Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Vladivostok, Russia

I thought I'd post a few older cards for a change. I've got so many nice ones I received before starting this blog and it would be a shame to leave them all aside.

I'm starting with this lovely card from Russia I received through a swap. I totally adore it - the old house looks very charming and the black cat just adds to the charm. ...AND the card is from Vladivostok, a place I find fascinating due to its remote location.

Vladivostok is Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's border with China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The population of the city, as of 2010, is 578,000.

From 1958 to 1991, only Soviet citizens were allowed to live in Vladivostok or visit it (and even then had to obtain an official permission). Before this closure, the city had large Korean and Chinese populations. Some Koreans who were deported during Stalin's rule from the Russian Far East have since returned, particularly to Vladivostok.

The Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect European Russia with Vladivostok, Russia's most important Pacific Ocean port. Finished in 1905, the rail line ran from Moscow to Vladivostok via several of Russia's main cities. Part of the railroad, known as the Chinese Eastern Line, crossed over into Manchuria, China, passing through Harbin, a major city in Manchuria. During the Soviet era, Vladivostok's status as a closed city meant that ferry-passenger tourists arriving from Japan to travel the Trans-Siberian railway westbound had to embark in Nakhodka. Today, Vladivostok serves as the main starting point for the Trans-Siberian portion of the Eurasian Land Bridge.

The picture on this card is from the Old City (Millionka) in Vladivostok. ...and could you have guessed that this is an ad card? I sure couldn't if I didn't know! Just goes to show that there are nice ad cards around so I don't think people should be so negative about all ad cards. (The card advertises a café and Vladivostok TAXI.)

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