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.

Old City of Jaffa, Israel

Another one of the many wonderful 'winner of the month' cards that I received last September (has it really been that long ago?!). This one was (and still is :P) one of my favourites, I just love the atmosphere in it.


Jaffa is the southern, oldest part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa (since 1950), an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Solomon, Jonah, and Saint Peter. Tel Yafo (Jaffa Hill) rises to a height of 40 meters and it offers a commanding view of the coastline. Hence it had a strategic importance in military history. The accumulation of debris and landfill over the centuries made the hill even higher. Archaeological evidence shows that Jaffa was inhabited some 7,500 years BCE. The natural harbor of Jaffa has been in use since the Bronze Age.

From the 1990s onwards, efforts have been made to restore Arab and Islamic landmarks, such as the Mosque of the Sea and Hassan Bek Mosque, and document the history of Jaffa's Arab population. Parts of the Old City have been renovated, turning Jaffa into a tourist attraction featuring old restored buildings, art galleries, theaters, souvenir shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and promenades. Many artists have moved their studios from Tel Aviv to the Old City and its surroundings, such as the Jaffa port.


Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

A card that arrived as part of a swap last year. I love the rainbow in the background, although it does kind of look photoshopped. Errrr...?!


The Giant's Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences, and show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50–60 million years ago.

Sweden

Uh-oh.. I think this might be the longest break I've had from this blog - almost eight months! It certainly wasn't intentional but somehow just happened. I don't even have any dramatic reasons for my silence and I won't go into details on what's happened since. I might have to re-think this blog, though, as it isn't really working at the moment. Maybe writing less about the postcards? It feels a bit silly because mostly I just copy and paste from Wikipedia. I just didn't want to have a postcard blog where I only post pictures of the postcards and stamps, that seemed a bit boring. We'll see... Anyway, this card arrived back in January. A lovely, HUGE mapcard that had been in my favourites for a while.


I don't know when this postcard was printed but somehow it seems a little old, which just adds to the charm. I kind of wish the actual map part of this card was bigger so that it would be easier to see all the details!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Nuuk, Greenland

One more card for today. This is only my second Greenland postcard, although this one's not a written and stamped one but from a swap with Hanna in Iceland. She sent me a bunch of Iceland postcard plus this treat, doesn't it look gorgeous?!



Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland. It is the seat of government, as well as the country's largest cultural and economic center. The major cities closest to the capital are Iqaluit and St. John's in Canada, and Reykjavík in Iceland. Nuuk is the seat of government for the Sermersooq municipality. In January 2013, it had a population of 16,454, making it one of the smallest capital cities in the world by population. Nuuk is the Kalaallisut word for "cape". It is so named because of its position at the end of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord on the eastern shore of the Labrador Sea. Its latitude, at 64°10' N, makes it the world's northernmost capital.

Malaysian treats

This is an official I received back in 2009, and SUCH a lovely card! I had actually had this one in my favourites for quite a while before then so I was super excited to receive it as an official Postcrossing card.

 
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The cakes and cookies look totally mouthwatering! Zia, the sender of this card, tells me that 'kuih' is the general name for these cookies and cakes. They are usually made with rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and various flavourings. They can be prepared in many different ways - steamed, boiled, baked or deep fried. Mmmmm....! The pink ones with white stripes on the left are called 'lapis'.

Ghana

The Aikido group I'm a member of is pretty multicultural; we have and have had members from a bunch of different countries. At one point we had a guy from Ghana. He was really really nice as well, I miss him a lot. Maybe one day I'll get to meet him again...? Anyway, when he was about to move back home to Ghana I asked him if he could do me a favour and send me a postcard from Ghana. Cheeky, I know, but there we go :P He agreed to send me one - well, I thought it would be just one but instead he sent a bunch of postcards in an envelope. So many great views! (I wonder if it would be just a tad too cheeky to ask him for a written and stamped card (I don't have any yet...)? :P)


I'm rather fond of map postcards so I really like this one - and it's nice to see all the different regions of the country. I have no idea what the four places on the right are, there's no info on the back of the card. Shame, I'm curious, especially about the white structures in the bottom right corner.