I’ve been going through my photos of Greece and Turkey and labelling them. Not an easy task given the number of places and ancient sites I saw. And of course, it is not always obvious what structure (temple? house? latrine?) any particular pile of grey stones is supposed to be. Not to mention whether it is Greek, Minoan, Roman or Hellenistic. And for over a week we did meander back and forth from the coast of Turkey to the Greek Islands of Kos, Samos, Chios, and Lesbos.
So I’m taking a break, sipping some Turkish apple tea, and reflecting on the few somewhat blurry and askew photos I took of rooftops. Who knew that the view from tour buses lent itself to rooftop gazing? Somewhere on Crete I began to see metal chimney pots shaped like birds alongside the solar water heaters, and the rebar that seems to be on about 80 percent of Greek houses.
So began my quest for the perfect rooftop photo tri-fecta (trinity, triad?) – a picture of a roof with a bird chimney pot, a solar water heater and rebar. Not as easy as you might think. I did see a few roofs with all three but taking the picture was the hard part because the bus never stopped near any of them and I never knew when they would pop up. I didn’t manage to get one photo of all three together.
Why is there rebar on the roofs of Greek houses? I was told that it is there because if a house isn’t finished then the owners don’t have to pay taxes on it. This might be a clue as to why Greece is in so much economic trouble. To be fair some of the house owners may actually be planning to build another floor on top of their house in the future for their children. But most of the houses look finished except for the rebar.
Chimney pot decoration changed in Turkey to miniature houses. And on some of the eastern Greek Islands, like Samos and Kos, there were some clay birds and other decorations on roof edges. The rooftops in my neighbourhood are kind of boring in comparison.