It’s been a year since my last visit to Vivian Pearl’s (Vivian Ewing’s) Where Our Journey Begins, and following a suggestion from Cube Republic, I decided to see what has changed since that time. And the answer is, rather a lot!
Now located in a Full private region leveraging the private island LI bonus rather than a Homestead (as with my previous visit), the setting has literally bloomed in both name (at the time of my visit, the setting was called Where Our Journey Begins – The Bloom) and design with the move, presenting a richly varied location with much to see, admire and photograph as one sets out to explore.
This is a setting this is broken into three major areas by the waters that flow through it from the curtain of cliffs sitting within its north-east corner. It is here that high falls have carved a broad, shallow pool that in turns feeds into a second from the midst of which rises a small island that perhaps helps the water branch into two channels, one flowing to the west and the other to the south, so as to split the land.
None of this is readily apparent to visitors on their arrival, hidden as it is from their view. Instead, they arrive on a nub of an isle tucked away to the south-west, the broad back of the region’s major landmass blocking any view of the falls. The landing point sits within a glass house on the little isle, a covered bridge connecting it to the rest of the land to where a mix of dirt and semi-paved paths point the way forward.
Westward, the path curves gently to where a summer house sits between the coast and the uplands, its grounds shaded by weeping willows. The house is simply and comfortably furnished, the courtyard offering seating for a meal and for refreshments, together with a view out over the sea.
The path from the landing point curls around the summer house garden to split into two, with a wooden bridge spanning one of the region’s tow waterways to reach a beach sheltering in the lee of the northern uplands, whilst the main path continues onwards alongside the river, becoming a lamp-lit boardwalk that passes under a great stone bridge.
Finding your way to the latter is a case of finding the stairs that allow the flat-topped hill in the centre of the land to be ascended. These lead the way to further paths that offer the means to discover a cylindrical bathhouse and onwards up to the lush hilltop, where a garden and place for weddings awaits, together with the broad path of the bridge to where the north-western lands sit over the sheltered bridge, complete with a more formal gardens space overlooked by a large glass rotunda.
The bridge leading to these northern gardens is not the only such structure in the landscape; to the east, a second bridge spans the water that flows down from the falls. Shaded by trees intentionally deformed into an arched walkway of rich blossoms and lit by more street lamps, it provides access to the eastern arm of the land that stretches out from the waterfalls, and upon which stands a paved road fronting a parade of townhouses and places of business.
With its high buildings, cars parked at the roadside and people “walking” its footpaths, this little touch of suburbia sits in something of a stark contrast to the rest of the region’s design. But at the same time, the trees and blooms that line the street and surround the buildings soften their lines and helps them to blend with the rest of the setting such that they form a natural part of it.
And still there is more to discover. For those wishing their find their way up to the central highlands, turning right after crossing the bridge from the landing point will offer the quicker route; whilst those turning to the left may avail themselves of the horse rezzer along the path leading to the summer house; it offers a choice of mounts – but those on low-to-mid-range systems may want to disable shadows when riding in order to make things a little easier.
I’ve also not really touched upon the ways out and over the waters from the falls or to the island at the centre of the second pool or the many places which visitors can sit (and enjoy cuddles if they so wish, or many of the smaller details across the land that both await discovery and / or present opportunities for photography. All of which ensures that Where Our Journey Begins remains an inviting and eye-catching visit.
- Where Our Journey Begins (Whispering Windz, rated Moderate)