Transylvania Treehouses

We are now two months into building Lăcşoare.

What is it?
In short, a hostel in the forest, just above Breb. It’s a chance to meet other backpackers, see as much or little of local culture as you like, trek up into the mountains or relax over the locally-brewed horinca around a bonfire.

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Lăcşoare covers 3.5 hectares of forested land and is a 15 minute walk out of Breb. The river circling the land will provide electricity for when and if lights are wanted and, of course, to keep the beer cold. The location is ideal: close enough to Breb for supplies, far enough so that there are no neighbours to disturb if things get a little rowdy. Below is the main house which will be a dorm and eating area – the snow has been replaced by wild raspberry bushes!

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We are looking for a small team of carpenters to help build Lăcşoare.

The plan?
– three tree houses, which will act as dorms
– two hobbit holes (the round door is ready and waiting, and causing the locals huge confusion)
– shower block
– toilets
– water wheel
– a small dam

Skilled carpenter?
You will be paid for your work – please Contact us to discuss.

Just starting out?
Get involved! Stay with us on a volunteer basis – we provide a bed, food and as much Horinca as you can drink (and still go to work the next day); you work 6 hours a day and become a fundamental part of our project.

If you want to work a full day with the others, we can give you a small salary. Again, Contact us and we can work something out. Anyone with an interest in or knowledge of building any of the above will be welcomed on board the team.

Contact us and hop on board. Transylvania Treehouses will be up and running before the snow falls.

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Shepherd Cabana at Zăpode

Zăpode has one of the best views. It’s very open, very different to our land at Lăcşoare . It looks out right across to the Carpathians with the Ukraine to the left and over to Borsa on the right. The house is from Calanesti and its oak parts are over 100 years old. The pine extension was built around 50 years ago.

I remember going into the house and finding it exactly the way it was the day the seller’s grandmother had died – a wooden spoon encrusted into the pot still sitting on the stove. I felt bad clearing out and handing over her belongings, but when I saw his face when we walked into the house just before taking it down, I could see relief in his face. He said something like “I can now finally let her soul rest in peace”.

We are slowly restoring Zăpode and aim to return it to its original layout, in a different location. The plan is to have an open kitchen in the hallway, a toilet to one side and a warm room to the right that will be well-insulated for winter months, when snowfall often reaches two metres. The upper room will be a dorm, large enough to sleep ten. Below are pictures showing the interior just before we took the house down, as well as the outside.

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The house will be restored to cater for groups of hikers or people who want to get away, stay up on the mountain and detox from city life. In the summer when it gets very hot, we sometimes have huge thunderstorms. Sitting on the step of Zăpode watching the light show, a glass of the Holinca in your hand – this is the dream. It will be open all year round and have a wood burner and open fireplace snowy winter nights.

The Shepherds’ Hut – Păltinet

Păltinet is way up from the village of Breb, at the base of the Guitie Mountain . It is wild there. You can’t just go there, you need to know where the shepherds are and more importantly, where their dogs are. Our plan is to combine the architecture of a traditional Romanian house from over 200 years ago, one that is built underground to take advantage of the thermals from the solid mud walls with the ‘earth ship’ designs that take in the green house effect. This means we will let in sunlight to heat the internal walls made of used car tires and mud, and trap the heat in these walls so it radiates into the hut when night falls. This means we can stay here in the winter as well. The land is around 1200 high. The other plan we have for this land is to make a simple ‘ice hotel’ effect. Pitch some dome shaped tents in early December and wait for then to get covered in snow. Make some igloo rooms using the Shepherds’ hut as a reference point, cooking and socialising, and guests can sleep in the igloos.

It’s a good hour’s walk from the village, or you can drive on the forest road that hits the main road on the way to Cavnic. The land is two hectares and has an amazing view down the valley, similar to the view from Zăpode but on a much more vast scale. There is a stream here so the turbine to make electricity is on the list of ideas for this land as well.

 

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