Mendoza, Argentina

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This lovely card comes from Rubén. 🙂

Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. The city is a frequent stopover for climbers on their way to Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres) and for adventure travelers interested in mountaineering, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and other sports. In the winter, skiers come to the city for its easy access to the Andes.

Two of the main industries of Mendoza area are olive oil production and wine making. The region around Greater Mendoza is the largest wine producing area in Latin America. As such, Mendoza is one of nine cities worldwide in the network of Great Capitals of Wine, and the city is an emerging enotourism (Wine tourism) destination and base for exploring the region’s hundreds of wineries located along the Argentina Wine Route.

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Avenue of the Baobabs

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This beautiful Malagasy card comes from Haya. 🙂

The Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs is a prominent group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the first step toward making it Madagascar’s first natural monument.

Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, known locally as renala (Malagasy for “mother of the forest”), are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar. The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense forest. Over the years, as the country’s population grew, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the baobab trees, which the locals preserved as much in respect as for their value as a food source and building material.

Spice Mas, Grenada

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My first card from Grenada comes from Britney. 🙂 She says that every year Grenada hosts its annual carnival which takes place during the first week of August and lasts for two days. It’s called Spice Mas and is considered one of the best carnivals in the Caribbean. 🙂

Grenada is an island country consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Grenada is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Grenada is also known as the “Island of Spice” because of the production of nutmeg and mace crops of which Grenada is one of the world’s largest exporters. Its size is 344 square kilometres with an estimated population of 110,000. Its capital is St. George’s. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada Dove.

 

Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein

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My first card from Liechtenstein comes from Rosmarie who went on a trip there. 🙂

Vaduz Castle is the palace and official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The castle gave its name to the town of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, which it overlooks from an adjacent hilltop. It is thought that the castle was constructed as a fortress as early as the 12th century, before living quarters were added in 1287. Vaduz Castle is first mentioned in documents dating back to 1322. The castle came into the ownership of the Princely Family in 1712 and the west wing served as the family’s official residence until 1732. However, after that the building became increasingly dilapidated and fell into disrepair before being rebuilt and renovated between 1905 and 1912. Under Prince Franz Josef II the castle was extended and once again made fit for living. In 1939 the Prince moved in with his family and adopted Vaduz Castle as his official residence.

 

Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein and the seat of the national parliament. The town, located along the Rhine, has about 5,100 inhabitants. Although Vaduz is the best-known town internationally in the principality, it is not the largest: neighbouring Schaan has a larger population.

British Virgin Islands

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This card comes from Arnold from Texas who went on a trip there. 🙂

The British Virgin Islands are a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago; the remaining islands constitute the US Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately 20 km long and 5 km wide. The islands have a population of about 27,800, of whom approximately 23,000 live on Tortola.

British Virgin Islanders are classed as British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002 have had full British citizenship. Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, its citizens are deemed to be citizens of the EU as well.

Bermuda

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My first card from Bermuda comes from Denise who was on a holiday there. 🙂

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean, located off the east coast of the United States. Its capital city is Hamilton.

The first European to discover Bermuda was Spanish sea captain Juan de Bermúdez in 1503, after whom the islands are named. He claimed the apparently uninhabited islands for the Spanish Empire. Although he paid two visits to the archipelago, Bermúdez never landed on the islands, because he did not want to risk crossing over the dangerous reef surrounding them.

The islands became a British colony following the 1707 unification of the parliaments of Scotland and England, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. After 1949, when Newfoundland became part of Canada, Bermuda automatically was ranked as the oldest remaining British Overseas Territory. Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, it is the most populous Territory. Its first capital, St. George’s, was established in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World.

Bahamas

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My first card from Bahamas comes from Niki. 🙂

The Bahamas is an island country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence.

Originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus’ first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists, taking their enslaved Africans, moved to the Bahamas, where the Americans set up a plantation economy. After Britain abolished the international slave trade in 1807, the Royal Navy resettled many free Africans liberated from illegal slave ships in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Hundreds of American slaves and Black Seminoles escaped to the islands from Florida, and nearly 500 were freed from American merchant ships in the domestic trade. Slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Today the descendants of slaves and free Africans form the majority of the population; issues related to the slavery years are part of society. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch.