An Abandoned Vacation Spot in the 30s. Sometimes you can still see the glamour of the past….
So reads a part of the description for Dya’s Abandoned Vacation Spot, a location we were drawn to courtesy of Maddy Gynoid. Designed by Dya OHare, this Homestead region presents a fabulous setting, an island sitting somewhere – possibly just off the coast or within the estuary of a broad river – that was once a place for holidays and fishing, but which has now faded well past its prime, the holiday makers long since departed, the water front now little more than moorings for fishing boats, but not a base of operations.
To say this is a beautiful setting would, frankly, be an understatement. The island has obviously been carefully considered and designed to present a setting that really could exist as much in the physical world as in the virtual. It’s made all the more natural through its single-track road which, just as might be expected of a vacation setting, neatly loops its way around the landscape, linking all the points of interest, and thus providing a natural means of exploration.
The landing point sits in one of these aged waterfront buildings, one that is in slightly better overall condition than the rest, and home to Dya’s Gacha resale store. From here, visitors have a choice: proceed on foot, take a bicycle from the rezzer a little further along the waterfront, or take the the steps down to the the piers where a motor boat rezzer awaits anyone who fancies pootling around the island by water.
The road runs both north along the the shore, and east. The former route fully brings home the faded nature of the island’s heritage, passing between water to the one side and buildings that are falling apart on the other, their signs and façades harking back to when the the paved street was alive with visitors – although a couple of folk appear not to have realised the bar is no longer serving customers!
To the north, through a local rain shower, sits a more business-like wharf and buildings, where also sits the carved hull of a submarine whose shape looks born more of the Cold War era than from the 1930s. It sits as a single incongruity in the region’s overall design – and yet it still fits the setting, suggesting that while this was a holiday centre in the 1930s, time has indeed moved on, and the island has seen other uses.
Two beaches mark the south and east side of the the island, separated from one another by a rocky headland dominated by an old wooden lighthouse. Both of the beaches reflect the island’s long-passed heyday; flotsam is scattered along sands that have a tired feel to them under the overcast sky, the trees along them apparently dead, marker buoys just offshore warning passing fishing boats not to get too close to the shore where they might run aground (and also mark the region’s boundary for those using the local motor boats to get around).
Both of the beaches are also overlooked by a ruins of an ancient church, a place that looks older than than the rest of the island’s structures. Neon signs hand from one end of this old building, advertising it as a hotel, but whether it ever served this purpose or not is open to question; there’s barely the space for individual rooms, so perhaps the signs – still flickering, and so under power, are meant as a joke by whomever still uses the island.
This ruin can be reached by following the loop of the islands-road, which also provides access to the beaches by means of board walks and steps. The road also runs past what is perhaps the last standing holiday home overlooking the sands and sea. It’s a modest place, the deck bigger than the house, but it is still in use, simply furnished and offering a sense of life within a place mostly given to the past.
While it has no obvious connection other than the period in which the island had its heyday being close to that of the book, where exploring, I couldn’t help but feel it sits as some kind of seaward Valley of Ashes from The Great Gatsby, albeit with strong differences; a place that, rather than being a place of run-down businesses, secrets and eventual tragedy, through which the rich of East Egg and West Egg pass under sufferance, the island sits as a place to be passed by and occasionally used by fishing as they travel to and from richer ports of call whilst plying their trade.
Why my mind should jump to such a connection, I’ve no idea; but it just seems to fit. What I can say is that with its wildlife and horses, sound scape and cloud-heavy skies, Dya’s Abandoned Vacation Spot is a captivating place to visit, rich in its own romance and utterly photogenic.
- Dya’s Abandoned Vacation Spot (Phantos, rated Moderate)