Views from Vitebsk

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This postcard, my second one from Belarus, comes from Aliona. It pictures the Vitebsk Station on the left and the monumental and decorative sculpture “Meeting” on the right.

Vitebsk or Vitsebsk, is a city in Belarus. The capital of the Vitebsk Region, in 2004 it had 342,381 inhabitants, making it the country’s fourth largest city.聽Typically assigned a founding date of 974, Vitebsk has long been an important cultural and commercial hub for the numerous occupiers in its long history. It is still an important centre of arts and culture for the Republic of Belarus and is surrounded by stunning countryside.聽Vitebsk is often referred to as the “Cultural Capital” of Belarus. It is best known as the birthplace of the Jewish painter Marc Chagall, and his home has been preserved and operates as a museum. There is also a museum dedicated to his works that also frequently hosts exhibitions by the city’s large modernist/post-modernist/avant garde artist community.

Hengchun City Walls

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This card, my second one from Taiwan, comes from Liao.

Hengchun Township is an urban township located on the southern tip of the Hengchun Peninsula of Pingtung County, Taiwan. It is the southernmost township in Taiwan. 聽The city of Hengchun is the entry way to Kenting National Park, the southernmost National Park in the country. With pristine beaches and a vibrant tourist industry, the Hengchun area often attracts more travelers than local residents. The city itself was once completely surrounded by a city wall; now about half of the wall remains intact, as well as the four city gates.

Egyptian camel

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I just love camels! They’re so photogenic, don’t you think? This particular camel card comes from Mohamed.

This extremely cheerful camel is posing in front of a the Great Pyramid of Giza聽(also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops). It is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.聽Based on a mark in an interior chamber naming the work gang and a reference to fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC.

Iglesia La Recolecci贸n

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My first card from Nicaragua comes from Jose. 馃檪 It pictures the聽Church of la Recolecci贸n in Leon. The聽construction of the church began on December 5, 1786, by Bishop Juan F茅lix de Villegas.

Le贸n is a department in northwestern Nicaragua. It is also the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua. It was founded by the Spaniards as Le贸n Santiago de los Caballeros and rivals Granada, Nicaragua, in the number of historic Spanish colonial churches, secular buildings, and private residences.

The first city named Le贸n in Nicaragua was founded in 1524 by Francisco Hern谩ndez de C贸rdoba about 32 km east of the present site. The city was abandoned in 1610 after a series of earthquakes. The ruins of the city are known as “Le贸n Viejo” and were excavated in 1960. In the year 2000, Le贸n Viejo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sant Joan de Caselles

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My very first card from Andorra comes from Ana. Such a lovely card from such a rare country. I was jumping for joy when I received it! 馃榾

Sant Joan de Caselles is one of the major tourist attractions in Canillo, Andorra. Also known as the Church of Sant Joan de Caselles, it is a fine example of the Andorra Romanesque architecture. The church was built between the 11th and 14th centuries. It is the tallest church-tower of Andorra. Inside there are the remains of a stucco Romanesque Majesty of the 12th century surrounded by a mural pictorial scene representing the crucifixion with Longinus and Stephanus accompanied by the Sun the Moon. Behind the altar grill there is a 16th century altarpiece of great artistic quality with influences of the Italian and German Renaissance depicting scenes of the life and martyrdom of Saint John, the author of the Apocalypse and patron saint of the church.

Cyprus 3d

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My first card from Cyprus is also my first 3d card. It comes from my mom’s friend Pepa who lives in Larnaka. 馃檪

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and a member state of the European Union. It is located east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and north of Egypt.

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Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus. In recent years, it has become less known as a family holiday destination, and more so for its raunchy, bustling nightlife.聽The name Ayia Napa is derived from a Venetian-era monastery of the same name, located in the centre of the town, next to the square that today is the clubbing centre. The word “Ayia” (Agia) means “holy” in Greek. “Napa” is archaic and means “wooded valley” or dell. In ancient times the area surrounding the town was covered with thick forest.

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A curious fact –聽Ayia Napa has its own sea monster. 馃榾聽The Ayia Napa Sea Monster is a cryptid, claimed to inhabit the coast off of Ayia Napa. Most sightings occur around Cape Greco (Cavo Greko). It is known by the local fishermen as “To Filiko Teras”, which translates as “The Friendly Monster”. There have been no reports of it causing any harm, although it has been reported at times to rip and drag away fishing nets. There have been countless sightings of the “Creature from the Depths”, with some local newspapers calling the mystery the “Cyprus Loch Ness”. It has been speculated to be something like a crocodile or serpent.

Kuwait

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This card, my first one from Kuwait, comes from Aliaa. To be more specific, it comes from her mother who was so kind to send me a postcard while in Kuwait.聽鉂

Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is an Arab country in Western Asia. Situated in the northeastern edge of the Arabian peninsula at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. The name “Kuwait” is the diminutive of Arabic 賰賵鬲 k奴t, meaning “fortress”. The country covers an area of 17,820 square kilometers and has a population of 2.6 million as of 2012.

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Kuwait City serves as the country’s political and economic capital. Kuwait is often described as the most liberal country in the region. The country has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves and petroleum products now account for 87% of export revenues and 75% of government income. Kuwait is the eighth richest country in the world per capita.

Asunci贸n

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My very first card from Paraguay comes from Jimena who was on a trip there. The cards pictures the Legislative Palace in聽Asunci贸n. Also, the聽Paraguayan stamps are so big that Jimena couldn’t fit them on the back, that’s why they look like that. 馃榾

Nuestra Se帽ora Santa Mar铆a de la Asunci贸n is the capital and largest city of Paraguay.聽The Ciudad de Asunci贸n is an autonomous capital district not part of any department.聽It is the home of the national government, principal port, and the chief industrial and cultural centre of the country.

Asunci贸n is one of the oldest cities in South America and the longest continually inhabited area in the Rio de la Plata Basin; for this reason that it is known as “Mother of Cities”. It was from Asunci贸n that the colonial expeditions departed to found other cities.