Caitlyn and I first visited Costa Blanco in January 2017, but I didn’t get to blog about it at the time, so a re-visit seemed in order.
Designed by Gabrian Lascelles (Gothicgaylord), the region is described as “situated in the southernmost province of Sweden, and is connected by weather and theme with Bretagne in France.” It’s an interesting description, and the general environment for the region has much of a feel of being suited to either southern Sweden or Bretagne (or even here in the UK!). However, the design of the region throws in multiple elements – a Mediterranean style villa by the landing point, for example – such that Costa Blanco has an eclectic feel to it which makes exploring interesting and offers many opportunities for photography.
The aforementioned landing point is in the north-west part of the region, directly outside of the villa. Grapes are growing on the vine here, as a cobbled drive leads down the slope of a low hill to where a scattering of farm outhouses and barns sit. Some of these have clearly seen better days, as their boarded windows and doorways can attest, while the tractors sitting in and around them also speak of age and hard-working lives. Given the way the hay is baled, it would seem this is still a working farm, but the overall impression is that the focus is now more on providing stables for horses, than working the land….
Source: Costa Blanco in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Just as in the physical world, there are certain places in Second Life we’re drawn back to again and again. This might be because the place has special significance, or because it is held by friends or offers a opportunities or photography or simple enjoyment, or because it is like the seasons – constantly changing and renewing.
For me, The Mill encompasses all of the things, and so is a natural choice for semi-regular revisits. Designed by friends Max (Maxie Daviau) and Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla), it is an ever-evolving place, always marvellously landscaped and presented, beautifully photogenic and delightfully restful.
Celebrating spring and summer, this version of The Mill takes us to what might be the Apennine Mountains – perhaps, going on the style of buildings here, the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines. Surrounded by tall, rugged peaks, the rocky dome of a hill (or if you prefer, an island) rises from the waters of (again, depending on your point of view) either a lake within the mountains, or the confluences of rivers running through them.The majority of this island hill is given over to a farm where grapes and sunflowers are being cultivated. The farmhouse sits at the top of the hill, surrounded by woodland trees, wild grass and the nearest field of sunflowers. It is reached by a meandering track that slowly winds its way up the hill, passing further rows of regimented sunflowers and flat-topped outcrops of rock, content in taking its time to reach the farm, its wandering course encouraging visitors to do the same….
Source: A return to The Mill in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Rustic Retreat is a full region designed by Pred Fromund (Predator Ryba) and Bluey Porthos Fromund (Blue Whitefalcon). Described as ” an ideal place for photographers – or those that like to explore or just chill out”, it is a place of many facets: fantasy, whimsy, beauty, mystery – and a little darkness as well.
The fantasy element is made apparent at the landing point, alongside of which a Troll stands, whilst fairies play around a nearby fountain. The mystery is also evident to keen eyes, as strange plants can be seen further away along the fire-lit path, glowing and swaying in the breeze. Also not too far away, fantasy and mystery come together beyond a stone arch sitting alongside the trail.
The default lighting for the region is night (although I opted to take most of my images in daylight), and I recommend exploring it; at least in part, as there are several areas which deserve to be seen in daylight, such is the attention lavished upon them. Torches and fires light the trails winding through parts of the region, and the glowing beauty of Elicio ember’s fabulous plants lend themselves perfectly to the night-time lighting
Where you wander during a visit is entirely down to you; the trails will lead you to various places – one might lead to ancient ruins here, a little cuddle spot there, Another might take you to where a fork in the path gives you a choice of a climb up to a platform among waterfalls, or a path through the skull of a dragon and thence to a basalt-ringed garden and pool with a coastal board walk beside gigantic mushrooms close by…..
Source: A Rustic Retreat in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
We received word that Sera Bellic had given her Homeland region of Oyster Bay a further make-over some 24 hours before it appeared in the Destination Guide Highlights for Friday, April 28th – and I was immediately intrigued by the theme title: Asian Fusion. Regular readers of this blog will know that anything having any kind of Eastern or oriental flavour is bound to get my attention. So, off we hopped to take a look.
Now, truth be told, “Asian” and “oriental” fusions in Second Life often tends to lean towards regions with a blending of predominantly Chinese and Japanese elements, so I was curious to see if Sera would cast her net wider than purely Sino-Japanese influences. And she has. Quite marvellously so.Asian Fusion: Oyster BayFrom the landing point in the north-west corner of the region, visitors are encouraged under a rocky arch and into a land that immediately puts one in mind of Indochina (or as we more boringly refer to it today: South-east Asia). Across a small river spanned by a simple yet ornate wooden bridge, a paired tier of rice paddies are stacked against a rocky bluff. Working oxen stand on the grassland between stream and paddies, ignoring the click-clank of a nearby shishi odoshi which forms part of the region’s nods towards Japan. Another such nod can be found on the north bank of the river, where a small Japanese style cabin sits amidst elephant’s ears and clover, refreshments on offer inside, a sampan sitting at the river bank close by.
Immediately to the right of the rocky arch guiding visitors into the region is a clear nod to China. A bamboo grove rises on a step of clover-covered rock, home to a bamboo of pandas (I much prefer that to the the idea of an “embarrassment” of pandas, or the Royal Society’s 1866 decree that a group of pandas should be called a “cupboard”). Like the oxen across the river, these bears are not the slightest bothered by the steady clank of an shishi odoshi….
Source: An Asian Fusion in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Hear or read the words “Saint-Tropez”, and the chances are your thoughts will turn to the French Riviera, blue Mediterranean waters, yachts and sun-kissed bodies. While there is a beach at Saint Tropez in Second Life, it’s probably not the kind you’re going to want to spend time visiting for a spot of sunbathing; nor is the boat lying next to it the kind of vessel which adds sleek lines and glittering decks to the scene.
Here, however, is something entirely different. A region with a very coastal feel to it as well it is a life style away from its physical world namesake. While it may have a little beach of its own, this is no Mediterranean playground with gleaming yachts and golden sands promising sun-bronzed looks. Which is not to say it is any the less interesting to visit. Rather the reverse: Siant Tropez has a defined look and feel of its own which make it an interesting curio to visit.
PeTOu is a place that is bound to draw me for a number of reasons. The first is the strong Oriental influence exhibited across this Full region. The second is the way the region uses Linden water throughout to naturally add ambience and harmony to the environment. And the third reason is that is another design by the immensely talented Uta (xoYUUTAox), who was responsible for bringing an ethereal beauty in one of the iterations of a favourite old haunt, Roche (which you can read about here).
The Heart of the Sea is a marvellous homestead region design by Elyjia (Elyjia Baxton) and Brayan Friller (Brayan26 Friller) that Caitlyn and I were (once again!) pointed towards by Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla) as a result of one of our regular exchanges of landmarks with one another. For those wishing to spend it in idyllic, natural surroundings rich is a sense of peace and tranquillity, I thoroughly recommend a visit.
As you might expect from the name, water features strongly in the design, the region comprising the gentle sweep of a rocky island sitting within shallow waters, accompanied four rocky islets, together with a smaller island which forms the landing point. On this sandy hump, lying across the wild grass holding the sand in place, lies the broken finger of a candy-striped lighthouse; once it may have warned passing vessels about the rocks laying on the eastward side of the isle, but no more.
The Heart of the SeaThe two islands are connected – by way of one of the smaller rocky outcrops – by an old board walk – almost. But while at one time it may well have linked the three sandy beaches it passes between, now it lays broken and sagging into the shallow waters in two places. However, in the lee of the middle islet sits a rowing boat draped with a cuddle blanket, while the sand of its beach has a message written upon it; the first indications that romance is welcome here.
Rising from a ribbon of sand that almost entirely encompasses it, the main island comprises three low, flat-topped tables of rock. Two of these are home to a small farm. On one, horses and sleep graze on a rich thatch of grass, a nearby barn offering some shelter should the elements turn. On the other sits what might be the farmhouse, reached by crossing a natural stone bridge spanning a narrow channel of sand below….
Source: The Heart of the Sea in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Spring Spirit is a homestead region designed by xxStanxx (xxStanilasxx) and soffy Ronwood. Offered to bloggers, photographers and lovers of nature as a place to visit and enjoy, it is another true delight.
Visitors arrive on a small grassy area bordered on one side by the imposing bulk of a gallery accessed via a small courtyard, and hemmed on two sides by steep-sided hills. Cats and dogs roam this open space before the gallery’s walls, the cats in particular fascinated by two tanks of koi carp. A series of large square flagstones form a broad path leading away from the entrance to the gallery, inviting visitors to follow. Passing between an aged Japanese maple and a smaller but equally bent cheery blossom tree – both of which give the first hint of the region’s far eastern influence – the path take you down to the water’s edge and under a natural arch of rock, to reveal Spring Spirit’s secret in all it beauty, a bench seat beside the path allowing you to sit down and take it all in.
Mystical Fae Forest, occupying the Homestead region of Elvenshire, is precisely what the name implies: a mystical realm caught in time and wrapped in the soft light of a winter’s eve. It’s a place those who love things fae and whimsical should appreciate; a place where magic floats in the air and a surprise awaits at very turn.Designed by Zuma Fae Dust (Zuma Jupiter), the region’s timelessness is immediately felt on entering. The predominant shade is white, as if the trees are frosted and the ground covered in snow. But among the white flowers lay flashes, pools and sprinkles of colour, while fireflies drift on the air and tiny lights sparkle from branches. Beside the landing point, giant roses sit, their petals glowing a soft, translucent pink as if spun from glass, their stems links of silver chain.
ForestPaths wind through the flowers, leading away from the arched circle of the landing point. It matters not which you take and the wind between the tress and frequently fork. All of them will lead you somewhere, and often to the quite unexpected, while birds sing from branches overhead.From the name of the region, you might expect the locals to be faerie folk, or perhaps have a touch of the elvish or hobbit about them. While the folk might definitely be on the small side, they are most certainly not hobbits; nor are they elves or fae folk. Rather, most are a mix of rabbits, raccoons, teddy bears and others, all going about their business or at play in the hazy light….
Source: A Mystical Fae Forest in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
We are excited as the weather shifts more firmly toward spring. One sign is the incredible wind we are experiencing in these rolling hills. WHOOSH! The trees are bending to and fro and the whirlygig on top of the house is whirring round so fast it seems that it might take flight at any second! Even the clouds are speeding past…!
So…we decided to take a turn toward spring in-world as well. You’ll note a few landscaping adjustments as trees green-up and things seem to warm, here and there. PLUS, we’ve added some touches of spring at Côte de la Mer Galerie; outstanding artist Silas Merlin has agreed to our continuing to exhibit three of his romantic sculptures along with some of my landscape photos – all with A Breath of Spring (exhibit title). It’s a lovely spaceholder for what we have in store coming up! Stay tuned…and do drop by to enjoy the sweet spring air!
I was surprised to note that it’s been getting towards three years since I last visited NorderNey, Jacky Macpherson’s homestead design (see here for more). A lot has happened since then, not the least of which is Jacky has moved, so that the region now has a sim of its own bearing the same name, although visitors will need Payment Information On File in order to access it.
Back in 2014, NorderNey was decidedly a rural scene, rich in the feel and colours of late summer. Now, while still bathed in warmth and sunlight, NorderNey is now far more tropical in look and feel; a sandy island over which seagulls wheel soar while sailing boats lie anchored offshore.
“We got bored!” Ty Tenk of Calas Galadhon fame laughed, passing me an invite for Caitlyn and I to visit the Calas Skate-o-Rama. “Rolling skating in the middle of the desert. But be careful crossing the highway!”It actually took us a couple of days to get the opportunity to visit, but with Friday night sitting with us, we hopped over to find out more – and in Typical Ty and Truck style, the venue is fetchingly presented and a lot of fun.Calas Skate-O-Rama: line dancing – on roller skates!Visitors arrive at a roadside stop on Route 66. The moon hovers low in the sky, and sandstone mesas break-up the horizon. Across the road, resplendent in neon and art deco styling, sits the Calas Skate–O-Rama, searchlights sweeping the darkening skies. This is a poplar place: the asphalt car park is almost full. Once across the road, the deco style doors to the arena beckon – and hide a secret. Step through them, and far from leaving the desert skies behind and you going indoors, you enter an open-air rink, a 50’s style diner to one side, and a live performance stage on the other.
Between them sits the skating floor, and it is built to take a fair few! Roller skates can be obtained from the giver just inside the arena entrance – you just need to join the Calas Announcements Group if you’re not already a member. Swap your shoes for the skates, turn off your AO and you are all set. You can then free skate or – using the pose and dance system (instructions supplied in the air over them) – you can skate and dance……
Source: The Calas Skate-o-Rama in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
NonStop, a homestead region by Cherish Demonge, is presented as “Second Life’s ultimate forest”. I’d personally regard the setting as more coastal / rural than “forest” – while there are trees aplenty, they mostly look and feel more like woodland, occupying the more rugged parts of the region and offering pleasant glades and walks between them, while leaving the low-lying parts of the region open for habitation.
Located on the mainland continent of Sansara, the East River Community (ERC) will this year celebrate its ninth year of operations in Second Life – although it can trace its roots as far back as 2006 with the MBYC, one of the first sailing clubs in Second Life – and sailing remains very much a part of the ERC’s activities.
Comprising a federation of groups, the intent within East River has always been to create an open, collaborative and convivial space for residents and businesses, nurturing the growth of relationships, friendships, personal projects, and encouraging collaborative activities with both members and non-members of the community.
ERC has always been particularly engaged in fostering cultural activities and in enhancing the Mainland experience by demonstrating an attractive residential and commercial environment can be created purely through resident action.
Newcomers are always welcome to explore the community’s regions, which offer a wide variety of public spaces including art galleries, cafés horse riding tracks, entertainment venues, nautical events, a harbour and airport for boating / flying enthusiasts and, for those wanting to get their first taste of water-based activities, a variety of free-access zero-cost boating.
Arriving at one of East River Community’s airfieldsOne of the mainstays of ERC has been its founder, Indigo Mertel – who has also contributed immensely to the Second Life community as a whole through a wide range of user-focused activities from establishing and building East River through to her work in curating and disseminating Second Life news form a wide range of notable sources, to the benefit of all users…
Source: Can you help the East River Community in Second Life? | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
On February 1, 2017, the next issue of Kulivate Magazine will be published! This issue will feature artistic and talented designer, Lyrical Bizarre. Illyra Chardin provides images of romantic art in honor of Valentines Day, Guest contributor Miaa Rebane has generously provided images for a photo essay, Kinn Fiachra has a new mainland piece on The Outlands, Veruca Tammas visits Weeville, Inara Pey reviews The Sagan Planetarium and the new exhibit at MetaLes, ILlogism; Eleseren Brianna previews Kultivate’s Spring Fashion Event, and John interviews The SL Parade Owner, ReRe Sandalwood.
Whimberly, a homestead region designed by Staubi (Engelsstaub), is another location Caitlyn and I were introduced to through Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla). He, along with his partner, Max (Maxie Daviau), has a knack of finding beauty spots in Second Life, and Whimberly is certainly that.This is another region leaning towards a Mediterranean theme, split into two islands under clouds lit from above by the sun, filtering its light across the landscape. A villa stands atop the single, low hill on the larger of the two islands, neat lines of grape vines arranged around the slopes leading up to it, standing as if marshalled ready to march smartly down the hill to where a dirt track runs between the hill and the region’s landing point.
“Stay awhile,” Snoob (SnoobJohnson) and his partner, Mila (Mila Maesar) say in greeting to visitors to their homestead region, The Hell’s Heaven 2.0. “Let this world refresh your soul andmelt your worries away … Explore this cloudy world of changing scenery and enjoy your stay!”It’s a warm invitation, and there is much to enjoy within the region, which has been beautifully created by Snoob, with touches inspired by Mila to offer photographers and explorers alike with a visual treat – an anyone who has looked at the Flickr group for the region will only be too aware.
The Hell’s Heaven 2.0This is a land of two distinct parts. To the west sit low-lying marshlands, ankle-deep in water and carpeted in long reeds and grasses through which a water-hugging mist drifts. Scattered over this lay dilapidated shacks and cabins, their floors flooded and wooden walls slowly rotting, submerged wooden walkways running from nowhere to nowhere outside. Wrecks of cars and pick-ups complete the scenery, together with a couple of rowing boats and the rusting body of an old airboat….
Source: A second helping of Hell’s Heaven in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World