By Grey Lupindo
Finlandia invites Second Life residents to “hangout, relax and enjoy” and see what Finland is like. Located at Finlandia, Finlandia (191, 48, 23), it is a beautiful place to visit. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first SL site that is based on Finland. Finlandia’s creator, Daniela Finchy, has made a wonderful sim that showcases her lovely country. One of her notes states, “So everything you see, feel and touch is all about Finland. We are proud ... and happy to show it to you.”
Finlandia is representative of the southern and southwestern areas as they appear in late summer and fall, a season which is known as “ruska.” The terrain is comprised of rolling hills, forests, and beautiful rocky coastline.
The rez zone is a small wooden structure that is functional but not representative of the rest of the site. It is filled with information and necessary notes, as well as a few odd objects. A large cut out of Marilyn Monroe is there, but I’m not sure what her connection is to Finland.
Outside of the rez area, however, the land is peaceful and beautiful. Wide paths cut through the woods and lead to various sites around the Finlandia. Bridges straddle winding streams. There is a bicycle stand, too, since they are very popular in Finland. However, the paths are also great for horseback riding, which is one of my favorite things to do. I saddled my horse and rode all over the site.
The area has lots of activities for residents to enjoy. There are many spots where friends can gather, including a campfire site with a moonshine still brewing. A large picnic and dance area is found at Finlandia (139,16,24).
There are lots of free games to play, including Whack a Mole, Mah Jongg, Minesweeper, and others, located in a large cottage at Finlandia (45,71,25). Try out the rope swings that are outside, too.
The rocky coastline is ruggedly beautiful. There are row boats available that you can use to explore it. I rowed up to the sauna and stopped, although I think I could have continued further. It is located at Finlandia (84,95,23). The sauna is a wonderful steamy place that you don’t find very often in Second Life. Approach this area with care since it is the only area where nudity is allowed in Finlandia. There were other people visiting the sim during all of my visits, but no one was using the sauna.
At the top of another hill there is a very cozy country cottage and a large barn, at Finlandia (164,72,33). Inside the cottage you can try out a loom or sit in a rocking chair by the fireplace. There are three rooms, all furnished. A cat named Tuikku sits on the front porch, and other farm animals roam about in the yard.
There is a cottage for rent in Finlandia, but I don’t know if this cottage is it. One of the nicest features in Finlandia is the lack of commercialism. There are no glaring signs or items for sale to spoil the natural beauty. Except for a few tip jars and teleporters to transport shoppers to the store area, the site is a peaceful park.
The shop area is located above the rest of the sim in a sky box, and it is worth seeing. Finlandia Stores, Finlandia (119, 61, 2022). Although it isn’t as beautiful as the rest of Finlandia, the shops are set along wide paths in a landscaped area. There are fourteen shops from Finnish creators, including Mad Pea, SiO, Ihan Sama, Jinxies, S.L.A.D, CakeFox, Linealrise Design, and others. There is also a club where you can hear Finnish rock/metal music.
In addition to the shops, Uleria Caramel, a Finnish artist, has paintings on display there. Caramel creates art that is abstract expressionism in style. She uses oil painting, glass, ceramics, aquarelles, photography, and other techniques in her art. Her works are very colorful and unique.
Newsweek magazine ranked real-life Finland as the overall "best country in the world" in 2010. According to Wikipedia, many sources rank it as one of the best countries for quality of life. In creating Finlandia Daniela Finchy has done a great job creating a sim that shares her beautiful country with the rest of Second Life.