Friday, July 31, 2009

Strange and Beautiful

One of the more unusual sights we saw on Prince Edward Island was Les Maisons des Bouteilles
(The Bottle Houses) . I had read about these oddities online before we travelled, and I was really looking forward to seeing them in person.

They did not disappoint and were every bit as weird, charming, and beautiful as I expected. They are... and you may have already figured this one out on your own... houses made out of bottles.

Here are Bear and Bug at the entrance to the parking lot. Because who doesn't need a picture of themselves by a bottle made out of bottles, right?
Initially I was thinking that whoever built these had to have been a total wack-job to think up something as crazy as building houses out of bottles. I changed my position on that, though, because I've thought up some crazy shit in my life. It's thinking it up and then actually doing it and devoting your life to maintaining it as a tourist attraction that is the fine distinction between "creative thought process" and "certified loon." Or between "time-wasting daydreamer" and "artistic genius." It's all how you look at it.

Because no matter how nutso of an idea building houses out of glass bottles held together by mortar is, there's no denying that the finished product is charming.
Breakable, but charming. They've already had to rebuild the houses once back in the nineties due to weather damage. PEI winter storms apparently being hell on buildings made out of glass. Imagine.Inside the houses, the light is amazing. Filtered through the lens of thousands of different bottles of every color, the sunlight glimmers and sparkles. Bear and Bug immediately wanted a playhouse made out of bottles. Tom was selfishly unwilling to undertake construction of one despite my pointing out that such a project would require us to drink a lot of wine and beer. Just to get the more interesting shapes and colors of bottles, you understand. For the children.
The rest of the grounds were equally quirky. Out the back door of one of the bottle houses, Bug discovered a garden with a lighthouse as centerpiece. She immediately went to find out if she could climb up into it (no).A fish pond with an arched walking bridge, herb gardens, and lush perennial beds that bordered every path completed the fairytale ambiance. The delphiniums were the most gorgeous shade of pale periwinkle I'd ever seen.

Footnote: Tom wanted to take a cell-phone picture of one of the houses and send it to our contractor with the following message: Andy, we've decided to go a different direction with the addition! Please see attached photo for details.


Country Girl said...

Wow, that is cool. I would love to visit PEI! I love the message Tom was going to send the contractor, what a hoot.

Rose said...

Love those! PE Island is still on my list of places to go; I'm an Anne with an E fan from way back. Never heard of bottle houses though.

smalltownmom said...

That is great! What a way to reuse bottles. Love Tom's message, too.

Linda said...

The bottle houses are neat. How many are there? Wouldn't it get awfully hot inside during the summer?

Lynda said...

The bottle houses are interesting and I bet the light inside is beautiful (though maybe hard to read by when one reaches one's 40's 50's or 60's.) However, I esp. love looking at good photos since I'm always striving myself. Also like seeing photos of the girls.