Surprisingy close to Bucharest (about 1h 40min drive) and not far at all from Transfăgărășan Road, in Vâlsan River Natural Reserve, there is this delightful walnut treehouse called Căsuța cu Miez. (transl. ‘Walnut Kernel Treehouses).
That very walnut is more than a century old - our granny, who was born more than 90 years ago, says that even when she was very young, the walnut tree was as towering as it is now.
So we don't know for sure how old the walnut tree is, but we do know that it offers a unique occasion to lose yourself gazing the nearby hills and forests, the apple tree orchards, the pastures and lots of wild birds and poultry.
We - Cristina and Silviu - dreamed about, designed, and carefully finished the Treehouse. We are both freelancers - Cristina is an economist, and Silviu - a non-verbal theatre perfomer and M.A. in anthropology.
In 2016, after 12 years of living in Bucharest or wandering outside the country, weșve had enough of noise, traffic jams and pollution, we got back to the roots and began working here: we renovated our nice and cosy old cottage where we live all year long, we started gardening, we planted trees and raspberries, we started growing poultry and lambs.
A lot of these you'll see from the Treehouses' front porch. Also, the Milky Way during the night and the marvellous clouds dreamily rolling during the day. We live with our 5 & 2 years old children in the old cottage nearby (4-5 persons Attic available for rent).
Technically, Căsuța cu Miez is a 10 square meters wooden treehouse mounted on a sturdy iron structure in our orchard. It is high and spectacular - its floor is 4 meters above the ground, and its peak is way 7 meters above the ground.
It also has a front porch where one can just stay, breathe, listen to oneșs thoughts and let oneself seduced by the gentle and picturesque beauty around, day or night.
Close to the Treehouse there is a gazebo wrapped up in ivy, elderberry and grape vine (the place for having breakfast and dinner) the vegetable garden, the greenhouse and the orchard.
The orchard is a nice place to take a stroll and drink a good coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening. There are old apple trees and a lot of young trees we planted ourselves - cherry & sour cherry, plums & quinces & sea buckthorn, apples & pears. Also raspberries and currants. Also few kinds of mint and roses. And two old walnut trees. And a trampoline for energetic kids. And from time to time a hen or a duck that break free from the poultry yard :)
If you look above, you'll hear and see lots of wildbirds - jaybirds, hoopoes, woodpeckers, sparrows, blackbirds, hawks and some other dozens of species. And if you look below, you'll see a lot of chicken and roosters of all colours - because Căsuța cu Miez is right above a side of the poultry yard we organically raise here. And also one can see our few ducks joyfully wondering around in the orchard, all day long.
On the same property there is also a spacious tent, 27 square meters large, colourful and cosy, that can also host up to 5 persons. In the backyard, close to the forest, there's the sheep pen (they'll be happy to be fed by hand), another vegetable garden and some rows of young raspberries and blackberries.
The access to all these is made through a secondary gravel road, where chances are high not to see at least one car rolling during the day. With the exception of your own car :)
Căsuța cu Miez can comfortably host 4 persons. At the ‘ground level, there is an extensible sofa 2m x 1.6m wide. For those who would like to enjoy the bright blue sky seen through the walnutșs leaves, we put under the ceiling a comfortable mattress of 2m x 1.5m sided by a wooden fence in order to prevent any unwanted night tumbling.
In the Treehouse there is also a bathroom destined exclusively for night usage - with a utility toilet and a cold water sink. During the day, the complete double outdoor bathroom shall be used. Căsuța cu Miez is thermally insulated, so guests can enjoy it also in colder weather - extra heating is provided by an electric radiator.
On the shelves there are books, games and binoculars which - luckily enough - may help one see the deers eating grass on the nearby hill. If one is not so lucky, at least can see the ducks, even without binoculars :)
The Treehouse's walls are plastered with limestone, and its ceiling is made of evergreen lumber. We are in love with wood, so we used a lot of it in the Treehouse.
The 19 stairs are made of massive oak cut from our ancestorsș own forest - dried and processed by us. The stairs handrail is made of old alder wood we recycled from an old barn. The stairs are reinforced with black locust wood and the traditionally carved new fir tree poles of the porch harmonize with the old recycled windows and door.
Inside, the beech tree fence combines with the massive fir tree floor and old recovered wood decorations on the plastered walls. Even the sink stand is made of ash wood we cut from our very own yard. And all these are surrounded by the fruitful and vivid wood of our century-old walnut and the nearby willow, hazelnut and fruit-trees in our orchard.