Saturday, 30 August 2014

Palestine

Just one more card from earlier this year. ...and my first postcard sent from Palestine! Thank you ever so much for the swap, Loujain!


The card shows a ceramic mural by Hebron artist Isam Bader. I wish you could find street art like this over here as well. Most of the 'art' here is just messy graffiti that doesn't look nice at all :/

Cuba

Now this is an interesting one. Dear Agi sent this back in December last year, but it only arrived near the end of June this year! I wonder where it had been all this time... I certainly wasn't expecting Agi to send me a card from her holidays, either, so this really was a lovely surprise. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Agi!


This guy looks like he's waiting for someone. Maybe a client is late...?? I do love the fact that it's a bicycle postcard as well :)

Simien National Park, Ethiopia

A beautiful Unesco card I received not long ago. It's still one of the very few postcards I've received from Ethiopia as well. Thank you so much, Kate!


Massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. The park is home to some extremely rare animals such as the Gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the Walia ibex, a goat found nowhere else in the world.

St Peter Port harbour, Guernsey

Let's stay on the British Isles for a moment. This card is from a swap with Monica a couple of years ago. She actually used a matching stamp as well!!


Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey, is a possession of the Crown in right of Guernsey in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy. As a bailiwick, Guernsey embraces not only all ten parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Alderney and Sark – each with its own parliament – and the smaller islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou. Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the Bailiwick is not part of the United Kingdom but rather a possession of the British Crown. It lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods. Together, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.

Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey as well as the main port. The population in 2001 was 16,488. As well as being a parish, St. Peter Port is a small town consisting mostly of steep narrow streets and steps on the overlooking slopes. It is known that a trading post/town has existed here since before Roman times, the pre-Christian name of which has not survived into the modern era.

Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

I sent this card to myself last year, mainly because of the stamp - I wanted it on a postcard as I don't collect mint stamps but still like Europa stamps.


Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey (the latter shown here) is a Unesco site in Yorkshire. A striking landscape was created around the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey and Fountains Hall Castle, in Yorkshire. The 18th-century landscaping, gardens and canal, the 19th-century plantations and vistas, and the neo-Gothic castle of Studley Royal Park, make this an outstanding site.

Studley Royal Park is one of the few great 18th century gardens to survive substantially in its original form, and is one of the most spectacular water gardens in England. The landscape garden is an outstanding example of the development of the ‘English’ garden style throughout the 18th century, which influenced the rest of Europe.

Fountains Abbey ruins is not only a key eye catcher in the garden scheme, but is of outstanding importance in its own right, being one of the few Cistercian houses to survive from the 12th century and providing an unrivalled picture of a great religious house in all its parts.

The Royal Mail don't seem to care too much about Europa stamps - either the stamps they issue don't really fit the theme of the year or the stamp is a part of a bigger set of stamps and it's not possible to buy just a single stamp. That was the case again last year - this stamp was part of a miniature sheet of 4 stamps. Also, you can't get hand cancellations of mail you're sending out in the UK but some post offices will hand cancel items you've received yourself that haven't got a cancellation on. I did that with this particular postcard.

Iceland

A couple more cards from a facebook swap with Hanna a couple of years ago.


I really like map postcards so this one's an excellent addition to my collection.

Some random info from the back of the card:  

Iceland: 103.000 km2. Population 2004: 293,966. Iceland is bounded by latitudes 66° 30' (the Arctic Circle) and 63° 15' N being about 220 miles north to south, and 335 miles east to west.
 

Farmhouse ruins on the south coast of Iceland.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Bangladesh

Just one more card for today. My friend Wanda visited Bangladesh earlier this year and was sweet enough to send me some postcards from there. :) This is probably my favourite.


According to the description on the back of the card, this view is from Dhaka, and shows flame trees in bloom during spring. Wanda said that in villages, many people (mainly boys) climb coconut trees and would put a monkey to shame :D

Niigata, Japan

There has been a fair bit of discussion about 'Gotochi' postcards on the Postcrossing forum and I don't really have anything to add. I do really like this series, it's a shame the postcards are so expensive and hard to get, though. I've managed to get a few, this one is probably my favourite as I find samurai pretty fascinating.


This postcard is from Niigata Prefecture, a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Honshū on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata with which it shares the same name. The name "Niigata" literally means "new lagoon".

Until after the Meiji Restoration, the area that is now Niigata Prefecture was divided into Echigo Province and Sado Province. During the Sengoku period, the Nagao clan, who were at times vassals to the Uesugi, ruled a fief in the western part of modern Niigata from Kasugayama Castle. The most notable member of the Nagao clan was Nagao Kagetora, later and better known as Uesugi Kenshin. He unified the leaders of Echigo Province and became its sole ruler. By taking the surname Uesugi, he also became the head of the Uesugi clan and effectively brought their realm under his control.

holiday cards from Finland

A couple of holiday postcards from Finland...


The first one is from my parents from a year ago, I think this was just after I'd been over there to visit them. I love these vintage travel poster postcards, if they weren't so damn expensive I would've bought a bunch of them myself. This poster is from 1955.


The second one was sent to me by myself when I went to Finland this June with Matt. I just HAD to get this one when I saw it in a tourist shop; Scandinavia and the World is an awesome web comic! It's a shame they didn't have postcards with this image but I suppose that wouldn't sell very well. :P

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

I received this beautiful Unesco card from Idrialis earlier this year. Thank you so much for the swap!


Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and is the largest city in the Caribbean region by population. In 2010, Santo Domingo had a population of 965,040, with the metropolitan area reaching a total of 2,907,100. The city lies within the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional (D.N.; "National District"), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.

Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and then moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city's Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo, from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic's dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation.

Santo Domingo is the cultural, financial, political, commercial and industrial center of the Dominican Republic, with the country’s most important industries being located within the city. Santo Domingo also serves as the chief seaport of the country. The city's harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates the largest vessels, and the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic.

Hawaii

A wonderful map card I received as part of a swap last year.


Hawaii is the 50th and most recent U.S. state to join the United States. It joined the Union on August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.

Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, (wind) surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 2,400 km. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest and is often called the "Big Island" to avoid confusing the island with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

 Hawaii is the 8th smallest, the 11th least populous, but the 13th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. Hawaii's ocean coastline is about 1,210 km long, which is fourth in the United States after those of Alaska, Florida and California. Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas and the only state with an Asian plurality. It and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe daylight saving time, and Hawaii and Alaska are the only two states that are not in the contiguous United States.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Kanuhura, Maldives

I haven't done *too many* swaps this year, but have nonetheless managed to get postcards from a couple of countries new to my collection. Maldives is one of them, and such a beautiful view this is as well!


Maldives, officially the Republic of the Maldives and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean–Arabian Sea area, consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls, oriented north-south, that lie between Minicoy Island (the southernmost part of Lakshadweep, India) and the Chagos Archipelago. The chains stand in the Laccadive Sea, about 700 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres south-west of India.

The Maldives archipelago is located on top of the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. Maldives also form a terrestrial ecoregion together with the Chagos and the Lakshadweep. The Maldives atolls encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, making the country one of the world's most geographically dispersed. Its population of 328,536 (2012) inhabits 192 of its 1,192 islands. In 2006, Maldives' capital and largest city Malé, located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll, had a population of 103,693. Malé is one of the Maldives' administrative divisions and, traditionally, it was the "King's Island" where the ancient Maldives royal dynasties were enthroned.

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level elevation of 1.5 metres above sea level, it is the planet's lowest country. It is also the country with the lowest natural highest point in the world, at 2.4 metres. Forecasts predicting future inundation of the Maldives due to rising sea levels are of great concern to its people.