House construction

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Another fascinating thing to observe along the trail was the construction. The houses are nearly all made out of stone. The stones are quarried from along the river or side streams, by people working with sledges and chisels, then carried in a crude backpack frame one or two at a time to the building site. There, people chisel them by hand into nice square bricks that are laid into the wall. Most buildings of one or two stories have little or no mortar. All window and door frames are planed and shaped with hand tools. The finished product is a work of art. On our first day of walking, we passed by a house under construction; they had completed the “daylight basement” and were chipping away, working on the top story. The sound of the “chink, chink” of the chisels was musical — not what I think of as the typical noisy construction site scene. On the way out we passed the same house — they had completed the second story, and were almost ready for the roof. I was amazed — I figured it would take months to prep all those stones.

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