Shawn Shakespeare pointed me in the direction of La Vallee, a Homestead region held by Som (Sominel Edelman) and home to his business Landscapes Unlimited – the in-world store for which is located overhead within the region.
The reason Shaun gave me the nudge is that currently the ground level of the region is sporting a design by Isha (Sablina), a talented region design whose work encompasses the likes of La Virevolte, Ponto Cabina, Field of Dreams – all of which have featured in articles in this blog – and, most recently a design on behalf of Gnaaah Xeltentat for Florence at Low Tide (see: Spring at Florence in Second Life).
La Vallee is a design that serves two purposes: the first is to demonstrate Som’s latest off-region surround, the Alpine Valley MEGA, which goes on sale from May 1st; it’s also as a setting for exploration and – for those so inclined – for entering Som’s “50K Photo Contest” that is focused on the setting.
As with the majority of Sablina’s designs, this is an incredibly restful setting, a tall island rising from the midst of a lake guarded by a ring of high alpine peaks where snow yet nestles in the folds and dips of rock where the snow has yet to fully penetrate.
The island rises fairly tall and sheer from the waters, although on the west side, the lower reaches of the island slope more gently down to the water’s edge, reached by a switch back path of hard granite that drops away from the paved path that runs across the island’s saddle between its two peaks.
The first, and lower, of these peaks is home to the landing point: a small country station that faces a thatched-roofed cottage across a single line of track. An old steam loco is huffing its way towards this terminus across the high stone viaduct that connects island to the rest of the land (actually the region surround); but no passenger service is this – there are no cars riding along behind the loco’s tender.
The taller of the two peaks is home to a pair of farm houses that sit together within a low wall of stone that rings them, a couple of gaps within its circumference offering the means to wander to the very edge of the cliffs. Pass through one of them, and you’ll find it also offers anther path that winds around the peak, outer edge marked by lengths of drystone wall to eventually return to the steps that lead up to the farmhouses.
This path is one of two that ring the peak, the second sits lower, reached by a crossroads in the path lining the farmhouses with the railway station. It offers a pleasing walk with plenty of views, together with a number of vignettes and places to sit and pass the time.
Those who want to can wander further can fly over to the smaller island to the west – but keep in mind this actually blends with the region surround, so be careful of where you walk.
The beauty of this region really doesn’t require the level of description given here – its the kind of place that really speaks for itself during a visit. So with that in mind I’m going to say no more other than suggest that if you haven’t already done so – be sure to take the time to jump over and pay a visit. For those interested, a board at the landing point provides a a link to the region’s landing point – although specifics are a little light in terms of prizes, etc.
- La Vallee (Landscapes Showcase, rated Moderate)