Monday, 16 May 2016

Year of the Monkey, Vietnam

Today's last card is from the same RR as the Australian library I just posted about. This is such a cheerful card!

Vietnamese stamps always seem to be so pretty and colourful, they are some of my favourites when it comes to stamps. The Vietnamese Lunar Year stamps always have such a nice design, too!

National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia

This card arrived through a Round Robin on the Postcrossing forum (the theme of this particular group was Year of the Monkey stamps). I love libraries so it's always nice to see them on postcards, too.

The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library of Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people." In 2012–2013, the National Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, and an additional 15,506 metres of manuscript material.

Greetings from Bulgaria

For some reason I thought I'd already posted about this card here. :o Nevermind... This is from a Facebook swap from last year. Another successful swap with Donka. :) Thank you so much!

This is one of the nicer cards in this series I think. I love the blue tones and the slightly darker colour - and the stormy-looking sky! :D I also love the fact that this card mentions Bulgarian yogurt. I really, really like it and tend to have at least some every time I go to Finland. For some reason I haven't been able to find it here in England (and Turkish yogurt seems impossible to find here as well for some reason, whereas it seems to be fairly popular in Finland). All you get here is Greek yogurt and while that's VERY nice as well, it's totally different. Bulgarian yogurt is a lot more sour I think (and yummy :)).

The Old Light, Lundy Island

This is the second postcard I received from the Lundy Island. I wrote about the first one here. I did want to post about this one as well. I don't think I could ever have too many lighthouse postcards. :D

 Foundations for a lighthouse on Lundy were laid in 1787, but the first lighthouse (now known as the Old Light) was not built until Trinity House obtained a 999-year lease in 1819. The 30 m granite tower, on the summit of Chapel Hill, was designed by Daniel Asher Alexander, and built by Joseph Nelson at a cost of £36,000. Because the site, Beacon Hill, is 143 m above sea level, the highest base for a lighthouse in Britain, the light was often obscured by fog. To counter this problem, the Fog Signal Battery was built about 1861.

 The lighthouse had two lights; the lower a fixed white light and the upper a quick flashing white light, showing every 60 seconds. However, this quick revolution gave the impression it was a fixed light with no flashes detectable. This may have contributed to the grounding, at Cefn Sidan, of the La Jeune Emma, bound from Martinique to Cherbourg in 1828. 13 of the 19 on board drowned, including Adeline Coquelin, the 12-year-old niece of Napoleon Bonaparte's divorced wife Joséphine de Beauharnais.

 Owing to the ongoing complaints about the difficulty of sighting the light in fog, the lighthouse was abandoned in 1897 when the North and South Lundy lighthouses were built. The Old Light and the associated keepers' houses are kept open by the Landmark Trust.

Freiburg, Germany

A lovely official I received earlier this year. I love the colours here!


I've written about Freiburg before here so I'm not going to repeat myself again. The marketplace does look lovely, so colourful! I do love markets but don't visit them often enough for some reason. I guess I'm just lazy and it's easier to pop into Aldi up the road. :P I never seem to remember to check the opening times.. I really should as I've found such great bargains there before. ...and... a couple of weeks in Birmingham I got 6 avocados for £1 at the market! That was such a bargain as in some supermarkets they cost that much for ONE avocado. Aldi are better but even they are not that good.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Ok, so I did cheat a little with this one... I actually ordered this card, but I thought there wouldn't be any way I could ever receive a postcard from Antarctica otherwise so maybe I could do this just this once.... :P It's such a cute card, too, the baby penguins are adorable!

Port Lockroy is a natural harbour on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island in Palmer Archipelago in front of Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered in 1904 and named after Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, who assisted Jean-Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government support for his French Antarctic Expedition. The harbour was used for whaling between 1911 and 1931. During World War II the British military Operation Tabarin established the Port Lockroy base (Station A) on tiny Goudier Island in the bay, which continued to operate as a British research station until 1962.

In 1996 the Port Lockroy base was renovated and is now a museum and post office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for cruise-ship passengers in Antarctica. Proceeds from the small souvenir shop fund the upkeep of the site and other historic sites and monuments in Antarctica. The Trust collects data for the British Antarctic Survey to observe the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. A staff of four typically process 70,000 pieces of mail sent by 18,000 visitors that arrive during the five month Antarctic cruise season.

Greetings from Slovakia

Slovakia seems to be in the same category as South Africa in my postcard collection - I only have a few cards from there as well. This card is from an Instagram swap from last year.

Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5 million and comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family.

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which itself became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed in World War II as a client state of Nazi Germany. In 1945, Czechoslovakia was reestablished under communist rule as a Soviet satellite. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD and the WTO.

The Postcrossing Association of Finland

A really interesting postcard I received last year. Not really so much the picture on it, but the story behind it and the reason for the card. Things like this make me miss Finland. :P

It seems fairly safe to say that Postcrossing is still pretty big in Finland when they now have a Postcrossing Association (Suomen Postcrossing-yhdistys). They have their own website (as far as I can tell, it's only in Finnish, though) and they seem fairly active. I'm pretty sure I'd be a member, too, if I still lived in Finland.

This card was sent from the association's constituent meeting, but it seems to have a been a meet-up as well as the card was signed by quite a few people.

Durban, South Africa

I only have a handful of postcards from South Africa so when I got a chance to swap earlier this year, I just couldn't say no. ...and it's nice to see something other than wild animals here :)

Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. After Johannesburg, the Durban Metropolitan Area ranks second among the most populous urban areas in South Africa, virtually ex-aequo with Cape Town. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. It forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. The municipality, which includes neighbouring towns, has a population of almost 3.5 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. The metropolitan land area of 2,292 square kilometres is comparatively larger than other South African cities, resulting in a somewhat lower population density of 1,513/km2. It has the highest number of dollar millionaires added per year of any South African city with the number rising 200% between 2000 and 2014.

 In May 2015, Durban was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan, Doha, La Paz, Havana, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur.

Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia

I've got a bit of a random mix of cards for today. This one is from a swap from last year.

Situated in the lush Lenggong Valley, the property includes four archaeological sites in two clusters which span close to 2 million years, one of the longest records of early man in a single locality, and the oldest outside the African continent. It features open-air and cave sites with Palaeolithic tool workshops, evidence of early technology. The number of sites found in the relatively contained area suggests the presence of a fairly large, semi-sedentary population with cultural remains from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Metal ages.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

I've written about my holiday to Gran Canaria before here, but I bought quite a few postcards for myself to keep while there and wanted to post a couple more here. here are two from Las Palmas. Matt and I did a day trip there during our holidays. Well, I say a day trip but really it only took about half a day. I could've spent so much longer there, it felt like we barely saw anything now apart from the old town. I remember our guide saying he wasn't that keen on Las Palmas as it's so much like any other city, but I don't agree. It certainly isn't anything like Birmingham. :P

Las Palmas, officially Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a city and capital of Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. It is the co-capital (jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and the most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, and the ninth largest city in Spain, with a population of 383,308 in 2010. Nearly half (45.9%) of the people of the island and 18.35% of all inhabitants of the Canary Islands live in this city. It is also the fifth most populous urban area in Spain with a population exceeding 700,000 and (depending on sources) ninth or tenth most populous metropolitan area in Spain with a population of between 625,000 and 750,000. Las Palmas is the largest city of the European Union lying outside the European Continent. It is located in the northeast part of the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, about 150 kilometres (93 miles) off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean. 

Las Palmas enjoys a very mild and pleasant desertic climate (highly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean) with mild to warm temperatures throughout the year. Locals know it as the "Eternal Spring", with an average annual temperature of 21.3 °C. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the U.S., Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world". 

It was founded as a city in 1478, considered the de facto only capital of the Canary Islands until the seventeenth century. Today, the city is capital of Canary Islands with Santa Cruz and home to the Canarian Ministry of Presidency (shared in a 4-year term with Santa Cruz de Tenerife), home to half of the Ministries and Boards of the Canarian Government, and home to the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. It is the judicial and commercial capital of the Canary Islands, and is also home to a great share of the executive power.