Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Heterocera Travelogue #7: Spectacle

Leaving Snout and Plusia behind, my next destination is Spectacle, a place along Satelite Way. Spectacle borders with Ear to the north, Plusia to the east, Drinker to the south and Mullein to the west.

At the beginning, a word of caution. This is the first place on my journey across Heterocera with banlines in it, on at least one parcel, so beware if you travel by plane or helicopter (or even by car, if you’re a driver like me!). I will take this opportunity to reiterate that banlines are one of the worst ideas to have been implemented in SL. I wish the gods of SL would just put an end to them. And now back to the subject…

As can be seen from the aerial below, most of Spectacle is quite green, with lots of trees, while roads and railway tracks add to the small town atmosphere.

Although there is some abandoned land in Spectacle, as pretty much everywhere on mainland, the sim looks quite decent. In its eastern part is Juna’s Railroad Park, a private train station connected to SLRR (the green area at the top right of the aerial). The place is newbie friendly, with freebies on offer, as well as teleports to several locations.

One of them is a private changing room up in a skybox, that only one avatar can use at a time, to ensure privacy - perfect for homeless newcomers to SL. When I come to think of the sort of places I used to use as a changing room as a newbie, I wish I had known about places like these.

Just a little bit further to the north-west is the actual Spectacle Train Station, more modern and run by the SLRR. If you take the train further in that direction, it will take you all the way to Yucca at the very north of the continent.

Conveniently, there’s also a taxi stand there, owned by Enid Oompa, one of legendary AnneMarie Otoole’s alts. One of these days I will sit in one of her vehicles and go for a ride, but today I just wasn’t feeling adventurous enough.

Apart from SLRR, Spectacle has also access to three Linden roads - technically two, since it’s two different routes, 3.5 and 4. Both connect this area with the rest of the continent, thanks to the elaborate system of Linden roads on Heterocera, making this sim the best connected one yet.

Thus far we’ve covered the lower part of Spectacle, at the average altitude of about 60m. The rest of the sim is up in the hills to the west, at about 80m above sea level.

First there’s the building housing Dark Passions and Tempus Heart stores. If you climb up the stairs, you will reach a terrace with a nice view of the neighbouring Plusia and Wainscot (and further, depending on your viewer’s settings). 

The stores are located in a charming fortress which is at the same time the single largest building in the sim. There are all kinds of low-cost items in there, from picture frames to corsets to toe nails.

The place has a somewhat spooky feel to it, though, and after a few minutes’ rest in the creepy chair with spindly legs, I moved on.

On the neighbouring parcel there’s the Templenet Sanctuary. Walk up a very steep path towards a relaxing, spa-like spot with nice forest views. Apart from that one parcel with banlines, everything else in Spectacle is either public or very welcoming to visitors.

Unlike most of the places I’ve visited so far during my journey, Spectacle feels like a real small town, rather than a group of randomly lumped together parcels, as is often the case. It was a nice place to visit and take a closer look.

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