Of castles in the Skyes and walks in the woods

There is a theme running through many of the locations in Second Life that I’ve visited and blogged about. It may not be obvious to some, but it is there all the same; so much so, that I thought it was about time I blogged about it. Or the person behind it. Or his own regions. OK – all three.

The theme is not that I tend to opt for more rural / country-like regions over urban developments or that water and trees feature rather a lot (although the latter are somewhat closer to it than the former). The clue is actually in the picture below.

A familiar bridge?
A familiar bridge?

See the bridge? Does it seem familiar? Well, possibly because you’ve seen it here, or here, or here, to mention just three of its appearances in this blog. It is the work of Alex Bader and while he is probably best known for his stunning and evocative castles, is also perhaps deserving of the title, “landscaper to the sims” because the chances are than when you are visiting one of the many picturesque regions across Second Life, you’re going to be seeing / walking on / crossing / standing under one of his creations – and more than likely passing many of them.

The home for Alex’s works are his twin regions (one full, one homestead) of Skye Elgol and Skye Neist Point. Both are nome to Alex’s Skye Studios and his range of landscaping accessories and impressive castles.

Skye Neist Point
Skye Neist Point

I’ve previously written about the value of in-world shopping in terms of the opportunities it brings to experience some truly marvellous regions.  Both of Alex’s regions are further proof of that – although I suspect people will be more drawn towards the somewhat less developed (in terms of castles) Skye Neist Point.

These are both regions which have been creatively designed as showcases for Alex’s work. In fact, it’s fair to say that while exploring them, and outside of the castles themselves – all of which are quite magnificent – it would be very easy to overlook the fact that just about all that is on display has been crafted by Alex.

Skye Neist Point
Skye Neist Point

Because it is a homestead, Skye Neist Point is the more natural of the two, with the focus on woodlands, walks, Alex’s distinctive bridges, and coastal scenes (which again will be instantly familiar to the seasoned SL traveller).  Here lay deep gorges, winding paths leading up hillsides, all of which offer breathtaking vistas and viewer guaranteed to delight and get cameras working.

Things are a little more crowded in Skye Elgol – but this is to be expected, given it is primarily the home of Alex’s castles, as mentioned; but even here there are places to wander and explore and vistas worthy of the camera’s eye.

Skye Elgol
Skye Elgol

Both Skye Elgol and Skye Neist Point stand as stunning examples of what can be achieved in 16 acres of virtual land given time and a sprinkling of imagination. As such both serve as excellent demonstrations as to what can be achieved when seeking to landscape a region and present something which is going to enthrall and delight.

Whether or not you’re into castles makes no difference; I cannot overstate the value in visiting Alex’s regions and taking time to explore them. You don’t have to buy a castle – although I’m sure he’d appreciate it were that to happen! – but there is more than enough here to tempt the eye and pocket, from the bridge featured at the top of this article through to Alex’s marvellous rutted tracks and his oh-so-life-like trees.

Skye Neist Point
Skye Neist Point

It’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying these two regions – again with the emphasis possibly on Skye Neist Point. However, you don’t have to take my word for it: go see Alex’s work for yourself!

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