Nefeli – this is the name of the island of which I’m about to tell you. Named thus after Nephele, the cloud nymph of Greek mythology. Created by Zeus from a cloud (νέφος – nephos – in Greek) in the image of Hera; mother of the Centaurs, and also of Phrixus and Helle, who both featured prominently in the myth of the Golden Fleece.
Being Greek, I’m always interested in regions and builds inspired by my country; this part of the world is woefully under-represented in Second Life, as buildings, trees, shrubs, bushes, and even geological features that are found here are very few and far between on the Marketplace and in mainstores, and what I do find is usually disappointing. Lately, however, a few new places have started popping up, featuring Greek-themed parts that are of a higher calibre than was the norm. Nefeli is one of them, and I think it’s safe to say it captures the essence and morphology of the Greek islands better than most similarly-themed regions I’ve seen so far.
Nefeli is a homestead owned by Effy Nova and Frenchy25 (frenchy25 Resident). It’s designed by Effy, who adores the Greek islands and wanted to create a beautiful vacation place in SL to unwind, as the Covid-19 pandemic and the travel advisories stemming from it made it impossible for her to enjoy her summer vacation in RL for a second year in a row.
As you’ll see for yourselves, it’s very carefully terraformed, and with terrain textures, rocky features, and plants hand-picked to resemble an actual Greek beachside neighbourhood. In my eyes, this whole place bears a striking resemblance to the beaches along the road that takes you from Vouliagmeni to Cape Sounio. Don’t expect Malibu-style bleached blonde sands; the terrain here is a reddish tan, and there are gnarled rocks surrounding the beaches – just like the real thing.
When you arrive at the landing point, you find yourself facing east, on an east-west dirt road. To your right, there are some houses, what seems to be a restaurant (as one would surmise from the waiter exiting its front door) and entertainment establishments.
To the left, there’s a rocky beach, separated from the road with a short wall; at the western end of the beach, there is a long wooden dock where a few humble boats are moored. Behind you, you’ll find the Voir Gallery, where Effy and Frenchy exhibit their favourite images of the place, chosen among those submitted to its Flickr Group.
Further back (to the west) is a fence with a gate leading to one of the island’s four sandy beaches. If you walk to the east and exit the neighbourhood, a small, cute, Santorini-style group of houses, with the obligatory blue-domed church is only a short walk to the north. Far to the south-east, you’ll find what looks like a stone-built chapel atop a rocky hill.
As for the west end of the island, it’s dominated by another rocky hill that you can climb by means of stone stairsteps; at the top, you will find an arch where you can rest for a while – and on the south end of the hill, you can find a statue of Nefeli. Finally, beyond the hill, there’s a beach with a lovely gazebo right where the waves crash.
To be completely honest, words don’t really do this wonderful little place justice. Every part of it is filled with lovely little details, creating lots of beautiful vignettes to tickle many a SL shutterbug’s fancy, as if the landscaping and architectural features weren’t already enticing enough. It will remain open at least throughout the summer, so you have some time to visit and savour its beauty.
SLurl: Nefeli (rated: Moderate)
Official Flickr Group: Nefeli
Flickr Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW224zq