Simploring 2020 (29) Kohlmannskuppe

Just in time for Easter Serene Footman opened his new sim “Kohlmannskuppe” taking us to “a ghost town and tourist destination in southern Namibia. Once a thriving diamond mine and one of the richest towns in Africa, the abandoned buildings are now being swallowed by the Namib desert.

Kohlmannskuppe was given up in 1956. Serene has done a very detailed resarch about the history of Kohlmannskuppe, he studied pictures taken today and historic pictures. He researched the history of the place and it’s current state as the town is flooded with sand. He gives us some insight into the era when Kohlmannskuppe flourished as a diamond mine during the time of the colonial power of Germany in the early 20th century.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (1) – the entrance building / around the landing point

He rebuilt some of the most outstanding buildings that are still existent, first and foremost the Kasino with it’s theater room but also others like the ice factory that provided the community with ice for their fridges. He also rebuilt some residential houses and – with all artistic freedom – gave them the look and feeling of how they look today and back in the early 20th century.

I strongly recommend to read Serene’s own blogpost “Kolmannskuppe – The Ghost Town of Namib Desert” before visiting. It will enhance your experience. Another good source is the entry about Kohlmannskuppe in wikipedia here.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (2) – The Kasino with theatre room and cafe

 

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (3) – ice factory, bakery and a barrack

In his blogpost Serene also wrote about the buildings you see at Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life and who helped to create what we can now experience virtually: “Directly opposite the Kasino, you will find the teacher’s house, for which I have utilised the prefab brilliantly created by Milk Motion (Marie Lauridsen). This building has those richly coloured walls one finds in so many photographs of the real Kolmannskuppe.

There are more very interesting details in Kohlmannskuppe like the tram that was used to transport water from one end of the town to the other. The tram that you can see was built “in a collaborative effort with Harry Cover (impossibleisnotfrench), who helped with the tram’s seats and brakes. Harry also helped out by meshing the quirky little diamond retrieval machine that sits next to the Kasino building.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (4) – account house / around the tram station

At the 2nd floor of the Kasino building you will find a small gift shop, with custom-made postcards, posters, and tee shirts for sale, as well as a museum area.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (5) – the bowling at the 2nd floor of the Kasino / behind the Kasino/ desert camp and wildlife

But there’s a lot more to explore and discover like original boards in several languages spread over the sim. These boards are really there in reality, in particular the one to protect the brown hyenas. Serene also added some animals quite rarely seen in Second Life, “such as Bighorn sheep, Gemsbock (aka Oryx), Sable Antelope, Wildebeest” and the above mentioned Hyenas.
I want to mention the big pool, nowadays filled with sand. This pool was really there and it played an important role for the community.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (6) – Hospital ruins / pool and water storage

Don’t miss seeing the 2 colonial houses that witness the former wealth of Kohlmannskuppe. You can walk inside and as opposed to reality, going in is safe! You find the leftovers of the former residents, some look like they just left like the kids toys in one of them or the sewing machine, some other leftovers are just rubbish.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (7) – Colonial house, witness of former wealth

As usual in Serene’s installations you find many opportunities to sit and watch on furniture that is not that inviting, but fits to the scenery.

Once again Serene Footman took us to a place that most of us will never see in reality and can be experienced now virtually for a limited time. During times where we all can’t travel in the physcial world – take the opportunity to travel to Kohlmannskuppe.

Impressions of Kohlmannskuppe in Second Life (8) – Colonial house, witness of former wealth

Thank you very much for this Easter present, Serene. I enjoyed my visit a lot and I took tons of pictures. One personal remark: Yasminia, the sim where Kohlmannskuppe is built on, was once kind of my second home in Second Life about 10 years ago and it is already the second time that I visited it on my simploring tours with a totally different design. What a coincidence!

Landmark to Kohlmannskuppe
https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Yasminia/254/7/22
Serene Footman’s blogpost “Kolmannskuppe – The Ghost Town of Namib Desert”
https://furillen.org/2020/04/10/kolmannskuppe-the-ghost-town-of-namib-desert/
Kohlmannskuppe in wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmanskop

Simploring 2020 (13) Welcome back, Slava – Khodovarikha in Summer

Yesterday, Wednesday February 19th, I came across Khodovarikha again when scrolling through scoop.it SL Destinations. I visited this extreme lonely place back in October 2017 (see Simploring 2017 (80) Khodovarikha).

Khodovarikha (in Russian: Ходовариха) is a weather station located on the freezing Barents Sea. Remote and desolate, with a permanent population of just one man, Slava. Witness his ‘arctic limbo’ in one of the loneliest places on earth. Once Khodovarikha was a village and there are a number of buildings scattered around on the sim. The most striking is the lighthouse, built in 1933 and decommissioned in 1996. It is made of timber, which Slava is cannibalising for firewood, and sits high up on a raised section of the land.

Serene Footman, who has a passion for unknown, strange and outstanding places, had brought Khodovarikha alive in Second Life and gathered a lot of information about it so that we could get an impression of it – and not only by reading about it in his blog (read here) and watching a video but also by exploring it in Second Life and thus getting a feeling for the place. That all was back in 2017 and as Serene’s places are temporar and stay about one month (some stay longer, some shorter) Khodovarikha is gone for more than 2 years now.

Khodovarikha in Summer – birds eye view

Welcome back, Slava – Serene Footman has reopened Khodovarikha on Saturday, February 15th. The first Khodovarikha was set up in Winter, the one we can see now is giving us an impression of it during Summer. In the above mentioned video we see that Khodovarikha is a real mess. Serene writes in his new blogpost: “the windswept sand is littered with barrels and crates, as well as miscellaneous bits of rusty salvage. I have often wondered about those barrels – why are there so many of them, and why are they left lying around, quite literally, everywhere … I have wanted to design a summer version of Khodovarikha ever since closing the sim in December 2017.”

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (1) – the “new” abandonned house

When creating Khodovarikha in Summer, Serene added a lot of life, in particular birds, many many birds and thus the place is full of life. As opposed to the first place, the lighthouse is not working anymore this time (like in reality). Serene has found more information about Khodovarikha, in particular he learned that the lighthouse was also used as a place for fun and sports back when Khodovarikha was still a village with at least some more inhabitants and even children. That is why Serene installed a zip line from the top of the lighthouse to the ground – and provides the fun for us visitors as well!

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (2) – climbing up the lighthouse

There’s really a lot to see, explore and to discover at Khodovarikha. I started my visit with exploring the “new” abandoned house close to the lighthouse. Yes, as described by Serene and as could be expected it is a whole mess inside. I sat down close by and enjoyed the strange atmosphere. All over the sim you find places to sit, just that you can breath in the atmosphere of the place. And birds, birds, birds. They have taken over Khodovarikha.

Of course I climbed up to the top of the lighthouse. At one level on your way up you can watch a slideshow with pictures of the real Khodovarikha. Using the zip line is fun by the way.

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (3) – birds, brids, birds

Did I already mention the many birds? The are also noisy (don’t forget to turn your sound on). One larger colony of them is by the water where they have occupied the rocks. Another colony occupied a small pond. I didn’t change the windlight. This ensures that the place still looks not inviting but facinating in its depressiveness despite of all the birds and the corners where you can blind out all the barrels and garbage spread all over of the sim.

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (4) – Ustin’s and Slava’s house

I visited Ustin’s house as well as Slava main living house. I don’t remember the kitchen in the 1st Khodovarikha, but it caught my attention this time. What a mess! It’s hard to believe that someone can live with such a mess (and dirt).

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (5) – the pier, Slava’s garage and other impressions

I also can’t remember that there was a pier and a boat in the 1st Khodovarikha. And for sure Khodovarikha offers may more opportunities to sit and watch this time. That makes sense as it is Summer but on the other hand I can’t imagine that Slava would clean up the place in Winter and bring all the stools and sofas back into his storage garage *winks*.

Finally I played a bit with the windlight and created a sunnier Summer day. This changed the atmosphere a lot! It swept away the melancholy on one side, on the other side the mess and all the garbage are more disturbing the peace.

Impressions of Khodovarikha in Summer (5) – just imagine the sun would shine at Khodovarikha

If you want to visit yourself, you shouldn’t wait to long with a visit as Khodovarika will only stay available for a few weeks.
Thank you so much for realizing Khodovarikha in Summer, Serene. I had a lot of fun exploring and learning more about this strange and outstanding place.

Landmark to Khodovarikha
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Saint%20Denis%203/203/182/21
My visit to Khodovarikha in October 2017 “Simploring 2017 (80) Khodovarikha”
https://themaurers.me/2017/10/11/simploring-2017-80-khodovarikha/
Video “Arctic Limbo”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-DzOJyGqGk
Serene Footman’s post about Khodovarikha in Sommer “Welcome back, Slava”
https://furillen.org/2020/02/15/с-возвращением-слава/
Serene Footman’s post about the 1st Khodovarikha in 2017
https://furillen.org/khodovarikha/
Flickr group
https://www.flickr.com/groups/khodovarikha/

Simploring 2019 (126) Lairig Leacach

Today I came across “Lairig Leach” on scoop.it SL Destinations. Lairig Leach is the newest installation of Serene Footman, it is his quite unusal holiday gift to the residents of Second Life.

As always Serene has selected an unknown, remote and particular spot in Real Life and brought it to Second Life. Larig Leach is “a tiny bothy in a spectacular situation at the foot of Stob Ban in the Central Scottish Highlands. A bothy – also called a byre, or cowshed – is a refuge, a place to rest tired feet or sleep, sheltered from the wind, rain and snow.

Lairig Leacach

In Serene’s own blog you’ll find a detail description about this particular bothy (Lairig Leach) as well as about the Scottish Highlands and the Mountain Bothies Association. There’re also some pictures of Lairig Leach in RL as well as other links with more information.

Impressions of Lairig Leacach (1)

Around the bothy Lairig Leach are mountains, a river, animals, rocks, a frozen pond, trees, trails, snow and more snow. The windlight setting is selected to make us freeze. The landing point is a frozen pond and you have to walk a bit to reach Lairig Leach which is quite in the center of the sim. The bothy itself contains nothing more than a loft bed, broken shelves and two chairs. Nonetheless it is the only place that offers shelter from wind and snow. For someone who hiked a few hours through the loneliness of the Scottish Highlands in Winter, such a bothy can be the paradise, a life saving shelter. And this interpretation could make Serene’s Lairig Leacach a Christmas installation.

Impressions of Lairig Leacach (2)

Not surprisingly Lairig Leacach is outstanding in its simplicity – nature, snow and just a few places to sit. The sim background is perfectly fitting to the sim so that you can’t differentiate between the sim and the background. It is a pardise for photographers.

Impressions of Lairig Leacach (3)

Be aware that Lairig Leacach is a temporary installation and might be gone by the end of the year.
Thank you for your holiday gift, Serene. I enjoyed my visit, Happy Holidays!

Lairig Leacach

Landmark to Lairig Leacach
https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tor%20of%20Ironhall/139/169/24
Serene Footman’s blogpost about Lairig Leacach
https://furillen.org/2019/12/14/lairig-leacach/
Mountain Bothies Association
https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/

Diary 2019 (163) Oct 18th/19th Enjoying control

Friday, October 18th, I met Jenny shortly in the late morning before she left for some family obligations to attend Friday and Saturday. We caught up with our mutual news, talked and before she logged off I had her kissing my boots and hugging my legs. This way she would get this picture upon her return Saturday night. For me it was a great start into this Friday.

October 18th: Diomita with her property Jenny at home in the annex of our skybox

In the afternoon I revisited Furillen, which had been brought back into Second Life (read Simploring 2019 (105) Furillen). I really enjoyed my short simploring tour.

And Friday night was our regular Friday night party. Virgo set the theme most probably in accordance with Starry “Hey, it’s friday and then we just need to party. Some zombies made an early apearance, so why don’t you join then, or come to hunt them.”

We werent that many that Friday. In the beginning it was just Starry, Della, Virgo, slave Flo and me. And while I was unpacking a box with costumes to change for the theme … I deleted the dance floor by accident. And as I tried to reinstall it, it got lost. I had a safety copy of the dance floor with all the equipment, yet it took some while to get it aligned properly. So my Firday night party didn’t start really well – but then I had fun. We chatted quite a lot in main, we listened to good muic and I had a glass of wine in RL. In short: another great start into the weekend.

October 18th Friday night party: slave Flo, Diomita, Della Randt, Starbright Wingtips, Alaun (ams684), Virgo, Diable (Orson Neutron), Claire (maddh4tt3r), papafox57

Saturday, October 19th, I met slave Gwendi in the afternoon and I took her to the house. I had her clean my boots and then allowed her to lick me to a nice orgasm. I relaxed in a lounger afterwards when slave Flo joined us. I took slave Gwendi and slave Flo to Mesmerize Dungeon for half an hour before I had to leave to tend to my RL. My attempts to liven up main chat failed – but I had fun trying it *winks*

Ocotber 19th: slave Gwendi serving Diomita / Diomita at Mesermize Dungeon with slave Flo and slave Gwendi

At night Jenny was back from her RL trip. We first caught up with our news, then we had two rounds of greedy with slave Gwendi, slave Christin and slave Flo. No side bet this time, just a bit of teasing *winks*. After the game we went to Ropers playground to expose the slaves. Unfortunately there werent many people and hence the slaves got not much feedback. Jenny and I had fun nonetheless.

October 19th: Mistress Jenny and Diomita exposing slave Gwendi, slave Flo and slave Christin at Ropers playground / Diomita and her property Jenny at home

I was still enjoying a green light and after we returned home I retreated with Jenny to the annex of our skybox and had my way with her. She’s such a willing Eheslut …. sometimes ..

Simploring 2019 (105) Furillen

The name “Furillen” might sound familiar for many people in Second Life who like to explore this virtual world. Furillen.org is the website of Serene Footman where you find information about Serene’s outstanding places in Second Life. All of there creations have a strong connection with places in the physical world, places that not many people know or can get to easily. And these places always have something mysterious and a particular atmosphere.

Serene’s first creation was Furillen (at least as far as I know) and I visited it back in 2016, Of course I wrote a blogpost about it and I will add it below. And now Furillen is back! This gives those who missed seeing it the opportunity to discover and explore it. And for others it is very enjoyable to see it again.

Furillen October 2019: landing loint (upper left) / in the office (lower left) / in the hotel (upper right) / in the factory (lower right)

I’m not sure if the whole sim is exactly the same as in 2016. For example I can’t remember the dining table on the roof terrace of the old plant site. But perhaps I missed it during my visit in 2016. I recognized a lot though.

Impressions of Furillen October 2019 – upper right shows the dining place on the roof terrace of the factory

 

I recommend to read Serene’s text about Furillen at his website Furillen.org before visiting. Knowing the background about Furillen makes the visit even more interesting.

Here’s my blogpost from 2016…

Furillen in Second Life

Saturday, November 5th, I looked up the SL destination guide and came across Furillen. Somehow the name rang a bell, but more about this later. The description read very tempting for me “Furillen depicts an island off the north-east coast of Sweden containing abandoned industrial builds that were once part of a former limestone factory. Remote, bleak and beautiful, this is a Second Life photographers haven.”
Once I arrived at Furillen and saw the cold, snowy, dismal island with the ruins of a former insudstry, I began to do some research about Furillen.

Furillen (older spelling Furilden) is an island in Rute on the northeast coast of Gotland, Sweden. For most of the 20th century, there was a limestone industry on the island until it was closed to the public by the Swedish military in the 1970s–90s, when radar installations became operational. The north part of Furillen is a nature reserve and a Natura 2000 area. Since 2000, the old factory buildings from the limestone industry have been used as hotel and conference venues by the Fabriken Furillen (the Furillen Factory) company, owned by photographer and entrepreneur Jonas Hellström. He started out using the abandoned factory and its surroundings as a backdrop for commercials and rock videos. (source Wikipedia)

November 5th – Furillen in Second Life: Arrving at Furillen

There’s a website about this sim furillen.org and I recommend visiting it first. The following information is en excerpt taken from furillen.org. The sim is owned and was created by Serene Footman in Ocotber 2015. Serene is an university professor in the UK in RL and the author of several books. “I originally ventured into Second Life as a researcher. I have always found creative sims to be the most compelling aspect of Second Life. By creating Furillen, I wanted to provide an environment in which photographers and Second Life wanderers would feel welcomed and inspired.
The virtual Furillen was designed to retain some of the most distinct and recognisable features of the real Furillen: the airstream, the tree line and pier, for example, together with the large slag heaps that still exist as a reminder of the old quarry. In addition, there are several buildings, the main being a hotel that – on the virtual Furillen – doubles up as an art space with a series of rooms featuring minimalist installations.


Furillen became quite a social space. It is, especially, a place for photographers. Serene has also staged events over the past year, most memorably those devoted to Bowie, Radiohead and Pink Floyd – and it is the Pink Floyd event that rang a bell for me. I’ve visited Furillen before together with Mistress Jenny during this event, not konowing about the background of Furillen. You can read in this blog about the Pink Floyd event in the article “Pink“.
It is amazing how perfectly Serene succeeded in making the virtual Furillen looking similar to the real island as you can see when you compare the pictures from wikipedia with the pictures taken in Second Life – chapeau! One of the old buildings is used for exhibitions and right now there’s an exhibition called “Birds” with photographs from Laura.


I roamed over the island and climbed on the structures and was impressed how intense you feel to be in a real abandoned industry ruin. The highlight of my visit was the hotel which is placed just behind the tree line. The tree line looks really misplaced on this island in this dismal environment but is also just reflecting the real Furillen. In the hotel each room is a different piece of art, mostly surreal and a heaven for photograhers.

November 5th – Furillen in Second Life: The hotel behind the tree line

I know I am by far not the first writing about Furillen. There’s a long list of articles on furillen.org. Nonetheless I wanted to keep something for this diary and to inspire others to have a look at Furillen. Thank you so much Serene for providing this sim to the public!

end of my original post 2016 about Furillen (I only updated the landmark)

Thank you so much Serene for bringing back Furillen. I enjoyed my (re-)visit at lot!

Link to my original post Furillen in Second Life
https://themaurers.me/2016/11/08/furillen-in-second-life/
Landmark to Furillen
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Arcole/163/117/23
Flickr group
https://www.flickr.com/groups/furillen/
Serene’s website furillen.org
https://furillen.org/
Furillen entry in Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furillen

Simploring 2019 (17) Chesapeake Bay

Forget me not, is all I ask.” is inscripted on the grave slab of Effie L. Wilson, who was born Jan. 16th, 1880 and died Oct. 12th, 1893 on Holland Island which is located the Cheseapeake Bay. She just became 13 years old. Holland Island itself is mostly sunken, just some sandbanks are left and might vanish soon as well as hundreds of other islands did in the Chesapeake Bay.

Stephen White, a waterman and Methodist Minster, fought more than 15 years trying to save Holland island and the last house remaining of once 60 houses which were inhabitated by more than 400 people in the 19th century. He lost this fight. The last house sunk in 2010. But he did succeed in one thing: Effie L. Wilson isn’t forgotten.

Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay – real and virtual

This and other stories around the many sunken islands inspired Serene Footman and Jade Koltai to re-erect not only Holland Island in the state shortly before the last house was swallowed by the sea.
Serene and Jade also added a lighthouse from Sharps Island which still peeks out of the water while Sharps Island itself sank in 1960, somewhat earlier than Holland Island. And they added a popular hotel that was built on the island and sank with it.

Sharps Island in the Chesapeake Bay – real and virtual

Serene Footman published a very interesting and instructive article about the sunken islands in the Chesapeake Bay and the stories behind his’ and Jade’s newest installation “Chesapeake Bay” (read “The Islands that Disappeared” on Serene’s website furillen.org). There’re many pictures of today and from the past alongside some videos for example about Stephen White and his futile fight to save the last house of Holland Island.

Impressions of Chesapeake Bay in Second Life (1)

I strongly recommend to read and watch the Videos first before you visit “Chesapeake Bay” in Second Life. Knowing the background and some of the stories, the many lifes lived on these sunken islands lets you feel the magic of this place in the virtual world of Second Life.

Impressions of Chesapeake Bay in Second Life (2)

Of course there’s more to explore and discover at Chesapeake Bay. Besides the historical buildings and structures there’re plenty of places to sit, mediate, chat or just enjoy the environment and the rich wildlife. Colonies of birds are living on what’s left of the Islands.

Impressions of Chesapeake Bay in Second Life (3)

For me it was particular to visit Chesapeake Bay in Second Life, as I was in the area in the 1990ies and in the 2010ies – not aware of all of this. Serene and Jade’s transformations of particular places in the physical world into the virtual world of Second Life truely enrich my expierence. Thank you Serene and Jade!

Landmark to Chesapeake Bay
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Epsilon/191/179/21
Information and background provided by Serene Footman “The Islands that Disappeared”
https://furillen.org/2019/02/09/the-islands-that-disappeared/
Serene Footman’s website
http://www.furillen.org/

Simploring 2018 (89) Black Bayou Lake

When I saw the first reviews of Black Bayou Lake on scoop.it SL Destinations I knew I had to see this sim. It is the newest creation of Serene Footman and his partner Jade Koltai. Serene Footman is the creator of places like Furillen, Dunkirk – La Digue du Braek, Khodovarikha and Isle of May, all of which I visited and wrote about (read here: Furillen, Dunkirk – La Digue du Braek, Khodovarikha, Isle of May). All these sims have one thing in common: they are built according to a place in the physical world – and so is Black Bayou Lake.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (1)

On Serene Footman’s website you find a detailed description about Black Bayou Lake:
Black Bayou Lake (link to wikipedia) – the inspiration for our sim – is located in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The lake is part of an 800 acre nature reserve – there is a factsheet about it here – which seethes with wildlife: there are many species of bird, insect, reptile and fish, along with a variety of trees such as cherrybark oak, cedar elm, ash, hickories, willow oak, shortleaf pine, loblolly pine, mockernut hickory and post oak. It’s a stunning place, which attracted us because we had not yet tried designing a sim that consists mainly of water…...”

Black Bayou Lake in Second Life is a virtual interpretation of the nature reserve in the physcial world. The most outstanding feature both places have in common is a long wooden footpath that visitors can use to explore and to even walk out onto the lake. The swamp with it’s unique flora and the bare trees is another feature they share. Even some of the huts that are scattered on the sim look similar to those found in the nature reserve.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (2)

I didn’t change the windlight setting that was provided. The atmosphere is very foggy and mystic, you can almost sense the humidity. I walked along the whole footpath, enjoyed the views, sat down here and there, listened to the birds singing (don’t forget to turn on the ambient sound!) and took a lot of pictures.
When I left the wooden footpath, I fall into the swamp several times. Luckily that’s not dangerous in Second Life, nonetheless you’d better watch your step.

Impressions of Black Bayou Lake in Second Life (3)

Visiting Black Bayou Lake was a great experience that I really enjoyed. I looked up a lot of information about the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It did not replace a visit to it in real life, but together with some pictures of the real place it felt as if I were there. I assume just the smell and the damp heat is what I missed *winks*.

Thank you Serene Footman and Jade Koltai for sharing your creation with the public!

Landmark for Black Bayou Lake
https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gainesville/144/204/21
Serene Footman’s website
https://furillen.org/black-bayou-lake/
Black Bayou Lake on Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Bayou_Lake_National_Wildlife_Refuge
Description from a visit at Black Bayou Lake
https://flatfooting.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/black-bayou-lake-national-wildlife-refuge/
Black Bayou Lake Factsheet
https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/fact-sheet/black-bayou-lake-national-wildlife-refuge.pdf

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