31. 07. 2010.

Ethiopia




Yet another case of a postcard that exhilerated me despite my friend's thinking that it is not my cup of tea! Traditional ethiopian hair styles :) and a handsome bushback on the stamp. Posted on the 31st of October, 2008.


Tis Issat Falls (Smoking Water) near Bahir Dar. The town is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia, and the falls are also known as Blue Nile Falls.

Nairobi, Kenya




Next stop - Nairobi. With population of over 3 mil it bears an unexpected title of 'Green City in the Sun'! Sent on the 22nd of October, 2008.

Uganda


Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Big & hectic! Noisy & polluted! And with possibly the best post office in the whole of Africa, yay!




The nature continues to be stunningly beautiful: Rwenzori mountains (permanently snow-capped, with the highest peak at 5109 m - also one of the 3 Unesco sites in Uganda); Virunga Mountains (home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas); fossil rock in Karamoja; Crate lake in Queen Elizabeth National Park; Lake Bunyonyi (safe for swimming!) and Murchison Falls (Uganda's largest national park, spread around the Victoria Nile). Who wouldn't want to see all this?!

The postcard was sent on the 8th of November?

Mountain Gorilla, Rwanda




'The countryside is really beautiful, all hills, rivers, everything green as far as the eye can see'. These are the words used by my friend to describe this lush country, famous for the gorillas and the american zoologist Diane Fossey coming to the forests here to study them. They are more specifically mountain gorillas, the subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla, counting only some 700 individuals in the wild. It costs $500 to spend an hour or less with these animals! But all for a good cause :)
Additionally noticed: a lizard stamp! Chameleon :)


UNESCO - Stone Town of Zanzibar, Tanzania


 Zanzibar was once a separate state; in 1964 it united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania. and is now its semi-autonomous part. Its main industry is spices trade.
I love this unification of both postcard and stamp having the same motive of a dhow, traditional arab sailing vessel :) Sent on the19th of August, 2008.



The Stone Town of Zanzibar is a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. It is a former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and was a flourishing centre of the spice trade as well as the slave trade in the 19th century.
The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors, with rich carvings and bas-reliefs, sometimes with big brass studs of Indian tradition. Those of Indian style have rounded tops, while those in the Omani Arab style are rectangular. Gorgeous :)

 Monkeys are not my fav animals but this one is really cute! As this postcard arrived with the other two, I am sneaking it in under an Unesco post ... xD





Lake Malawi



To quote my friend: 'Doesn't This Look Like Paradise?' And I nod to confirm! Malawi was definately one of the highlights of his trip as I hear about it so often and wish myself that I was able to fly over there tomorrow :D Memories are of relaxing, taking it easy, meeting friendly locals and...breathing the life into one's lungs. What more is there to ask for?
(After a longish googling session still couldn't discern if this could be Unesco)

UNESCO - Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls, Zambia



The superfamous Victoria Falls are certainly one of the Zambia' major sites. Considered to be one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, they may be the largest waterfalls in the world at the width of 1,708 meters and the hight of 108 meters. The indigenous name is Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates to 'Smoke that Thunders'.
Sent sometime in July 2008 :)
The Kayowe Dancer on thestamp remains a mystery!

Okavango Delta, Botswana



Beautiful Botswana! Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland delta, and a source of life for countless animal species in the dry winter months. As my friend can testify it looks amazing from above! Herds of elephants and giraffes accross the endless plain...He even met an eagle soaring in the air :) I remember the aeral shots of the delta in the documentary narrated by my favourite author Sir David Attenborough - Planet Earth...something so stunning is impossible to forget :)
The area is on the Unesco WHS tentative list since 2010.

Windhoek, Namibia






Accross the uncertainties of the Congos and Angola to the tranquil Namibia...
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia, located at its centre in the  Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 metres above sea level. The population of Windhoek in 2011 was 322,500 and grows continually due to an influx from all over Namibia.

Love the postcard with lionesses! And such a cool story to accompany it - in the Etosha national park many animals were seen during camping; your typical african bunch of lions, elephants, zebra, oryx, springbok, ostrich, giraffes...even a caracal..! And I've never heard of dik-diks before then, but they are immensely cute!!!

This postcard with a leopard stamp was sent on the 27th of May, 2008.







São Tomé and Príncipe



I will shamefully admit that I didn't have a proper notion of São Tomé and Príncipe's geographical position until I got this postcard..! I had no idea it was on the itinerary, in fact it really wasn't but more of a spur-of-the-moment journey :) I am so glad it was made as my friend has told me so many nice things about it - I dare say it was one of the highlights..?
The islands São Tomé and Príncipe are situated some 250 km off the northwestern coast of Gabon, and are also 140 km apart from each other. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range.The state gained independance from Portugal in 1975. Its the Africa's second smallest country!
When you receive a postcard from such a rare country (I wonder if I'll ever get another one..!) its great to get a multiview which represents its highlights - very happy!
 

Views Of Gabon



Gabon looks like a looovely country! Libreville was reached after an 'epic 35-hour journey' and proved to be a pleasant city. It was founded by slaves who were carried on a brazilian ship for sale but were freed by the French Army - hence the name.

 


The middle postcard is a riddle...But the last one shows the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene - it was founded almost a century ago to study major causes of disease burden in the local population, only to become a leading African research centre. And as it turns out this is one of the seven Gabonaise sites waiting on Unesco's tentative list :)


Unfortunatelly I wasn't very successful in finding out who these stamps show but they are cool aren't they? It would have helped if I understood french...! This postcard was sent on the 9th of May, 2008.



Tribesman From Cameroon




Through Nigeria to Cameroon...this postcard travelled for many months and it was a great surprise! It was funny cos my friend actually apologised for not being able to find a view card - but i explained that the diversity is great and that i loved it..! The photo shows a notable tribesman, I only wish it said more details...This postcard is sent on the27th of March, 2008. I love the stamp with a collage map of Cameroon :)

Niamey, Niger

 


Through Togo and Benin (and its splendid beaches) to Niger...

To my friend's regret he didn't have time to explore many natural wonders of Niger, among them Air and Tenere nature reserve, 2nd largest in Africa. But he found the capital Niamey as friendly and pleasant as most cities and places he visited during his stay in western Africa. The city was founded on the east ("left bank") of the Niger River, here you can see the Kennedy bridge whose construction enabled Niamey to expand onto the right bank of the river to the west.
On the stamp is (former) president of Niger Mamadou Tandja, who was overthrown in a military coup d'etat in February 2010.
(How did I manage to scan this so crookedly..?!)

UNESCO - Forts and Castles, Ghana


Known as The Gold Coast until 1957, when it achieved independance from the United Kingdom and was named after the ancient Ghana Empire (8-13th century) - Ghana meaning the Warrior King. The first Europeans to arrive at the coast were the Portuguese, who built the Elmina Castle in 1482 (top left). Prince's Town (down right) is a fort built by the Brandenburgers in 1683. I was told this photo doesn't do it justice..! Additionaly I've found out this card is Unesco, yay :))

This postcard was sent on the 22nd of February, 2008. This stamp shows the famous Kente designs, which is an Ashanti hand-woven ceremonial cloth. It is normally much more colourful!

 

Views Of Burkina Faso






Burkina Faso...such an enigmatic country. Up until 1984 it was known as The Republic Of Upper Volta. Then it was renamed into the current meaning 'the land of upright people'. The capital is Ouagadougou (I always found this name cool!) where the 2nd postcard is from - upper left photo shows the Grande Mosque, and the down-right one the cathedral.
This postcard was sent on the 4th of February, 2008. A very cool stamp with traditional BF hat!

30. 07. 2010.

Bamako, Mali




After quite a treacherous journey thru Guinea the New Year's was celebrated in Mali :)
The capital Bamako has a population of over 1.8 million and is estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa. Still, postcards were a bit difficult to find! They seem to love monuments and sculptures over there...Sent on 2nd of January, 2008. I immediately fell in love with this stamp showing a Fulani woman!

Mauritania to Senegal


Travelling thru Mauritania was quick and one stop was the capital Nouakchott, where my friend was lucky to find this postcard :) unfortunatelly the post office seemed permanently closed so it travelled from the next stop: Senegal.

 




Dakar, capital of Senegal, is its largest city situated on the Cap-Vert peninsula; the population of its metropolitan area is estimated at 2.45 million people. In the top-middle photo you can see Ile de Goree, once famous as a destination for Atlantic slave traders (now a whs unesco site).
Beaches are lovely in Senegal's southmost region Casamance, and the climate is more tropic than in the rest of the country - many tourists there to prove it :)
These have been posted on 7th of December 2007.

Chefchaouen, Morocco




Chefchaouen is a city in northwest Morocco, situated in Rif Mountains just inland from Tangier. It was founded in 1471 and has a population of 35,709 inhabitans (2004, wiki source).

My friend describes it as a touristy place that still manages to ooze a relaxed atmosphere :)
This postcard was sent on 9th of November 2008.

African Adventure

Until I sort out all my officials, tags, RRs and the rest, I want to introduce you to my African collection :)
I have a very special friend, who is by vocation a nomad. He has ventured on this great journey thru Africa in the early autumn of 2008, and has spent a year exploring this amazing continent. He set on flying from London to Portugal and ferrying down to Morocco, continuing down the west coast. I have followed his odyssey by reading emails and, yes, postcards! He was so kind and thoughtful to send me a postcard from wherever it was possible :) in some countries though it was very difficult to get hold of a post-office, let alone a postcard...I appreciate his efforts immensely, and dedicate my first story on this blog to his free spirit.
So! Will you follow his tracks with me? :)

A New Day

Good morning!
Writing the 1st post was easy... sorting out my collections and keeping the updates may prove to be a bit more tricky..! Esp for a PC ignoramus like me :s :)
This summer was/is especially fruitful for my mailbox, and I will present the most exciting and beautiful forwarded little treasures that brought a smile to my face :D
I will need some positive vibes sent this way, please don't be coy!

29. 07. 2010.

Donkeys!









My primary collection are donkeys :D

I have always loved donkeys. I have a blurry memory of my grandad having a donkey in a barn next to our house...but I must have been very little. Nowdays donkeys are becoming quite rare, in our region Dalmatia where they were a main mean of transport more than half a century ago. People were mainly living off land and its fruits, as well as the sea. Some fields - as I have learned myself recently - were off the main roads and up the rocky hills, and without donkeys men would have had real trouble reaching them.


In these new times the far-away fields have become neglected and almost everyone has a car. Last time I've seen donkeys was on a festivity in a nearby village, where a donkey race was held as a tourist attraction. There is a small island off the coast of Šibenik where all the remaining donkeys are being taken care of - its a comforting thought, that someone still cares for these creatures...!

Anyways, these are some of the dearest postcards in my collection...