Welcome back to Amesbury! The year is 5E132 and the Municipal Council has just allowed the construction of the city's first ever skyscraper - but only on paper. It will be a few more months before construction actually begins. Skydiving equipment sales have already gone up 500% however!
And yes I am using the Sunny Afternoon LUT by Liquid, it's really lovely and I really like the rosy shades!
It's only been one year since our last entry but another major construction project is underway. Can you tell? There is a new park in town - and a lot of polluted water. Sucks to live downstream of Lake Amery.
The Mall is the Council's ambitious project. Six blocks of commercial zoning were destroyed (and earned the Major impopularity) and a new park was built in their stead. Holborn St and Union St are now one-way roads, which should also help with north-south traffic - it's becoming a problem. It's also the first step of a waterfront redevelopment project - more about it soon!
The other major north+south axi in town is Wittenburg St, on the other side of the river. It carries traffic from the Highland Industrial District, major West Bank traffic, and connects to the motorway - which makes it the city's most congested road! Residents complain, the BANANA initiative strikes again, but so far there are no actual plans to deal with the situation.
So let's get away from this traffic, takes a few lungfuls of air and enjoy ourselves! The Municipal Council is currently building sports facilities all across town, such as this lovely association football field. Football, or soccer, is one of the major popular sports in Tamriel, Akavir and Cathnoquey.
A typical Cathnoquey sport, and also one of the most popular, is baseball! Many lovely fields were built up to encourage baseball. For the Municipal Council, it is clear : Amesbury must become a sport-minded town, even if their baseball and soccer teams are currently in their respective Third Leagues.
However, there IS a sport Amesbury is already known for : BLITZBALL! It is a very popular sport across the world, and originates from Black Marsh. It's easy : it's a bit like soccer, but underwater! Players, who usually wear waterbreathing enchantments, play in a sphere of water that is magically congealed inside an arena. The objective is simple - defend your goal while kicking a leather ball in the opposing team's.
Because it depends on magitech and magic in general, it is quite hard to become a professional player and there are few amateur teams. The Amesbury Aurochs, the local team, are placed sixth in the First League - and it's only their fifth season! Needless to say, the Blitzball Stadium brings a lot of tourists, visitors and locals alike to cheer their favorite team - and generates a LOT of revenue. Not to mention soccer can also be played there, and off-season it's even used as a concert hall. Sport is the future!
Enough about sports and the bustling city life! Let's take to the dusty trails that crisscross the countryside around Amesbury. Yeah, let's go to dusty ol' Gilmore..Oh, it seems the village is getting more activity. There's even a small kart track on the outskirts of the town!
Gilmore is the closest town to Amesbury, but it hasn't really grown in the past few years as people prefer to move into the big town itself. To change this, Gilmore just lowered its residential tax and is about to build new lots.
Lake Amery used to be linked to the sea by a long string of rivers and small lakes, but now a canal links the lake directly to the sea. This is what allowed Amesbury bridges to be so low in the first place as ships did not need to use the river anymore. South of the town, however, cruise ships still go the long way around. There are sightseeing trips, forays into Ayleid ruins, evacuation procedures and sales on shark repellents. Since Lake Amery can no longer be reached, a special ferry landing was built in Gilmore to accommodate the ships.
Gilmore is not the only town right by Amesbury. Let's drive on some of these gravel roads that criss-cross the county and visit some small towns!
Torquay is a small village off a road south of Gilmore. It's, what, ten miles from Amesbury, so by road only just about fifteen minutes from the CBD, yet it manages to resist the tides of urbanization. People here are usually foresters. Think about that though - not too long ago, Amesbury itself was that small!
Life is quiet in Torquay... few cars use the barely paved roads, there is no need for fences, everyone knows everyone, there are no crowds of people, you take your breakfast surrounded by the quiet sounds of the countryside...It's just like village life, but just within reach of a pocket of urban civilization. The best of both worlds!
In fact, it's such a perfect life the Major herself decided to buy a new house in the outskirts of Torquay. Ah..such a peaceful life, away from traffic and noise..
Look at this cute church! Now that's not one of those those megachapels in Amesbury! This one is specifically dedicated to Dibella, the Lady of Love - and it's a popular venue for many weddings in the greater Amesbury region.
Another town! Brimolme is even further away than Torquay! You can see a bus stop - Amery County runs bus services to most bigger villages in the area.
An isolated home and a doubt delivery van! Even if you are a hermit living in a remote compound - if you want 'em, we ship 'em!
Will these pretty villages manage to keep the city at bay? Urbanization is slowly eating away at the land. This is a development south of Burnley Dale, just by the river, and so far only bounded by the rail line.
Meanwhile in northern Amesbury, giant development projects are taking place and new towns are sprouting as the economy becomes increasingly enterprise-driven and more and more middle-class workers are needed. There's also some rural exodus happening - it's a nice life out there, but fuel prices are increasing, there is less and less work in rural areas of the country, it's not very convenient needing a four-hour commute to work - and at the end of the day, you do need to pay the bills.
To be fair though, traffic in Amesbury isn't /that/ bad. Look at Brownstone Junction - it's the motorway exit for two villages almost the size of Gilmore and an industrial park, but does it look congested to you?
To mitigate the growing traffic on motorways, sound barriers are being installed along the M2 motorway. This has the effect of raising land value, too, which is a good thing if one wants to attract high-quality offices.
And that's it for our little countryside trip! Next entry, we're taking a closer look at the CBD and the exciting new shiny things happening there. Let's break the skyline barrier together!
Thanks for following my CJ and thanks for the feedback and support, hope you enjoy as always!