Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World III in Second Life: Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Or, How I Tried)

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley…

Robert Burns

          This is the third story in my Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Second Life (SL) series.   My last trip brought me to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  Previously, I’d been to the Great Pyramid of Giza.  On this leg of my journey I go the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 
            For the late arrivals, my rationale for this series about the Wonders of the Ancient World is that I’ve been blogging about a variety of topics in Second Life (SL) lately.  Fashion, steampunk, sex, pirates, and friendship to name but a few.  (I’m nothing if not eclectic.)  However, I feel I’ve gotten away from my roots.  My original intention was to travel across the grid to see new places and meet new people.  I think I’m doing pretty well with the latter but the former maybe not so much. 

So, I’ve decided to strike out and visit more places further afield inworld.  One group of places that I’ve always wanted to visit in Real Life (RL) and have been frustrated mostly by time and to a certain extent by distance is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.   Given that only one of them still stands and that unfortunately seems to be surrounded by a swirl of political turmoil which looks like it won’t be ending any time soon, SL seems to be a pretty good bet to go looking for them.  (Significant Other also likes the idea of me not clocking up any more frequent flyer miles in RL.) This is the second in what will be a series of seven stories. 
           The ancient world has always had a certain fascination for me.  Maybe because I grew up in a country where we seem to have more people who are over one hundred years old than we have buildings and monuments has something to do with it. 

Working from Wikipedia’s list of the Seven Wonders, I was able to locate all seven within SL.  This was a good sign and I have my marching orders.  I’m going to visit all of them for my own sake and to bring the places and stories back to my readers. 
Here’s where I run into my first spot of trouble in this journey.  Seems that while I thought I was being thorough in checking that the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World actually existed inworld before I began my walkabout, I’d gotten one wrong.  Specifically, the Temple of Artemis.  (Hey, anyone can make a mistake!)
Well, maybe I wasn’t thorough in my research as I thought it was because turns out I couldn’t find the temple anyplace.  What I’d thought was the temple turns out to be a facsimile of an ancient library.  (Which happens to be a very interesting place to visit for anyone who’s interested.) 
I use Search to try and locate the temple.  Nothing really appropriate comes up.  Although, there is the Sex Temple of Artemis listed.  Well. I was facing a deadline (Real Life (RL) has been hectic.) and this place is dedicated to Amazons (as purportedly was the original).  So, I decide to drop by. 
I arrive at night in front of medieval styled church surrounded by the requisite fog shrouded graveyard with dead trees.  Gargoyles guard the main entrance to the church.  I enter and see pews surrounding an altar like area where a semi-nude woman is hanging from the ceiling from a cross.  She attempts to speak to me in German and we all know where that’s going to go. 
By now, I’m realizing I’m nowhere near ancient Ephesus and decide to head home. 
My third journey looking at the Wonders of the Ancient World inworld has been a little disappointing (Although I may have discovered some great material for future BDSM stories!  Never miss a chance to save something.)  I didn’t find any classical buildings or anything relating to the original period.  Still, I went out and saw a couple of new places. 
Like my two previous trips, I didn’t have any interaction with anyone.  (OK, well, maybe if I spoke German I might have but then she was all tied up.)  This brings me back to an idea that’s been forming in my mind since I began this journey that maybe some places in SL are just meant to be viewed and not occupied.  I’ll explore this idea in future stories. 
My first visit had left me worried about whether or not I was wasting my time with this series of stories.  My second visit reaffirmed my original enthusiasm for the project.  This trip was not a success but I’ll go on.  I hope that the next four Ancient Wonders meet or exceed these my expectations.  (Assuming that I can find them.) 
As I wrote earlier, my travels across SL have brought me to many different places.  Admittedly, many of these journeys were random.  Now, I’m moving along on a journey with a purpose.  (Maybe I’m growing up?  Significant Other may have another opinion here.)  Searching for the famous sites from antiquity seems like a worthwhile thing to do. 
My reasons for this journey still stand.  First, how much of the ancient world can I find inworld?  Second, how well has the ancient world been reconstructed?  My travels to date have brought me in contact with many residents who are either building worlds in SL or are living their virtual lives there. 
The Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Temple of Artemis are just the first stops on this journey and I have four more to go. Anyone who would still like to join me for part or all of it, please reach out to me and we’ll work out the calendars.  I’d be glad for the company! 
I’ve included links to several pictures I took of the sims I visited.  But check the sites out for yourself.  Pictures, especially when I’m the photographer, are never as good as being there. 
As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


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