The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

Helsinki

 

Scan 1 - Version 2This cool card comes from Paulina in Finland and shows the country’s capital: Helsinki. What you might not know about the largest Finnish city is that its name actually derives from the tongue of the original Swedish settlers (as with many places in Finland) and in fact was named after an area in central Sweden – Hälsingland! Fascinating!

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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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The Australian Antarctic Exhibition

 

Scan - Version 2I just love this beauty from Vikki in Australia! This maxicard, celebrates the Australian Antarctic Expedition led by geologist Douglas Mawson which took place between 1911 and 1914 and was the most scientifically rewarding expedition of its time. Charting 2000 miles of coastline, the voyage expanded knowledge of geology, glaciology and terrestrial biology. Amazing! Incidentally, when a centenary scientific voyage retraced Mawson’s steps in 2013, they got stuck!

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Ukrainian Carpathians

 

Scan - Version 4This beautiful card comes from Yuroslava in the Ukraine. Here you can see the stunning Carpathian mountains. Running through Central and Eastern Europe, the Carpathians are the second longest European mountain range and they really captivate my imagination. The forests, the isolation. I just love them! The name ‘Carpathians’ is though to originate from the Dacian tribe the Capi. Pictures like this take my breath away!

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Dresden in Winter

postcards2_3Another card from David in Germany, this one shows a Dresden snow-scene. Although perhaps more famous for its more recent history and heavy bombings during WW2, Dresden has fantastically rich history from earlier periods with the area initially being settled around 7500BC by Neolithic tribes. By the late 12th century a Slavic settlement – Drez’dany – had been established. Although it likely looked nothing like today’s city, it is safe to say that this has remained one very popular area throughout history!

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The Allgäu Alps

postcards_3This beautiful snow scene comes from Sebastian in Germany. It shows the Allgäu Alps in Bavaria, covered in some stunning snow. The Alps are, of course, a spectacular place on earth and images like this show what we might think of as a stereotypical sight there, but remember, in summer, these mountains are lush, green and often baking hot! Thanks Sebastian!

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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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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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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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