It’s taken me a while to get a write-up on the current incarnation of Leica Arado’s France Portnawak finished; I only hope it’s not so late that the region undergoes a winter redesign!
The description for the place refers to it as “a paradise for lovers of nature and landscape!” – and that does much to sum-up the region, but also leaves a lot unsaid; as it is also a place of subtle art and artistry.
The landing point offers visitors bicycles or horses to explore the island, but while visiting, I much preferred to use my pedal extremities (or shanks’ pony, depending on the idiom you prefer with regards to bicycles or horses), and simply wandered on foot.
The design of the place is a wonderful blending of sandy, almost tropical island, and the colours of autumn among the trees and flowers. A lagoon lies at the centre of the region, the low-lying island almost completely surrounding it. The trees scattered across the encircling land are far more temperate than tropical land, and have the reds and golds of autumn mixing easily with greener boughs. Grass and sand vie with one another under the spreading shade of high branches, in places awash in the yellows and lavender of free-growing flowers and magic grass.
To one side of the island sits the square bulk of a private are gallery displaying 2D and 3D works from a number of SL artists – do keep an eye out for Cica Ghost’s enchanting stick figures flickering gently in various corners! Across the lagoon from this sits a little shanty shack, a home to someone, perhaps. Sheep and chickens roam outside, while a glass of red wine on the table inside suggests whoever lives there isn’t far away, as does the cat, waiting patiently just outside the door.
There’s more to see out on the water of the lagoon, where lilies sit with translucent rocks, the latter shimmering with colour and almost entirely transparent under certain lighting. In the middle of the water, crystal-like steps lead up to a square platform offering four blanket-draped chairs in which to sit. This isn’t the only place to stop and relax; there are several spots scattered across the island where couples and groups can sit or dance, or the solo visitor can rest their feet.
Whether you visit France Portnawak on your own or with one or more friends, it is a beautifully idyllic setting, and wroth taking the time to wander and appreciate.
- France Portnawak (Rated: Moderate)