The world that we live in is full of an assortment of beautiful sights and locations. While the sweeping hills and mountains of Kashmir Valley are beyond majestic and the crystal-blue waters of Lau Archipelago in Fiji is certainly stunning, some of the best views and vantage points in the world comes from a structure that you might not have given much thought to.
Cabins and other structures constructed from the Earth’s arsenal of naturally occurring materials have long been an integral part of the evolutionary chain as cultures become more developed. While on a whole, the world has largely departed from the continuing construction of cabins and cabin-like homes, there are still several spots around the world that are capable of stealing your breath in an act of sheer beauty and tranquility. Still not sold? Take a look at some of the cabins below and perhaps you will have a change of heart.
Stone and thatch cottage; Pescaglia, Italy
Photo courtesy of Tommaso Meschi
Located in the heart of Tuscany, the small municipality of Pescaglia is home to a series of three valleys that offer citizens of Italy as well as destination travelers picturesque views and the opportunity to visit a number of unique vineyards scattered across the province.
Located on a small hill in the Pedgona valley portion of Pescaglia, this stone and thatch cottage looks like it was lifted straight from the pages of Beowulf. Secluded several hundred kilometers from any other structures in the area, a visit to this cottage will put you at one with the beautiful green carpeted rolling hills and valleys that make up the surrounding area.
The structure is currently privately owned so an overnight stay is currently not possible. Visitors and hikers will instead have to settle for a stroll by this fantastic piece of architecture. If just a walk by wont suffice, many services offer a number of stone and thatch cottages throughout Europe that offer guest a chance to inhabit their walls, for a set fee that is.
Muir Trail Hut, Kings Canyon National Park, California
Photo courtesy of http://www.hikejmt.com
Situated at the peak of Muir Pass along the John Muir Trail, the Muir Trail Hut is as rich in history as it is in its architecture. During the 1930’s an organization known as the California Conservation Corps constructed this shelter as a reprieve for hikers and climbers who were looking for a pardon from the elements during a strong storm or foul weather system. The Corps, originally part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program has since gone on to be a thriving organization of young adults, but their endeavors at the peak of the Muir Trail definitely mark a high point among all of their projects.
The structure itself is constructed from materials and stone from the nearby mountains, and from a distance, almost appears to blend in with the rest of the rocky landscape. While hikers are urged to not sleep inside of it anymore, if you find yourself hiking along this gorgeous trail, you’ll be sure to want to take a few moments to stop, sit down and enjoy the wonder of this beautiful stone structure.
Sod Hut, Geiranger, Norway
Image credit cabinporn.com
This history of the sod house is one that is both rooted here States-side as well as in areas of Europe and Iceland. These structures came into being through the lack of traditional building materials that existed in areas of these countries. For the United States, the majority of sod houses sprung up during the Homestead Act which states that a set portion of land could be given to an individual if they built housing, farmed and maintained the area. Trees for lumber weren’t exactly plentiful in these parts so large chunks of sod had to suffice. The results were these sod homes.
Norway and Iceland also took advantage of these naturally occurring resources and thus, the result is the cabin pictures above. This one, located in Geiranger Norway is a marriage of both traditional lumber cabins and the sod variety. With a foundation of stone from nearby mountainsides and a traditional sod roof, this cabin is truly a unique coming together of the elements. The Norwegian countryside is full of similarly crafted structures. If you are going to be in the area and want to experience one of these cabins first hand, make sure to inquire with one of the staff members of VisitNorway.com to find out which trails can offer you a glimpse at one of these unique structures.
Have any other unique cabins that you have visited or seen? I’d love to hear from you below.