N° 2 sprog was understandably disappointed about Sparta. There’s little to see of the ancient city state. Its communities were, quite deliberately, vaingloriously, unfortified and there were no great works of architecture. What civic edifices there were were heavily built over by the Romans. The masonry from the Roman city was, in turn, pilfered to build nearby Mystras. The modern city, decreed into existence by a nostalgic King Otto in 1834, is a not particularly glamorous affair, a jumble of mostly undistinguished buildings. On the outskirts, empty showrooms and half-built developments tell the tale of the current economic crisis. It is strange to wander through such idealised literary and historical signifiers – Arcadia, Laconia, Sparta. As a tourist attraction, modern Sparta was always going to be outshone by nearby Mystras but it is nevertheless somehow well, Spartan, of Sparta (if that’s not too laconic a term) not to make more out of its historical connection to the ancient world’s most renowned warrior society.