New York State

New York is a state in the northeastern United States, and is the 27th-most extensive, fourth-most populous, and seventh-most densely populated U.S. state. The New York City – the most populous city in the United States – is located in the southern part of the state.

I lived in the northern suburbs of NYC for many years, it has lots of beautiful parks and lakes, and most beautiful, colorful autumn I’ve ever seen. Like on this postcard, but much better live.

Finnish sauna

Finland is a country in northern Europe. It borders with Russia, Sweden, and Norway. The Finnish sauna is a substantial part of Finnish culture. There are five million inhabitants and over three million saunas in Finland – an average of one per household. For Finnish people the sauna is a place to relax with friends and family, and a place for physical and mental relaxation as well. Finns think of saunas not as a luxury, but as a necessity. Before the rise of public health care and nursery facilities, almost all Finnish mothers gave birth in saunas.

Finish Sauna postcard

This awesome postcard was received via Postcrossing. Thanks, Paula!

American Samoa – Poga Poga

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean. An unincorporated territory is an area controlled by the United States government which is not part of the United States. American Samoa consists of five main islands and two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory.

I received this postcard from Pago Pago, the capital city of the American Samoa, which is located on Tutuila island.

American Samoa on the map →

Thank you, American Samoa Visitors Bureau!

How to send mail to Abkhazia

Abkhazia is independent, partially recognized country, located on the Black Sea coast, between Georgia and Russia.

Most countries of the World do not recognize it’s independence yet, and recognize it as part of Georgia. Abkhazia is currently not a member of the United Nations, and it is not a member of Universal Postal Union. Neighboring Russia does officially recognizes it’s independence, though.

Because of the ongoing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia any mail sent via Georgia will never make it. But people in Abkhazia need to have international postal services, and there is a way.

Special PO Box

P.O. Box 1495, “Abkhazsvyaz”
Sochi, Russia

There is a special PO box set up in Sochi – Russian city located on the border with Abkhazia – through which all incoming mail to Abkhazia is routed. If you want to send something to Abkhazia, address it to this PO box, along with Abkhazian address.

For example:

RUSSIA
P.O. Box 1495, “Abkhazsvyaz”
Sochi

President of Abkhazia
Naberezhnaya Makhadzhyrov 32
Sikhum

Source: Postal info on the official tourism website of Abkhazia (in English; in Russian)

Albanian Riviera

Albania is a country in Southeast Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest, part of which forms Albanian Riviera – a major nightlife, ecotourist, and elite retreat destination in Albania.

I never thought of Albania as a beach touristic destination, but a colleague of mine visited it in July, and absolutely loved it! She sent me this postcard from there:

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Åland Islands

The Åland Islands or Åland is a region of Finland that consists of an archipelago at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. It is autonomous, demilitarised and is the only monolingually Swedish-speaking region in Finland. Åland has 6,700 named islands and a total of 20,000 islands and islets.

Here are the couple of postcards I received from Åland so far:

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And the stamps that were used:

United Nations: New York City

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. As of this writing, there are 193 member states. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City.  Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The United Nations organization has it’s own postal agency: The United Nations Postal Administration.

I’ve visited the UN building in the New York City, and sent myself a couple of postcards.

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The UN building is the blocky building on the left:

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And they have their own stamps, of course. The one I got featuring Borobudur Temple in Indonesia, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site:

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Related resources:

Abkhazia: Gegsky waterfall

Abkhazia is de faccto independent, partly recognized country – former part of Georgia. It is squeezed between Caucasus mountains and the Black sea. Gegsky waterfall in Abkhazia, pictured on this postcard, is the largest waterfall in the country.

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Because of the partial recognition, mail to and from Abkhazia travels through Russian postal system, and must use Russian stamps. There were some Abkhaz stamps issued before, but when this card was sent from Sukhum – the capital city – there were no local stamps available. So, the only thing I got is the local postmark on the back:

The text on the postmark says, in Abkhazian and Russian languages: “Abkhaz Republic”, and “Sukhum Post Office”.