The Colosseum of Rome - Italy

The Colosseum of Rome and it's surrounding areas are one of my favorites places in Italy! There is so much to see! Thanks "angelus86" for this postcard!


Florida - USA

Brenda lives in Florida and sent this big funny postcard that reveals what will happen in the next months in my country and hers... I don't like the cold that much, so I really like the "Me" version!!


Postcrossing Mini-Meeting in Porto

During the weekend of 10/11 of September, Joana and Marta came to Porto to visit the city and have a meeting. We walked at the city historic center, mouth of the Douro and the city's park. This is the postcard that I've sent.

The  "Cais da Ribeira" (Ribeira's Dock) at the UNESCO historic center.


Albufeira - Portugal

"Leninha" was in vacations last year in Albufeira, southern Portugal, at Algarve region. It shows the "Praia dos Pescadores" (Fishermen's Beach), a lovely place to walk and enjoy the sun.

"Albufeira is a city in Portugal. It is the seat of Albufeira Municipality. It is a main tourist destination, due its coastal location. The city has a population of 13,646. It is 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Lisboa, and is within close proximity of Paderne Castle. Lagos is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west, and Faro 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the south-east. Albufeira is one of the leading tourist resorts of the region. Facilities include a marina, golf courses plus innumerable hotels, apartment blocks, restaurants and bars for the annual flood of visitors." In: Wikipedia


LT-54361 - Sally Clark

LT-54361 sent by "cherry_", a black and white photo of Sally Clark (1883-1982) Adventurer, sculptor, co-founder of Society of Woman Geographers Society of Woman Geographers Collection, Manuscript Division Library of Congress


NZ-31121 - Nurses' Memorial Chapel

NZ-31121 sent by "pveejay", a detail of a stained glass at Nurses Memorial Chapel at Christchurch Hospital.

"Faith and a Sick Child

This window is a memorial to nursing pioneer Sybilla Maude OBE, known to all as Nurse Maude and founder of the Nurse Maude Association of New Zealand. In 1892 after training in London, Nurse Maude worked as a matron at Christchurch Hospital from 1893-1896 before starting district nursing. In 1904 she established an open-air camp at New Brighton to TB victims which led to the government introducing sanatoria. She died on 12th July 1935. The window was dedicated on 15th November 1936 by the retired Archbishop Julius.

The figure of a woman has the cross of Faith on her dress and the child she is holding has a head bandage and has his hands clasped in prayer. The hour glass and circle symbols represent time and eternity." In: Christchurch Nurses Memorial Chapel


US-450236 - Whitetail deer

US-450236 sent by "PostMuse"

"The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States (all but five of the states), Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru. It has also been introduced to New Zealand and some countries in Europe, such as Finland, Czech Republic, and Serbia.

The species is most common east of the Rocky Mountains, and is absent from much of the western United States, including Nevada, Utah, California, Hawaii, and Alaska (though its close relatives, the mule deer and black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus, can be found there). It does, however, survive in aspen parklands and deciduous river bottomlands within the central and northern Great Plains, and in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, and lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain regions from South Dakota and Wyoming to southeastern British Columbia, including the Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands.

The conversion of land adjacent to the northern Rockies into agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees (resulting in widespread deciduous vegetation) has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has pushed its distribution to as far north as Prince George, British Columbia. Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have also expanded their range northwards, due to conversion of land to agricultural uses favoring more deciduous vegetation, and local caribou and moose populations. The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian white-tailed deer, once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern Washington, but today its numbers have been considerably reduced, and it is classified as near-threatened. The white-tailed deer is well-suited for its environment." In: Wikipedia


PL-25704 - Ziemia Klodzka (Kłodzko Land)

PL-25704 sent by "Ashka", a great view of Ziemia Klodzka

"Kłodzko Land (German: Glatzer Land, Polish: ziemia kłodzka) is a historical region (ziemia) in southwestern Poland. Geographically speaking Kłodzko Land consists of the Kłodzko Valley and the surrounding Sudetes mountains. It is named after its capital city, Kłodzko.

Historically, the area may have been part of Great Moravia under King Svatopluk I by the late 9th century, though the extension of his realm is disputed. According to the 1191 Chronica Boëmorum by Cosmas of Prague, the castle of Kłodzko at the road from Prague to Wrocław in 981 was a possession of the Bohemian nobleman Slavník.

During the rivalry between the Přemyslid dukes Boleslaus III and Jaromir in 1003, the Polish king Bolesław I Chrobry invaded Bohemia, but had to pull back the next year, facing the forces of King Henry II of Germany. In turn the Bohemian duke Bretislaus I campaigned the adjacent northern territory of Silesia after Bolesław's death in 1025. An armistice mediated by Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor since 1014, demarcated the spheres of influence, leaving Kłodzko with Bohemia.

When about 1080 the Polish Piast duke Władysław I Herman married Judith Přemyslovna, daughter of Duke Vratislaus II of Bohemia, he received Kłodzko as a Bohemian fief, which upon his death in 1102 was claimed by his son Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland. However as Bolesław entangled into a fierce inheritance conflict with Duke Svatopluk of Bohemia and his cousin Borivoj II and campaigned the Bohemian lands several times, he finally had to renounce Kłodzko in favour of Duke Sobeslaus I of Bohemia by a peace treaty signed in 1137 under pressure of Emperor Lothair III.

Under Bohemian rule Kłodzko in 1458 became a county (Grafschaft Glatz), which in 1742 was conquered by Prussia. In 1816 the county was abolished, and the territory was reformed into the Landkreis Glatz of Prussian Silesia, which fell to Poland in 1945. The area today forms the Kłodzko County of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship." In: Wikipedia


DE-272358 - Reichstag building

DE-272358 sent by "Angela-Anaconda"

"The Reichstag building is a historical edifice in Berlin, Germany, constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire set by Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe, who was posthumously pardoned in 2008. During the Nazi era, the few meetings of members of the Reichstag as a group were held in the Kroll Opera House. After the Second World War the Reichstag building fell into disuse as the parliament of the German Democratic Republic met in the Palace of the Republic in East Berlin and the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany met in the Bundeshaus in Bonn.

The building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the 1960s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, when it underwent reconstruction led by internationally renowned architect Norman Foster. After its completion in 1999, it became the meeting place of the modern German parliament, the Bundestag.

The term Reichstag, when used to connote a parliament, dates back to the Holy Roman Empire. The parliamentary body meeting in this building, the Reichstag or Imperial Diet -- first of the North German Confederation, then of the German Empire, afterwards the Weimar Republic; and, finally, Nazi Germany -- ceased to act as a true parliamentary assembly in the years of the Nazi regime (1933–1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag or Reichstagsgebäude (Reichstag building) refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution." In: Wikipedia


Liechtenstein Flag

"Carolisha" has decided to create professional postcards of flags and map cards. This one is the flag of Liechtenstein.

"The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan. Liechtenstein has the second highest gross domestic product per person in the world, and has the world's lowest external debt.

Liechtenstein is the smallest yet the richest (by measure of GDP per capita) German-speaking country in the world and the only country to lie entirely within the Alps. It is the only predominantly German-speaking country not to share a common border with Germany and the only predominantly German-speaking nation to have a monarch. It is known as a principality as it is a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince. Liechtenstein is divided into 11 municipalities. Much of its terrain is mountainous, making it a winter sports destination. Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape both in the south (Oberland, upper land) and in the north (Unterland, lower land). The country has a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz, and has been identified as a tax haven. It is a member of the European Free Trade Association and part of the European Economic Area but not of the European Union." In: Wikipedia


Gerês - Portugal

Gerês, sent by "nikwis"

I got this postcard from the hangover game at Postcrossing Forum. It's a vintage card of Gerês, a protected area of Peneda-Gerês National Park. This lagoon and waterfall is just beside the rood that goes to Portela-do-Homem.


Castelo Branco - Portugal

From "geminiscp" I've got this map postcard of the Castelo Branco district. It shows the cities of Covilhã, Belmonte, Fundão, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Sertã, Vila de Rei, Vila Velha de Rodão and Idanha-a-Nova.


TW-357389 - Clemantis montana buch

TW-357389 sent by "appletea", a maxicard with the Clematis montana buch.

"Clematis montana (NT$10): The plant can be found creeping in meadows or scrambling over shrubs on the sunny side of mountains at high elevations. The elegant white flower’s four large petal-like surfaces are actually its white sepals. The pale yellow filaments in the center of its blossoms are its stamen and pistil." In: Chunghwa Post


Postcrossing Meeting in Lisboa and Sintra

As I said a few posts back (part I and part II), Karina from Brasil visited Portugal. Ludovico made this postcard from the group photos of that meeting.


Pinhão - Portugal

This month I took a cruise at Douro River with some friends from work. We made the course from Gaia to Pinhão. It's a great cruise to make, the landscape is magnificent! From the river you have a completely view of the UNESCO classified area! As a souvenir, I mailed myself this postcard of the historic train at Pinhão train station.

"Spectacularly located at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhão rivers, 22 km upstream from Peso da Régua, the small town of Pinhão is the epicentre of the Port winemaking area, and a place where the soil and climatic conditions are considered to be at their very best.

Although a sleepy town for most of the year, Pinhão bursts into life in autumn during the annual grape harvest, attracting pickers from all over the country.

What to see. Popular for its peaceful riverside location and surrounding scenery, Pinhão is a mecca for lovers of fine wine.

Built on the site of an 18th century wine estate, the four-star Vintage House Hotel operates regular tastings and courses covering a wide range of aspects, such as the main types, how the wine is made and buying and storing.

Nearby. Between Pinhão and Pocinho, a small town 40 km eastwards along the River Douro, the railway line passes within view of some of the most famous Port vineyards. Croft’s Quinta da Roeda, Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos and Cockburn’s Tua are all within sight of the train. Further along are two of the grandest of all vineyard estates: Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas and the Symingtons’ Quinta do Vesúvio, both of which have their own private railway stations.

Sabrosa, a short drive to the north of Pinhão, is the birthplace of Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan), who was born there in 1480. One ship of his fleet of five (commanded by the Basque Juan Sebastián de Elcano) was the first to circumnavigate the globe between 1519 and 1522. Magellan himself was killed en route in the Philippines.

Another attraction in close proximity to Sabrosa is Vila Mateus, home to the world-famous rosé wine." In: Portugal Travel Guide


Postcrossing Meeting in Vaduz 10-09-2011

Liechtenstein is a very small country, but also a great place for a meeting! The 4th Swiss meeting was in Vaduz, Liechtenstein capital. The postcard was sent by Alex.

"Vaduz Castle (German Schloss Vaduz) is the palace and official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The castle gave its name to the town of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, which it overlooks from an adjacent hilltop." In: Wikipedia

"Visible from far and wide yet so close you could almost touch it, the emblem of Liechtenstein towers over Vaduz on a rock terrace which can be reached along a romantic footpath.
The castle was first built some 700 years ago. Since 1712 it has been in the possession of the Prince of Liechtenstein. Furthermore, since 1938 it has been the residence of the prince’s family, so it is not open to the public. The 12th century keep and the structures on the east side are the oldest parts of the castle." In: Tourismus


US-1286766 - Lockheed Vega

US-1286766 sent by "greenqueen", a reproduction of 0,32 cents stamp of the Lockheed Vega from the Classic American Aircraft issue.

"The Vega was a six-passenger monoplane built by the Lockheed company starting in 1927. It became famous for its use by a number of record breaking pilots who were attracted to the rugged and very long-ranged design. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly the Atlantic single handed in one, and Wiley Post flew his around the world twice." In: Wikipedia


Ponte Vecchio in Firenze - Italy

Firenze (in English Florence) is one of my favorite cities in Italy! I've already been there twice, but I want to go there again!

"The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinità and the Ponte alle Grazie." In: Wikipedia

"The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996. After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345, Giorgio Vasari recorded the tradition in his day, that attributed its design to Taddeo Gaddi, besides Giotto one of the few artistic names of the trecento still recalled two hundred years later. Modern historians present Neri di Fioravanti as a possible candidate. Sheltered in a little loggia at the central opening of the bridge is a weathered dedication stone, which once read Nel trentatrè dopo il mille-trecento, il ponte cadde, per diluvio dell' acque: poi dieci anni, come al Comun piacque, rifatto fu con questo adornamento. The Torre dei Mannelli was built at the southeast corner of the bridge to defend it.

The bridge consists of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters (98 ft) the two side arches each span 27 meters (88 ft). The rise of the arches is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters (11½ to 14½ feet), and the span-to-rise ratio 5:1.

It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises, after authorization of the Bargello (a sort of a lord mayor, a magistrate and a police authority). The back shops (retrobotteghe) that may be seen from upriver, were added in the seventeenth century.

It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the "banco") was physically broken ("rotto") by soldiers, and this practice was called "bancorotto" (broken table; possibly it can come from "banca rotta" which means "broken bank"). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything.

During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat of August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in Florence. This was allegedly because of an express order by Hitler. Access to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt using a combination of original and modern design." In: Wikipedia


Kiev Pechersk Lavra - Ukraine

I got this postcard from a swap with Elena. It shows a panoramic view of Lavra.

"Kiev Pechersk Lavra or Kyiv Pechersk Lavra), also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1015 the Lavra has been a preeminent center of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is considered a separate national historic-cultural preserve (sanctuary), the national status to which was granted on March 13, 1996. The Lavra also not only located in another part of the city, but is part of a different national sanctuary than Saint Sophia Cathedral. While being a cultural attraction, the monastery is currently active. It was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine on August 21, 2007, based on voting by experts and the internet community.

Currently, the jurisdiction over the site is divided between the state museum, National Kiev-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) as the site of the chief monastery of that Church and the residence of its leader, Metropolitan Volodymyr.

In the late 2010 a monitoring mission of UNESCO was visiting the Kiev Pechersk Lavra to check on situation of the site. According to the Minister of Culture Mykhailo Kulynyak the Kiev's historic site along with the Saint Sophia Cathedral is not threatened by the "black list" of the international organization" In: Wikipedia


Postcrossing Meeting in Kuala Lumour in 19-12-2010

"Kiie" has participated at the Postcrossing Meeting in Kuala Lumour in 2010-12-19. She sent this postcard showing the Dusky Leaf Monkey from the Langkawi Island.


FI-456640 - Virrat

FI-456640 sent by "RittaSep"

"Virrat (Swedish: Virdois) is a town and municipality of Finland.

It is part of the Pirkanmaa region. The town has a population of 7,498 (31 January 2011) and covers an area of 1,299.07 square kilometres (501.57 sq mi) of which 136.73 km2 (52.79 sq mi) is water. The population density is 6.45 inhabitants per square kilometre (16.7 /sq mi).

The municipality is unilingually Finnish. Virrat crater on Mars is named after it.

Major lakes in the area are Toisvesi, by which the town of Virrat is located, and Tarjanne at the border of the municipalities of Virrat, Mänttä-Vilppula and Ruovesi." In: Wikipedia


Torre del Oro of Sevilla - Spain

Last month I published a post with a night view of Torre del Oro of Sevilla. This time I'm publishing two postcards with a day view.


Victoria - Australia

Shinta from Indonesia surprised me with this multiview postcard from Victoria state in Australia. This state is also the home of a penguin colony !

"Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, and Tasmania to the south, on Boundary Islet.
Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state, and has a highly centralised population, with almost 75% of Victorians living in Melbourne, the state capital and largest city." In: Wikipedia


Postcrossing Meeting in Lisboa and Porto 09-11 July

"Andreaeiko" from Brazil, was in vacations in Portugal and Spain during July. So we also arranged not one, but two meetings: one in Lisboa and other in Porto. I wasn't able to go to the Lisboa meeting, but I met "andreaeiko" in Porto.

From the Lisboa meeting I received these postcards:

From "PilotOne" a black and white postcard with the yellow tram.

From "geminiscp" a donkey postcard with a windmill at the back. The card doesn't say anything where the picture was taken...

From "SusanaPortugal" also a postcard with a tram.


From the meeting in Porto I sent to myself this postcard as a souvenir:

The view of Porto city center in 1736.


Bunny Suicides - Germany

The Bunny Suicides are a black-comedy cartoon made by Andy Riley. This one was sent from Germany by "nordbar"


Map card of European Union

This is a Spanish version of the political map of the European Union countries. It was sent from Portugal by "PilotOne".

"The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in 1958. In the intervening years the EU has grown in size by the accession of new member states, and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993. The last amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009.

The EU operates through a hybrid system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmentally made decisions negotiated by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens.

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states. Within the Schengen Area (which includes EU and non-EU states) passport controls have been abolished. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enacts legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintains common policies on trade,  agriculture, fisheries and regional development.] A monetary union, the eurozone, was established in 1999 and is currently composed of 17 member states. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy the EU has developed a limited role in external relations and defence. Permanent diplomatic missions have been established around the world and the EU is represented at the United Nations, the WTO, the G8 and the G-20." In: Wikipedia


Montserrat Monastery - Spain

"Andreaeiko" during her vacations in Portugal and Spain, visited the Montserrat Monastery, near Barcelona.

"Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain.

It hosts the Virgin of Montserrat, and the Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, a publishing house, one of the oldest presses in the world, still running,] with the first book published in 1499.
The monastery is Catalonia's most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat. Virgin of Montserrat (the black virgin), is Catalonia's favourite saint, and is located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Deu de Montserrat, next to the Benedictine monastery nestling in the towers and crags of the mountain. The Escolania, Montserrat’s Boys’ Choir, is one of the oldest in Europe, and performs during religious ceremonies and communal prayers in the basilica.Montserrat, whose name means serrated mountain, is 48 kilometres (approx 30 miles) west of Barcelona, and can be reached by road, train or cable car.

At 1236 metres (4055 ft) above the valley floor, Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, and stands central to the most populated part of Catalonia. The stone monolith is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia.
The Basilica houses a museum with works of art by many prominent painters and sculptors including works by El Greco, Dalí, Picasso and more. Montserrat's highest point, Sant Jeroni, can be reached by a footpath from the topstation of the funicular Sant Jeroni. From Sant Joan, almost all of Catalonia can be seen and on a clear day the island of Majorca is visible." In: Wikipedia


Multiview of Milano

Italy is a country that I love, but I've never been in Milano (Milan in English). "Mediolanum-card" sent a multiview card of the city with the Cathedral, the Navigli canal system made by Leonardo Da'Vinci and a Palace (not sure which one).

"Milan is a city in Italy and the capital of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza (created in 2004 splitting the northern part from the province of Milan itself), is one of Europe's largest with an estimated population of over 4 million spread over 1,980 km2 (764.48 sq mi), with a consequent population density of more than 2,000 inhabitants/km². The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper following the great economic boom of the 1950-60s and massive commuting flows suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of the city proper and its agglomeration, creating a metropolitan area of 7.4 million population expanded all over the central section of Lombardy region. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density." In: Wikipedia

"The navigli was a system of navigable and interconnected canals around Milan, in Lombardy, Northern Italy.
Five canals made up the system:
1)Naviglio Grande
2)Naviglio Pavese
3)Naviglio Martesana
4)Naviglio di Paderno
5)Naviglio di Bereguardo

The first three were connected through Milan via the Fossa Interna, also known as the Inner Ring. The urban section of the Naviglio Martesana was covered over at the beginning of the 1930s, together with the entire Inner Ring, thus sounding the death knell for the north-eastern canals. Commercial carrying continued on the Naviglio Grande, but the decline was steady and by the sixties it was over for good.
Today they are mostly derelict, unnavigable, or used for irrigation. However, plans are afoot to restore the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese to through navigation." In: Wikipedia


Multiview of Netherlands

My friend "tralhas" was in vacations in Amterdam and she sent this great card showing 3 aspects of the Netherlands: the tulips, the windmills and the canals.

"The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary democracy organized as a unitary state. The country capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.[9] The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces, which is a case of pars pro toto (see terminology of "the Netherlands").

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 25% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and 50% of its land lying less than one meter above sea level. This distinct feature contributes to the country's name in many other European languages. (e.g. French: Les Pays-Bas and Spanish: Países Bajos, literally means "The Low Countries"). Significant land area has been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast and several low-hill ranges in the central parts." In: Wikipedia

Postcrossing Meeting in Verla 07 August

"Dollart" from Finland sent this postcard from the Postcrossing Meeting in Verla, 07-08-2011.

"Verla at Jaala, Kouvola, Finland, is a well preserved 19th century mill village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The first groundwood mill at Verla was founded in 1872 by Hugo Nauman but was destroyed by fire in 1876. A larger groundwood and board mill, founded in 1882 by Gottlieb Kreidl and Louis Haenel, continued to operate until 1964.

The historical paper mill turned museum of board mill technology. The historical machines were preserved in their places (except for several pieces brought from other buildings), so a guided tour to the mill follows the technological process from timber cutting and pulp production to board drying, sorting, and packing." In: Wikipedia

"The Verla groundwood and board mill and its associated residential area is an outstanding, remarkably well-preserved example of the small-scale rural industrial settlements associated with pulp, paper and board production that flourished in northern Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only a handful of such settlements survive to the present day." In: UNESCO


Schi, a Russian traditional soup

Anastasia from Russia sent this postcard with the recipe of the Schi soup.

"Schi took a special place among national soups. Historians suppose that this dish was known long time ago before Adoption of Christianity in the Rus. Once all soups were called Schi. Now Schi are cabbage soups. There are a lot of Russian proverbs about schi: "Good wife is not the one who speaks well, but who cooks schi well". Schi are cooked on meat, fish or mushroom broths. Schi with meat are served with a meat piece in the plate. Pies and Koulebyaki are very good with Schi." In: Russian Foods
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