Behold, one of the most beautiful postcards I've received so far - this scan doesn't really show the beautiful, deep colors on the card. I love these beautiful farmhouses of the Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, which were traditionally built with very steep roofs to prevent snow from accumulating on the house and making the interior cold. These houses also have an insulating corridor, which wraps around the entire house, between the exterior wall and the living area - this also helps keep the living area warm. The Black Forest had very difficult, snowy winters, which is why it was populated much later in human history. It is still much less densely populated than northern Germany. The particular house shown in this photo is called the Lorenzenhof, built in 1608, and part of the Black Forest Open Air Museum, which features many traditional German farmhomes, mills, storehouses, gardens, and chapels. You can take a very lovely virtual tour by clicking on this link.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This card shows one of the jewels in my growing collection, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun in Egypt, which I received in a swap with lovely Salma. I was browsing through my cards, deciding which one to blog about today, and as is often the case, I realized that I know very little about Egypt. I know a little of the ancient history, but what is Egypt like today? I want to know.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
"Chirac and Berlusconi are wrong! Finnish cuisine is much more international than I expected. I have eaten very good food in wonderful restaurants, visited market places and enjoyed in good cafeterias. Cheese is very good in Finland. I also love Finnish cloudberry and smoked fish." (Ute Junker, Australian Financial Review Magazine, Sydney, Australia)
"Food in Finnish restaurants is extremely good. Especially I love Finnish salmon, mushroom soup and desserts. I have also got very good Finnish wines. The worldwide reputation of Finnish cuisine isn't very good – but it should be!" (Liliane Delwasse, Le Figaro, Paris, France)
"I have eaten only good food in Finland. Food in Finland is very fresh. Bread, berries, mushrooms and desserts are very delicious. Finnish berries (especially cloudberry), salmon, cheeses and reindeer should be available in London, too." (April Hutchinson, Abta Magazine, London, England).
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Geisha are NOT prostitutes - even my cultural anthropology graduate boyfriend didn't know that. It's a very common misconception, but the geisha community is separate from the illegal (yet thriving) prostitution trade in Japan. Ever since I read Memoirs of a Geisha in high school I've been very fascinated by this very unique cultural phenomenon.
Posted by Katie Hocevar at 4:16 PM
Friday, May 15, 2009
About five years ago I read the book Iberia by James Michener, which is an in-depth account of the author's travels in Spain and Portugal, which are extensive. Ever since I've been completely fascinated by Spanish culture, which is so distinctive and very interesting to learn about. Some of my most beautiful postcards have come from Spain, and several from the southern region of Spain called Andalusia. So I thought - double the pleasure. See some gorgeous cards, and learn about one of the most extraordinary regions in Spain.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I received this lovely card from my friend Diana in Holland - it shows a nomadic family standing next to its traditional dwelling - the yurt - in the ruggedly beautiful land of Kyrgyzstan. I felt that I MUST write a blog post, so I immediately set to work doing some research...and I was completely shocked by my complete lack of knowledge about this lovely country. The capital city? No idea. ANY city in Kyrgyzstan? Can't name a single one. Traditions? Food? Landscape features? I know nothing! What do you know about Kyrgyzstan?
Monday, May 11, 2009
I was SO excited to receive this first of three cards from Mauroh in Cuba! In the United States, it is illegal to travel as a tourist to Cuba. This is a result of left over resentment from the Cold War, but I suspect with a new Cuban president and our new, sensible president, that Americans will soon be allowed to travel to Cuba. Until then, we have to go to Canada first and fly down there from Canada. :)
Friday, May 8, 2009
This card from Cambodia was a very exciting surprise in my mailbox. It comes from user AnChieh, who lives in Taiwan but went on holiday in Cambodia.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
The necklace on the left is a Maori greenstone pendant, a type of jade called nephrite. The Maori call this type of jade "Pounamu" in their native language, which translates to "greenstone." It's an extremely hard stone, harder than steel, and that, combined with its beauty, made it highly prized among the Maori tribes for tools, weapons, and jewelry. Nephrite jade can be found in the remote river valleys of the Southern Alps and the west coast area of the South Island in New Zealand. The supplies have become severely diminished, and as a result, the government of New Zealand banned the exportation of greenstone from New Zealand in 1947.