Asalia House: tropical autumn

Asalia House; Inara Pey, November 2013, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Eddie Haskill pointed me towards Asalia House when he blogged about it recently, describing it as “magical”. He’s right.

A Homestead region, Asalia House comprises three islands set in an ocean suggestive of a coral sea. Two of the islands, on the west side of the region, are resplendent in the rich autumnal colours of the northern hemisphere, while eastward, the third is a Moon-like tropical crescent of sand, palm trees and beach bars, all of which offer a strong contrast in theme and look when compared with the other two islands, and yet works with them to create a complete picture.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, November 2013, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr)

The entire region is primarily the work of Ryu Asalia, Kyo Asalia and Lonco, with Ryu and Kyo responsible for the look and feel of one of the temperate islands and Lonco the other, and all three sharing in the creation of the sandy islet.

All three islands offer a simple, natural setting which is both ripe for photography and welcoming to visitors who wish to come and sit a while. Ryu and Kyo’s island, to the north-west offers a small café flanked by the towers of a water tank and a windmill, surrounded by trees and with a small seating area outside.

Across the bridge and to the south-west, Lonco’s island offers a more rural scene, with an artist’s caravan and encampment sitting amidst silver birch and other trees in a leafy, grassy glade.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, November 2013, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr)

There are delightful touches of whimsy to both islands; a tall “apple picking chair” sits in the water just offshore from one, with a number of apples conveniently suspended on strings from the outstretched branches of a tree; elsewhere sits a giant birdcage precariously balanced on the bank of a small inlet of water over which large soap bubbles float, while between the two islands and alongside the wooden bridge sits a large bottle, inviting passers-by to jump into it, genie-style.

There’s also some lovely attention to detail to be found as well, so it’s worth taking your time when looking around both of the islands, whether you’re exploring or camming for a look-see.

Across the water, the tropical islet is very different, as noted above. Here sits a rough-and-ready beachcomber’s bar and a more upmarket cocktail / coffee bar. Surfboards nuzzle the sand, offering places to sit, and a large tiki-style hammock is suspended between tall palm trees.  Here one can wander the sand, enjoy a drink or two, sit and chat, or dance, or float on the water and forget the rest of the world. For those who get hungry, an enticing table of snacks beckons.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, November 2013, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr)

The region comes with its own windlight preset, providing the feel of a hazy morning which suits both the temperate western isles and the eastern tropical island, and which blends perfectly with the default water windlight for the region. Oh, and with regards to the latter, it’s worth taking a look down on the region from overhead (you may need to tweak your sky windlight if you’ve accepted the default) or taking a peek at the world map – you’ll see the entire region is actually heart-shaped under the water, a reflection of a general theme of love and openness which is also carried through the design.

This is a phenomenal setting for the SL photographer, beautifully suited to range of lighting options which could well keep you occupied with the camera for some time. When you’ve finished you explorations, why not pop into Ryu’s cafe and leave a comment in the guest book and perhaps a sign of your appreciation in the tip jar?

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