Almost exactly a year ago
I came here for the very first time*
Looking up at the rocky island
From a boat on the waves of the Linden Sea
So might the late John Denver have written had he been in my shoes during my recent return to Binemist, Bine Rodenberger’s delightful home region. Because it was almost exactly a year ago, in September 2013, that I first visited Binemist, and it’s been a place firmly marked in my little book of places to revisit ever since.
At that time, the region had a distinctly Nordic feel to it, suggestive of a rocky coastal area and ancient buildings with a possible Norse influence. By January 2014, it had altered somewhat, leaning more towards a means of displaying Bine’s art collection, whilst still retaining a water theme and adding peaceful woodlands to the mix.
Now the region has been further remodelled, and the result is quite beautiful. Water remains a strong element within it, and the Nordic echoes can still be found, but this time the design extends much further: high into the sky and down under water, Bine having created a marvellous environment to explore and in which photographers are welcome.
Visitors initially arrive up in the sky, at a distinctly un-Nordic slice of Tuscany, complete with villa and grapes growing on the vines. A welcoming note card informs you that although you’re in the sky, there’s no danger of falling to the ground unexpectedly, before inviting you to explore – and I would suggest that you accept the invitation; the villa and its gardens offer some delights awaiting your discovery.
Also awaiting your discovery are the means to access the rest of the region. Bine provides clues in the note card to what she refers to as “potholes”, but I prefer to think of as portals (and I love the animations played on some of these as you make use of them; very different for the usual touch-and-TP, and they add a further charm to your explorations).
Where these lead you depends upon the one you opt to use; you’ll either be delivered above or under the waves. Both locations offer motifs which may well be familiar to those who have visited Binemist in the past. Above the water, for example, there is the familiar appearance of a tall, craggy island, albeit it not quite a rough-edged and untamed as perhaps previous islands here have appeared; there’s the tall finger of the lighthouse standing watch, and a wreck of a Viking longship – Bine’s signature nod to her heritage – lies further out to sea.
Which is not to say this is a re-run of what has gone before; far from it. The new Binemist is a world unto itself, beautifully unique in setting and style, from the buildings resting peacefully on the water to the low-lying sandbar with it own unique attractions, and on down under the waves.
Under the water is where the garden of Binemist might be said to reside, because here is a rich landscape split into a number of scenes you can discover in turn by following the sandy paths. Each is unique to itself, but again, certain motifs are used to link them together as you explore.
Art plays a strong role through the region, as it has done in Bine’s past builds, and one of the delights of a visit is coming across familiar pieces in entirely new settings, as well as pieces which may not have previously been seen within Binemist.
All told, region remains a lovely place to visit, and somewhere not to be missed during your travels across SL. Highly recommended.