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Home, Home on the Range !

August 19, 2019

If you’ve ever had that feeling that you would like to live somewhere a little more isolated, or perhaps wish to escape the consumer culture and plan a life on your own.

Here’s a few interesting options to consider.

The Katshi pillar is a natural monolith located near the village of Katskhi in western Georgia. The pillar its approximately 40 metres high and overlooks a small river. The rock has a small medieval hermitage on its top which has been dated between the 9th and 12th century and was used by Stylites, Christians who lived on top of pillars to avoid worldly temptation until the 15th century when the practice wsa stopped following the Ottoman Invasion of Georgia. While the pillar had remained unclimbed until 1944 religious activities started again in the nineties and now a monk lives there full time and takes 20 minutes of vertical stairs just to get down from the pillar.

The 59-year-old monk Maxime Qavtaradze is the only inhabitant of the pillar. His only visitors are priests and a group of troubled young men who are seeking solace in the monastry at the foot of the pillar. A photographer called Amos Chapple paid a visit to the Stylite monk Maxime but was not at first allowed up onto the pillar. Instead he had to spend four days taking part in seven hours of daily prayers including a four hour stint from 2am until sunrise. When he finally was granted permission to scale the ‘dicey’ ladder to the top, he was worried that it might be too dark to get back down. After making it to the top, Maxime told Amos that he became a monk after a stretch in prison and decided he wanted to make a change. The monk slept in a fridge when he first moved to the top of the pillar, but now has a bed inside a cottage.

Ellidaey is an island in the Vestmann Islands, south of Iceland, on this Island there is one lonely house. The story of this secluded house is fascinating.

“Three hundred years ago, Elliðaey was inhabited by five families. They lived there in huts and survived by fishing and raising cattle on the island’s grassy pasture — and by hunting puffins. Over the next two centuries, sustaining a community on Ellidaey became increasingly impractical and unappealing (to say nothing of inbred). People started to leave; sometime in the 1930s, the last permanent residents of Elliðaey moved away.

The island’s former residents found that Iceland had many places more economical than Ellidaey from which to fish and raise cattle. But, as it turned out, there weren’t too many better places for hunting puffins. So, in the early 1953, the Ellidaey Hunting Association built a lodge on the island for its members to use during their commando puffin missions.

Hidden between the mountains in northern Portugal near the city of Fafe and a large wind field is the “Casa do Penedo”. (Top Image) The house was built starting from four giant rocks that were already on site and it was inspired by the American cartoon “the Flinstones”.

The house was built in 1974 by a local family and was supposed to be their vacation house. However, over the past years the house started to attract attention from tourists, architecture enthusiasts and others fascinated by its complete integration with the surrounding nature.

The Irony of this story is that as the interest for the house grow the owner Vitor Rodriguez, had to move elsewhere to find the peace he was looking for.

Because of its popularity the house has been increasingly targeted by thieves and robber who believe it must contain something valuable. So, the house now has bullet proof windows and a full metal door. Nonetheless, the interior remains comfortable and rural with stone and wood furniture.

The Crystal Mill (Old Mill) or historically known as the Sheep Mountain Mill, is one of the most beautiful, picturesque and reputed to be the most photographed area in Colorado state. It’s located above the Crystal River in Crystal, Colorado, between the towns of Glenwood Springs and Aspen on Highway 82, seven miles southeast of Marble.

The Crystal Mill is reachable only in the summer and fall months; it is accessed by a road that requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle, a sturdy pair of boots, a mountain bike or a horse. Operation shut down in 1917, but the site has been preserved with the help of the Gunnison and Aspen historical societies. The Crystal Mill is a wooden powerhouse built in 1892, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Astonishing is that Crystal never had nor does it have now, electricity.

Taktsang Palphug Monastery is more well known as Paro Taktsang and is a Buddhist temple complex which clings to a cliff, 3120 metres above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan. Mountainous Paro valley is the heart of Bhutan; here the only international airport of the country is located.The Taktsang Palphug Monastery is one of the most famous touristic destinations of the country and the cultural icon of Bhutan. Visiting the Paro Taktsang Monastery is an unforgettable experience thanks to its unique location and the views of surrounding majestic mountains and emerald green valleys.

The remote location of the monastery makes it amazingly beautiful and unique, but also creates technical difficulties. When on April 19, 1998 a fire started in the Monastery it was burned down completely: the temple was hard to access and the emergency assistance was impossible.

No wonder, that when you are looking at the Taktsang Palphug monastery from Paro valley or from the bottom of the cliff, it seems almost impossible to reach the Monastery. In fact, there are three paths leading to the holy place. The first path is a trail passing through the pine forest and decorated with bright, prayer bannerettes symbolizing protection from evil forces, positive energy, vitality and good luck. he other two paths are passing through the plateau, called “a hundred thousand fairies’ plateau.”

The refined architectural appearance of the Monastery is shaped in the best traditions of Buddhist. The complex has white buildings with golden roofs. Paro Taktsang Monastery consists of the 4 main temples and several dwellings. All buildings are interconnected by staircases with steps carved into the rock. Almost every single buildings of the monastery complex has a balcony with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The main shrine of the monastery -the prayer wheel is located in the courtyard of the temple. Every morning at 4 a.m. it is being rotated by monks to mark the beginning of a new day.

The interior design of the temple impresses with its luxurious beauty: gold-plated dome and flickering lights that are illuminating golden idols. In the hall of Thousand Buddhas, which is carved into the rock, a large statue of a tiger is located. The tiger is respected as the symbol of Paro Taktsang because of the legend, according to which the location of the Monastery was chosen by a tigress. The tigress brought here on her back the founder of Bhutan’s Buddhism guru Padmasmabhava.

There are eight caves in the monastery; four of them are comparatively easy to access. The cave where Padmasmabhava is believed to have entered first, on the back of the tiger, is known as “Tholu Phuk” cave and the one where he meditates is known as the “Pel Phuk”. Monks of the monastery are supposed to live and meditate in these caves for 3 years. They rarely visit the adjacent Paro valley.

Located at the Canadian-US border on the St. Lawrence River east of Ontario, Just Room Enough Island was named by the Sizeland family who purchased it as a vacation lodge in the 1950s. What the Sizelands didn’t expect was that Just Room Enough Island would quickly become a popular tourist attraction because of its oddity.

Just Room Enough Island is part of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. It is the smallest of the 1,864 islands in the famous archipelago shared by the cities of Ontario and New York. The Island counts as a legitimate part of the Thousand Islands because it satisfies these state-given criteria: 1) Above water level year round; 2) Have an area greater than 1 square foot (0.093 m2); and 3) Support at least one living tree.

And if that doesn’t float your boat (groan) or your home, then be careful what you wish for  : )

Interior-wise If I had a choice, I’d choose to live in the buildings below. Stocked with sixties retro furniture… naturally!

So if you live in one of these type of homes, please feel free to ask me over to stay for a few days lol

Even for a short break, I’d find this environment inspirational and creative for drawing.

Alternatively you can borrow from Sculptor Offentlig Konst and take your home with you… on legs!

Finally here’s a couple of other tucked away home environments.

Which one is your favourite ?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria Carlucci-Davies permalink
    August 19, 2019 8:15 am


  2. August 19, 2019 10:32 pm

    Love these……!! Everyone needs a bolt hole, whether physical or imaginary!!

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