Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hanging by a thread in Heterocera

With an extensive system of roads and railways, Heterocera (also known as the Atoll Continent) is a delight to explore. The second continent after Sansara, Heterocera is easily recognizable on a map, shaped as it is like a giant double horseshoe. Three mountain ranges ringing inner and outer lagoons dominate the landscape. Today we will wander to the sim Spini, where one can spot, precariously perched on a hillside, a fascinating little parcel called Fieger's Piece.

Porting to the parcel, I found that owner Fieger Difference was there, remodeling the main building, the Damocles Diner. Looking up, you will spot a train dangling high above the diner, swinging threateningly overhead. "Do you know the myth of Damocles?" asked Fieger. "The train hanging down over the diner is a big hint." In that myth, there is a sword hanging over Damocles' head at dinner, fastened only by a single horsehair. Thankfully, the train seems securely anchored in place.

"Well," remarked Fieger, "I haven't quite got the hang of Railroad track-side service (as you probably noticed), but eventually there will be seating on all levels, and all are welcome to explore." At the top of the parcel, where the tracks split, visitors can take an open-car elevator mid-way down and stop to explore a small sitting pool or a cluttered engineer's office before walking down the hill to the diner. While seated outside, one can view the Moleford Municipal Water Station, Spini Reservoir, directly to the north - a whimsical build by Garden Mole. Fieger reassures potential visitors that it is perfectly safe to dine at Damocles. "I've had this diner over a year," he stated, "and yes, the train and the anchor have held up the whole time."

The diner is set on a terraced hill that leads down to the lagoon, between the Second Life Railroad (above the parcel, obviously), and Route 1 (below). Observant visitors who look at the parcel from the map view will notice that above the railroad tracks is another line running in parallel to Route 1 and the SLRR...but it is more than just a road. Set at the terminus of Route 6 (the High Mountain Road/public bridleway), an impressive recreation of the Great Wall of China runs south through 14 sims, and explorers can travel its length either on top or through a tunnel inside. The first time I went traveled the Wall was actually on a motorcycle, but walking is also enjoyable as there are fantastic views from the top.

The northern entrance to the Great Wall is not far at all from the Damocles Diner. Starting at the Athetis rez zone (photo above), travellers can decide whether they want to explore the Wall to the south, or venture north along the beautifully rustic Route 6 (photo below), one of the most scenic roads on all of the Mainland. Choices, choices. As the scarecrow said, "Pardon me, but this way is a very nice way. It's pleasant down that way, too. Of course, some people do go both ways." Either choice offers a great ramble though many sims. Whichever you decide, enjoy the trip, and make sure you stop at the diner for something to eat!

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