Monday, September 29, 2008

Finland - Yummy Greetings! :)

I love Finnish postcards! The ones showing landscapes, the ones showing Finnish cities/towns/village and the ones showing Finnish fruits too! :)
I must believe that the writting means "Yummy Greetings", because the online translator isn't very helpful :)
Yummy! Really! :)

Spain - Tarifa

I received this postcard in the Slavic countries & Rest of the world RR :) It's already my 2nd Spanish card :) It shows the village of Tarifa in Southern Spain. According to the sender, it gets really windy there and there's a lot of surfing :)

Tarifa is a small town on the southernmost coast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is part of the province of Cádiz, which, in turn, is part of the Andalusia region. The town is located on the Costa de la Luz ("coast of light") and across the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco, from which the lights of Tarifa are visible at night. The municipality includes Punta de Tarifa, the southernmost point in continental Europe. There are five smaller villages who depend economically on Tarifa. They are Tahivilla, Facinas, Bolonia and Zahara de los Atunes.

UK - The Union Jack

I really love flag cards, but, unfortunately, I've received only 3 so far! So I don't have to explain my happiness, when I found this card in my mailbox :) I received it as a thank you card, because my 1st official card to this user got lost and I sent one more after a month. That's funny that my postcards arrive in many countries that are not so well developed (and where they'd more likely get lost), but exactly the one sent to an European country disappeared somewhere.

The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Historically, the flag was used throughout the former British Empire. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms, e.g. in Canada, where it is known as the Royal Union Flag. The current design dates from the Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801.

When King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England and was crowned James I of England in 1603, the crowns of the Kingdom of England (which since 1535 had included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland were united in a personal union through him. Despite this Union of the Crowns, each kingdom remained an independent state.

On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (also representing Wales by implication), (a red cross with a white background, known as St George's Cross) and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire with a blue background, known as the Saltire or Saint Andrew's Cross) would be "joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds, and sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects." This royal flag was at first only for use at sea on civil and military ships of both Scotland and England. In 1634, King Charles I restricted its use to the monarch's ships. Land forces continued to use their respective national banners. After the Acts of Union 1707, the flag gained a regularised status, as "the ensign armorial of the Kingdom of Great Britain", the newly created state. It was then adopted by land forces as well, although the blue field used on land-based versions more closely resembled that of the blue of the flag of Scotland.


As far as I understand, this postcard is a painting by Jerilyn Huang Jin showing the Story of Moses. It's my first card from Singapore and it was witten in (almost perfect) Polish, which I really appreciate! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Slovenia - Ljubljana (SI-7512)

It's my first card from Slovenia! :) It shows the belltowers of the Franciscan church and the cathedral in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. I haven't been to Ljubljana and I don't really know what it's like, but this picture reminds me my favorite city L'viv... OK, but let's come back to Slovenia :)
I like the name of this city. I can't speak Slovene (although I understand about 70%) and I'm not sure, if it has any meaning, but it sounds nice :) And I remember it from the Paulo Coelho's novel "Veronika decides to die". :)


The Netherlands - Nijmegen (NL-104320)

This postcard shows Nijmegen, which is the oldest city of the Netherlands (Nijmegen celebrated its 2000th year of existence in 2005). So it's actually twice older than my city :) On this card you can see 12 pictures that make up a calendar. I love multiview cards (especially the ones with really many pictures), so this one is just perfect :)


USA - Georgia (US-252600)

Thanks to this postcard, I found out that peaches are very important for Georgia's economy. I'm quite good at geography and I know, where is Georgia, but I don't really know, where do all of fruits grow. The sender writes that other big crops of Georgia are cotton and peanuts. And I haven't seen peach flowers before ;)
I used to like peaches very much, when I was a child. Once my mother gave me some money to buy sweets and she was very surprised, when I came back with peaches ;) I still like them, especially because of their color ;)


Brazil - União Esporte Clube (BR-44105)

It's my 1st soccer related card :) I'm a girl, but I like watching soccer (and playing it sometimes, although I'm not really good at any sport). And I'm glad that this card came from Brazil :) União Esporte Clube from Rondonópolis plays in the 3rd division of Brazilian Championship, but I think they'd win with the best Polish teams anyway ;)


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Belarus - Pruzhany (BY-5409)

I think I'm quite lucky, because I've already received 2 official cards from Belarus, which doesn't have so many active postcrossers... This card makes me think I'm even more lucky, because it was written in Belarussian! :) As I've written in one of my previous posts, most of people in Belarus speak Russian instead of Belarussian, so I'm really glad that someone decided to write me in this beautiful language!

This postcard shows the Catholic church in Pruzhany (Пружаны), a town in Brest Region.


Germany - Passau (DE-214320)

Here's another official card from Germany :) I don't know why, but I receive more officials from Germany than from Finland or USA :) But I really don't mind it, because it's a country with many old and beautiful towns, because it's an opportunity to improve my German and because postcards from Germany arrive very quickly :)

Passau (is a town in Lower Bavaria, Eastern Bavaria, Germany, known also as the Dreiflüssestadt (City of Three Rivers), because the Danube is joined there by the Inn from the South, and the Ilz coming out of the Bavarian Forest to the North.
Its population is 50,415, of whom about 10,000 are students at the local University of Passau.

Passau was an ancient Roman colony of ancient Noricum called Batavis, Latin for "for the Batavi". The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe mentioned often by classical authors, and they were regularly associated with the Suebian marauders, the Heruli.


Germany - Frankfurt am Main (DE-211557)

My previous official card from Germany was from the same city - Frankfurt am Mein :) But this one is different and I like it very much, too. Another great thing about this card is that it has an orange background :)) I really love this color!


USA - Montana (US-249624)

I've got another map card in my collection! :) And it's one of my favorite ones! It makes me sure that many postcrossers still put some effort to choose a nice official card that would fit the receiver's wishes :)

Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western one-third of the state has numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named) of the northern Rocky Mountains; thus the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña 'mountain.' The state nickname is the "Treasure State." Other nicknames include "Land of Shining Mountains", "Big Sky Country", and the slogan "the last best place". The economy is primarily based on ranching and wheat farming in the east, lumber and tourism in the west, oil and coal in the east, and hard rock mining in the west. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Battle of Little Bighorn site, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.


Japan - Mount Fuji (JP-42137)

My 3rd official card from Japan shows the highest mountain of this country - Mount Fuji. According to the sender, sometimes it snows at the summit even in August!

Mount Fuji (富士山, Fuji-san) is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 m (12,388 ft). An active volcano that last erupted in 1707–08, it straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures just west of Tokyo, from which it can be seen on a clear day. It is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshū.

Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.


Bulgaria - Sofia

This card, sent by Christina fromBulgaria, shows the temples that I've seen during my short stay in Sofia :) Yes, I've seen all of them (I just didn't go inside the synagogue and mosque) and I can say they're all very different, which makes Sofia an intersting and multicultural city.
So, on this postcard you can see (from the top left corner): The Synagogue, St. Sofia church, St. Georgi Rotunda, The Mosque, St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, The Russian church.

Italy - Como

This beautiful card arrived thanks to the World Languages RR and was written in almost perfect Ukrainian :))
I already have one postcard showing the Lake Como, but this one shows the city Como itself. This city has a really long and interesting history (I put only a part of it here):

The hills surrounding the current location of Como have been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age, by a Celtic tribe known as the Orobii. Remains of settlements are still present on the wood covered hills to the South West of town.

Around the 1st Century BC, the territory became subject to the Romans. The town center was situated on the nearby hills, but it was then moved to its current location by order of Julius Caesar, who had the swamp near the southern tip of the lake drained and laid the plan of the walled city in the typical Roman grid of perpendicular streets. The newly founded town was named Novum Comum and had the status of municipium.

In 774, the town surrendered to invading Franks led by Charlemagne, and became a center of commercial exchange.

In 1127, Como lost a decade-long war with the nearby town of Milan. A few decades later, with the help of Frederick Barbarossa, the Comaschi could avenge their defeat when Milan was destroyed in 1162. Frederick promoted the construction of several defensive towers around the city limits, of which only one, the Baradello, remains.

Canada - Dinosaur Provincial Park

I received this postcard in UNESCO RR. To be honest, I don't collect UNESCO cards (I think it makes no sense, because there are over 800 UNESCO sites and I won't be surprised if there'll be 1000 of them soon). But as UNESCO sites are obviously interesting and unique places, I want to have cards showing at least some of them in my collection.

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a World Heritage Site located about a two hours drive east of Calgary, Alberta, Canada or 48 kilometers (30 mi) northeast of Brooks.

The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River, which is noted for its striking badland topography. The park is well known for being one of the greatest dinosaur fossil beds in the world. Thirty-nine dinosaur species have been discovered at the park and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums across the globe. Its significance justified it becoming a World Heritage Site in 1979.
The park boasts a very complex ecosystem including three communities: prairie grasslands, badlands, and riverside cottonwoods. Its ecosystem is surrounded by prairies but is unique unto itself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Estonia - Tallinn

This card (received in the World Languages RR) shows the Town Hall of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. On the left side you can see the town flag and gargoyle (whatever it is) on the Town Hall facade, clock on the wall of the Holy Ghost Church and the Town Hall Prison. On the right side there's the Town Hall Pharmacy and Saiakang Street.

Russia - Saint Petersburg

Here's another card that I've received in the Russian group of World Languages RR :) I already have many postcards showing Saint Petersburg (I haven't uploaded all of them here yet), but all of them are different :) This one shows the monument to Peter the Great. He founded Saint-Petersburg in 1703, so he's definitely an important person for this city :)

As the Poles and Lithuanians on one side and Swedes on the other fought each other, Peter founded the city of Saint Petersburg (Germanically named after Saint Peter the Apostle) in Ingermanland (province of Swedish empire, which he had captured) in 1703. He forbade the building of stone edifices outside Saint Petersburg — which he intended to become Russia's capital — so that all the stonemasons could participate in the construction of the new city.

China - the Palace of Heavenly purity

I received this postcard in World Languages RR (it was a Russian group, not Chinese) ;) I like it very much, because it shows the Chinese architecture, which is so unusual for me, living in Europe for all of my life...

The Palace of Heavenly Purity, or Qianqing Palace (Chinese: 乾清宫; pinyin: qiánqīng gōng) is a palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. It is the largest of the three halls of the Inner Court (the other two being the Hall of Union and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility), located at the northern end of the Forbidden City. During the Qing dynasty, the palace often served as the Emperor's audience hall, where he held council with the Grand Council.

The Palace of Heavenly Purity is a double-eaved building, and set on a single-level white marble platform. It is connected to the Gate of Heavenly Purity to its south by a raised walkway. In the Ming Dynasty, it was the residence of the Emperor. The large space was divided into nine rooms on two levels, with twenty-seven beds. For security, on any one night the Emperor would randomly choose from any of these beds. This continued through the early Qing Dynasty. However, when the Yongzheng Emperor ascended to the throne, he did not wish to inhabit the palace occupied by his father for sixty years. He and subsequent emperors lived instead at the smaller Hall of Mental Cultivation to the west. The Palace of Heavenly Purity then became the Emperor's audience hall, where he held court, received ministers and emissaries, and held banquets. At the centre of the Palace, set atop an elaborate platform, is a throne and a desk, on which the Emperor wrote notes and signed documents during councils with ministers. A caisson is set into the roof, featuring a coiled dragon. Above the throne hangs a tablet reading "Justice and Honour" (Chinese: 正大光明; pinyin: zhèngdàguāngmíng). From the Yongzheng Emperor onwards, the Emperor designated his heir in secret, with one copy of the will hidden behind this tablet and another carried at all times by the Emperor.

Turkey - Bodrum

As I've already mentioned in my previous post - I have 3 wonderful Turkish cards written in Russian from Leslie :) This one shows Bodrum. Now it's an international center of tourism and yachting, but:

The first recorded settlers in Bodrum region were the Carians and the harbor area was colonized by Dorian Greeks as of the 7th century BC and the city later fell under Persian rule. It was the nominal capital city of the satrapy of Caria. Its location ensured the city enjoyed considerable autonomy.
Herodotus, the historian, (484-420 BC) was born here.

To be honest, I don't like very touristic places, where you can just lie on the beach, swim in the sea and relax, because I find it boring and because there are usually so many people that I have no chance to relax in fact. But, in Turkey there are many places that I know from my history lessons and that I would really love to see.

Turkey - Istanbul

I received this postcard in Slavic countries & Rest of the world RR :) Thanks to Leslie, I already have 3 cards from Turkey written in Russian :) This one shows a lighthouse in Istanbul, somewhere between Europe and Asia :)

Croatia - Zagreb

It's my 3rd Croatian postcard (I've received all of them in RRs and they were all very nice), but the 1st one showing Croatia's Capital - Zagreb. I don't know much about Croatia and about it's capital, but I've found out that it was quite an old city (more than 900 years old, just a bit younger than my city) :)

The history of Zagreb dates as far back as 1094 when the Hungarian King Ladislaus founded a diocese. Alongside the bishop's see the canonical settlement Kaptol developed north of the Cathedral, as did the fortified settlement Gradec on the neighbouring hill. Today the latter is Zagreb's Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and is one of the best preserved urban nuclei in Croatia. Both settlements came under Tatar attack in 1242. As a sign of gratitude for offering him a safe haven from the Tatar the Croatian and Hungarian King Bela IV bestowed Gradec with a Golden Bull, which offered its citizens exemption from county rule and autonomy, as well as its own judicial system. According to legend, Bela left Gradec a cannon, under the condition that it be fired every day so that it did not rust. Since 1 January 1877 the cannon is fired from the Lotrščak Tower on Grič to mark midday.

Russia - Saint Petersburg

I received this beautiful postcard in Slavic countries & Rest of the world RR :) I've choosen it myself, so I definitely love it :) It shows the Palace Bridge and view of the Peter and Paul Fortress. I don't know, if that's true, because I've never been to Saint Peterburg, but my friend told me that you should be careful not to stay on the island late in the evening, when the underground is already closed and the bridges are open... Then you have to wait until the morning. I wonder, if that's true :)) Maybe I'll check it myself next year...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spain - Galicia (ES-27840)

That's my first postcard ever from Spain :) The sender doesn't give much information about it... So I tried to use online translator, but the result wasn't very logical :) What I know for sure (well, at least I hope so) is that this card shows the sea in region of Galicia. And it's from Museum of Sea. I really wanted to know, what does "Levamos o mar dentro" mean, but, as I've already mentioned, the online translator didn't help me. Anyway, I'm really glad to have the 1st Spanish card in my collection :)


The Netherlands (NL-98055)

This postcard shows some symbols of the Netherlands. I've been to this country for several times, so I knew about the bikes and tulips (I think that's what everyone knows), but the syrup-wafels are something new for me :) I think I'll try them someday...


Germany - Frankfurt am Main (DE-208003)

Frankfurt am Main is another German city that I haven't been to. There's also a smaller city called Frankfurt (Oder) in East Germany. Actually, a half of that Frankfurt is in Poland and is called Słubice. But that's absolutely different place than the one shown on this card :)

Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2008 population of 670,000. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine Main Region which has a population of 5.3 million and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area.

Situated on the River Main, Frankfurt is the financial and transportation centre of Germany and one of the two largest financial centres in continental Europe, the other being Paris.


Finland (FI-361442)

Some weeks ago I was afraid that official Finnish cards could start avoiding me, but fortunately that was not true :) Here's another nice Finnish landscape :) According to the sender (who comes from the Northern Finland), it shows the midnight sun :) It's interesting... But, on the other hand, I wouldn't like to live in a place, where the night can last for several months!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finland - a girl from Lapland (FI-359837)

This card is definitely something new for me :) It shows a girl from Lapland in her national costume :) Unfortunately, there are not so many postcards like that. By the way, I've noticed that national costumes from different countries (with really different cultures) are somehow similar. At least in Europe. But maybe that's because I don't really know much about it :) I hope Postcrossing can help me to improve my knowledge ;)


Finland - Finnish summer (FI-353158)

The summer is already over, but this postcard reminds me of it :) Also, I find it a bit unusual, because most of Finnish cards show winter views, with a lot of snow. That's something different and really interesting :)


The Netherlands - Schiedam (NL-98739)

This postcard is actually a picture taken by the sender's husband. It shows Schiedam, a town next to Rotterdam. I really appreciate this kind of home made postcards, when people put some effort to take a nice picture and print it on a high quality paper. That's why I'd never write "no hand made cards, please" in my profile. I've never been disappointed with such postacrd, but I know that it happens sometimes. Maybe someday, when I learn to photograph well, I'll be able to send my own cards too :)

Italy - Costa D'Argento (IT-23036)

This card shows a beautiful place near Monte Argentario in Tuscany, Italy. I couldn't find much information about Costa D'Argento itself, but reading about the geography of Monte Argentario you can easily notice that it's interesting :)

Monte Argentario is a promontory stretching towards the Tyrrhenian Sea in correspondence of the two southernmost islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, Giglio and Giannutri. The promontory was also an island in past times,, but the sea currents and the Albegna river joined it with the mainland through two so-called tomboli (stretches of land), The Tombolo of Giannella and the Tombolo of the Feniglia.The highest peak of Monte Argentario is the Punta Telegrafo (635 m). The landscape and the coast are mainly rocky; numerous harbors, usually with rock beaches, are present. The municipal seat is in the northern settlement, Porto Santo Stefano.


Italy - Sicily (IT-22176)

This beautiful card shows a Sicilian cart :) I haven't heard of it before, but receiving this postcard was a great opportunity to learn something new.

The Sicilian cart is an ornate, colorful style of horse or donkey-drawn cart native to the island of Sicily, in Italy.
The carts were introduced to the island by the ancient Greeks. Carts reached the height of their popularity in the 1920s, when many thousand were on the island. Miniature carts, or Carrettino Siciliano, are often sold in Sicily (or in Italian shops and restaurants in other countries) as souvenirs. The Museo del Carretto Siciliano, in Terrasini, in the province of Palermo, is a museum dedicated to the carts.
Sicilian wood carver, George Petralia states, that horses were mostly used in the city and flat plains, while donkeys or mules were more often used in rough terrain for hauling heavy loads. The cart has two wheels and is primarily handmade out of wood with iron metal components. Carts are used for hauling miscellaneous light loads, such as produce, wood, wine, and people, called "Carretto del Lavoro" (cart for work) and also carts for festive occasions such as weddings and parades called "Carretto de Gara'. The Carretto is like the 'taxi' or 'truck' of today.

In modern-day Sicily, the tradition continues in small, three-wheeled motorized vehicles (called lapa). They are often painted in the traditional way.


UK - The Essex Coast (GB-45938)

It's already my 3rd official card from the UK :) The sender doesn't give much information about it, but writes that this card showed her home town. As the postmark says that this postcard was sent from Chelmsford (and I've checked - Chelmsford is in Essex county), it must be there :)
When I hear "Chelmsford", I recall the "Teach yourself Bulgarian" book that I bought in Belgium :)) Well, if you want to learn Bulgarian - first you have to know English. I remember there was a whole story about a businessman from Chelmsford visiting Sofia and trying to learn Bulgarian... That's all I "know" about this place :)


USA - Yellowstone National Park (US-240604)

I received this official card from Utah, but it shows the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. More precisely, is shows the Kepler Cascades that drops 50 feet over 3 steps as the Firehole River flows North, located aproximately 2 miles south of Old Faithful.

Yellowstone National Park, set aside as a national park on March 1, 1872, is located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho. The park was the first of its kind, and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular areas in the park. It has many types of ecosystems, but the Boreal forest is dominant.