Réunion

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My first card from Réunion comes from Elena, who’s originally from Spain and just moved to this magical island! 😀

Réunion is a French island with a population of 840,974 inhabitants (as of January 2013) located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island.

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone.

The island is 63 kilometres long; 45 kilometres wide; and covers 2,512 square kilometres. It is similar to the Island of Hawaiʻi as both are located above hotspots in the Earth’s crust.

The island has been designated by Unesco as a protected natural site.

 

 

Mozambique

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My first card from Mozambique comes from Luis. 🙂 I absolutely love this card! As I wrote in my previous blog post – cards picturing aspects of real life are real jems! Instead of writing some random information about Mozambique, I’ll just quote what Luis has written on the back of the card: “Here you can see something common all along the Mozambican coast: fishmongers waiting for the day’s catch, fresh from the Indian Ocean. Notice that they’re dressed traditionally, with the head and lower body pieces.” A really great card! 🙂

The other face of South Africa

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This card comes from my dear friend Natalie and shows the other face of South Africa. Natalie says those shacks are found in poorer parts of the townships. She also says they’re usually made from corrugated tin and most of them don’t have water or electricity. This card might not be as pretty as the most typical alluring touristic postcards and I think that’s the reason why I love it – because it shows something real and that’s what makes it special! 🙂

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And here’s the AWESOME stamp that Natalie used. 🙂

 

Scotland symbols

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Okay, those might not be official symbols or anything, but when you think Scotland, you surely think of bagpipes, plaid and Loch Ness, right? 🙂 Well, on this card we have a piper with traditional plaid clothes, a highland cow, Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness (upper left corner), Loch Tay (between the cow and the piper), Melrose Abbey (the bottom left corner) and Glen Coe (bottom line, in the middle).

This card comes from Doyel. 🙂

Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area.

St Mary’s Abbey, Melrose is a part ruined monastery of the Cistercian order in Melrose, Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders. It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks on the request of King David I of Scotland, and was the chief house of that order in the country, until the Reformation. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland. The abbey is known for its many carved decorative details, including likenesses of saints, dragons, gargoyles and plants. On one of the abbey’s stairways is an inscription by John Morow, a master mason, which says Be halde to ye hende (“Keep in mind, the end, your salvation”). This has become the motto of the town of Melrose.

 

 

Florida pelican

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This card comes from Ginny. 🙂

This Florida pelican is actually a brown pelican. It is a small pelican found in the Americas. It is one of the best known and most prominent birds found in the coastal areas of the southern and western United States. It is one of only 3 pelican species found in the Western Hemisphere. The Brown Pelican is one of the only two pelican species which feeds by diving into the water.

 

Brno

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That’s one of the few cards my friend Kalina brought to me after her trip to the Czech Republic. 🙂 Целувки, слънцеее. 😀

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. The most visited sights of the city include the Špilberk castle and fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two medieval buildings that dominate the cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols. The other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by the Brno Dam Lake. This castle is the site of a number of legends, as are many other places in Brno. Another important monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. One of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst.

The Hoosier State

FDN1bFea0QW5C8TLe0PDHD3SThis mapcard comes from Nancy. 🙂

The state’s name means “Land of the Indians,” or simply “Indian Land.” It also stems from Indiana’s territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state.

A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier. The etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has “Hoosier” originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee (a part of the upland South region of the United States) as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin.

Indiana’s capital and largest city is Indianapolis.

 

Novosibirsk

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This card comes from my pen pal Tina. 🙂

Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg and the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,523,801 (2013 est.). It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District. The city is located in the southwestern part of Siberia on the banks of the Ob River adjacent to the Ob River Valley, near the large water reservoir formed by the dam of the Novosibirsk Hydro Power Plant. The city is informally known as the “Capital of Siberia”.

Novosibirsk, founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of Ob, first received the name Novonikolayevsk, in honor both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II in place of Krivoshchekovskaya village, was founded in 1696. The bridge was completed in the spring of 1897, making the new settlement the regional transport hub. The importance of the city further increased with the completion of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway in the early 20th century. The new railway connected Novosibirsk to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.