North Pole at Alki, Alki – click any image for full size
“Just for fun, Zoidyn and I have built a light-hearted north pole area over Alki,” Alana Onyett informed me whilst chatting recently. “We had a little dance there, so the elves are a little busy cleaning up, poor things! But we hope you and Caitlyn can come over in your leisure time and relax. We’ll have the build up until the end of December.”
Alki is Alana and Zoidyn’s Full region which offers a lot for people to see and do. Focused on music in Second Life, it presents visitors with a rich mix of music venues, activities, a photogenic public park to wander through, rides, amusements, and much, much more (see here for notes on my last visit). It’s a place always well worth a visit, and the idea that Alana and Zoidyn were having a little seasonal fun as well have Caitlyn and I donning our woolies and jumping over to see.
“Hand over your coal and carrots, and no funny moves. This hair dryer is plugged in, and I know how to use it!” North Pole at Alki, Alki
Sitting at 1500 metres above the region, the north pole area can either be reached via a teleport portal just a few metres away from the main landing point (link above) and here is also another up on the Z&A Plateau, outside the Coffee House; or visitors can use a direct landmark. Whichever route you take, you’ll be delivered to Santa’s North Pole Headquarters, a delightful mix of the quaint and the high-tech (it would seem Santa has moved into the 21st century!).
Of course there is Santa’s toy factory – housed, as one might expect, in a snow-capped cottage, complete with bay windows, sagging roof, stone walls and all. But don’t be fooled; inside things are pretty well automated, production monitored via computer. This means that most of Santa’s Little Helpers (or subordinate clauses, as I call them) can get on with more enjoyable tasks, such as putting up the decorations, baking, and, “product testing” (spelt p-l-a-y-i-n-g).
Along a cobbled footpath carefully cleared of snow, elf and safety first, after all (OK, I promise that’s the last of the elf puns), sits the rest of Santa’s operation: a sturdy 2-storey stone-and wood-building offering stables for the reindeer (and a sleigh prepping area), with the staff lounge and kitchen above. Further evidence of the high-tech nature of this operation can be seen in the form of the radar dishes on the roof, and the precisely laid-out sleigh runway on the far side of the building. There’s even a weather and communications station up in the hills!
Follow the footpath away from Santa’s operations and through the trees, and you’ll find the elves have been having fun within the circle of a little railway and penguins – presumably up on vacation from Antarctic – are also enjoying themselves.
“Wait. Only five reindeer? With an overloaded sleigh and an overweight, jolly pilot? Are you sure that runway is long enough?” North Pole at Alki, Alki
Fun really is the theme of this build, and Zoidyn and Alana have included a lot of little details which make exploring it carefully well worth the time (not all of them are immediately obvious). Fun can also be had by visitors, be it sledding (with an elf or alone), snowboarding, ice skating or dancing. If quieter pursuits are more your thing, there are plenty of places to sit, snuggle, relax and chat.
And when you feel you’ve seen enough of Santa’s corner of Alki, why not take the portal down to ground level? As noted towards the top of this piece, there’s a lot to be discovered – and a few things added overhead as well since our last visit – just look for the teleporters! When you visit, do please consider a donation towards the region’s upkeep.
- North Pole at Alki (Alki, rated: Moderate)