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My horse and I were enjoying a lazy morning on the beach in Oh Cay yesterday when I happened to mention my recent hike in Peace Canyon. I know he loves our trips in the hills, but I haven't taken him along the last couple of times because I was afraid the land was too steep and rocky for him.  Frankly, the beach is more his speed. He's a bit of a wuss about heights.

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Mostly, even at the beach he seems to enjoy chewing on the shrubbery more than anything.

Still, he did seem miffed at having been left out.  He gets silent and pretends not to listen. Since we were almost at the eastern end of the central Bellisserian mountains anyway, I decided I should be fair and let him see what they were like.

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We headed across public land and up to the road that leads from Oh Cay to Drover, and then left the road right where it almost reaches the coast at Gingham Point. I showed him where we were going, and we started up the ridge.

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As I hoped, the climb was steep but not rocky at all. He had grass under his hooves all the way to the summit, and we had some spectacular views of the great canal and the homes of South Bellisseria. I pointed out the high bridge at Thunderhead so he would have an idea of where I hoped to end the trip, and he made a couple of his chuffy horse sounds to show that he was excited.

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The ridge crest is quite lovely. I was surprised to see that it was not only grassy but that there were many trees up there, despite the elevation. There was a stiff south breeze, and the air was clear and invigorating. We were both enjoying ourselves. I was pleased to see that he was dealing well with being up high. Maybe he wasn't such a wuss after all.

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I showed him where we had just come from.  Those are the houseboats at Oh Cay  and, beyond them, in Zut Alors and the new unsettled land to the east.  He seemed impressed, so we spent an hour or so wandering and taking pictures.

And then it was time to think about coming down again....

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We got to a vantage point where we could look down on the Thunderhead high bridge.  What a view! We could see westward down the great canal as far as Heathcliff, which is more than half the distance to Peace Canyon.  The canal widens dramatically at that point and opens into the bay where the houseboat communities of Grunion Beach and Alewife lie.  My horse's ears stood straight up.  He was clearly pleased.

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Until he looked down.  I wasn't keen on that slope myself, and he made it clear that he wasn't going there.

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It wasn't much better to the north either. The ridge there was not only almost vertical, but was also rocky, and we could see straight down onto rooftops and gardens.  The horse was getting nervous.

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Finally, after backtracking a bit we found one spot that looked promising -- still steep but at least not rocky.  I dismounted and led the way, making soothing promises about marshmallows and a quiet afternoon.  It was slow going, but we made it.

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There is the rail line headed south toward Edgemere Station at the other end of the Thunderhead high bridge. This pass through the mountains and the other one between Peace Canyon and Shallow Springs are the only main routes between North and South Bellisseria, so all road and rail traffic has to go through one route or the other. It can be busy here at times.  
My horse was relieved to be back down again.  He perked up even more when he spotted flowering bushes and butterflies, so I knew that the morning had been a success.  Maybe he's not as afraid of heights as I thought he was, or maybe he was just pleased at having been included in this short adventure. Either way, I'll try to remember to bring him along more often.

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We headed slowly across the bridge to Edgemere Station, in search of those marshmallows I promised.

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Ok here we go. If the greenhouse wasn't empty, the garden would be almost finished. I only take 1 picture inside, I spent most time and LI in the garden.  

After days and days of tweaking, I think I’m finally done with my Victorian (maybe). I am so happy!    

Hello everyone   This is my first time posting in the forum, but I've been a member of SL since 2010. However, I took a loooong break - from around beginning of 2012 to around mid last year. I ca

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Having lived so far in bigger Victorian homes, i decided to downgrade size wise and try the Doyle, which is more compact. It was fun decorating it, just to find out that I had no more prims left for the garden..... which is such a pity, given the fabulous location of my home next to a pond.

 

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Having lived so far in bigger Victorian homes, i decided to downgrade size wise and try the Doyle, which is more compact. It was fun decorating it, just to find out that I had no more prims left for the garden..... which is such a pity, given the fabulous location of my home next to a pond.

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16 minutes ago, Loretta String said:

Having lived so far in bigger Victorian homes, i decided to downgrade size wise and try the Doyle, which is more compact. It was fun decorating it, just to find out that I had no more prims left for the garden..... which is such a pity, given the fabulous location of my home next to a pond.

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Oh my, I love your style, all those textures and wall decor..... That bathroom is to die for

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27 minutes ago, Loretta String said:

Having lived so far in bigger Victorian homes, i decided to downgrade size wise and try the Doyle, which is more compact. It was fun decorating it, just to find out that I had no more prims left for the garden..... which is such a pity, given the fabulous location of my home next to a pond.

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Beautiful! I do it the other way round, always start landscaping, then run out of prims for all my indoor stuff 🤔

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It´s said sometimes good things come out of bad things; so, after my totally failed attempt to sail... I ended up sinking the boat, but I found out this wonderful surprise underwater

 

 

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Edited by Elena Core
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Ok, keep in mind that this is my first try at this.  I mostly used what I had in my inventory, plus a few things I picked up with ideas gleaned from reading in the forums, but anyway, please be kind.  Constructive comments are welcome.

Front

Web 5e697d62d774f851e4bec4ec

Back yard

Web 5e697da8289dd209e0249582

Living Room

Web 5e697e48d774f85d00bec4ec

Hall

Web 5e697c2373ed1760fa7a8950

Kitchen

Web 5e697b98289dd2788ad2ae1f

Bedroom

Web 5e697ad2d774f8394fbec4ec

Bath (still needs work, but I'm almost out of prims)

Web 5e697c0bd9859c3e8c591454

So, what do you think?

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12 hours ago, Loretta String said:

Having lived so far in bigger Victorian homes, i decided to downgrade size wise and try the Doyle, which is more compact. It was fun decorating it, just to find out that I had no more prims left for the garden..... which is such a pity, given the fabulous location of my home next to a pond.

 

 

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I love all of the paintings you have up

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32 minutes ago, kali Wylder said:

Ok, keep in mind that this is my first try at this.  I mostly used what I had in my inventory, plus a few things I picked up with ideas gleaned from reading in the forums, but anyway, please be kind.  Constructive comments are welcome.

Front

Web 5e697d62d774f851e4bec4ec

Back yard

Web 5e697da8289dd209e0249582

Living Room

Web 5e697e48d774f85d00bec4ec

Hall

Web 5e697c2373ed1760fa7a8950

Kitchen

Web 5e697b98289dd2788ad2ae1f

Bedroom

Web 5e697ad2d774f8394fbec4ec

Bath (still needs work, but I'm almost out of prims)

Web 5e697c0bd9859c3e8c591454

So, what do you think?

The add on rail and extra flowers outside are nice.  I also like that you changed the floor in some of the rooms instead of just putting down rugs.  That blue wall color is lovely as is the zen feel of the bedroom.  I've always struggled with kitchens and I never put bathrooms in my homes, so I'm no help there.  I also like the idea of a small desk at the end of that hall.  I couldn't figure out what to do with that area and ended up tossing easels there.

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I was hanging out under the pier in the bay at Down Time yesterday, as I've told you that mermaids like to do, when it occurred to me that you might like a guided tour of the bay. After all, this is one of the larger enclosed bodies of water in Bellisseria, home to a good sized houseboat community and an excellent spot for recreational boating, to say nothing of some beautiful places for sightseeing, exploring, and .... well, living. 

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Clamiranha's bay is bounded on the north by the high cliffs of Bellisseria's central mountain range, which you can see behind me in this photo.  There are only a few places where you can cross the mountains easily.  The closest to this spot is the high bridge in Oleander, to the southwest.  The high bridge in Thunderhead is six regions to the east along that arm of the Grand Canal. You can think of Clamiranha bay as a natural wide spot in the Grand Canal, I suppose.

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To the south of the Down Time pier, the closest land is the lighthouse in Oleander.  Beyond it are the beaches and shoreline homes of the peninsula of Knightley, Dashwood, and Crawford.  This pier serves the recreational area at the foot of the cliffs but it's also a great starting point for trips east or west along the Grand Canal.

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The lighthouse at Oleander is on a small island near the entry to the canal. I like to sit on the rock here to watch sailboats go past. It's tempting to lure them too close to shore, but most sailors are too smart for that. Besides, the shore on this island is too grassy to create much of a wreck.

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The sea floor in Clamiranha is also pretty grassy in spots. When I was a young mermaid, we liked to play tag and hide-and-seek in grasses like these. They kind of tickle as you swim through them. 

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They also tend to trap bits of debris that would otherwise just bounce along in sea floor currents, so you can have fun treasure hunting in places like this. I have no idea what I would to with something like this umbrella, but it is nicely preserved. You wouldn't believe some of the weird things down here.

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Out in the middle of the bay, the twin houseboat communities of Alewife and Grunion Bay are a scenic area for people who like to live on the water.  From here you can easily see back to the Oleander light and to the high bridge beyond it.  There are no public marinas or docking areas here, but the ones on the peninsula to the south are not far away.

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Here's a bit of the shoreline in Dashwood, which is on that peninsula.  The beaches here are sandy and gentle.  There are private homes along here but they are set back from the shoreline (for protection from storm surges?), so these beaches all have public access by land.  And, of course, if you are a mermaid or approach in a small boat you can get here by water.

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From that same Dashwood shore, you can see the houseboats and the impressive cliffs on the north side of the bay.  Those slopes are so steep that they can't hold any trees except near the top. I suppose someone must have tried climbing them, but I can't imagine that it would be easy, even if you had legs.

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If you swim even farther east along the peninsula, into Crawford, the western slopes and even the Oleander lighthouse shrink in the distance. There are some huge trees right along the shore here, but it's mostly fine sandy beaches like the ones in Dashwood.  I lingered here in the shade of a willow for quite a long time, listening to the breeze and to songbirds.  This must be one of the most prized places to own a home in South Bellisseria.  The view is lovely, as far as you can see in any direction.

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Eastward from here is a large island that forms the eastern boundary of the bay.  The island just recently opened for settlement, so I don't know much about it.  That's the beach at Swithins Bridge on the other side of the inlet from Crawford. As far as I can tell, there's no bridge in Swithins Bridge, but I can't see what might be inland.  The inlet is too wide here for a bridge, and there's only the open ocean beyond. 

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Finally, here's a view back to the west from the shore in Swithins Bridge. You can still see the distant mountain slopes, but the Oleander light and the western shore are simply too far to see from here, even if you have a great telephoto lens on your camera.  The bay is just gigantic.  I really wanted you to see how pretty it is, so this has been more of a show and tell day than a real exploration.

 

Edited by Rolig Loon
typos. as always.
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I get a kick out of place names in Bellisseria, places like Leonine Mews.  I have a mental image of a gentle lion with a full mane sitting in a cage and making timid "Mew!" sounds for visiting school children -- perhaps the lion that "et Albert", if you remember Sterling Holloway's classic vaudeville routine.  Anyway ... that was enough to make me decide to visit Leonine Mews yesterday morning and begin a walking tour east.

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Leonine Mews overlooks the huge bay that sits in the middle of the Great Canal separating South Bellisseria and its islands from the rest of the continent. From a high spot, looking west, I could see the houseboats at Grunion Beach and the lovely homes along the shore in Crawford.  It's quite a sight.

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This community sits at the northwest corner of a large island that has only recently started to open for settlement.  I was surprised to see how hilly it is. The main road through Leonine Mews and on to Caithness and Edgemere Station goes up and down quite a bit, but runs in a fairly straight line from west to east. Side streets, however, snake around high and low spots, leaving lots of room for small neighborhood parks in places where it would be impractical to build.

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Here's a rather nice one in Caithness, just off the main road. It has one of those attractive colonnaded ponds (you know, the ones with the brass frogs) and some beautiful beds of hydrangeas. As you can see in this photo, this is a particularly striking place to sit because you look straight across to the Central Bellisserian mountains on the north side of the Grand Canal. In fact, it's hard to find any place in these north-shore communities where you can't see the mountains.

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I love what homeowners have done here.  There are flowers everywhere -- in beds along the sidewalks and in window boxes and hanging pots -- and there are add-on porches and greenhouses, and of course places for children to play.

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Edgemere Station holds a key position on the island because it has the only bridges for road and rail traffic to the main continent. The road from the north comes across Cordwainer and Thunderhead.  Anyone who wants to travel from the heart of Bellisseria to the vast lands in the east has to come through here.

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The engineers who built these bridges had a difficult challenge. The natural channel through here was deepened and widened enough for ocean-going vessels to travel from the northeast all the way across Bellisseria to Ebb Tide.  Because the mountains are so close, it has steep banks on both sides at this point. To anchor bridges firmly means having solid, stable bedrock at both ends. 

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South of the bridges, the land drops off gently toward the southern communities of Carrollton Bay, Pudding, and Whitmarsh. It's not far to the south shore -- you can see across rooftops to the open ocean in the distance in this photo -- and I imagine that there are fine beaches along that coast.

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The rail line turns east at this point and heads for the bridge at Clayton Ravine. I wandered along winding streets in roughly the same direction, curious to see how they managed to build that leg of the railroad.

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What pretty neighborhoods! There are stately willows and maples all through Mountebank, old gigantic trees that have probably been here for many decades before people started exploring this area and certainly long before they started migrating here only recently.  Nowhere on the island is so far from the shore that you can't feel a sea breeze and smell the salt air, but the communities themselves feel much like the towns I have visited from Poinsetta to Cathanth,  from Mermaid Frolic to Oleander.    Bellisserians carry their culture wherever they go.

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The rail company faced an interesting choice as they built the line to the east. Having reached Clayton Ravine, they needed to bridge the ravine itself ( known locally here as Shonash Ravine for reasons that I have been unable to discover). They began a crossing here but seem to have been discouraged by the depth to solid bedrock.  Signs indicate that they still may complete a bridge here, but it's not clear that it will be needed since they have built one at a more logical spot near the mouth of the ravine not far away to the north.. Frankly, if I were planning things I would rather have considered building the second rail crossing at Whitmarsh, to the south. They have built a road bridge there, so someone thought the foundations could be strong enough.

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Here's the only bridge that they built so far -- that wooden trestle visible just on the other side of the stone high bridge. This is logical place for the main crossing into Great Banks and Effing Parade, both strategically and geologically. 

It's also a lovely scenic spot. This little commemorative park is a quiet place for travelers to rest before continuing on to the east.  I always enjoy seeing fountains like this one gurgling on pleasantly. I sat here for quite a while, taking in the sights and smelling the flowers.  There are some beautiful homes out on the point here, overlooking the ravine, the Grand Canal, and the seaward passage northwest toward the islands at Zut Alors and beyond.

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So here's where I stopped for the day. Clayton Ravine is too narrow and shallow for  large marine vessels, which is why they chose to develop the Grand Canal rather than sending ships from the northeast through here and around the south side of this large island.  I'm just as glad. That has left Clayton Ravine as a quieter route for recreational boating and has helped this eastern end of the island keep its natural scenic beauty. 

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I don't know why I have never taken time to explore Campwich Forest until today. I pass through there all the time on my way to someplace else, but I have never wandered in the hills before.  It's a really cool place!

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I guess most people do what I was doing at first ... just hang around the lodge.  It is a lovely building, especially for larger events. It's HUGE. You could have a great dance there.
Today, though, I was standing out on the back porch and I realized that I had never even walked over to check out the waterfall on the other side of the lake.

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There are well-marked trails that start right outside the lodge so you don't have to go scrambling through bushes and trying to hop over streams. I took my time heading around the lake and starting up the slope next to the base of the falls, taking in the spring air and listening to warblers in the trees. The lake is clear as a bell, and that waterfall just roars downhill into it.

Those pretty yellow flowering shrubs are in bloom now -- what are they called? -- and they smell wonderful. I guess it's still early in the season for butterflies, but these will be butterfly heaven in another month or two.

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The last bit of trail to the top is kind of steep, but not too demanding.. I think I heard a hawk while I was on the way up, and I know I heard a lot of critters in the underbrush. Even this close to the lodge, the woods are refreshingly wild.

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And here's the view from almost all the way to the top. Isn't it marvelous? You can see for miles.  That's the lodge down there, and that cable overhead is a zipline that you can ride all the way down. (I didn't, because I really wanted to explore some more .. and I'm a wimp about things like that.)

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It's even nicer when you get all the way to the head of the waterfall.  This log is a little scary to stand on, but you really get the best view from out here.  See the marina down there? I think you can put a sailboat or even a power boat into the water there and then spend the day cruising. I might try that sometime.

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Here's the view the other direction ... a lovely little pond, right at the top. It's sort of shallow, but it's a very pretty spot for wading. I took my boots off and splashed around the shore for a while, and I think I scared an otter or some other furry animal.  

This pond is almost at the southern edge of the Campwich Forest.  If you step right over the south rim beyond the pond, you're in Sheldon, where there are some woodsy places for camping trailers. I decided to stay up on the ridge but to explore father to the west.

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The path that direction leads around to the Campwich Station, where a lot of Bellisserians come by rail.  In fact, my horse and I came there a long time ago, you may remember, when we were starting a day trip into Wolfington and Rayburn.

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This time, I was interested in seeing what is up beyond the waterfall that's behind the station.

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I shouldn't have been surprised that there are good trails over here as well. The forest management crew has really put a lot of effort into making this area attractive and accessible.

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The trail along the ridge here is narrow and it's a little windy, but the view is breathtaking. In that first photo, that's the Wolfington water tower that you see as you head west along the trail. To the south is either Sheldon or Rayburn, depending on whether you're looking due south or more to the west. You can see those luxurious camping trailers snuggled in among the trees. And then on the north side of the ridge, almost to the western limit of Campwich Forest, I discovered that there is a string of little ponds hidden in the high slopes. Those were too much to resist.

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Here's the one I liked most.  It's downslope from a larger one, fed partly by a stream that flows through and under the rocks between them. Like that first pond above the lodge, this one is shallow, so it would be dangerous to dive into.  Still, it's fine for shallow swimming. Despite the fact that it's not far from the station, it's also pretty secluded too -- or at least it was today. As far as I could tell, I was alone except for the wildlife.

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I absolutely love places where I can get away like this. I can sit for hours and just dream, listening to the breeze in the pine trees.  There was a gentle haze over this pond, even in the middle of the day -- sort of moody in a way that I find relaxing. When it comes right down to it, I am not much for crowds. This is the kind of place where I can find peace, especially on a day like today.

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I can also just sit in the water and zone out. This little spot under the overhang was a great place to sit, letting the water rush around me. Sort of like sitting in a whirlpool bath, I guess, but out in the middle of nature.  

I never expected to find places like when I started out. I always figured that Campwich Forest was a popular enough destination that I'd find it more like a park than a forest preserve, but I'm glad I was wrong. Or maybe I was just lucky and everyone else was out boating or something.  Anyway, the hills in Campwich are my kind of wonderful.

Edited by Rolig Loon
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