From the beginning with SPOR – Alexandra and Ahmet
Alexandra and Ahmed restored an adobe house with a superb view over the hills of Buzău
Originally from Bucharest, Alexandra Mihale admits that she lost touch with the country, but she fell in love with a village in Plaiul Bâscilor, Buzău on her first visit, after a friend who was passionate about motorcycle rides discovered the place during one of his trips and decided to settle there. He shared his experience with her and invited her along with her husband, Ahmed, to explore the surroundings.
This is how Alexandra and Ahmed’s story began in 2019:
„I remember it was a rather gloomy November, but even though the weather was bad we were able to appreciate the beauty of the area. And we decided to make this our second home,” says Alexandra.
The view from above the hills, the view to the forest, the enormous expanse of nature unfolding in the zare – were the catalysts for the decision to relocate, even despite the inclement weather that scared them off at first. So they decided to buy a house there and three years of work followed for them, at the end of which they still don’t know if the work on the house will be completely ready in the next period. However, they are sure of one thing: it brings them a lot of joy.
Something they told us about in detail during the „From the beginning with SPOR” campaign, in which we try to find out, together with Lovedeco.ro, what makes the townspeople retire to the village.
„Când am văzut concursul de la SPOR m-am entuziasmat, pentru că ne-am gândit că poate povestea noastră o să inspire și pe alții”, explică Ahmed.
At first, they didn’t know how to do much with their hands, as is customary in the village world. She worked at a strategic communications company, he in cinematography. The accommodation was done gradually and not without difficulties, but they ended up learning a little of everything and managing to bring things into the desired shape. Of course, they did not lack the support of those close to them and the community that welcomed them with open arms.
„We were very well received by the community, we got along well from the first day,” says Ahmed, who remembers finding the village almost abandoned.The remaining locals are elderly and even they were happy to see the area coming back to life. Especially since, in the three years since Ahmed and Alexandra found the place, they also brought other friends, and in the meantime about seven of the houses in the village ended up being owned by acquaintances.
The house they purchased was not in the best condition. An 80-year-old homestead, built around the 1940s in the style specific to the area, perhaps even with a little lack that Alexandra humorously recounts, was the first challenge in the relocation process and perhaps the most arduous of all. „There were some rotten beams, the walls were crumbling, the floor was basically dirt and there were rat galleries,” says Ahmed. They wanted something different for their house, something that would inspire them and remind them of the important decision they had made: to plaster as it was done in the old days, with dung, straw and earth – in short, adobe. It’s just that there are no more people who specialize in this kind of thing, so they improvised. The internet was their best friend and DIY jumped to their rescue. That is, they took care of the interior design with their own hands and no object was left as it was. They customize them with their own hands, and many of the decorations are improvised, do-it-yourself projects they’ve worked on over the years to make their nest cozy.
The villagers were impressed by the mark that Alexandra and Ahmed put on the place, without changing its authenticity in any way, and the barn – renovated and rethought as a work and relaxation space – obviously attracted all attention. Barn in which they set up their bedroom, a small kitchen, and in the attic, a relaxation area, which she calls an office, but which is only good to lose in the hammock in the summer, in the shade and coolness.
And the garden is study material for Alexandra, being a student of Landscape Studies. Since he has all the land around the house at his disposal, about 1000 square meters, he also started experimenting with permaculture, with flowers, aromatic plants and even vegetables. They have done a lot of improvement work to get it to the shape it is now in the three years.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s work that I do with love, even when challenges, difficulties or problems that have not yet found solutions arise. At the moment they do not have running water, although they are working intensively on this aspect, nor gas, but they do not consider this to be the end of the country. Electricity gives them a level of comfort, but they plan to build new stoves, the old ones no longer working.
At the end of the day, the house in Plaiul Bâscilor that they return to weekend after weekend is a source of joy that constantly stimulates their creativity. You can watch their story in short, captured by the Lovedeco team, in the video below.