After leaving the highway the roads are winding, the landscape lush and green and Mjøsa – Norways largest lake, is sparkling in the sunlight along the road until we reach our destination. While the country is slowly opening up again, going out of town, traveling for work, seems like luxury. I spent a day documenting great architecture, nature, how the sun makes the wooden cabin glow in the morning and the friendly squirrels who is constantly running back and fourth over the terrace floor at Toten Tretopphytte.

The cabin is a modern cabin built on poles with an amazing view over the surrounding landscape and Mjøsa. Owner Ståle Dahl, who lives right next to the facilities with his family, did the work himself with help from local craftsmen. The architect is Tord Kvien and the interior is done by Kirsten Visdal and Anne Katrin Taagvold. The many windows in its facade allowed us to take part in life in the treetops while staying there, at the same time I felt surprisingly safe being so high up. The experience of waking up only surrounded by green leaves and birds singing but with the all the comfortable amenities of a modern cabin was quite unique. The peace and calm that comes with is too. 

Inside the cabin has two floors, the ground floor consisting of a fully equipped kitchen and dining/relaxing space, the upper floor with two double beds. There´s also room for a fifth person to sleep downstairs. For the chilly days the fireplace will warm you and the windows allows panoramic views all year around. Modern, Scandinavian interior focusing on high quality materials. It gives you a feeling of ascetic, understated luxury. You have everything you need for the stay but nothing takes the focus away from the beautiful surroundings. 

After unwinding at the cabin we did a walk down to the lake. Passed well maintained farms, along fairytale paths making even the most urban souls dreaming of a countryside cottage. At least for weekends now and then. The air seems fresher, the trees greener, even the summer night a bit longer. 

A must do while staying at Toten Tretopphytte is tasting the locally made food. Highly recommended is goat cheese and honey from Ulsrudbakken Gård, jam from Hovelsrud Gård and sausages and cured ham from Spiskammerset Mat og Tradisjoner. Later in summer the nearby farms will have the sweetest strawberries known all over Norway as some the best and in fall the vegetables will be freshly harvested. 

I woke up at sunrise to catch the view. Put on my robe and silently made fresh coffee. The bathroom is located a few steps away from the cabin entrance, on the terrace,  where the leaves makes the most beautiful shadowplay on the door. It was warm enough to leave the bathroom door open while having a shower, only viewers the curious squirrels. 

Photography © Elisabeth Heier

Rumors saying there will be built a sauna belonging to the cabin on the terrain level, next to the fireplace where you can gather around. We all agreed to go back for a new visit to experience it and the surrounding landscape when it turns golden yellow in fall.

Thank you Ståle Dahl for having us all, Aiayu for providing the warmest wool for a chilly summer night and Rita, Camilla, Elisabeth Ø and Kat for joining me for work. 

More about the cabin here.


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