Jul 30, 2011

Tuareg people

This amazing postcard is from my parents' collection! A friend of theirs sent it to them on 16 February 1980 from Libya.

The Tuareg (also Twareg or Touareg, Berber: Imuhagh, besides regional ethnyms) are a Berber nomadic pastoralist people. They are the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa.
They call themselves variously Kel Tamasheq or Kel Tamajaq; ⴾⴻⵍ ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵌⴰⵆ ("Speakers of Tamasheq"), Imuhagh, Imazaghan or Imashaghen ("the Free people"), or Kel Tagelmust, i.e., "People of the Veil". The name Tuareg was applied to them by early explorers and historians (since Leo Africanus).
The origin and meaning of the name Tuareg has long been debated with various etymologies advanced, although it would appear that Twārəg is derived from the "broken plural" of Tārgi, a name whose former meaning was "inhabitant of Targa" (the Tuareg name of the Libyan region commonly known as Fezzan. Targa in Berber means "(drainage) channel", see Alojali et al. 2003: 656, s.v. "Targa").
The Tuareg call themselves by the following names:
  • Amajagh (var. Amashegh, Amahagh, Amazigh), a Tuareg man.
  • Tamajaq (var. Tamasheq, Tamahaq, Tamazight), a Tuareg woman, or the Tuareg language.
  • Imajaghan (var. Imashaghan, Imuhagh, Imazighan), Tuareg men, people.
  • Timajaghen, Tuareg women.
  • Kel Tamajaq, the Tuareg people.
  • Tifinagh, the Tuareg alphabet.
These terms can also refer to Berbers in general. The Tuareg today are found mostly in North Africa and West Africa. Some historians claim they progressively moved south over the last 2000 years. They were once nomads throughout the Sahara. They have a little-used and ancient script known as the Tifinagh. [wikipedia]

You can see my postcard collection on the map below (I am still uploading them, so you can only see part of my collection): 

Προβολή Postcards σε χάρτη μεγαλύτερου μεγέθους

Jul 29, 2011

Tripoli of Libya

These two postcards are also part of my parents' collection and were sent by a friend of theirs, when he was living in Libya. Unfortunately, he has not written a date, but I guess it was around 1980. As he writes, living there, was like joining the army!

Tripoli is the largest city and capital of Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس الغربṬarābulus al Gharb), to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon.
Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three Cities". It is in Arabic: طرابلسṬarābulus, Libyan Arabic: Ṭrābləs, Berber: Ṭrables, from Ancient Greek: Τρίπολις Trípolis "Three Cities").
The Tripoli metropolitan area (district area) has a population of 1,065,405 (2006 census). The city is located in the northwest of the country on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. The city is the principal sea port, and the largest commercial and manufacturing centre in Libya. It is also the site of Al-Fateh University.

Royal Castle Linderhof

These two postcards are from my mother's collection. They show Royal Castle Linderhof in Germany. On the first one, you can see King Ludwig II, who built it.

Linderhof Palace (German: Schloss Linderhof) is in Germany, near Oberammergau in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed. Ludwig already knew the area around Linderhof from his youth when he had accompanied his father King Maximilian II of Bavaria on his hunting trips in the Bavarian Alps. When Ludwig II became king in 1864 he inherited the so-called Königshäuschen from his father, and in 1869 began enlarging the building. In 1874 he decided to tear down the Königshäuschen and rebuild it on its present-day location in the park. At the same time three new rooms and the staircase were added to the remaining U-shaped complex, and the previous wooden exterior was clad with stone façades. The building was designed in the style of the second rococo-period. Between 1863 and 1886 a total of 8,460,937 marks was spent constructing Linderhof.

City of Gardens

This cute postcard was send by my postpal Valerie! She just moved to Canada! The card shows some of the gardens of Victoria! As Valerie says, Victoria is a beautiful city! I sure hope she has a wonderful time there :)

Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of about 330,000, the 15th most populous Canadian metro region.
Victoria is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from BC's largest city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Seattle by airplane or ferry, and 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Port Angeles, Washington by ferry across the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Jul 24, 2011

New Orleans

This amazing postcard is one of the ones I found in the old mansion. Is shows New Orleans and in the back there is an inscription saying: "1986 - printed in Canada". I have never been to New Orleans but I have always imagined it as a mythical place, where everything is possible... This postcard shows something very close to what I have imagined.

New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area, (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner) has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population of 1,360,436 as of 2000. The city/parish alone has a population of 343,829 as of 2010.

Golden Gate Bridge | USA

As you might know, I am an architect. A few days ago I visited an old mansion that is going to be demolished (it has no architectural or historical value), from which the owners wanted nothing! There I found many interesting old things (furniture, photographs, paintings etc). Among them were many old postcards! I will try to upload them all! The first one is the one you see above, picturing Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy day. It was sent on 7 May 1989.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States. Despite its span length being surpassed by eight other bridges since its completion, it still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world". [wikipedia]

Jul 17, 2011

Angelos Sikelianos Villa

For my baccalaureate party, my best friend V. took me to this amazing spa resort, called Sikion Coast Hotel and Resort. It is located at Peloponnese, near Xylocastro. We had an amazing time! One thing that really impressed us was the main building, which -we later found out that it- was the house of Angelos Sikelianos, a famous Greek poet.

Angelos Sikelianos (28 March 1884-19 June 1951) (Greek: Άγγελος Σικελιανός) was a modern Greek poet and playwright. One of Greece's most important 20th-century lyric poets, he emphasized national history, religious symbolism, and universal harmony in poems such as The Light-Shadowed, Prologue to Life, Mother of God, and Delphic Utterance. His plays include Sibylla, Daedalus in Crete, Christ in Rome, The Death of Digenis, and Asklepius. He was the first of the twentieth century Greek poets to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Jul 8, 2011

Whale shark in Seychelles

In Seychelles there are a lot of sharks! If you are lucky you may see a Whale shark - unfortunatelly we did not see any... The locals proudly say that: 
"Seychelles is the only place where sharks don't eat people, people eat sharks!!"

The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow-moving filter feeding shark, the largest living fish species. The largest confirmed individual was 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) in length and the heaviest weighed more than 36 tonnes (79,000 lb), but unconfirmed claims report considerably larger whale sharks. This distinctively-marked fish is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhinodontes before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The shark is found in tropical and warm oceans, lives in the open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years. The species originated about 60 million years ago. Although whale sharks have very large mouths, they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals, although the BBC program Planet Earth filmed a whale shark feeding on a school of small fish.
The species was distinguished in April 1828, following the harpooning of a 4.6 metres (15.1 ft) specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town described it the following year. He published a more detailed description in 1849. The name "whale shark" comes from the fish's physiology; as large as a whale, it too is a filter feeder.
Known as a deity in a Vietnamese culture, the whale shark is called "Ca Ong", which literally translates as "Sir Fish". 
In Mexico, and throughout much of Latin America, the whale shark is known as "pez dama" or "domino" for its distinctive patterns of spots. However, they go by "Sapodilla Tom" in Belize due to the regularity of sightings near the Sapodilla Cayes on the Belize Barrier Reef. 
In Africa, the names for the whale shark are very evocative: "papa shillingi" in Kenya came from the myth that God threw shillings upon the shark which are now its spots. In Madagascar the name is "marokintana" meaning "many stars". 
Javanese also reference the stars by calling it "geger lintang," meaning "stars in the back". In the Philippines, it is called "butanding", while in Madurese, it is known as "kikaki". [wikipedia]

More Seychelles!!

More Seycehelles postcards!!

Beau Vallon, Mahe island

Beau Vallon, Mahe island

Coco de Mer

This is a postcard from Praslin island! On the top right picture you cen see the unique Coco de Mer!

The Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica), the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. It formerly also was found on St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde (Round Island, an islet near Praslin) in the Seychelles group, but has become extinct on these islands. The name of the genus, Lodoicea, is derived from Lodoicus, the Latinised form of Louis, in honour of King Louis XV of France.
Formerly the Coco de Mer was known as Maldive Coconut. Its scientific name, Lodoicea maldivica, originated before the 18th century when the Seychelles were uninhabited. In centuries past the coconuts that fell from the trees and ended up in the sea would be carried away eastwards by the prevailing sea currents. The nuts can only float after the germination process, when they are hollow. In this way many drifted to the Maldives where they were gathered from the beaches and valued as an important trade and medicinal item.
Legend has it that sailors, who first saw the unique double coconut floating in the sea, imagined that it resembled a woman's disembodied buttocks. This association is reflected in one of the plant's archaic botanical names, Lodoicea callipyge Comm. ex J. St.-Hil., in which callipyge is from Greek words meaning 'beautiful rump'. Other botanical names used in the past include Lodoicea sechellarum Labill. and Lodoicea sonneratii (Giseke) Baill.
Until the true source of the nut was discovered in 1768, it was believed by many to grow on a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea. European nobles in the sixteenth century would often have the shells of these nuts polished and decorated with valuable jewels as collectibles for their private galleries. The Coco de Mer tree is now a rare and protected species. [wikipedia]

Seeing it from up close, I can tell you that the fruit does look like a woman's reproductive organ [!!!].

Seychelles postcards

For our honeymoon we went to the amazing Seychelles! Seychelles are 115 little, exotic islands in Indian Ocean. As you can imagine, I bought as many postcards as I could!! Some of the unique experiences we had there, were to feed giant tortoises, learn how to open and drink coconuts and tastes creole cuisine!!

Anse Aux Pins, Mahe island
Giant tortoise
Seychelles (officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. It is part of the Mascarene Islands along with Mauritius and Réunion.

I' m back!!

The last couple of months I didn't have time to dedicate to my favorite blog...I was preparing my wedding!! Now, that I am finally a happily married woman, who has just returned from an amazing honeymoon, I will continue blogging! So, I will start immediately uploading my latest postcards!! :)