I first became aware of Anu’s existence in Sansar courtesy of a Product Meeting which took place there. Built by AnuAmun (aka (AnuAmun Alchemi in Second Life), it is an intriguing build, bringing together a curious mix of ancient and future, in what is simply described as “a happy place, filled with smiling faces”.
The first thing that tends to strike visitors on arrival is the lighting. Set at what appears to be sunset, the sky a burnished orange, the lighting is one of the major features of the experience – as becomes clear as you explore. The spawn point seems to be the corner of a park, and gives the first indications of the juxtaposition between old and possibly futuristic: the ground is partial covered with strange hexagonal elements, themselves covered in part by soil; odd metal structures and panels sit with ruined stone walls and bare rock faces.
Facing the spawn point is a set of aged stone step and footpath, guarded by plant-bearing statues and lit by tall (electric? gas?) lamps. These point the way to a small greensward, again mixing futuristic metal stairs and free-standing hexagons with more traditional park benches. More stone steps set into the slope lead the way up to a paved plateau where sits what might be an old temple, the stonework weathered and partially exposed beneath what might once have been pristine white daub, but above which rises a new-look tiled roof.
Alongside this temple is a small, more modern-looking building, the walls neatly squared and at least partially covered in a painted stucco finish and the windows neatly framed in wood. Empty inside, save for s set of stairs, this smaller building has both a balcony and rooftop terrace for looking out over the scene. The temple is more impressive: the wide, tall windows with their intricate stone arches suggest windows from a Norman cathedral, and allow the light of the lowering sun to stream through in streams of God rays, illuminating the temple’s interior and the cobbled area before it.
While seemingly natural from above, the plateau on which these buildings sit overlooks a lower area, paved by a mix of the hexagonal elements and stone, and where the sides of the “plateau” reveal they are the walls of an industrial-looking structure built back into the hill. Thus the question is raised: which came first: the industrial-like structure with its walls partially scrawled with graffiti, or the temple above it?
The area before this (non-accessible) structure can be reached via a slightly circuitous route from the spawn point – just wall out onto the grass to the right of the park area where the table and chairs can be seen, and follow the route under the stone arch a short distance from them, and you’ll find the way. This route also provides access to an old stone stairway climbing another hill, where sits a large platform facing the temple across the shallow valley between the two – although (at the time of writing) there’s no means to reach the top of the platform.
Walk to the paved area before the more industrial elements beneath the temple site, and you’ll find a bridge spanning the steam flowing through the setting, and which provides access to a long tunnel burrowing under the platform-topped hill. There’s also a lighthouse-like tower rising from a corner of this paved area, a further set of step apparently providing access to it – although for some reason attempts to access it bounce you back down the steps.
All-in-all, Anu is a mystical, mysterious setting. You can’t help but feel there is a story waiting to be told here – a story yet to reveal itself. I’ve no idea if the experience is still a work-in-progress, but parts of it had that kind of feel about it notably around the structure on which the temple sits, the tunnel through the hill across the valley, and the area around the platform above it. If it is a WIP, then further visits may well be in order to see how it develops, and whether that story starts to unfold.