A trip to France in Second Life

Bordeaux, France, January 2022 – click any image for full size
On this grid I actualize the worlds I imagine, conjure my wildest daydreams, and walk a path unknown. I am here to create a fantasy for others to enjoy. Landscaping is my medium, my love language, and my story.

– TONAL (Avalyn Aviator)

I recently had cause to visit two adjoining Full regions design by TONAL which offer a rich mix of environments combined by what is clearly a love of France: its architecture, its history and its sweeping countryside and landscape.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

Within Bordeaux, France, TONAL offers visitors a cityscape worthy of historic Paris. Here stand buildings one might easily encounter in a walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysée and the streets running back from it and to either side of its long arm. Like that broad avenue, the buildings here present shops (some spaces available for rent) and apartments above (some of which are available for rent and cleverly hidden with in the façades of the various buildings, reached via the region’s experience teleport option (if available for rent).

The streets may not be as broad as the likes of the Champs-Élysée, but they are perfectly navigable on foot and offer the opportunity to explore this city-like setting and discover its secrets and places of interest, such as the neighbourhood supermarket, the little children’s playground or the more ostentatious Jardin et Salon de Thé.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

As with Paris, this is a cosmopolitan centre marked by open spaces and terraces looking down towards a body of water albeit is a lake rather than a river!), and fountains and statures add grace and a timeless sense of history to the setting. Unlike Paris, however, this is a cityscape market by tall medieval-like towers topped by conical roofs of a kind more commonly seen gracing many chateaux across France rather than in the heart of a metropolis. Even so, they add a sense of place here.

Placed at various points around the city are maps (some of which can be found inside public spaces and resemble oversized iPads). These provide a map of the city and the adjoining countryside (of which more below), and include click-to-teleport markers for those wishing to quickly hop around the setting’s major points of interest, such as the aforementioned Jardin et Salon de Thé or the rooftop restaurant or the grand stables, to name but three. Oddly, a map isn’t placed at, or close to, the landing point – but a wander around the streets will quickly reveal it.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

With a westward perspective, the city looks out towards the countryside of Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, the second Full region comprising this location.  Between countryside and city sits a large lake around which sits a part of the town far older than that around the landing point, the buildings clearly harking back to medieval times. Guarded to one side by an old (and unfurnished) fortified chateau, the majority of these aged building are façades designed to give a further sense of depth and place to the setting – which they do so admirably – although a walk around them will bring visitors to a cosy tavern.

Across the lake and reached via bridge or by following the cobbled ways either side of the water, the land opens out into hilly woodlands. Here, as the region’s name suggests, there is the opportunity for hunting, with part of the region only accessible on the purchase of the “hunting pass” (L$200 for 24 hours). I confess I didn’t give this a try, so am unsure of what to expect, but I did take the public track up and around the wooded hills, passing some of the cottages and country houses that are also available for rent here.

Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, January 2022

At the time of my visit, it appeared some remodelling was underway – I caught sight of a couple of exposed plywood boards and at least one building within Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn was still set to track any movement of its rezzing box. However, none of this detracts from the appeal of either region or the opportunities for photography to be found throughout. That said, within Bordeaux, France, there is a lot for the viewer to rez and render, so those on more moderate system may need to adjust settings / reduce Draw Distance to a more comfortable level to assist in their explorations.

Warning aside, I enjoyed wandering through both Bordeaux, France, and Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, so why not hop along and have a wander yourself?

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

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