiers and protect their homeland even with their lives. Above all was their country and family, which is why they imposed themselves a strict and painful lifestyle.
A Spartan should be strong in body, healthy in mind and brave in character
Small boys were educated as warriors from the age of 7 till their death, while women would learn how to be the mother and wife of a warrior. In fact, the Spartan women had an equal role in society as men, -which was very unlike in other ancient towns.
For a Spartan, the bravest death was the death in the battlefield, defending their town. Ancient Sparta was a small and unfortified city as the inhabitants believed that as long as Sparta has strong men, it does not need protective walls.
It is the centre of an agricultural plain whose focus is the Eurotas valley
Main sightsIn the center of the town there is the Archaeological Museum and in the North West end is the Tomb of Leonidas, also known as Leonidaion, whereas the town's Cathedral is at the South West end. North of the modern town start the ruins of the ancient Sparta. Entering by the South Gate of the Acropolis, known as Lakedaemonia, there is the Rotunda, the Theater and the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos to the West and to the North is the 10th Century AC Monastic Church of Osios Nikonas. Exiting the Acropolis by the North Gate there are the remains of the earliest ancient walls, the Heroon and the Altar of Lycourgos, whereas to the East there is the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia