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The Oyster Travel Blog [Kylaris|Canon|IC]

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Kylaris
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The Oyster Travel Blog [Kylaris|Canon|IC]

Postby Kylaris » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:19 pm

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WINDING VALLEYS


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The River Vikna passing through a rocky ridge in Northeastern Narozalica.
Last edited by Kylaris on Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kylaris
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Postby Kylaris » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:37 pm

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About Us

The Oyster is a leading travel blog serving the Estmerish-speaking community. We feature stories from all over the world, from the everyday traditions of the Phuli housewife to the roaring foodie culture on the streets of Alikianos. No matter your interests, the Oyster has a story for everyone.

Our Contributors

Sean Anthony - Site Contributor

Tired of the known locations in the world, Sean is here for the hidden gems swept aside. His dream turned reality is uncovering how nations, people and the daily lives of countries often ignored in tourism truly are. Sean is all about the true, raw experience. Forget the advertisements and the mainstream. From Chervolesia to Xiaodong, Sean goes where most wouldn’t dare.

Join him in his monthly series, where he goes and meets the true reality of nations often skipped in your vacations.


Sam Hudson - Site Contributor

Sam Hudson graduated from the University of Ashcombe with a Master's Degree in Architectural History. Writing his thesis on the development of vernacular architecture in pre-colonial Satria, he has an interest in writing about architectural landmarks across the world and the cultures they belong to. Online, he is known for starting a YouTube series on an architectural conservation effort for the cathedral in his hometown of Rushford, Estmere.

Adrien Auvray - Site Contributor

Adrien, a young Gaullican man of 27, graduated from the University of Saint Francis, Lavelle, with a joint-honours degree in history and media studies. Adrien’s passions include writing about historical sites from around the globe, but particularly those in Euclea, and cuisine. He considers himself a ‘rediscoverer of the unknown’, primarily writing about quaint towns, historic quarters and old buildings. Adrien’s interests also include the culture of these places, usually exemplified through tasting the traditional food of the area he writes about. One of his most popular series that he writes for the Oyster is called ‘In the Footsteps of Giants’, where he will mirror the path of a particularly exemplary historical figure (usually voted on by his audience) and retrace their steps across Euclea, providing a narrative of where they stayed, what they ate, etc.

Mark Jonssun-Leclercq - Site Contributor

A 25-year-old Azmaran-Gaullican traveller, Jonssun-Leclercq holds a Master’s Degree in Archaeology from the University of Aalmsted. His main interests lie in visiting prehistoric sites and natural landmarks and blogs about the visiting experience of them. He has also done a series visiting the prehistoric sites of Djedet known as The Forbidden Kingdom.

Anita Lefeuvre - Site Contributor

A passionate and adventurous traveller, Anita Lefeuvre is a 26 year old Cassien journalist hailing from Andade, Beaumont. Known for her presence on social media and for her blog “Paths less Treaded” detailing her exploration of the world’s national parks and wildlife reserves, Anita’s experiences in the outdoors has made her an incredibly popular influencer among Gaullican speakers. A vocal conservationist animal rights advocate, her activities in promoting environmental awareness and sustainable living practices has expanded her following greatly.

Maria Chavunduka - Site Contributor and Site Photographer

Chavunduka was born in Mambiza, Garambura, in 1990. She began to study travel and leisure at Ntendeka University in Tabora but dropped out in 2001, deciding to pursue her dream career in global travel. Bouncing around from outlet to outlet, Chavunduka eventually became self-employed in 2012, starting her own blog before publishing her writings to a larger audience at Oyster, and has written for the blog ever since. Chavunduka is a fluent speaker of Estmerish, Gaullican, and veRwizi, and her language fluency allows her to write in-depth articles on her travels around Bahia. Chavunduka mainly travels throughout Coius and the Asterias.

Kohatuwaoa - Site Contributor

Born in a small Sublustrian town in 1990, Pilimumu, or Red Lizard, took a deep interest in travel from a young age. He apprenticed with wayfinders at the age of 15, but the world was just starting to open up to him, and he’d go farther than any of his masters had before. First bacpacking across Euclea in 2013, he wrote a blog about how different it was from his point of view. He adopted the name Kohatuwaoa, recalling the legendary warrior who was the first Sublustrian to set foot on Euclea, and now spends his time traveling and writing with a focus on native cultures and ecotourism, recalling his deep roots in Sublustrian tradition. Besides his articles for the Oyster, he has a separate series he calls his Odyssey, where he explores traditional paths and navigation from roads of pilgrimage to discreet natural walkways. It’s about the journey, not the destination; though, the destination is pretty cool too.
Last edited by Kylaris on Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eskaeba
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Postby Eskaeba » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:26 am

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The Vikna: Where the present meets the past
By Maria Chavunduka | 14 February, 2020



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The Vikna passing through the Gaspar Valley around 50 miles north of the city of Syrnitsa, Narozalica.




It is not often that I look upon my world map on the wall, full of pins, and think, "Today I am going to travel to Euclea."

But that is exactly what happened as soon as I basked my eyes upon the beauty of the Gaspar Valley in Narozalica.

The natural formation blends a stunning rocky, foggy, wintery landscape with the crystal clear waters and diverse aquatic wildlife of the River Vikna, in eastern Narozalica. The Gaspar Valley lies some 50 miles north of the city of Syrnitsa, the nearest significant settlement, and is fairly isolated, save for some minor farming villages.

The rivers of Narozalica are a natural beauty in and of themselves, but the Vikna, I think, possesses its own unique natural beauty that makes it one of the most mesmerising natural places in Euclea and even the world.

Now I am no stranger to the great rivers of the world. I have dined with rural Garamburan tribes on the Gonda and met the Bedouin of the Faras in my time as a traveller, but the cold atmosphere emanates an almost dream-like landscape, one that you will struggle to find more than one of in your travels.

However, the Vikna has been plagued by its biggest enemy - time. The Vikna is suffering from increasing amounts of aquatic waste and water pollution from the factories in the many cities that are settled along its banks. Other causes like damming for hydroelectric energy have also caused the flow of the Vikna to diminish over time, and this reduction in flow can be seen in many different locations along the river.

But the Gaspar Valley remains one of the few where the river can be experienced in all its natural glory, unimpeded by the bustling sectors of modern cities and a modern country. A place where one can imagine to themselves whether or not this was what it felt like before the advent of industry that has wreaked havoc on many great environments in our time.

I began my journey around the Gaspar with a relaxing walk down the sides of the valley, where there are little artificial boundaries separating me from nature. The Gaspar is by no means a mainstream tourist destination outside of Narozalica, but within its borders it is one of the most prevalent natural icons of the country. If you can stomach an early rise and a frighteningly cold start to the day, it makes for an excellent atmosphere that really shows what the winters of Narozalica have to offer.

After a 30-minute stroll down the banks of the Vikna, I had booked a helicopter ride over the Vikna and the valley to see one of the most spectacular views I had ever seen (and also where I took this article's picture), with the graceful waterfall crashing seamlessly into the flowing river, all while encompassed by grand natural rock formations likened to that of the canyons of the Asterias.

After landing from the helicopter, I took one last look at the valley to really take in the sheer beauty of it, and as my breath steamed out in front of me, I wondered what this valley would have looked like if it were more mainstream? Perhaps its secrecy is a positive for the avid and curious tourist. Who knows.


Osyter, 2020


Maria Chavunduka was born in Mambiza, Garambura, in 1990. She began to study travel and leisure at Ntendeka University in Tabora but dropped out in 2001, deciding to pursue her dream career in global travel. Bouncing around from outlet to outlet, Chavunduka eventually became self-employed in 2012, starting her own blog before publishing her writings to a larger audience at Oyster, and has written for the blog ever since. Chavunduka is a fluent speaker of Estmerish, Gaullican, and veRwizi, and her language fluency allows her to write in-depth articles on her travels around Bahia. Chavunduka mainly travels throughout Coius and the Asterias.


Last edited by Eskaeba on Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Liecthenbourg
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Postby Liecthenbourg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:30 pm

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In the Footsteps of Giants: Saint Chloé | Part 1
By Adrien Auvray | 14 February, 2020



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A stained glass window of Saint Chloé in Croan Cathedral

The town of Croan is a strange place. Home to roughly 40,000 people, far larger historically, it is nestled near the Aventines on the Amathian-Gaullican border. And everyone here speaks Gaullican.

The most famous individual to come from this town happened to have been born over 1,100 years ago: Saint Chloé, the 'Heroine of Sortianity.' She, of course as all my readers know, won the most recent poll on who I should follow next in 'The Footsteps of Giants'. That brings me here, to Croan, in Amathia.

My retracing of historical footsteps takes me outside the city centre, even beyond the suburbs. Beyond most of the houses, almost forgotten to time, is a house that was likely once bright white, now relegated to a stained yellow, with an immensely slanted roof. The house is more like a trapezoid than a cube. There were few people roaming around its grounds and a well-dressed man stood at the entrance of the door. Beside him a black plaque had been hammered into this early medieval building with both Gaullican and Amathian text saying the same thing:

'The Birthplace of Saint Chloé (1st January 860 - 19th November 901)
'Heroine of Sotirianity'

No Photography!


Unfortunately I was unable to photograph the wondrous things in this building preserved to time. The guides and plaques all confirmed that upon her family's relocation to the Ile de Fleur, the church had come into control of her former house and her dedicated it as a shrine to the woman who would become a Saint in 913. It was as if looking into history manifest. Many of you might remember my journey to the monastery in Roa, Florena, and how I described it like walking into 1000 AD. The bed looked untouched, sealed away, though I'm unsure if its real or a replica. The dining room was laid out, as if in preparation for a meal. Frescoes and icons adorned the walls of the house, detailing the Saint and important aspects of her life.

It was a unique experience to wander around the home of someone who lived so long ago as if it was still arranged like it was supposed to be lived in from that time. A roaring flame would have warmed that home. Unfortunately, the cellar was being repaired for maintenance. I was however able to see the study of her father, Josse, and was astounded by his literacy and knowledge: he was no working class man and his ledgers and records, sprawled open in preserved paper, indicated he had a keen mathematics mind. This led me, and many of the other people on the tour, to conclude that Chloé was -- at the very least -- literate and well spoken!

The tour of her home lasted a good hour and a half and already I felt more connected to this woman than I had before arriving. As I retraced her footsteps around her home I could imagine her and her family living a very rustic and traditional life of the times. I left her home with a greater understand of what it might mean to be a Saint and the normalcy, truly, that precedes it.

The journey back into Croan proper was uneventful. Searching through my phone, I found a restaurant called 'The Pilgrim's Plight'. It was quaint and homely, like an old tavern. The lighting was good and the hospitality was greater. The people here speak an accented Gaullican unlike any I've ever heard. Their words flow more fluidly, if you can understand my train of thought. It wasn't unpleasant in any sense of the word. Merely different.

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The facade of Croan Cathedral


As you all know, I am a 'foodie.' I ordered a healthy portion of different things, now that I could try them. This part of Amathia is renowned for its pork and I began my meal with what is known as: cârnați, a beautiful selection of smoked garlicky pork-sausage. My main dish, however, was tochitură, in 'the Gaullican style', which took the traditional tomato and pork based stew of the Amathians and added red wine, alongside it being served with bread rather yellow porridge. As always, pictures and recipes will be included in links below.

My day was coming to a close and I was quite tired, but there was one thing I wanted to see in Croan before the day was over. Croan Cathedral. Nestled in the old quarter, down two streets still labelled as 'rue', the Solarian Catholic Cathedral is an old, solarian/verlois-esque style building. Much like a lot of the tourism and history in this city, it seems to revolve and emanate around their very own patron saint.

I was able to score a lucky few negotiations with the parish and they permitted me to photograph some of the stained glass windows from the inside. I was also permitted to take a shot down the pew and towards the altar, which captured this lovely scene typical of older churches: brown-orange brick work cascaded in the light of a thousand colours from the stained glass. To make him feel more included, I offered to photograph the priest and his wife -- but they both modestly declined.

I am not a very religious man. I find myself pondering about God's existence very little and I don't feel especially strongly one way or the other. However, the majesty of the building is undoubtably something important. I can appreciate them as works of history, art, architecture and culture. And indeed, when dealing with a figure like Saint Chloé religion and female empowerment often come hand in hand.

Much of the artwork in Croan Cathedral that is not wholly dedicated and worshipping God, is in veneration to Croan's own heroine.

The priest told me that, according to the stories, Chloé was baptised on the Monday following her birth and was such a hassle she 'wished to remain in the font.' Unfortunately for the denizens of the city, many remain a level of sadness about her not being buried in her city. Many are also disappointed in the moving away of her family and are quick to remind visitors that she was born 'here' and not in Verlois. She was, after all, a peasant from the far-flung corners of the Solarian Empire.

My next update will see us visiting the last few parts of Croan we can verify she frequented: a nunnery and a special spot that I'll save for later. Part II will also feature the beginning of our trek (I'm not walking, but not taking a plane either) towards Verlois. A lot of this route will be revisiting older places, but that's fine. Not everyone's footsteps lead them far-and-wide!


Osyter, 2020



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Adrien Auvray was born in Verlois, Gaullica, in 1990. He graduated from the University of Saint Francois, Lavelle, with a joint-honours degree in history and media studies. Originally employed as a journalist for Le Monde, Auvray viewed the work as 'too restrictive' and 'constrained' and left the paper in 2011. He then joined the 'Oyster' after going on a 'soul-searching' venture around Florena, where he wrote about his travels. Auvray is a fluent speaker of Gaullican and Estmerish, with 'conversation grade' levels in other Euclean languages such as Weranian and Etrurian. His main areas of travel are Euclea and northern Coius, but has wrote about Valentir and the Asterias.


Last edited by Liecthenbourg on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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