The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

Florence Skyline

postcards1_3From German Susi, after a trip to Florence in Italy, I was lucky enough to receive this card. I just love this stunning skyline and the beautiful cathedral! Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region but has a population of only 370,000 – sounds perfect to me! Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence attracts thousands of history-loving tourists every year. I can see why! The domed cathedral – the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower – is probably its most famous landmark and took over 100 years to build (1296-1436), those were the days! Thank you Susi for this wonderful card!

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Imam Ali Mosque

postcards2_3_2This card, arriving a day after Milad’s first card, shows the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq. It is considered the third holiest location for the Shia branch of Islam as Muhammed’s cousin, the first Imam is said to be buried there. Although the site has survived through a lot in its time, especially in recent years, it has retained its glory and beauty effectively. Thank you so much Milad, I love this card!

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The Ishtar Gate

postcards2_2_2This stunning card comes from Milad in Iraq and was my first from the country! It shows the Ishtar Gate – the eighth gate to the Inner City of Babylon and built c.575BC! Originally, the gate was considered one of the seven wonders of the world, but was later replaced with the Lighthouse of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. This site here, despite being only a replica of the original (which is now displayed in a museum in Berlin, according to Milad), is considered a UNESCO site. Fantastic card!

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Salisbury

postcards1_2This lovely card comes from Richard on a visit to one of England’s quaintest cities – Salisbury. The only city in the county of Wiltshire, it can trace its roots back to 1220, and that is only as a city. Prior to that, it was home to a settlement dating back to prehistoric times. Full of medieval architecture, Salisbury is perhaps most famous for its enormous cathedral and its stunning city wall – definitely worth a visit if you’re passing by.

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A Galician Dance

postcards1This beautiful card comes from Vero in Spain and shows a traditional children’s dance in the region of Galicia – an autonomous community in the north-west of the country, just north of Portugal. It is a region that can trace its human habitation back to the Middle Palaeolithic and boasts the remains of Neanderthal material culture. Now, it has a very distinctive culture and from the looks of this card, a very beautiful one!

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Virginia

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It’s been a while since I last posted – my posts seem to be coming like buses at the moment! But here is a lovely envelope-full of cards I received from Brook in Virginia, USA. I am particularly in love with the I <3 Zombies card! For those of you who don’t know, I am currently writing an action-adventure zombie novel, which you can read in its first draft here. So for me, that is super cool. As for the others, they are probably more likely Virginian sites! Situated in the east of the USA, Virginia is the 12th most populous but 15th smallest state! It was named Virginia after Queen Elizabeth the First – England’s famous Virgin Queen in the late 1500s. Famous for the Blue Ridge mountains and stunning nature, it is definitely a place I would like to visit one day! Thanks Brook for these amazing cards!

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Washington DC

postcards2This lovely multiview comes from Ginny in the USA, showing the country’s capital. She says that just about every important historical building is shown on this card, but I bet there are more! So, here, starting from the top left corner then going down in rows, you have: the Capitol Building, the White House, the Washington Monument, the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, Ford’s Theater, the Iwo Jima Statue and the Capitol Dome. So, there you have it, your mini-tour of Washington DC.

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Another Jewel in my Postcard Crown

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If you’re a collector who easily feels those twinges of the green-eyed jealousy monster, turn away now, look at this image no more and pretend its just some average card of some average place. Unfortunately though, it isn’t! This beauty comes from Javier in the elusive (in postcard terms at least) country of Panama! This arrived with me on New Years Eve 2013 and was the perfect end to my year! Panama has an infamous postal system, perhaps most notorious for the fact that any address is only two lines long and one of those lines is ‘Panama’. However, miraculously, despite lack of street name, postal code or anything else, this bizarre system seems to work! Javier’s card shows the ruins of the Old Panama Cathedral in Panama City. This site, dating back to the early 1500s, is now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and has survived through fires, earthquakes and countless pirate attacks! Amazing! Thank you Javier for this gem! I feel very priveliged!

Edit: for those of you interested in stamps (such as Igor), I absolutely love the ones on this card – beautiful aren’t they!

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Ohio!

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These wonderful cards come from Laura in the USA’s 10th most densely populated state: Ohio. Situated in the mid-west, its name comes from the Iroquois meaning “Great River”. The history of the Americas interests me a lot so it’s fascinating to know that Ohio was inhabited as early as 15,000 years ago by nomadic peoples who existed there for thousands of years before a more sedentary lifestyle took hold. The top card is really cool, I think, as it shows Chateau Laroche Historic Museum. Now, you may think ‘wait, surely there aren’t original castles like this in America’ and that’s because… there aren’t! This faux-Norman castle was built by Harry Andrews from 1929 and took his entire life to complete. He named it after a French military hospital in the area he was stationed in France during WW1 and left it to his scout group on his death. Amazing!

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Romanian Christmas Tree

postcards2_2_4This awesome card shows my Romanian friend Marius’s office Christmas Tree which he helped decorate – it’s so pretty! But do you think it has enough baubles?! Romania places a special importance on music at Christmas time, with its own special genre called ‘colinda’. Whilst these songs are similar to Christmas carols and the lyrics speak of the nativity, many are thought to also have pagan origins. Fascinating!

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