The Dalmatia colonies are not for the faint hearted, literally; all visitors to Dalmatia must have a gravity IX or higher medical passport before visiting the world. The two main colonies on Dalmatia are New Darien and Cloud City, the usual scatter of mining camps and scientific stations making up the rest of the human presence on this planet. Travellers from the Empire and the Confederacy should also be aware that special restrictions, enforced by their own governments, exist for visiting New Darien, owing to the colony’s lax immigration law.
New Darien on a rare sunny day looking north from the starport buildings. The polished nature of the ice and the strange reddish light of the star Venice make for a particularly striking view. Behind the colony can be seen the Serrania del Darien, the high peak on the left hand side is Mount Balboa
This colony is frankly strange, the most striking thing about it is the temperature. Dalmatia may be icebound, but New Darien is tropical. On stepping through the airlocks at the starport, the traveller will find that the moist air of the colony quickly forms a thick frost on their environment suits. Needless to say this quickly melts again in the intense heat of the colony.
Underneath the environment domes, the colony is spacious, offering a well landscaped interior. With roughly half the space under the domes built under there is plenty of room for parks and gardens. Including the fabulous Central Dome, a very popular amenity with the citizens of the colony. 38 Sqkm of space is enclosed by this massive of dome 7 km across. Within is a tropical paradise, said to mirror the southern end of the Central American Province on Earth. New Darien is named for a colony established there, over five hundred years ago. And New Darien's motto 'The door of the seas, and the key to the universe' is the same as that ancient colony's.
The colony is also the home to the famous Institute of Planetology, and the Stellar Science Research Group. The botanical gardens owned by the former are astounding, with specimens of plants from all over the peripheries. The specimens from the Noctolis Periphery are without doubt the crowning glory of this establishment.
Other sites of interest include Castle Rock where the colony's government building. Like many colonies in the DTR New Darien is almost entirely autonomous. The colony is run as a pantisocracy, an extreme form of democracy. Every citizen has equal rights in the democratic process. Strictly speaking there is no elected government, citizens nominate themselves as senators, and serve the rest of the population, for as long as they wish. In the government building you can listen to the general populace deliver speeches, their views on how the colony should be run. Ordinary citizens can vote for these measures if they like them. The more popular views are redebated in the colony's senate to allow their promotion to a wider audience prior to a general vote on the issue being carried out. Even as an outsider you are welcome to participate in this process, you are considered a citizen of the colony from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Castle Rock is also the home of the colony office, a small staff of people, including Governor William Paterson. The colony office are employed by the colony to ensure its everyday running, and to implement new policies and rules.
Castle Rock, is one of the few buildings that has been built for visual effect. The majority of buildings are constructed to endure the fierce gravity of Dalmatia, and are functional rather than beautiful.
While no traveller to New Darien need go hungry there are few outstanding restaurants. Fort St Andrews in the Central Dome has some stunning views across an artificial sea. The Old Habana Tavern in Metro Dome 3 has some fine Creole cuisine available. However generally the food is good, just not noteworthy.
Places to stay.
New Darien is not geared towards tourists, the gravity of Dalmatia means that few are able to visit the colony. Most hotels are for business travellers or for visiting academics. There are two backpackers hostels in the colony, providing cheaper accommodation, booking ahead is always recommended. Sleeping in the street is not illegal, but it is uncomfortable, due to the heat and humidity of the colony. Those who wish to do it should also make note of when and where the colony’s rain machines will be working that night.
There are a few tourist attractions on the surface of Dalmatia, which are easily visited from New Darien.
The ice caves in the Serrania del Darien near the colony are home to a fascinating scientific study of repeated alien attempts to terraform Dalmatia. In the research station built to catalogue finds and investigate the past history of the planet. It is here that you can come face to face with the Dalmatian ice rat, one of the last creatures ever to exist on the planet.
The fantastic glacial scenery of Old Nick’s cauldron is also worth seeing. Once a week there is a tourist shuttle to this weird region of broken scenery. Where the land has been shattered by the constant action of ice. Old Nick’s Cauldron itself is a vast almost perfectly circular feature, which looks as if it has been inflicted on the planet by an enormous drill.