March 2, 2015

1475 UNITED STATES (Indiana) - The map of the State of Indiana

Bordered on the north by Michigan, on the east by Ohio, on the west by Illinois, on the northwest by Lake Michigan and on the south by Kentucky (through the Ohio River), Indiana (Indian Land) is broken up into three main physical regions: The Great Lakes Plain in the northern third of the state, the Tipton Till Plain in the central third, and the Southern Hills and Lowlands region in the southern third. In other words, central and northern Indiana are mainly flat, with some low rolling hills and soil composed of glacial sands, gravel and clay, which results in exceptional farmland, in northwest are various sand ridges and dunes, located along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the southern segment of the state is characterized by profound valleys and rugged, hilly terrain much different from the rest of the state.

March 1, 2015

1474 UNITED STATES (Tennessee / North Carolina) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (UNESCO WHS)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States, straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North Carolina runs northeast to southwest through the centerline of the park. Before the arrival of European settlers, the region was part of the homeland of the Cherokees. President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, beginning the process that resulted in the forced removal of all Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River. Many of the Cherokee left, but some hid out in the area that is now the park. Some of their descendants now live in the Qualla Boundary.

1473 AERICAN EMPIRE - The flag of the micronation

The Aerican Empire (also known as Aerica) is a  micronation which has no sovereign territory of its own and has never been recognized by any other sovereign state as existing. The name is a pun on the term "American Empire". Its members claim sovereignty over a vast disconnected territory, including a square kilometer of land in Australia, a house-sized area in Montreal, Canada (containing the "Embassy to Everything Else"), several other areas of the Earth, a colony on Mars, the northern hemisphere of Pluto, and an imaginary planet. The number of "citizens" has fluctuated with time, in May 2009 being about 400 people. In 2000 The New York Times described its website as "one of the more imaginative" micronation sites.

February 28, 2015

1022, 1472 GUYANA - The map and the flag of the country

1472 - Guyana's map and national symbols

Posted on 04.03.2014 and 28.02.2015
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the name "Guyana" comes from an Amerindian word meaning "land of waters". Anyway, historically speaking, The Guianas (Las Guayanas in spanish) refers to a region in South America, north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River, which includes French Guiana (an overseas department of France), Guyana (former British Guiana), Suriname (former Dutch Guiana), the Guayana Region in Venezuela (former Spanish Guyana), and Brazilian State of Amapá (former Portuguese Guiana). Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, was originally colonized by the Netherlands, but became a British colony and remained so for over 200 years until it achieved independence in 1966, to become a republic in 1970.

1022 - Guyana's flag

It is the third-smallest independent state on the mainland of South America (after Uruguay and Suriname), and has a population of approximately 770,000 inhabitants, of which 90% reside on the narrow coastal strip. Racially and ethnically heterogeneous, with ethnic groups originating from India, Africa, Europe, and China, as well as indigenous or aboriginal peoples, its present population shares two common languages: English and Creole. The country can be divided into five natural regions: a narrow and fertile marshy plain along the Atlantic coast, a white sand belt more inland, the dense rain forests, the desert savannah, and the smallest interior lowlands. More than 80% of it is covered by forests, from dry evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests. It has also one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. The capital and largest city of Guyana is Georgetown, "Garden City of the Caribbean", founded in the 18th century on the Atlantic Ocean coast, at the mouth of the Demerara River.

1471 SPAIN (Canary Islands) - Playa de las Américas in Tenerife

Playa de las Américas is a purpose-built holiday resort in the southern and southern-west part of the Municipality of Arona, in the west of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. It was built in the 1960s beside the town of Los Cristianos and stretching west to the Costa Adeje. The resort area features bars, nightclubs, restaurants, attractions, and beaches, most of which are man-made with imported sand from Africa due to the darkness of the native volcanic sand. It is a centre of nightlife in Tenerife, and can be considered the party capital of the island. In other words, if you are looking for peace and quiet, then perhaps Playa de las Américas may not be for you.

February 27, 2015

1470 CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE - An oilpainting postcard

If the first postcard received from Republic of the Congo was a sand painting one, the second one is an oil painting one. Anyway, I can say that in the last years I didn't see any "real" postcard from this country, but merely handmade. And this one is even signed, as a true painting.

February 26, 2015

1469 ROMANIA (Brașov) - A Transylvanian Saxon bride of Meșendorf

The Transylvanian Saxons is the oldest and the numerous group of German ethnicity who live in Transylvania. In the 12th century they followed the call of King Geza II, which promoted the colonization of Germans in terra ultrasilvana (The Land Beyond the Forests) to protect the border of the Kingdom of Hungary. The colonization continued until the end of the 13th century, the Germans being also sought for their ability to develop the region's economy. Although the colonists came mostly from the western Holy Roman Empire and generally spoke Franconian dialects, they were known as Saxons. In 1224 the Golden Charter of King Andrew II ensured them a large autonomy, lost only after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, which led to the final annexation of the region by Hungary.

February 25, 2015

1468 PHILIPPINES (Central Visayas) - Fort San Pedro in Cebu

Front entrance of Fuerte de San Pedro

Built in 1565 in the pier area of the Cebu City by Spanish and indigenous Cebuano labourers under the command of conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, Fuerte de San Pedro served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. The fort is triangular in shape, with two sides facing the sea and the third side fronting the land. The two sides facing the sea were defended with artillery and the front with a strong palisade made of wood. The three bastions were named La Concepción; Ignacio de Loyola, and San Miguel. The walls are 6.1m high by 2.4m thick, and the towers are 9.1m high from the ground level. Fourteen cannons were mounted in their emplacements most of which are still there today.

February 22, 2015

1467 JAPAN (Shikoku) - Koi in Ritsurin Garden

In Japanese culture, garden-making is a high art, equal to the arts of calligraphy and ink painting. Gardens are considered three-dimensional textbooks of Daoism and Zen Buddhism, and that's why they are very different in style from occidental gardens. They were developed under the influences of the Chinese gardens, but gradually Japanese garden designers began to develop their own aesthetics, based on Japanese materials and Japanese culture. The ability to capture the essence of nature makes the Japanese gardens distinctive and appealing to observers. They can be categorized into three types: tsukiyama (hill gardens), karesansui (dry gardens) and chaniwa gardens (tea gardens).

1466 POLAND (Silesia) - Rozbarsko-Bytomski folk costume

Silesians are the inhabitants of Silesia, a region of Central Europe, along the Odra river, now located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. They are of Slavic descent, but because Germany ruled Silesia for a long time, Silesians have been deeply influenced by German culture. They are generally considered to belong to a Polish ethnographic group, but there is also the opinion that they constitute a distinct nation. 847,000 people declared themselves to be of Silesian nationality in the 2011 Polish national census (including 376,000 who declared it to be their only nationality). The region is rich in mineral and natural resources and includes several important industrial areas (its largest city being Wrocław).