In these times a question looms large: where do we want to go as humankind and which choices will make it possible for us to follow that path in the future. Worldviews and laws are changing faster than day and night, the chaos of urgent measures is blurring the overall image for each of us.
To the question ’how to change the world for the better right now’ I’m responding by continuing the renovation of the stone house in Istria, despite the disarray of impossible circumstances. After years of hard work I would like to fulfill my plan and show alternatives to building and lifestyle to anybody who is interested – starting this summer, the summer of 2020.
The project is still in the making so not all the pieces of the puzzle are in place yet – the kitchen is temporary, some furniture will materialize as the right people come and help me make it and the outside space needs grooming. When these steps will be accomplished, pictures will come 🙂
So what is the place like?
The house is located on the edge of a small village called Brajkovići, the towns of Rovinj being 12 km and Kanfanar 7 km away. The nearest airport is in Pula (35 km), long distance buses and boat lines arrive in Rovinj.
There is a gas station with a tiny supermarket really close by (300 m on foot), nearest larger supermarket is in Rovinjsko selo (5 km). There is also a lovely family restaurant in Matohanci (600 m).
Rovinj is a lovely little coastal town with wide-ranging tourist services, where you can find everything from grocery stores, restaurants, bars, shops, vegetable and fish market, to small museums, a vast selection of open air summer events and, of course, gorgeous beaches (rocks and stones, mostly).
If you’re a more outdoorsy type, a walk in the woods, a trip to the Lim bay (4 km), the Dvigrad castle ruins (11 km) or cycling on the numerous Istrian bicycle trails might be just up your sleeve. I shouldn’t forget to mention other gems in the colorful mosaic of beautiful spots of Istrian countryside, for example cute little towns like Višnjan and Motovun; or Parenzana, the walking/bicycle trail which leads along the former narrow-gauge railway line coming down from Trieste to Istria.
The heart of the compound is an 80 year old, now renovated, Istrian stone house. In front of the house there are green surfaces, enclosed in the old dry-stone walls, with the total area of about 250 m2. Part of the green area is a permaculture garden with tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, lettuce and herbs. There are 3 fig trees, a persimmon tree and an almond tree. There is a parking space behind the house.
The building is small according to standards of today, but it has one big open space 5 m x 6 m, with 4 m high ceiling. Behind a clay plastered partition wall there are a small bathroom and a storage room.
The furnishing of the house will be very basic, because the whole experience is about inviting you to spending as much time outside as possible. In the main space there will be a double bed, a table, an assortment of chairs and a provisional kitchen including a fridge with a freezer.
The bathroom is 1 m x 3 m, it has a shower and a washbasin with hot water. The composting toilet is fully mechanized so it needs no extra work – you use it as a ‘normal’ toilet, only no flushing is needed.
At the moment there is no washing machine, but there is a public launderette in Rovinj.
The east wall of the house has a huge window that opens all the way to the terrace area with a table and chairs.
The is a hammock outside between 2 trees.
If you want extra sleeping space for kids (or adults), a tent can be put up in the garden.
I invested years of my time, together with all available energy, financial and other resources to be able to renovate the house with mostly natural materials and traditional building techniques.
Stone walls were refurbished with lime mortar, partition wall is made of wood and reed panels, plastered with clay (made from local earth), the bathroom will be coated in tadelakt, lots of wood in many forms was used – just to mention the highlights.
When renting this house you support the local economy by repaying the hard labor, the quality materials used for the works and of course the local experts, who helped me rebuild the house.
There is no TV, no air-conditioning and no swimming pool. If you want additional entertainment to the above mentioned gems of Istria, I have some nice books you can dive into 🙂
There is no wi-fi.
The house is not accessible for wheelchair users (yet).
Pets are welcome, but they need to stay in the green surfaces outside the house.
I ask everyone to use only bio-degradable soaps, shampoos and dish-washing liquid at the premises (they will be available here) – gray water will be processed by a plant-based wastewater purification system and used in the garden so the less chemical compounds we use, the easier it is for the environment.
The garden needs water to flourish and feed us, so I would appreciate you watering to the plants regularly while you are here during the hot dry summer.
Possible ways of using the premises and/or participating in the project
(for any kind of participation or arrangement please contact me to discuss options and availability)
– you can rent the premises and use them by yourself
– you can come when I’m here and help me as a volunteer or in another ingenious way of your choice
– you can come for a visit
– other options possible – our imagination is the only limit 🙂
Price list for renting
– 2-3 nights: 60 €/night
– 4-6 nights: 55 €/night
– 7-10 nights: 50 €/night
– more than 10 nights: higher discounts possible.
If you are thinking about any option to get involved or just coming for a visit, please get in touch – my contacts are:
Phone/Whatsapp: +386 41 649474
So many of you have supported me on my path already. Without you the project would never have gotten this far and I am sincerely grateful to all of you. I hope you join me in the next step too – celebrating the works accomplished and visiting the house if you manage!