Looking for a place to unwind, recharge, and commune with nature, but still want the comforts of a bed, a down comforter, and a gourmet meal? Look no further than The Glass Cabins at Baldersnäs Herrgård.
THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS
Sweden is often rated as one of the happiest countries in the world. Living a balanced life between work and play is a key factor in that rating. And part of living a balanced life in Sweden has to do with making nature a part of your life. Swedish people love, and appreciate nature. Swedes like to be outside biking, walking, skating, hiking or camping. This connectedness to nature is a significant part of Swedish culture.
This connection to nature is so significant to the Swedish way of life, that in 2017, Swedish researchers decided to try to measure the precise effects of nature on a person’s happiness and health.
THE 72 HOUR CABINS
The Glass Cabins (also known as the 72 Hour Cabins), were the brainchild of two researchers in the field of stress management. Walter Osika and Cecilia Stenfors developed a program were they brought together 5 people from different backgrounds, different countries and different stressful jobs. The idea was to place the individuals from all walks of life into nature for 72 hours.
For 3 days, or 72 hours, the subjects lived in cabins made of glass. The subjects unplugged their technology and engaged in simple outdoor activities, such as skipping stones on the lake, hiking, swimming, fishing and cooking over a fire. The purpose of the glass cabins was twofold – the researchers wanted people to be comfortable enough to relax, but they also wanted to make sure that nature was always present. The comfortable beds inside cabins with glass walls allowed participants to sleep under the stars and wake to the natural rhythms of the Earth.
Good news! All 5 participants in the 72 hour study demonstrated a decrease in anxiety, blood pressure and heart rates. They relaxed. They de-stressed. Participants reported a better overall sense of well being and peacefulness. Those results alone would be sufficient to render the experiment a success, but in addition, participants also reported an increased feeling of creativity and improved problem-solving.
Incredible right? What fantastic news. It only takes 3 days for each us to become healthier and happier. With a simple prescription of some nature in your life, you too, can reduce stress and find more joy.
I had to see the cabins for myself.
I headed up to Dalsland in western Sweden to the Glass Cabins located on the Baldersnäs Herrgård country estate in Dals Långed.
I was met by the lovely and charming, Susanne Björk Jensen who showed me around the estate and then gave me a tour of these amazing, innovative glass cabins.
Baldersnäs Herrgård is a beautiful country estate from the turn of the century that has been transformed into a luxury hotel. It sits on a peninsula surrounded by nature’s bounty.
The estate sits adjacent to a nature preserve where The Glass Cabins are located.
The first cabin sits on a small bluff overlooking Lake Låxsjön. The first cabin is a quick jaunt from the country estate offering an easy journey up for a gourmet meal, a massage or a delicious cup of morning coffee in the English garden.
The cabin has many lovely large trees and offers a sweeping view of the lake. My tour guide, Susanne spoke of waking up there with a mist on the lake, the sounds of birds greeting the dawn, a hint of sunlight peeking up from behind the forest trees. It sounded like a little slice of heaven.
The property and nature preserve are both spectacular and the cabins ease gently into the landscape. The cabins are inviting with simple decor and muted soft colors. The simplicity evokes a Zen like feeling. Very inviting. Very relaxing. I wanted to jump right in the bed and take a nap. Curtains are provided along the glass walls to allow for privacy. Even with the curtains pulled, however, the glass ceiling still allows nature to envelope you.
The second cabin is approximately 200 meters away and sits atop a small hill surrounded by trees. The second cabin was more secluded than the first cabin, yet it too sported a lovely view of Lake Låxsjön. The second glass cabin also has the added bonus of being steps away from the sauna on the lake.
The original glass cabins used in the experiment are located on a private island of Henriksholm, in south-east Dalsland. These glass cabins are remote, accessible by boat and should be booked well in advance.
A second set of glass cabins can be found in the center of Dalsland region near Lake Iväg. Those cabins must be booked through Dalsland Activities.
The reason I like the glass cabins at Baldersnäs Manor is that in addition to unplugging and unwinding by inviting nature into your room, one can also relax by golfing, taking a yoga class, enjoying a massage and/or partaking in a gourmet food and wine experience featuring local foods.
The Glass Cabins are just a 2 hour drive from Gothenburg.
The Glass cabins at Baldersnäs Manor can be booked by contacting;
Susanne Björk Jensen
600 10 Dals Långed
+46 531 412 13