Part 1 of 3
I had the landmark to this place from my previous visit long back, nestled between a lot of other landmarks I had long since forgotten. One particularly slow day in SL, twiddling thumbs over what to do while my friends were away, I thought of checking the various options available in the pull-down menus. I am still figuring out my way around here, and under World-Places, I found a whole lot of landmarks. Having nothing better to do, I tried to teleport myself to each of them. I say tried, because most of them were not available anymore and returned an error. I got three active ones, and of those, being romantic at heart, chose to visit Hypnotic Romance. One was an armoury, which I could not recollect what reason I had to visit. There was another place that I absolutely loved, which I will cover next time.
When I teleported to the location, it was evening there, and I landed bang in the middle of a huge garden, which was in full bloom with pink flowers. At a distance, there was also an entire huge tree in full bloom, again full of pink flowers. The first impression was darn good. As I turned my roving eye to the left, I saw a few more mammoth trees, some blooming and at a distance, some with low-reach swaying, spindly branches that had what looked like luminous flowers on them. I could see some of the trees had hearts etched into their barks. On closer inspection, I could see some lettering on them. I did not stop to figure out what they meant or if they did something, but kept walking. I was exploring this place alone anyway, so no place for hearts. The primary colour was pink everywhere, which shone in various shades throughout the landscape. Even when I entered a gazebo nearby a flowing stream, I saw it had pink bunches of flowers hanging around them. A nice place to relax.
There is a first time for everything. Since I am still figuring out my way here, I realized most random people I said hello to, did not respond in equal measure or did not respond at all. I thought it was the way things worked over here. You don’t talk to strangers here too. Imagine my surprise then, when for the first time, a lady IM’d me and not only said hello, but mentioned she explicitly wanted to welcome me. I was confused how she could figure that out. On asking, she mentioned I still have an old avatar even though my age belied that. I reasoned that in this world where everyone wants to stand out by being different, maybe having a dated avatar without any AO is one way of naturally being different. That conversation did not go anywhere, but that lady did… away from me, leaving me to my resources. So much for the welcome.
Distractions out of the way, I turned my attention back to the landscape. Steering left, I saw a beautiful sky in the distance, past a water body. The sky was mix of dull pink and orange, with the Sun’s reflection casting golden shimmers on the water below. The Sun was however, blocked from my view by a flowering tree which gently caressed the wind. I love water and sunsets, and this was just too beautiful; I had to get a better view. I briskly paced towards the bright light source, stopping just short where the water lapped at the rocky beach. Half way to the horizon, were the letters L-O-V-E, floating on the water. A nice touch, to top the setting that would have by now already begun fluttering our hearts. The ocean continued boundlessly to the right. Nothing much there, but a huge tree on a rocky platform barred my continuous line of sight to the horizon beyond. Barren, compared to the visual treat I had received so far.
The left side was completely different. It was busy. The gardens with their flowering shrubs were everywhere, but here I could see a wharf extending some distance into the sea, another lazy leaved, dropping tree and a raised platform with steps, all giving each other company some distance from each other. I took on the wharf first. I should mention that everywhere I went, huge diamond-shaped pose balls invited couples to dance. Couples. Not happening with me any time soon. At the edge of the wharf, the Sun was directly in my line of sight, still dipping into the horizon and still casting its magical glow everywhere. A large mattress invited visitors to get some rest. Very comfortable and scenic. A bird about to take wings sat perched on a rock, while on the wharf, I could see what looked otters or maybe platypuses – two families, even having tiny babies next to them. They probably had used the dance pose balls some time back and things had gotten interesting for them, hence the babies.
Stepping off the wharf, on the opposite side, was the raised platform, which was much larger and beautiful than it had seemed from a distance. After a short flight of steps up, I was greeted by two beautiful arches with multi-coloured vegetation growing on them. I took a walk around the square open arcade. The large grey stones which made up the floor added to the mystery of this place. At the first corner to the right, was a cozy spot – a table set for two, the furniture made from simple, wiry wood. The same setting was in every corner of this place, and even on the arcade, flowering plants were everywhere. The plants were overgrown in some places, but it added to the mystique of the place. In the centre of it all was a huge tree with the same, lit flowers I had mentioned earlier, dangling and drooping down. A few birds who called it home, fluttered around. Interestingly, some of them had their own light source, making them look like large fireflies.
Coming down, I soon reached the gazebo again and noticed a small arched bridge that crossed over the stream. I accessed, got to the other side, and was greeted by a road with arched trees on either side forming an overhead canopy. The ground was strewn with low, pink flowering plants while one small plant was to a side – insignificant, except that it was glowing! The road snaked around a bit before reaching a rocky clearing. A wooden structure was erected here, with a long flight of steps leading to the first level. I found nothing that held my interest for long here. It was a high structure, with lot of steps from one level to another, and totally had three different levels, each with a holding area to sit and relax. The view got better, but that was about it. The steps were tricky though and I slipped a couple of times before I could find my footing.
On my way back, the huge rocky boulders cleared a little even though they still blocked my vision. I went over them. On the other side, the scene suddenly changed. A large curved platform greeted me, reaching right up to the water’s edge. In fact, a protrusion in the centre got me so close to the water’s edge, I could stand there and get drenched in the waves that lashed at the platform. On my way back, I saw a swing, with bright lights adorning its ropes. It swung too, so sitting on it meant you would be oscillating. The only problem, if I may call it that, was it was about 10 feet in the air. Not a problem in SL, of course. I raised my arm towards it, the magic UFO kind of light flickered between me and swing, and I was perched on it. The view got better from up here and the oscillation made it even more worth it.
Stay tuned…. Part 2 to be published on August 19.