Hotel California – click any image for full size
Hotel California is a Full region designed by Lex Machine (Schmexysbuddy) that we were made aware of by Miro Collas. It presents “A war torn land fighting its way back to beauty” where, “Life always finds a way”; and it makes for a curious visit with its mix of influences.
The landing point sits in the middle of a broken bridge that attempts to span the region, rooted in a high table of rock to the north, and pointing south towards a lower hill on the southern end of the region. However, before it reaches that point, it dissolves into ruin, the paved road vanishing, leaving just the piers on which the road once stood – and these are leaning haphazardly, a mature tree sitting between them, suggesting the bridge has been in a state of ruin for decades.
The table mountain with its small, rounded dome of a peak to one side, is home to the titular Hotel California – although unlike the song, it is probably not a place you can check-out of but never leave. Its dishevelled condition indicative that it hasn’t been in service for many years, the tree within its courtyard grown to a considerable size, the café within its shade suggestive wine hasn’t been served there for a long time.
Below the mountain, the region is primarily flat, sitting just above the surrounding water, the southern hills being the only other relief. This landscape is lush, with verdant grass and yellow rapeseed. deer roam here, although there are some signs of the war that apparently tore through the land at some point: the fuselage of a transport ‘plane, the shells of buildings, and the wreckage of vehicles, including a tank and a rather unusual flying … car.
A large house, sitting atop a hill, stands apart from the ruins in that it is intact, as if spared from whatever happened. Lightly furnished, it is too large to be a farm-house, its kitchen is well-stocked, its conservatory a place of well-tended plants. Hidden behind the house sits a survivalists bunker; suggesting the house is still in use.
A very localised storm is in full career atop the remaining hill, marked by a shattered lighthouse. Here the rain falls in sheets and the lightening is violent. It looks out over the western lowlands, offering a view of both a ruined rotunda and a passing Predator drone, its weapons pylons empty.
It is to the west that the region has – for me – its most interesting features. Just off the coast sits the ruin of a large, industrial-like building. It roof is gone, its walls and floors broken, the bare rusted metal of the smashed cement walls visible. A CND “shrine” sits within this broken building, but it is the scenes outside of it which hold the attention.
From the misted waters on one side of the building rise the great tentacles of what might be a Kraken, as if reaching to tear more of the structure down. Closer to shore, a group of statues are grouped, as if frozen in the act of fleeing to dry land. Or are they the petrified remains of people who once fled the now partially flooded building?
An unusual design for a region, one that is not at all the kind of apocalyptic setting one might expect from the About Land description, but which is photogenic and somewhat prone to fancy, as per the Kraken and water scene. Those wishing to obtain rezzing rights can do so by joining the Shutter Thugs group at the landing point. Photos taken at the region can also be submitted to the Shutter Thugs Flickr group.
Altogether a somewhat different and engaging visit.
- Hotel California (Hotel California, rated: Adult)