Gračanica, Serbian town in Kosovo

Gračanica is a town located in central Kosovo —  de-facto independent, partially recognized state. This town of more than 10,000 mostly Serbian people is centered around the Gračanica Monastery, ten kilometers east of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. The image of this postcard: Fresco of Saint King Milutin, the founder of Gračanica Monastery, originated between 1319 and 1321.

According to Wikipedia, the Gračanica municipality was supposed to become part of the Community of Serb Municipalities after the 2013 Brussels Agreement, however this still hasn’t been implemented yet despite the promises from the Prishtina government. Still, we can see Serbian post, not Kosovar, was used when this postcard was sent: Serbian stamp is used. Also interesting, if I read the postmark correctly, it shows the name of the town in both Serbian and Albanian languages: Gračanica and Graçanicë.

Kosovo postcard

Kosovo Serbian post postmark

 

Kiribati – an island country

“Health, Peace and Prosperity” — is the motto of the Republic of Kiribati. The motto I can stand behind! Kiribati (pronounced Kiribass, which surprised everyone I know when they heard it for the first time) is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. It consists of 33 islands, of which only 20 are inhabited. The islands are scattered over a vast area of ocean along the equator. The rising sea levels, a result of global warming, will be disastrous for the islands of Kiribati, as many of them are atolls that rise no higher than some 8 meters. It’s not surprising that fish is the bulk of the country’s production and exports, as well as dried coconut kernels from which coconut oil is expelled. Coconut palms dominate the landscape on each island. Another interesting export item is hand-caught ornamental fish (for aquariums)!

Postcard from Kiribati

Kiribati Stamp and Postmark

Friends: Lizu.Am – Hamshen Armenian dictionary

This post is not related to postcards, philately, or postal services.

Recently, I was helping a friend in his work on creation of Hamshen Armenian online dictionary, and in this post  I just want to introduce the project. As postcards collectors, we learn a lot about remote places, foreign cultures, and history. So, this might be of some interest to visitors of this site.

Hamshen (or Hemshin) Armenians are an ethnic group, who are originally from Hemşin districts in the province of Rize, Turkey. Today numbering as many as 150,000, they live in Turkey, Russia (mostly my hometown of Sochi), and Abkhazia. Hamshen Armenians speak their own, archaic Western Armenian dialect – Homshetsma , and Аccording to the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages, the Hamshen dialect is classified as “Definitely endangered” (children no longer learn the language as a ‘mother tongue’ in the home). And this was a primary reason for creating this project — to help keep this language alive.

The project is a work in progress. It’s currently a Hamshen Armenian – Russian dictionary, but there are plans to expand it for English, include more reading and learning materials in this dialect, and to create features that would help to crowdsource / expand the dictionary base.

Please check it out, and read up on this small part of World’s history and culture.

Hamshen ArmenianHamshen Armenian ethnic folklore dance postcard of the internetz.

Kenya Safari

Kenya is the most popular of Africa’s safari destinations. It is is located in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It’s also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. Kenyan safaris visit the Masai Mara National Park known for its abundant wildlife and annual Great Migration, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kenya Postcard

Kenya stamps

Kenya airmail sticker

Sharyn Canyon in Kazakhstan

Sharyn Canyon (also known as Charyn Canyon) is a canyon on the Sharyn River in Southeast region of Kazakhstan. The canyon is roughly 154 kilometers (96 mi) in length. Though it is much smaller than the Grand Canyon, it has been described as being equally impressive. There are a few legends about the canyon. People believed that it was a place haunted by spirits who didn’t like to be disturbed by the living. To keep people away, these evil spirits drove animals to the cliffs and forced them to jump down on anyone walking through the canyon.

Kazakhstan Postcard

Kazakhstan stamps

Black Pyramid Mountain Post Box

TL;DR – There’s a postbox at the top of a mountain at 2375 м. I went for it a week ago, but it’s probably too early to expect anything mailed from it yet (2021-09-27). UPDATE 2021-10-11: Postcards are starting to arrive!

Sochi mountain postal box

As a postcrosser – and in general – I’m lucky to live in a city that it beautiful, touristy, hosted a wide variety of World class sporting events, interconnected with a UNESCO WHS, and borders a “rare” country. There were also many postage stamps issued dedicated to our city, events that took place here, our flora and fauna, which is also nice. All this is a great basis for postcard exchanges!

Last year I discovered yet another interesting and cool way to postcross: a postbox at the top of Black Pyramid mountain in our city! And a year later I decided to try it out.

Continue reading “Black Pyramid Mountain Post Box”

Qusayr ‘Amra, Jordan

Qusayr ‘Amra was built between 730 – 740 AD. This desert establishment was both a fortress with a garrison and a residence/pleasure palace that comprises a reception hall and hammam, all richly decorated with figurative murals, which depict hunting and dancing scenes as well as craftsmen at work, and represent the transition between Byzantine culture and the new Islamic era. It is located in present-day eastern Jordan.

Qusayr ‘Amra was placed on the World Heritage List in 1985.

Jordan postcard

Jordan stamp postmark

 

The Monastery in Petra, Jordan

Petra is a historic and archaeological city in Jordan, and is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. It was inhabited by the Nabataeans, nomadic Arabs, and became their capital by second century BC. UNESCO has described Petra as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. The Monastery, or Ad Deir, pictured on this postcard, is a monumental building carved out of rock.

Petra Jordan

Jordan postage

La Corbière Lighthouse in Jersey

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands – an archipelago in the English Channel between England and France. It is a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom, with a mix of British and French cultures. Jersey is most notable for being one of the world’s largest offshore finance centers.

La Corbière is the extreme south-western point of Jersey. The name means “a place where crows gather“. However, seagulls have long since displaced the crows from their coastal nesting sites.

Jersey postcard

Jersey postmark stamps

Mount Fuji, the sacred symbol of Japan

Mount Fuji has become famous throughout the world and is considered to be the symbol of Japan. It is 3,776 meters tall active volcano located 100 km southwest of Tokyo and is visible from there on clear days. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone is frequently depicted in art and photography. It is a UNESCO World Heritage List site since 2013.

Japan Mt FujiJapan stamp postmark