Magical Mystery, Folk Town – click any image for full size
“Magic and Mystery await around every corner,” Joonie Jatho says of her Homestead region, itself called Magical Mystery. “Come explore and see if you can find all the enchanted, secret places!”
It’s an enticing invitation, and one well worth taking the time to accept. Designed on Joonie’s behalf by the combined talents of Kaelyn Alecto (responsible for It All Starts With a Smile (which I last visited here), LuaneMeo (who designed Luane’s World – see here – with Kaelyn, and most recently opened Luane’s Magic World – see here), and Gorba McMahon, Magical Mystery presents visitors with a lot to see and discover.
This is a rugged landscape, icy and cold – but it has a warm heart waiting to be found by those who seek its secrets. Tall shoulders of rock and flat-topped plateaus surround the centre of the region, cut through by a deep gorge itself spanned by rocky arches. Snow caps the tops of these high, seemingly impassable cliffs, whilst encircling their feet is a low-lying realm of ice and snow.
Visitors arrive on the south side of the region, where a path of snow-covered slabs forms a “T” junction. To the left and right, it points the way across the ice, while northward, it directs one’s feet into the deep cleft of the gorge towards a set of stone steps over which hang three great Fae bubbles, the hint of buildings lying beyond.
Which route you take in exploring is up to you; go east and you can enjoy the frolics of penguins waddling over ice and belly sliding down snowy slopes. Go west and a bridge suspended between coloured balloons leads to a small island. Boats bob on the water close by, offering cuddle spots, and a frozen pond sits in the middle of the island, watched over by snowy egrets and pink unicorns. A sign warns of the danger of thin ice – but find the right point and you can plunge through the ice and into another world.
The northward route, through the gorge, leads you under the gnarled form of an ancient tree, bent with age, lie a tired sentinel at the gate of the deep cleft. Across a stretch of glittering ice, the stone steps lead the way to a little village hidden and safe within the enfolding might of the rocky walls surrounding it.
Here the aged, bent trees clinging limpet-like to the near vertical walls of the gorge give way to firs trees, the largest of which is festooned with lights, the houses colourful and bright beneath it. A pond offers an opportunity for skating. Beyond the houses, more steps visible through a stone arch invite the visitor onwards and upwards, passing through a frosted wood to where a church sits on a finger of flat rock, reached via a sturdy wooden bridge.
But this is not all – far from it. Before the church the path again branches left and right through the trees, presenting visitors with more chances to explore – and those who take them will find more to explore, and that diving through broken ice isn’t the only way of finding the hidden magic of this region; more to be found underground and up on the rocky peaks. Throughout it all, the local wildlife also awaits discovery, and there are places to sit and places to cuddle, opportunities to slip inside and warm up after the cold. For those who feel a little more active, skating and sledding is also to be found.
Magical Mystery makes for a rewarding visit. Should you enjoy your time there, do please consider making a donation towards the region’s continued enjoyment by others.
- Magical Mystery (Folk Town, rated Adult)