An island of worn ancient cliffs sheltering a garden of wonders; Lost for countless ages in the midst of a vast ocean, home to Jinn, Elves and gentle spirits.
So reads the description for The Sands of Time / Majilis Al Jinn. This is a stunning region created by Calein Flux which is well suited to both the SL photographer and the intrepid explorer. Given that we’re in the midst of many celebrations to mark SL’s 10th anniversary which are going on across the grid, as well as about to see the start of a biggest gathering of exhibitions and entertainment to mark this momentous occasion, The Sands of Time might also be a worthy retreat from the hustle and bustle of partying and fun.
For my part, I wanted to explore The Sands of Time for two reasons: it immediately captured my sense of “OoO” on seeing it, plus my graphics card is becoming increasingly poorly and I wanted to see if issues which started to really make themselves felt while trying to snap exhibits at the SL10BCC regions would occur anywhere else.
Sadly, my GPu problems do. I’ve no idea if my woes are related to the nVidia 320.18 driver snafu (I was experiencing issues before the driver came out, although things got noticeably worse after updating the driver), but I do know that I’m now reduced once more to taking snapshots in JPG and at something just a little above my monitor resolution if I want to avoid either the snapshots failing to save to my hard drive or the viewer simply falling over with a graphics-related memory issue.
Nevertheless, exploring Sands of Time brought a smile to my lips; this is a beautifully composed region, which brings together a mix of eastern and western mythologies (the Djinn or Jinni (genies)) of the east, and the elves of the west) together in an incredibly scenic and restful sim which, Calein informs us through a visitor’s notecard, took a year to visualise.
The notecard itself, available from a vendor at the underground arrival point, is very much worth taking and reading. It not so much sets the scene for any forthcoming explorations, but rather allows us a glimpse inside the creative process and Calein’s thoughts and ideals in bringing the region into being. And it is a fascinating insight at that.
You have a choice of directions when leaving the arrival point – out through a cave to a beach area at the base of the cliffs, or a climb up through underground chambers to the cliff-top. Personally, I preferred going the beach route and working my way around things from there – it left the discovery of what Calein refers to as one of his most interesting creations until later in my visit, giving me a greater sense of anticipation.
This is also a place for romantics. Up on the clifftops are gardens and the palace, with fountains and lots of places where you can sit, watch, talk, and share with a friend or loved one. These very much bring one the sense of walking through the more romanticised tales of the middle east, although hidden in the gardens are also hints of the far east as well.
This is a wonderful, absorbing build, offering chances to explore, to wonder, to sit and share and even to meditate. Make sure you explore up as well as down – even if the “up” is only looking up inside the palace building. There is a lot to see here, and it is all very much worth the time taken to make sure you see it all.
Now, time for me to go source a new GPU card before I’m reduced to bashing the keyboard in frustration…
(view slideshow full-screen)