The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

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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Espace Killy

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This snowy scene comes from my boyfriend Nick who was on a skiing holiday in France. This shows the ski area of Espace Killy at 2763m high and was named after skier Jean-Claude Killy. Espace Killy stretches over two resorts in the French Alps, one of which, Val d’Isere, was where Nick was staying. The area is very popular with skiers and attracts hundreds of wannabe Olympians every year. Great card!

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Perspective Study for the Adoration of the Magi

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This great card comes from the lovely Ellu in Italy, telling me she’s finally graduated! Congratulations Ellu! Here you can see one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s perspective studies before he painted Adoration of the Magi. This was so that his final painting could be completed to perfection without looking staged. Well, even the most famous of artists have to practice!

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Port of Spain

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From Reinelle in Trinidad comes this card showing Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago. The country, situated just off the coast of Venezuela, has a fantastic history, with Trinidad having been settled by the Spanish from 1498 (no surprises there given the name of the capital!) and as such, the name Trinidad comes from the Spanish ‘La Isla de Trinidad’ – the isle of the trinity. In 1797, Trinidad became part of the British Empire, meanwhile Tobago moved consistently between belonging to different colonisers. It wasn’t until 1962 that the country finally gained its independence. Trinidad and Tobago is also the birthplace of calypso and its famous Carnival. I hope I get to visit one day!

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Oregon!

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These beautiful cards come from Vanessa in the USA and show three stunning views of Oregon. First is Portland, not the state’s capital (that’s Salem), but its most populous city, known as the City of Roses for its ideal rose-growing climate! Then there’s a lovely sea-viw of Face Rock, one of the most scenic places in the state. There is a sad native American legend of this place that after a feast, the evil sea spirit stole away a princess and although her dog and kittens tried to save her, by the time her father found her, they were all turned to stone, unable to turn away from the moon. Finally, there is a card showing some of Oregon’s stunning mountains. Stunning selection, thanks Vanessa!

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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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Massachusetts

postcards3_4This card is very cool and comes from Hezzie in the US showing her home state. Massachussets definitely has variety – from Boston to Cape Cod to the Berkshire Hills, it is full of beauty. It is the 6th smallest state in the whole of the US but one of the most populated and thus comes out as the 3rd most densely populated state in the country! Impressive, huh? I love this card as not only is it very pretty, but it is also made out of interesting paper, almost feels linen based or something. Thanks Hezzie!

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The Russian Empire

postcards2_2_3From Sofia in Russia comes this cool map of the ‘Russian Empire’. Now, I’m not particularly the worst person in the world with geography, but I have to admit that I have no idea when this image dates from. Is it a modern map of Russia with just the title ‘the Russian Empire’ or does it show said empire at a certain point in time…? I don’t know. It is made especially unclear by the vague borderlines too. However, Russia can safely be said to be the largest country in the world and spans across two continents (Europe and Asia). Although most of it is vast wilderness, it has a real beauty to it. Awesome card.

Edit: Thanks to Igor in his fascinating comment below, I can say that this map relates to roughly 1800. Amazing, thanks Igor!

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Christmas Sausage Dog

postcards2_2_2This adorable card (one of my favourites of the season) comes from the lovely Brook in the USA. This little dachshund looks like he’s been caught with one paw in the cookie jar! In the USA, as with many countries today, Christmas has become a festivity that although has its origins in religion has also evolved into a general holiday, celebrated with gifts, a Christmas Tree and a big meal on December 25. Brook tells me that she will usually wake up and make apple cider and hot chocolate, waking her husband by wafting the scent of cider around him! Sweet! I love this card!

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A Hand-Made Creative Beauty

postcards2Although the scan quality hasn’t done it any favours, this was one of my favourite Christmas cards this year, hand-made by my amazingly creative friend Hannah in Germany. And yes, those are button baubles! So cute! Germany places an interesting emphasis on advent as well as Christmas (which is celebrated on December 24). On December 5, children also put out shoes or slippers for Saint Nicholas to fill with sweeties and chocolates. With this she also sent a box full of German sweets, biscuits and other Christmassy items which were all delicious and much loved! Such a cute card thanks Hannah!

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