If you’ve joined our frequency, you may have noticed that we adore non-standard experiences. That’s why we’re willing to travel 6 hours by car to sleep in yurt under the sky or spend the night in a tent camp in Senegal’s desert. Staying or lodging can be an essential part of the unusual experiences – making the vacation pleasant, even unforgettable. From some places, we come back relaxed, like after therapy, rested or with a feeling of complete privacy.
For most of the non-traditional places, we haven’t thought we could combine exciting experiences with work. Work and travel is often an impossible combination. However, we are looking for alternative places where we can work while we are on the road. And so our search made us acquainted with the cool people from the Office in the Woods. Their mission is to empower working people to rediscover the mountain as a place to relax and rest, but also as a place to work, by yourself or with your team.
Work and sleep in an igloo in Pamporovo
We went to our favorite Pamporovo, a place well known to skiers and snowboarders.
What would we find in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains? A step away from the slopes, the Eskimos had passed and built their house – the igloo. it’s true it was a snowy year, but the Eskimos have not been fooled. They used more durable and modern materials to produce not one, but two igloos. Igloos in the middle of the ski resort, in the middle of the mountain.
We’re entering our first igloo.
The winter sun sinks through the transparent ceiling and the temperature rises. We drop jackets on the benches covered with kitenik (traditional Bulgarian woven fabric for bedding)., Our laptops are already out and we get started online. As long as we are collecting vitamin D, our work goes somewhat smoothly and calmly. And it is not scary if you fall into a creative stagnation – you look forward to the slope, the forest, and Snezhanka Tower, and the inspiration comes.
At one point, you realize that you can make a run or two down the slopes. If you get enough speed, you can actually arrive straight to the co-working igloo. But let’s not get distracted and finish our work first. At this office, it’s a bit difficult to dislike the job, colleagues, even the bosses. Just the atmosphere does not allow a single negative thought to slip through your head. The igloo and work is controversial, and time is running in a different way, and who doesn’t want to catch a little tan in the winter?
But the Eskimos-builders have constructed one more igloo. An igloo with a chimney, so there is a fireplace. This is the bedroom-igloo.
We have never expected that we will be sleeping for the first time in an igloo in Bulgaria. An igloo with a spacious bed, a stove with stones (to spread the heat), a spot for relaxing and drinking tea and a spot to work. And the view outside would be to the lights of the snow resort, or even better, to the flaming BBQ.
So, the evening passes deliciously, in sweet conversations. And if you thought to sleep in the igloo was cold – you’re mistaken. The wood was burning so much that we woke up in a small sauna, and all the Rhodope blankets turned out to be unnecessary during winter in the Rhodopes for the very first time. Thus, in the middle of the mountain, we spent our first night in the igloo and enjoyed the silence, tranquility, and patatnik (a typical dish from the Rhodope Mountains, made of grated potatoes, onions, salt and very mild mint, cooked on a slow fire).
Update from 2018:
The sleeping igloo has been upgraded with an anteroom and …..drums rolling…🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁….. indoor BATHROOM! 🛁
To be able to wash up and stay warm in the igloo is a totally different deal!
After the beneficial and therapeutic effects of our working stay in Pamporovo and the igloo, we can definitely define our experience as an igloo therapy. It is very nice to be from the first people to have the opportunity to touch something new. So our venture to the Rhodope Mountains for work and vacation has become a success – thanks to the Office in the woods concept.
Caravan and romance
The igloo became so popular, so once we had to stay in one of the two caravans. We’ve always wondered whether to buy a caravan and hit the road. We get inspired by people like these ones, who buy a campervan and DIY-convert it to accommodate their needs and take off.
In Pamporovo, we had the opportunity to sleep one night in a caravan and decide if we would like it.
Almost in camouflage white and parked in the snow-covered parking lot, our well-warmed caravan was waiting for us. The views from the window to Snezhanka Tower and the slopes add some charm. Caravans are not the most spacious places, but if you’re well organized, you’ll fit in. We did fit inside, and we huddled under the bed covers and blankets to fall asleep in the silence of the deserted slopes just a few hundred yards from us.
It’s somehow romantic to sleep in a caravan. It’s probably even more romantic to drive it and pick your places to stay. The caravan with a view of the Snezhanka Tower in Pamporovo was certainly an experience. Pulling you together. Warm. Romantic.
The Palette Studio
There is a town called Chepelare, nearby Pamporovo.
There are several legends in the winter sports coming from there. Our great mistake was not to try the slopes they learned on while enjoying the cozy atmosphere of the town and its friendly locals. So, suddenly we find ourselves in a studio where almost everything is made of wooden pallets. There are handles and taps in the form of spouts, a wardrobe, a table, a bed, kitchen – everything made of pallets.
This time, we decide not to work so much in the studio, because the slopes of Mechi Chal are waiting for us. Still, Chepelare shows us that besides raising Alpine ski champions, it can also provide us with a pallet office. And the motivation is clear – to finish the job quickly, to get to the lift in 5 minutes and make our “championship” descents among the snowy mountain forests in this fine winter sports resort.
Work combines with pleasure. Pure air helps for tasks done. Winter in the mountains inspires you for new projects. New acquaintances remind you of the meaning of the journey, and the magic of traveling this time is an igloo (okay, two).
This magical experience happened thanks to the hospitality of Office in the woods and the incredible people behind the idea. As always, we strive to be the purest conductors of the Magic of traveling.