Saturday, 12 October 2013


One more card for today... a fantastic market view from Guadeloupe. Thank you a million, Olga!

Guadeloupe is a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. Guadeloupe is an integral part of France, as are the other overseas departments. Besides Guadeloupe island, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are included in Guadeloupe.

As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union and the Eurozone; hence, as for all Eurozone countries, its currency is the euro. However, as an overseas department, Guadeloupe is not part of the Schengen Area. The prefecture (i.e. French regional capital) of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Its official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Guadeloupéen).

Olga tells me that traditional markets like the one on this postcard are very popular in Guadeloupe and offer the biggest choice of fruits and vegetables. There are only 4 big supermarkets in the islands!

French stamps are used in Guadeloupe.

South Korea

A fantastic map card I received from a swap last year. I'd been hoping to receive this card for quite some time so I'm really happy to finally have a copy.

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. It shares land borders with North Korea to the north, and oversea borders with China to the west and Japan to the east. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone with a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 50 million residents distributed over 99,392 km2. The capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of 10 million.

South Korea is a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions and is a developed country with a very high standard of living. It is Asia's fourth largest economy and the world's 15th (nominal) or 12th (purchasing power parity) largest economy. The economy is export-driven, with production focusing on electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. South Korea is a member of the United Nations, WTO, and OECD, and a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit.

I collect Chinese New Year stamps so I was really happy to see the stamp on the top. It's supposed to glow in the dark, too, but I haven't tried that yet...

Fes, Morocco

This postcard is from a swap with Najma in Morocco. We swapped a couple of cards last year and the year before, I believe I've posted the other one here as well...

This card shows a view from the Mnebhi Palace in Fes, Morocco. Fes or Fez is the third largest city of Morocco, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010). It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region.

The city has two old medinas, the larger of the which is Fes el Bali. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world's largest car-free urban areas. Al-Qarawiyyin, founded in AD 859, is the oldest continuously functioning madrasa in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca of the West" and the "Athens of Africa".

Ampelmännchen, Berlin, Germany

When I got back home from Benidorm I had a lot more mail waiting for me than I had expected, which I thought was odd. Turned out I was lucky enough to be the 'Winner of the Month' for September 2013! :D It's a lottery on the Postcrossing forum where everyone who wants to participate sends a postcard to the winner, and at the beginning of the following month the current winner draws the new winner for the new month. I'm not very good at explaining the rules but they are all here if you're not familiar with the idea and want to take a look. ...and perhaps participate as well? :) You need to be a forum member to be able to participate. If you want to join, just send me a message on the forum and I'll send you the current winner's address and who knows, you might be the lucky winner next month! ;) It was so much fun and I received LOTS of lovely postcards - 54 cards in total, plus three that unfortunately didn't arrive until October.

 I honestly couldn't pick just one favourite out of all the cards I received but this one, sent by 'isagv', is definitely one of my favourites. I'd been hoping to receive this card for such a long time, I'm so excited to finally have it!

Ampelmännchen (German: little traffic light man, pl. Ampelmännchen) is the symbol shown on pedestrian signals in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany), now a part of Germany. Prior to German reunification in 1990, the two German states had different forms for the Ampelmännchen, with a generic human figure in West Germany, and a generally male figure wearing a hat in the east.

The Ampelmännchen is a beloved symbol in Eastern Germany, "enjoy[ing] the privileged status of being one of the few features of communist East Germany to have survived the end of the Iron Curtain with his popularity unscathed." After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business.

There are three Ampelmännchen variations in modern-day Germany – the old East German version, the old West German version, and a pan-German Ampelmännchen that was introduced in 1992. Each German state holds the rights for which version to use.

Benidorm, Spain

This post is way overdue again. :( Me and Matt went to Benidorm, Spain, at the beginning of September for a week on holiday - and a much needed holiday it was as well. Benidorm is a bit of a weird place, it's SO touristy it's unreal, I'd never been anywhere like that before (and to be honest, I prefer somewhere with a bit more history...) but I had a great time, and it was lovely and sunny and warm, and there was lots to do, even if you aren't into drinking or clubbing. :P I've got photos online here.

Anyway, I sent myself a postcard from there as well but was a bit worried it might not arrive as I accidentally bought a few of these strange 'easy post' stamps in a little souvenir shop and they looked a bit dodgy (but it was late at night and the guy had already pulled the stamps out so I didn't want to start arguing or change my mind and say I don't want them after all :S). It did take about three weeks for the card to arrive! I sent a few cards with these stamps and everyone said the cancellation on their card reads 'Malta', and the stamp was covered with a white sticker. O_o Mine arrived like that, too, but I managed to remove the sticker. So yeah, I wouldn't recommend 'easy post', they're certainly not value for money either as the stamps cost €1 each, a lot more than regular Spanish stamps.

Benidorm is a coastal town and municipality located in the comarca of Marina Baixa, in the province of Alicante, Valencian community, Spain, by the Western Mediterranean. Prior to the 1960s, Benidorm was a small village. Today it stands out for its hotel industry, beaches and skyscrapers, built as a result of its tourist-orientated economy. According to the 2010 census, Benidorm has a permanent population of 71,198 inhabitants, ranking as the fifth most populous town in the Alicante province. It has a population density of 1,848.8 inhab/km². The unique skyline formed by its numerous tall hotels and apartment buildings, which is unlike any other on the Costa Blanca (White Coast) Urban Age project, bears witness to the fact that Benidorm has the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world.

Benidorm has a special micro-climate all year round thanks to the mountains which surround the town. It enjoys some 3,400 hours of sunshine a year and an average annual temperature on the coast of 18°C (15°C in winter and 26°C in summer). Between December and March the temperature of the sea water is around 15°C.

I'm not actually sure where exactly the place shown on this card is located, it's certainly not the main beach. I should've chosen a card that represents the place a bit better (I've got loads of blank ones :P).