Switzerland, La Vue des Alpes, Cabin

La Vue des Alpes

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Built 1953

Cabin Front View. Enlarge

Bedrock, Roof, Cows

This swiss cabin is basically a one room building on a hill at La Vue des Alpes, ten or fifteen minutes drive uphill from Neuchâtel. Cabins, small houses, and a few farm houses are scattered about this little community. A hotel and cafe are ten minutes walk away as are beginner ski slopes.

The cabin was probably built on bedrock. You can see some of the rock poking up through the soil. Top soil is thin in most places. Cows craze within spitting distance of the front door during the warm-weather months.

Photo to the left is a front view of the cabin. You can almost make out the little entryway where you can take off your shoes before entering the main cabin.

Roof is tile and said to be in good condition.

You can click on any of the photos to see an enlargement of the photo.

Chimney, Land, Parking

The cabin in question is to the right (the one with the chimney) in the photo to the right. The roof line of another cabin is in the background. A farm house (and perhaps barn) is the structure to the left.

The cabin has no fireplace. The chimney is not in use, but the owners say that it can be used. They took the stove out of use (whatever was hooked up to the chimney) when they rented out the cabin. My guess is one can install a 'potbelly' stove.

Notice small window (green shutters) in the attic above the white framed window.

The cabin is on its own small parcel of land, which from what I can gather, only extends out about 8 to 10 feet on all sides. There is not enough room to park a car. In fact one has to cross over a neighbor's land to get to the cabin. The neighbors up to now have allowed the owners to park their car on their land. Of course it can't be assumed that this privilege would continue to the new owners. However, there is a public parking lot about five minutes walk away. This parking lot is used by people going skiing on nearby slopes, but can be used throughout the year. So parking is not really a big problem. Convenience is a bit of a problem.

Cabin is to the right. (Front and right side of cabin). Enlarge
Cabin is to the right (Left side of cabin). Enlarge


In the photo to the left the structure to the left is a different cabin. The cabin in question is in the background to the right. This is the left side of the cabin. Notice again a small window in the attic on this side of the house.

Attic is not tall enough for an adult to stand up. However, it is insulated. Owners have a few mattresses up in the attic for guests to sleep. Attic is for sleeping only. It is too small to spend any time in during the day.

Living Room, Toilet and Shower Stall, Plumbing, Particle Board

The living room is of course the main part of the cabin. A kitchenette is off to the side to the left (not viewable in this photo).

A toilet stall and a shower stall were added on to the back of the cabin. (I don't have a photo of the back of the cabin). One of these doors probably leads to one of these stalls. The shower does not have hot water though the owner says that a hot water heater would be easy to install. I'm sure she is thinking of a wall-mounted device.

The owner of the cabin says that the plumbing probably needs to be replaced.

Walls and the ceiling are particle board, which is not terribly attractive of course. I'd like to take this out and install old paneling from an old chalet if I can find some chalet that has been torn down.

However, I've emailed the owners asking what is behind the particle board. I'm hoping that the original paneling is behind the particle board. I'm waiting for a reply from the owners.

Living Room. Enlarge
Kitchen area. Enlarge

Kitchenette, Hot Water, Cistern, Septic

Kitchenette is simple and basic. I don't know yet if the appliances come with the cabin. Hot water is supplied by the hot water heater attached to wall. Steep stairs to the left goes into the attic.

Water is supplied by a 1500 liter cistern, which is not very large. Friends who live in the area say the cistern would supply two weeks of conservative water use. Cistern is filled by runoff from the roof. When there is no rain or snow water runoff, a water tanker truck can be called to top off the cistern. The water company comes out the same day you calI; it takes about 1/2 hour to fill the cistern. I don't know yet how much this costs.

Cistern water is not considered drinkable. One would need to buy drinking water from the supermarket in Neuchâtel or boil the cistern water.

Toilets empty into a septic tank. I don't know how big the septic tank is. Owners say they would have it pumped when they sell the cabin.

Bedroom, Flooring, Telephone, Cable

The bedroom was constructed by simply walling off one end of the cabin, which makes for a long and narrow bedroom as you can see. Since that wall is probably not a supporting wall, perhaps it can be taken down and the bedroom made to be of normal proportions, but it would still be small.

The floor here has been carpeted. I understand the rest of the cabin is covered in linoleum. I've asked what the condition of the floor is under the linoleum (which I would want to take out).

Cabin has a telephone line, so basic email at least is possible. Cable for television has been installed to the area, but a line needs to be pulled to the cabin. I don't know what the expense of that would be.

Bedroom. Enlarge
Cabin is structure on the right. Enlarge

Photo to left shows the cabin in its natural environment and shows two other houses or cabins in the immediate area. Though not shown the the photo, the hill continues to rise in the distance behind the photo to the beginner ski slopes, and a cafe. More advanced downhill skiing is about 1/2 hour away.



Cabin does not have any central heating. The owners use free-standing electric heaters. (I believe it is the kind that look like steam radiators). They say the cabin heats up quickly.

All in all it is a cozy little place. With some restoration it would be a nice place to live on weekends and holidays.

View of Alps in distance. Roof is house of neighbor. Enlarge