The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

Sochi!

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This beautiful card is one of my favourites! Sent to me way back in March, just after the amazing Sochi Winter Olympics, Nadya in Russia really hit the nail on the head with this one – AND even used a commemorative stamp! For some reason, this was the first year I really got into the Winter Olympics and I honestly got hooked! My favourite: the snowboarding! Amazing! And there’s no doubt about it – despite all their controversies the Russians can certainly put on a good show.

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Tsaritsyno Museum & Reserve

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From Kristina in Russia, I received this gem, way back in March. It shows a beautifully designed figured bridge in Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve. Amazingly, this beauty can be found on the outskirts of Moscow. The bridge itself dates to 1776 but the estate itself dates back to the late 16th century when it belonged to the Tsar’s sister and gained its name. Beautiful, thanks for educating me Kristina!

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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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Russian Gingerbread

postcards2_2_3_2This cute card comes from Ksenia in Russia who tells me that she is celebrating the festivities with ice skating and New Years celebrations. Actually, Russia is renowned for particularly yummy gingerbread, and as an aside, you should check out Tula Gingerbread (beautifully hand-crafted and imprinted) I wouldn’t want to eat it though! It’s too pretty! Thanks Ksenia for this lovely card!

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A Russian Scene

postcards3_3This sweet card from Yulia in Russia shows a lovely wintery scene. The caption translates to ‘Happy New Year and Merry Christmas’, New Year is mentioned first since in Russia this is the more celebrated of the two. Due to the difference between the new (Gregorian) calendar and the old (Julian) calendar, most Russians celebrate Christmas on epiphany, but unlike us in the west, it is celebrated in a more religious manner whereas New Year is more about big celebrations.

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A Pictorial Map of Russia

postcards3_2This adorable card comes from Marina in Russia and it is just too sweet! What a fun way to represent a country! Marina tells me she lives in the Urals (the mountain range down the middle) which separate European Russia from Asian Russia. And on the card we can see the major cities – Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Vladivostok to name a few (interesting fact about Vladivostok that I always like to throw out there, владивосток – in cyrillic – comes from the two words влади (Vladi – meaning ‘ruler’) and восток (meaning east), translating as the ruler of the east). Of course, across the length of the map we can also see the world famous Siberian Railway. Lovely card!

Edit: Huge thanks to Igor for enlightening me more about this. Where before, I thought that Vlad (the man’s name) was the ruler, he has actually informed me that Vladi means ruler. Silly me! You can read his comment below for more information.

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Too Cute!

postcards3I am totally in love with this adorable card from Natalya in Russia and many of her friends on their way to a Lara Fabian concert. All I can tell is that this picture was drawn by Ukrainian artist Marisya Rudska (марися рудьска) but I know nothing else about her. I just love the friendship of the little elephant and Mr. T Rex. Too adorable! This card was actually in my favourite postcards list on postcrossing for a LONG time so I am so happy to get it!

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From Siberia, With Love!

postcardsFrom the depths of Siberia, I received this pretty card from Russian Anastasia who tells me that she also loves Game of Thrones and is currently reading the third book – coincidentally, the same as me! She says her favourite character is Cersei, which is cool, if unusual and that her favourite name is Maria but shortened to Masha. Very sweet card with a beautifully striking image!

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Kizhi Island

postcardsLuckily I can read cyrillic otherwise this beautiful postcard from my Russian friend Alex might have remained a mystery to me! He tells me he went out and bought this card for me to ease his bad mood and that it worked! But he forgets to tell me about the stunning place on the card. So, here you can see Kizhi, an island on Lake Onega in the Karelia Republic in Russia. Apparently it was once a thriving rural community dating back to the 15th century, but it is now an open-air museum. Beautiful though! Thanks Alex!

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Gzhel

postcards_3I think initially I was a little unfair on this postcard from Alexandra in Russia as I didn’t quite understand it and thought it was some sort of advertising card. I was wrong. Gzhel is a style of ceramic pottery, often painted with designs like the one above, which originated from the village of Gzhel in Russia where it has been produced since the 1800s. Very interesting!

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