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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

@Phil What If! Metropolis : Travelogue 2.0

When you approach the city of Orabelle one may think you are telling lies. The exterior looks as if it were taken from a garden with no house to accommodate it. Untamed shrubs and roots coil around granite statues of women, their graceful mother like poses are accentuated at the curves by coiling streams of green. Passing across the lush green grass, observing the small stream running through the center, tiny bluebirds, doves and robins alike chirp happily as they sip from the crystal clear water. In front of you glass hexagonal panels interlock in the distance, towering above hundreds of feet into a dome like shape. The transparent surface keeps the inside sanctuary a slight mystery, under the slight glaze you can see a web of branches weaving under the surface of the dome. At night under the blackened roots, you can see flashes of light peeking out from tiny cracks where the roots separate, bringing a heavenly light to the city within.

When you enter the dome , it may seem like you have never left the outside forests , exotic trees of many colours , overgrown shrubs , vines and flowers have conquered the area and stretch high above the city , spreading their branches across and up through the shards of glass. Following the maze of branches, your eyes lead you to the center of the city where the center pillar stands, securing all surrounding resident houses in place. During the middle of the day, only minimal light is shown through the blanket of branches covering the majority of the inner dome. 

As you look up, distorted sphere like forms can be seen .Houses made of clay slathered with mud, leaves and bark reinforced the fragile decorative pieces of architecture that float above the city. Simply round windows accompany the buildings while the houses themselves are more extensive, looking more like decoration than living accommodation. Where the central figures are for the most part round, swirls and ribbons of clay extend from the central buildings, looking like a ballet performance frozen in time. Colour wise the houses are painted brightly, multiple tones of reds, blues, greens and beige's can be seen through the wear and tear that these houses have been through .Despite the intricate beauty that lies in the architecture, cracks and crusted paint appear throughout the paintwork on most buildings. Despite the countless work that goes into keeping the cities beauty maintained, the population of Orabelle cannot keep up with what time does to their buildings.

There are four central paths all leading to the center of the city, all leading up to a circular platform where the oak tree support is grounded. Surrounded, there are multiple cherry blossom trees growing in a ring in the center of the road. However, before you get there as you start going down whichever path you decide to take , market stalls built from scrap bamboo sticks , with leaves overhanging as a shelter from any rain that may past through the cracks in the glass from the overgrown branches. An old lady approaches you with a grin as she tries to sell you a multitude of fossilized animals or her collection of bone pendants. You can`t help but decline, following the other several dozen who have stopped you down that path too.

Going past the houses and the market town, the central hub of this town where the `higher up`s` work, with a church decorated entirely out of glazed paint towering above in the center. A collection of ribbon extensions invite people in, entwining around several statues of ascended beings. Their poses representing each which the city should worship and aspire to be: Beauty, Nature, Strength and Hard Working. The citizens visit each day, paying respects by taking stored fireflies, clippings from plants or any beautiful rarity they have found. Surrounding the church there are minimal shops because of how much space this place of worship takes up. There are several small shops built of wooden bases with hanging signs. Very much like one would expect from a small medieval town, only this was much out of place.

There is no existent transport in this city, despite the scale everything is in walking distance and to reach the houses above there are multiple ladders leading to bamboo patios, built like roads ascended so one can walk about the neighborhood. There are also `slides` of sorts where coiled up plant leaves , supported by bamboo and then pinned to the ground are placed as an easier option to get down to the floor below ,although , hardly any use this method due to the fact these slides also act as a water system , bringing in water from the outside world.
The system behind it lies within a trio of wooden waterwheels, connected by hollowed out sticks of bamboo. The wheels run into the rivers nearby, lifting the water up towards the top of the dome where the largest plants are. The water is then carried down the made up slides of plant and bamboo alike down to the houses below.

At night there is no natural light, the citizens make use of any natural light they can find, mainly from the stars above or fireflies they have managed to collect. Candles are used inside the houses, stored by small glass jars painted similarly to the windows of the houses they were homed. Meanwhile, outside, thousands of tiny lights float several meters above the ground. Fireflies dance within their cages of glass, reflecting a rainbow of reds, greens and blues from the glazed on paint.  Despite the majority being caged, the odd firefly still roams free, guiding the way of any citizens or tourists that get lost through the vast forests. These lanterns are tied together by multiple stray vines entwined. They hang from the branches above at different heights, circling the houses that too lay peacefully in mid-air.

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