Saturday, 26 November 2011

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Today's last card is quite a treat - one of those places where I never expected to receive a postcard from. Thanks a million Leslie for helping me out!

Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus is a self-declared state which officially titles itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti). Its territory comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus. Only Turkey has recognised its independence, while the international community considers it occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus.

Tensions between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot populations culminated in 1974 with a coup d'état, an attempt to annex the island to Greece and a military invasion by Turkey in response. All these factors resulted in a partitioning of the island, the resettlement of many of its inhabitants, and a unilateral declaration of independence by the north in 1983. Due to its lack of international recognition, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkey for economic, political and military support.

Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula (Cape Apostolos Andreas) in the north east, westward to Morphou Bay and Cape Kormakitis (the Kokkina/Erenköy exclave marks the westernmost extent of the area), and southward to the village of Louroujina/Akıncılar. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the island's largest city and capital of both states.

... I used to have a friend who was a Turkish Cypriot. She was a member of the Aikido club in Wolverhampton I'm still a member of, but she moved away a few years ago. Should I have been cheeky and ask her to send me a postcard when she went back home on holiday?? :P

Kotor, Montenegro

My dear penpal Snježana went on holiday in Montenegro earlier this year and was kind enough to send me a bunch of postcards of the country. I have to confess I hardly knew anything about Montenegro until I joined Postcrossing. It looks like a really beautiful country, at least the seaside (that's what most of the postcards I have show).

Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality.

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by an impressive city wall built by the Republic of Venice and Venetian influence remains predominant in the city's architecture. The Bay of Kotor, one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea, is sometimes called the southern-most fjord in Europe (though it is actually a submerged river canyon). Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape.

In recent years, Kotor has seen a steady increase in tourists, attracted by both the natural beauty of the Gulf of Kotor and the old town of Kotor itself.

Kotor is a Unesco World Heritage Site dubbed 'the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor'.

Snježana sent me the cards when she was back home so the stamps are from Bosnia.

Comillas, Spain

One more official for today. This one was a bit of a mystery when it arrived, though, as the sender had forgotten to write the ID on the card, and there was also no stamp on the card and I can't tell whether it fell off or if there even was one on the card in the first place. In any case I'm really glad the card made its way to me as I really like it.


Comillas is a small township and municipality in the northern reaches of Spain, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Marquisate of Comillas, a fiefdom of Spanish nobility, holds ceremonial office in the seat of power at a small castle which overlooks the town.

The first Marquis of Comillas was Antonio López y López (died 1883). Founder and owner of the Compañía Transatlántica Española, was born in Comillas in 1817. Antonio López y López was given the title in 1878. The current Marquis of Comillas is Don Alfonso Güell y Martos.

When I first saw this card, I really liked the building in the bottom right corner. It looked sort of familiar, and when I looked at the back of the card, it says the building was designed by Gaudí. I feel really embarrassed to admit this, but I always thought the only buildings designed by him were in Barcelona... ooops.. The building here is called 'El Capricho'. It's a small annex to the Palacio de Sobrellano, for the Baron of Comillas. It was commissioned by Máximo Díaz de Quijano and constructed between 1883 and 1885. Cristòfor Cascante i Colom, Gaudí’s fellow student, directed the construction. In an oriental style, it has an elongated shape, on three levels and a cylindrical tower in the shape of a Persian minaret, faced completely in ceramics. The entrance is set behind four columns supporting depressed arches, with capitals decorated with birds and leaves, similar to those that can be seen at the Casa Vicens. Notable are the main lounge, with its large sash window, and the smoking room with a ceiling consisting of a false Arab-style stucco vault.

Gdańsk, Poland

Another official, I received this one around the same time as the card from Latvia. This one is from my favourites as well. I really appreciate it when people take the time to select a card they think the receiver is going to like, and go through the galleries. Not that I don't like surprises as well, though!


Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area. It's an old city, dating back to 997.

Gdańsk is Poland's principal seaport as well as the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. It is also historically the largest city of the Kashubian region. The city is close to the former late medieval/modern boundary between West Slavic and Germanic lands and it has a complex political history with periods of Polish rule, periods of German rule, and extensive self-rule, with two spells as a free city. It has been part of modern Poland since 1945.

Gdańsk is situated at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, whose waterway system supplies 60% of the area of Poland and connects Gdańsk to the national capital in Warsaw. This gives the city a unique advantage as the centre of Poland's sea trade. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Gdańsk is also an important industrial centre. Historically an important seaport and shipbuilding centre, Gdańsk was a member of the Hanseatic League.

The city was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which, under the leadership of political activist Lech Wałęsa, played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule across Central Europe.

Latvian countryside

Ooops. I just realised I haven't updated this blog for over a month. I haven't meant to ignore this thing but to be honest, the past month has been pretty rough and I haven't had the time/energy to update this blog. I do hope I'll start feeling better again soon and be able to catch up with a lot of stuff.

Anyway.. I'm in the mood for updating again and decided to start with this beautiful official I received a couple of months ago.


I have no idea of the exact location of the place on this card, all it says on the card is that it's in Latvia. :P This one had been in my favourites for quite a while so I was really happy to actually receive it. It's such a beautiful view, the atmosphere is so calm and peaceful, and the colours are lovely. Such a treat! ..and it's not like I receive postcards from Latvia all the time anyway.

I've decided not to write about stamps anymore unless I feel there's something very special about them. It just takes way too much time to find info about a lot of stamps and I don't think it's worth it.. so from now on you'll just get pictures of the stamps. :P