I dropped-in at Sands of Time at the weekend, a marvellous region which offers a heaven of peace and tranquility – as well as a host of beautiful vistas – for the footsore and weary seeking shelter from the rush and excitement of SL10BCC.
Well, I’m staying with things of an middle-eastern flavour, because in playing catch-up with my explorations, I’ve opted to cover Jordan First, the home of Kingdom of Jordan, another stunning and very photogenic build; this one with a foot planted firmly in history (and one Ziki Questi visited about the same time I did, but beat me to the post, so I opted to hang back a while before Pressing an article of my own). A homestead region owned by Farah Loordes is described as a “hangout” area – which grossly undersells it.
The default arrival point kind-of gives away the secret of the build from the moment you arrive, so I’ve opted to give a SLurl that will bring you to a little wooden pier over the sea next to a sand-kissed beach. A long stone stairway leads up the cliffs to the top of the island which, if you’ve visited Hazardous, will immediately appear very familiar – not that Jordan First is in any way a copy of the latter.
Climb the steps, and you’ll find places to sit, chat and pass the time in a landscape which is again reflective of Hazardous (and which includes elements by Wendy Xeno and Mandingo Quan). On the far side of the island is another set of stone steps leading down to a further beach and more places to sit, relax and share. There is even a mix of table-top games to sometimes be found as well.
It’s another of those beautifully minimalist landscapes that speaks volumes, especially when there are just two or three of you there, and it is – as ever – a place I think is utterly suited to the eye of the camera, and which really invites time and effort spent playing with the viewer’s windlight settings & fiddling around with things in post-process.
But that’s not all. Follow the beach (from either set of steps) and you will eventually come to a deep gorge cutting into the island, with stepping-stones leading you into it over the water. Follow them and you’ll find a reproduction of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”), rightly regarded as one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra, and famed throughout the world thanks to numerous films and documentaries.
Catching a glimpse of The Treasury through the narrow ravine is a genuine “Oooo!” moment, and doubtless one which has / is / will be the subject of many SL snapshots…
The inclusion of Al Khazneh in the build wonderfully straddles the RL / SL divide; bring a genuine piece of historical culture into Second Life and presenting it in a manner which is visually appealing in an environment which is a pleasure to visit and enjoy.
(view slideshow full-screen)