Friday, April 10, 2015

Friendly Bear Romantic Forest

By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently a friend showed me a place she and her boyfriend sometimes went to, and thought others might want to experience it as well. The place was the GB Island North sim, the public section of it known as "Friendly Bear Romantic Forest."

Dropping in, I was surrounded by a detailed forest, with lots of flowers and trees. The place was not one continuous island, but broken up a bit with rivers crossing and smaller islands next to the main one with bridges allowing one to cross without the need to swim or fly. Surrounding the island is a panorama of mountains and trees.

There were a number of features around, such as a pier with a rowboat nearby, a campfire with sitting logs around it and a picnic blanket nearby, both of which offered cuddle spots for couples. A small waterfall flowed into a rocky creek. There was a small farm with horses, goats, cows, and sheep wandering about, young animals included. Nearby were a couple bears, one getting a closer look at a beehive. Romance wasn't the only activity available, there was an "En Guarde" game for those wanting to spar.

On arrival, I got a notecard about the location:

Hallo stranger! Thank you very much for your visit. This place was created with no commercial intentions. Please feel free to hang out, explore, relax, dance, love, be part of our music events and have fun!

Help us to celebrate peace and nature with these rulez:

 - no guns
- no drama
- no kids avatars
- respect privacy of other visitors

On this Island you´ll find:
- cozy corners for romance and cuddling
- romantic castle
- decoration following seasons and special days (winter, autumn, spring, xmass, halloween....)
- ...more coming soon

You are allowed also to rezz and use your own horses or bikes or blankets and pose balls..., but
do not forget to clean your stuff. Autoreturn is sending objects back in 15 minutes. To travel on this island you can use couple walkers or boats that are ready for you all over this place.
Big balloon and more coming soon.

Enjoy your stay. If you have a question, suggestion or request or a problem, do not hesitate and send a message to : Andie Rau, Friendly Bear Team

The "castle" was actually a dwelling built on the ruins of a castle, or rather what was left of the corner of one. It was named "The Bear's Hole Corner" at (225, 75, 32), near the eastern edge of the sim. On the stone floor was a fox and a deer, in addition to logs, barrels, a sword rack, and a couple stone crosses. Climbing up the stairs, the inside led to a fireplace and dinner table in addition to a throne and bookshelf. A door led to a zipline, which would take someone to near the barn and fencing game.

The top floor was clearly for couples. Visitors there will find a four-poster bed with a canopy, a bathtub with pillows and blankets next to it, alongside oils and soaps, and a bear rug on the floor. All have poses for singles and couples, the latter being much more numerous and some clearly meant for private moments.

Not all of the sim is open to the public. The northern third is barred to just anyone coming in, including members of the sim group. It holds a few private cabins. The founder of the place is GummyMedvidek Resident, or "Friendly Bear" as his display name is now. 

Unfortunately, the location's days are numbered. Scattered around the island were signs with the following message:

Sad News. Unfortunetly Friendly Bear Forest ends on April 20th 2015. Thank you all so much for visiting and your support. We are preparing a video for good memories. So you have any romantic picture that you made on the island? SHare it! Send it to Andie Rau inworld, or outside SL to my email:

The message ended with a hopeful note, asking people to subscribe in case the location ever came back.

There was a GB Island South, visible on the map, but with nothing connecting the two sims. Heading over, it was just a dance floor on an empty sim. There was a sign saying the sim was in the process of moving. Someone there greeted me, and didn't seem to be aware of goings on with their northern neighbor, sad to hear they were also going away.

Once again, the Friendly Bear Forest is at Island North/ , and barring a reprieve will be gone April 20th.

Bixyl Shuftan

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