“In November 2010, my best friend and I found ourselves nearing the end of an impromptu and underfunded trip to Europe. With just 80 Euros to our names in Florence, we relied on a network of friends of acquaintances to secure lodging for a long weekend before we moved on to Athens. We had only a vague understanding of where we were going to spending the next few days. All we really knew was that we were going to be staying in a non-traditional community in the mountains northeast of us. The author J.R.R Tolkien and “elves” were mentioned, but we weren’t sure how much of what was being told to us was simply lost in translation.
We boarded a train, a bus, a Jeep and finally walked on foot to reach our destination. It was breathtaking. We were greeted by a herd of cattle wandering the valley as we made our way to the dwellings. We learned that the community was nearly entirely self-sufficient; all their food was grown there. There were many cows, goats and chickens being raised as well. We also learned the name of the community, which translates to the Valley of The Elves in English.…”