Saturday, 30 March 2013

Tbilisi, Georgia

Just one more card for today. I thought this was sort of appropriate for today - a snowy view since we have snow here in England at the moment as well. Well, in this area at least - Matt's younger sister came over from London today and said there's no snow in London. No fair! :P

Anyway, this card is from a swap with Sini in Finland. Alas, it was sent from Finland but it's still precious to me, my first Georgian postcard. Apparently Tbilisi and Georgia are rather fascinating places to visit and yeah, it would be nice to go there and see it for myself.

Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River. The city covers an area of 726 km2 and has 1,480,000 inhabitants.

Founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the monarch of Georgia's precursor Kingdom of Iberia, Tbilisi has served, with various intervals, as Georgia's capital for nearly 1500 years and represents a significant industrial, social, and cultural center of the country. Located on the southeastern edge of Europe, Tbilisi's proximity to lucrative east-west trade routes often made the city a point of contention between various rival empires throughout history and the city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, and Soviet structures.

Historically, Tbilisi has been home to peoples of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is now overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Notable tourist destinations include cathedrals like Sameba and Sioni, classical Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater, and the Georgian National Museum.

Sørfjorden, Norway

Moving on from Sweden to its neighbour, Norway. I just can't get enough of beautiful Norwegian sceneries, and this one is no exception.

I couldn't find much info about the place on this card.. It shows Sørfjorden (English: Southern Fjord), which is the name of several fjords on the coast of Norway.

Naval Port of Karlskrona, Sweden

This is one of my only Unesco cards from Sweden so far. ...not that I have too many postcards from Sweden anyway, for some reason Postcrossing doesn't seem to be too popular over there.

Karlskrona is an outstanding example of a late-17th-century European planned naval city. The original plan and many of the buildings have survived intact, along with installations that illustrate its subsequent development up to the present day.

Polish foods

I ended up receiving two copies of this card last year, and both through swaps as well. I don't mind, though, I really like it. ...although it does make me hungry :P

 There's a fairly big Polish community in the area where I live so it's pretty easy to find Polish foods in supermarkets and other shops. I haven't tried many for some reason, though, and only tried some pierogi a few weeks ago when Matt's mum bought some that had been in the 'reduced' section in Tesco. Mmmmm, so tasty! ...and those pickled cucumbers look really yummy as well, I wonder if they're more sweet or sour? I prefer the kind that's not too sweet, but sadly those aren't too easy to find (I think they're more of a Russian thing??). The things in the middle in this postcard are some sort of smoked cheeses, made of salted sheep milk.

Timiou Stavrou (Holy Cross), Cyprus

Uh-oh... It's been ages since I last posted here, it seems. I don't want to go into detail here, I'll just say that I haven't really been in the mood for updating this blog (and as a result the pile of cards I WOULD eventually like to post about here is getting bigger and bigger). This first card isn't even all that recent.. I received it back in 2009, from the same woman who sent me this card, and one more that might end up in this blog one day..

Anyway, this card shows the Timiou Stavrou (Holy Cross) church. This small 14th century church was restored in 1995 and has a unique icon of Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. Fine wall paintings blend Byzantine Orthodox and Venetian Catholic influences. It is one of the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region, Cyprus, a Unesco site. This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of 10 monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis.