Jul 30, 2012

Andros island | Greece

Recently my uncle gave me his small collection of postcards that he had. Among them I found a dozen postcards from Andros, my favorite Greek island! Most of them seem really old.
 I think this is the oldest. It shows the interior of a house in Alikandros village.
 This second one is a multi view of Andros island.
 This one shows Saint Nicolas and the Navy Club.
And this one shows Theoskepasti and Paraporti Village.

Andros, or Andro (Greek: Άνδρος) is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, approximately 10 km (6 mi) south east of Euboea, and about 3 km (2 mi) north of Tinos. It is nearly 40 km (25 mi) long, and its greatest breadth is 16 km (10 mi). Its surface is for the most part mountainous, with many fruitful and well-watered valleys. The area is 380 km2 (147 sq mi). The largest towns are Andros (town), Gávrio, Bátsi, and Órmos Korthíou.
The island is famous for its Sariza spring at Apoikia where the water comes out of a lionhead. Palaeopolis, the ancient capital, was built into a steep hillside, and its harbor's breakwater can still be seen underwater. [wikipedia]

As I have said before, Andros is the perfect place for vacations. There you will find the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen and the most hospitable people!

Jul 28, 2012

Dùn Èideann | Scotland

A friend of mine was in Edinburgh for a business trip and she sent me this beautiful postcard, which shows a panorama of the old town. As she tells me, she wrote this postcard while drinking tea at the Elephant Cafe, where J. K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter!
Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital city of Scotland and the seat of the Scottish Parliament. It is the second largest city in Scotland and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a 30 square miles (78 km2) rural area. Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea.
The city was one of the historical major centres of the Enlightenment, led by the University of Edinburgh, helping to earn it the nickname Athens of the North. The Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 in recognition of the unique character of the Medieval Old Town and the planned Georgian New Town. It covers both the Old and New Towns together with the Dean Village and the Calton Hill areas. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within the city. In May 2010, it had a total of 40 conservation areas covering 23% of the building stock and 23% of the population, the highest such ratios of any major city in the UK. In the 2011 mid-year population estimates, Edinburgh had a total resident population of 495,360.
The city hosts the annual Edinburgh Festival, a group of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks beginning in early August. The number of visitors attracted to Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled population of the city. The best-known of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest performing-arts festival in the world; the Edinburgh International Festival; the Edinburgh Military Tattoo; and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other annual events include the Hogmanay street party and the Beltane Fire Festival. Edinburgh attracts over 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom. [wikipedia]

Jul 14, 2012

The Black Sea and Asenovgrad | Bulgaria

A friend of mine, who is from Bulgaria, was kind enough to give me some postcards of her country. I have never been to Bulgaria, but it seems that there are a lot to see!
 This postcard shows the Bulgarian Black Sea.
Current names of the Sea are equivalents of the English name, "Black Sea", including:
  • Abkhaz: Amshyn Eikʷa (Амшын Еиқәа)
  • Adyghe: Khy Shʼutsʼ (Хы ШӀуцӀ)
  • Bulgarian: Cherno more (Черно море)
  • Georgian: Shavi zghva (შავი ზღვა)
  • Laz: Ucha zuğa (უჩა ზუღა), or simply Zuğa 'Sea'
  • Romanian: Marea Neagră 
  • Russian: Chornoye morye (Чёрное мо́рe)
  • Turkish: Karadeniz 
  • Ukrainian: Chorne more (Чорне море)
Such names have not yet been shown conclusively to predate the twelfth century, but there are indications that they may be considerably older. The Black Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Red Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea.
Strabo's Geography (1.2.10) reports that in antiquity, the Black Sea was often just called "the Sea" (ho pontos). For the most part, Graeco-Roman tradition refers to the Black Sea as the 'Hospitable sea', Euxeinos Pontos (Εὔξεινος Πόντος). This is a euphemism replacing an earlier 'Inhospitable Sea', Pontos Axeinos, first attested in Pindar (early fifth century BCE,~475 BC). Strabo (7.3.6) thinks that the Black Sea was called "inhospitable" before Greek colonization because it was difficult to navigate, and because its shores were inhabited by savage tribes. The name was changed to "hospitable" after the Milesians had colonized the southern shoreline, the Pontus, making it part of Greek civilization.
It is also possible that the name Axeinos arose by popular etymology from a Scythian Iranic axšaina- 'unlit,' 'dark'; the designation "Black Sea" may thus date from Antiquity. A map of Asia dating to 1570, entitled Asiae Nova Descriptio, from Ortelis's Theatrum labels the sea "Mar Maggior."
English-language writers of the 18th century often used the name "Euxine Sea" to describe the Black Sea. Edward Gibbon, for instance, calls the sea by this name throughout The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Asen's Fortress

 The other three postcards show Asenovgrad (Bulgarian: Асеновград, Greek: Στενήμαχος) is a town in central southern Bulgaria, part of Plovdiv Province.
Asenovgrad was founded by the Thracians as Stenímachos around 300–400 BC. In 72 BC the city was captured by the troops of the Roman Empire as part of the Roman expansion towards the Black Sea. After a long period of peace, the town was destroyed by the Goths in 251, but rebuilt later. In 395 the Roman Empire was divided into two parts and the city fell under Byzantine control. Afterwards, the Slavic tribes flooded the region (until around 700 AD) and became the majority of the population. During this time the city was known by its Thracian name Stenímachos.
During the wars between the Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, the city became a major military stronghold for the Bulgarian rulers. Due to aggravation of the relationships with the Latin Empire, in 1230 Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Asen II strengthened the local fortress Stanimaha and for this reason the city was named after him in 1934 (literally city of Asen). After Bulgaria was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Roma and Turks settled in Stanimaha, who nowadays make up 15% of the municipality of Asenovgrad's population (Asenovgrad, in addition to 29 villages), the rest 75% being ethnic Bulgarians and 5% – unknown and others.
Tane Nikolov, a well known revolutionary and leader of the Macedonian Struggle, spent his last years in Asenovgrad and died here in 1947.

The city is a destination for religious and cultural tourism. Its main attractions are the monasteries St. Petka (Bulgarian: Света Петка) and Arapov's monastery (Bulgarian: Араповски манастир) and St. Kirik (Bulgarian: Свети Кирик). Around the city there are 5 monasteries, 15 churches and 58 chapels (for which the city earned the nickname "The Little Jerusalem"), also there are historical, ethnographic and paleontological museums and 2 kilometers from the town is Asen's Fortress [first postcard] (Bulgarian: Асеновата крепост).
Outside of the town is the 40 Springs (Bulgarian: 40-те извора) hunting and fishing resort. The climate is very pleasant during the winter and cool in the summer, which made the city and its surroundings very attractive for tourism. The southeast portions of the city are noted for tourist destinations and their urban development, including Parakolovo (Bulgarian: Параколово) and the 40 Springs complex.
In the late twentieth century the town was known for one of the first Bulgarian discos, Jumbare (Bulgarian: Джумбаре), with 600 seats and a round dancing floor, it was completed in 1977 and was located in the Asenovec (Bulgarian: Асеновец) hotel complex, which is full recovering, but the disco no longer exists.

Twin towns — sister cities

  • Greece Naousa, Greece.
  • Greece Kilkis, Greece.
  • Republic of Macedonia Prilep, Republic of Macedonia.
  • Russia Stary Oskol, Russia.