Seychelles

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New country in my collection, thanks to the wonderful Elena. 🙂

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Crete Gramvousa

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Here comes another beautiful Greek card from the lovely Milda who’s now at Crete. I’m so jealous of her! 😀

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Gramvousa also Grampousa refers to two small uninhabited islands off the coast of north-western Crete in the regional unit of Chania.

Imeri Gramvousa, which translates to Tame Gramvousa, hosts the remains of a Venetian fort and the remains of buildings left behind by Cretan insurgents, who were compelled to live as pirates, during the Greek War of Independence. Today, Imeri Gramvousa is a popular tourist attraction.

Agria Gramvousa, which translates to Wild Gramvousa, is much less hospitable and is located due north of Imeri Gramvousa.

Fittingly, for an island that has accommodated pirates, there is a lagoon, named the Balos lagoon (shown on my postcard), between the island and the coast of Crete. There is an islet which forms part of a cape, through the lagoon, called Cap Tigani (which means “frying pan” in Greek). North of Balos, at the Korykon cape, are the ruins of the small ancient Roman city of Agnion, with a temple to the god Apollo.

Fuerteventura

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Those two lovely cards come from my pen pal Sandra who was on a holiday in Fuerteventura. (I’m so jealous of her! :D)

Fuerteventura can be loosely translated as ‘Strong Winds’ or a corruption of French Forte Aventure (‘Great Adventure’). It is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, politically part of Spain. At 1,660 square kilometres it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO on 26 May 2009.

 

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The first settlers are believed to have arrived here from North Africa – the word Mahorero (Majorero) or Maho is still used today to describe the people of Fuerteventura and comes from the ancient word ‘mahos’ meaning a type of goatskin shoe worn by the original inhabitants. They lived in caves and semi-subterranean dwellings, a few of which have been discovered and excavated revealing relics of early tools and pottery. In antiquity, the island was known as Planaria, among other names, in reference to the flatness of most of its landscape.

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.