Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pitcairn Island map

Another one of the Pitcairn Island postcards that I ordered earlier this year. Of course I had to have this map as well :)

It really is such a small island. I wonder how it would be like to live somewhere like that, so far away from anywhere else and where everyone must know everyone and every cranny and nook of the island. I'm not sure if I'd like that...

Greetings from Ukraine

This was by far the most difficult of the Greetings from postcards for me to get hold of (written and stamped from the country of origin). I couldn't find anyone to swap with so I asked one person if they could send the card back to me written and stamped if I sent it to them blank in an envelope. They agreed, but I haven't received the card back and I don't even know if they've received the envelope. I then asked another person the same, but also sent them mint Ukrainian stamps that I had, to cover the postage. This time I had more luck and the card arrived pretty quickly. On a plus side, at least I now have the card with some lovely Europa stamps. :)

The sender pointed out that the capital city of Ukraine is actually called Kyiv, not Kiev. I had to look this up online as I was sure I had mostly seen the name written 'Kiev' in the news here (even the BBC uses that spelling) and it all seems to be down to politics. I don't want to get into that here, but I found this article pretty interesting.

Lake Seydozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia

Another amazing panoramic view of a lake, this time from Russia. This is from another Facebook swap earlier this year.

Lake Seydozero is located on the Kola Peninsula, in Murmansk Oblast within the Lake Lovozero and ensures runoff from the Seydyavryok River.

The Kola Peninsula is a peninsula in the far northwest of Russia. Constituting the bulk of the territory of Murmansk Oblast, it lies almost completely to the north of the Arctic Circle and is bordered by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast. The city of Murmansk is the most populous human settlement on the peninsula, with a population of over 300,000 as of the 2010 Census.

Despite the peninsula's northerly location, its proximity to the Gulf Stream leads to unusually high temperatures in winter, but also results in high winds due to the temperature variations between land and the Barents Sea. Summers are rather chilly, with the average July temperature of only 11 °C. The peninsula is covered by taiga in the south and tundra in the north, where permafrost limits the growth of the trees resulting in landscape dominated by shrubs and grasses. The peninsula supports a small variety of mammals, and its rivers are an important habitat for the Atlantic salmon. The Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, established to protect the population of Common Eider, is located in the Kandalaksha Gulf.

sheep on the road, Tekapo, New Zealand

More Year of the Sheep stamps, this time with a matching postcard. :) New Zealand has such amazing views and this one is no exception. I'd LOVE to visit New Zealand one day. ...and not just because of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films... :P

Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes running north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau). It covers an area of 83 square kilometres, and is at an altitude of 700 metres above sea level.

The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Godley River, which has its source in the Southern Alps to the north. The lake is a popular tourist destination, and several resort hotels are located at the township of Lake Tekapo at the lake's southern end. The Lake Tekapo Regional Park, administered by Environment Canterbury, is located on the southern shore of the lake.

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

A lovely Unesco card from Japan. ...and with a Year of the Sheep stamp and a special cancellation! :)

This is Ainokura Village, one of the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama in Japan. Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people's social and economic circumstances.

Tartu, Estonia

Uh oh. It's been a while.. I haven't really been in the mood for updating this blog, have had other things to do. ...such as finishing a massive desk I've been building with Matt since the start of the year. I can finally write postcards and letters by a desk and won't have to sit on our bed anymore! :D

Anyway. I'm starting today with this summery postcard from Estonia that mum and dad sent from their holiday last summer. I hope we'll get some warmer days here soon, too, I'd love to go out in a dress!

This is the fountain "Kissing Students" (Estonian: Suudlevad Tudengid) in Tartu, sculpted by M. Karmin, reminding visitors that the University of Tartu and its students have a profound effect on life in the city. ...and I love the couple at the front. :D