Winter at Asalia House in Second Life

Asalia House; Inara Pey, December 2015, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr) – click any image for full size

It’s been two years since my first visit to Asalia House, the homestead region primarily designed by Ryu  and Kyo Asalia. As two years is a very long time in Second Life, I was intrigued to see the region to still be in place, and headed over to take a look at what may have changed in the intervening time.

Back in 2013, the region was split into three islands, all of which offered something of a tropical look and feel. This island theme remains, but it is now very different – which is not to say any of the photogenic quality of the region has been lost. Not  at all.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, December 2015, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr)

The largest of the three island is a rocky affair, caught in the midst of winter; snow falls from above, covering the landscape in a growing white blanket. A road snakes along the north side of the island, although it doesn’t really go anywhere; at one end it faces the frigid waters of the sea, at the other, a set of steps bar further comfortable progress were you to be driving. It does, however provide a dramatic view out over the misty waters to the single finger of a lighthouse rising to the north-east.

Above the road, sitting on a flat plateau of rock into which a stepped path has been lain to provide access, sit two wood-panelled cabins, their tin roofs rusting slowly. A sign outside suggests these might be a motel – but it is deceptive, and merely part of the bric-a-brac to be found without and within the cabins.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, December 2015, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr)

There are not the only buildings on the island, further along the road sits a small studio cabin, whilst set over the cold sea, and reached by passing under a natural arch of rock from the road, sits a studio converted from an old shipping container.

Don’t let the apparent simplicity of the island fool you, however. There is much to be found, including motifs which help give it the feeling of being a place – such as the stone arches standing guard on either side of a small stone bridge, and at the edge of the snow-covered field standing beyond the bridge. These suggest this island was once the location for a much older building or buildings; a feeling increased by the ruin sitting just off the coats, and the old stone walls to be found alongside the road, and which form the outline of a structure next to one of the arches.

Asalia House; Inara Pey, December 2015, on FlickrAsalia House (Flickr) – click any image for full size

After exploring the main island, should you find yourself feeling a little cold, look to the north-west and you might see a faint glow. This marks the location of a smaller, marshy isle, free from snow and the cold, where you can sit on a crescent moon and watch the world turn around you.

In introducing me to Asalia House in 2013, Eddie Haskill described it as “magical”. He wasn’t wrong then, and that description still applies today. It’s most certainly not a place to be missed by the discerning SL traveller.

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