Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meet the Dacha

Meet the Dacha, purchased November 2012
The driveway
Less than an hour's drive from Arlington. Close enough to use it every weekend.

The Dacha at the end of the driveway.

Margarita helped me make the leap to buy this cabin. Since she's Russian and since there is a Russian tradition of weekend hovels,cabins,houses, palaces, all called Dacha, we named it "The Dacha".
Dachas date back to the 17th century under Peter the Great. "Dacha" means "something given". The first Dachas were gifts by Peter the Great. By the end of the 19th century, the dacha became a favorite summer retreat for middle and upper class Russians.  During soviet times and due to the increasing population crammed into the cities' apartments, the dacha experienced a revival. Soviet rules allowed for building small one story dwellings with no permanent heat under the gardening partnership. These became the summer retreats for at least 50% of the city population who also combated the chronic shortages of fresh fruits and vegetables by growing their own at their dachas.  1st of May, an important Russian holiday turned into long weekends, with employers giving their employees time off to plant their dacha gardens.  
Today, most of the dachas have been privatized, making Russia is the country with the highest percentage of second home owners. Today's elites are building heavily fortified palaces, a far cry from the humble soviet dachas. (source Wikipedia)

 This will be our weekend getaway.
It needs a lot of work. For one thing, most of the glass has condensation between the panes, making the view difficult to enjoy. As dachas go, this is an upscale Soviet era dacha. One story (not counting the base which houses the utilities), but it does have heat (no functioning air conditioning), plumbing and electricity.
The building has about 700 square feet (65 square meters) and has been built by Topsider in 1980. topsider is a North Carolina company - still in business - who specialize in building these houses, particularly for areas which suffer from high winds (at the beach, for example). This is one of their smaller models.
View from the parking area
To the left you can see High Knob another one of Front Royal's community. In the valley between Apple Mountain (this hill) and High Knob, runs I66 (unfortunately you can hear the traffic at the dacha) and the train tracks (you can hear the trains, but I find that sort of romantic)


  1. Ooo, we can comment?! very dangerous.

    I still think it needs some photon cannons.

  2. AND I want to hear about music in Front Royal.

  3. I rely on our physicist to provide the cannons. :-)
    I will try to remember to post about the music. So far we have taken in blues at christinas cafe, folk at aspen dale winery and mozarts don giovanni in winchester.

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