Monday, 15 September 2008

Odd shots Monday: Swimming pools

Blame it on the tourists. They want swimming pools in the hotel complex they come to stay at when they visit Crete. They want swimming pools at the housing estates they come to live in when they buy or rent properties in Crete. They believe in their right to choose chlorine-bleached water over sandy shores and salty ocean, even when they choose to spend their annual two-week package holiday on a Mediterranean island. And now, they've managed to convince the locals that a swimming pool in their back yard is not an absurdity, even if you live three kilometres away from the sea. This is akin to demanding cherry tomatos to put in your salad all year round, even when the climate in your area is not even conducive to growing tomatoes in the first place.

swimming pool

Swimming pools were once the reserve of the wealthy and the major hotel chains catering for luxury tourism. They are now a standard feature of all hotels and housing estates, built specifically for foreigners who wish to buy property on the island as a retirement home or investment, despite their proximity to the coast. Swimming pools are a desecration of the landscape in a traditional village, especially one situated in the mountains. There is no respect paid to the natural features of the area which have never accommodated such a structure. There is also the issue of environmental awareness: the many gallons of water wasted on filling, cleaning and re-filling swimming pools.

It's easy to understand why people want to be near water, especially when the sea is clearly not an option - let's say New Mexico, Wyoming and Kansas in the USA, Birmingham, Oxford and Manchester in the UK, Paris, Madrid and Berlin in Europe. But the idea of a swimming pool in the back garden of a private house located only three kilometres from the nearest beach seems to break all the rules of environmental awareness. That's why I called it an odd shot.


  1. Wow, very interesting. Your odd shot post is an eye-opener for many. I never thought the swimming pool could be a threat to the environment.
    Beautiful pic.

  2. I agree with you but every time we go on holidays the kids want a swimming pool, too.

  3. When it's really hot people just like to rush to the pool and have a quick dip to cool down. Otherwise they will stay hot and sweaty all day.

    In Spain most new apartment blocks have a pool - and the bigger the better.

    Personally I'm not really bothered with pools - have owned an apartment in Spain for six years and as yet have not visited the pool ..

  4. Beautiful pic! But I must admit, so many touristy areas in our sunny Queensland, Australia (like the Gold Coast) are right by the sea and all the big hotels and resorts have their glamorous pools. Yet this seems to be the way to sell being by the sea! It's all very strange!

  5. It isn't an odd shot, it's...parvenues 'alter ego' showing their money!!!

  6. Kiwi, I love your righteous indignation, no matter what its object is!
    But at least be happy that Greece has enough water to fill pools.

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  9. Did you mention me on purpose? I WISH I had a swimming pool. There is one in my development, but it is only open 2 months a year, and not always when it is convenient.

    But the ocean? Well, if I could get to the ocean easily, I think I could give up the idea of a pool.

  10. They can make sense here in Tasmania (cold); but you see more of them in Sydney and Brisbane. It is madness.

  11. Youn opened my eyes about pools...
    and I found your blog very interesting. I have no time to post very often, no time to write comments, but if I do, it's serious ;)