Postcrossing: Received Cards #6 and #7


Yesterday, I received two Postcrossing cards — the first time that’s happened since I’ve rejoined.  Each of these travelled for less than three weeks so that’s a bit of an improvement.  Both were sent undercover in envelopes.  That doesn’t seem to have any effect on the speed of transit.  Oh, well…

Envelope containing Postcrossing cards from Russia

The first envelope actually contained two cards.  They were sent by Olga, a doctor in Kirov, Russia, who has also lived in Bulgaria, Germany and Austria.  Card(s) number RU-2004368 took  19 days to travel 6,978 km (4,336 miles).

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The two cards picture the Catherine Palace in Tsarkoye Selo, Russia.  This was the summer palace of the Russian czars and where, family legend has it, one of my ancestors once danced with the czarina.  Which one, I don’t know.  While the exterior of the palace is quite beautifully portrayed on one card, the other portrays the reproduction of the famous Amber Room within.  I first became aware of the background of this room through the debut novel by Steve Berry.

Olga wrote on the “Amber Room” card:

Hello, Mark!

I live in the city of Kirov.  I work as a doctor.  I send you a postcard from the Amber Room at Tsarkoye Selo, St. Petersburg.

Good luck.  Olga

[something in Russian]


The second card has some information about the palace:

The Catherine Palace at Tsarkoye Selo is a masterpiece of Russian Baroque architecture of the mid-18th century.  It was created by outstanding architects such as Mikhail Zemtsov, Andrei Kvasov, Savva Chevakinsky, Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli and Charles Cameron.  The architectural image of this grand edifice was based on decorative contrasts and light effects.  Its interiors combine different styles, mainly Baroque and Classicism.

The majesty of artistic decor of the facades with its elaborate trimming and gilding of architectural and sculptural elements perfectly matches the glistening gold of the interiors.  The gilded cariatyds, the allegorical statues, the garlands of flowers, the whimsically intertwining ornaments, and the impressive pictorial ceilings, all adds to the beauty of the palace halls and rooms.

A special poetic and festive atmosphere reigning the Catherine Palace makes this architectural monument particularly attractive.

I have had a VERY long fascination with Russia, particularly with the Romanovs.  This all started when I picked up a brochure in Washington, DC, during a visit there in the summer of 1975.  The booklet detailed an exhibition to be held at The Hermitage in then-Leningrad.  I haven’t yet been to the Catherine Palace so that may be added to my revised Bucket List


The second envelope contained Card #NL-2072544 from Bianca in Ede, Netherlands.  It     travelled 9,506 km (5,907 miles) in just 13 days!

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The card pictures the town of Alkmaar which is known for it’s traditional cheese market.  Bianca wrote:

September 20


My name is Bianca, 28 from the Netherlands.  I live in a village in the middle of the country, but I love the seaside even more.

Last weekend, I went to a city called ‘Alkmaar’ famous about their cheese market.

How did you end up in Thailand?  Do you miss your homeland?  I think you have a lot of courage!

Wishing you all the best!

I have now received seven cards which have travelled a total distance of 46,165 kilometers (28,686 miles).  I have had five of my sent cards registered on Postcrossing and there are three still travelling, making a total sent distance of 35,312 km (21,942 miles).  As soon as those last three are registered, I’ll request a few more addresses…

Over the years, I have accumulated many postcards through my travels and correspondences in addition to Postcrossing.  Although recent cards tend to be “displayed” on the mirror above my desk, most have tended to be filed away into boxes.

After several weeks of scouring eBay, looking for a suitable postcard album and becoming discouraged over high shipping costs, I finally purchased a photo album in a local bookshop.  It contains space for about 200 cards in side-loaded pockets.  Unfortunately, it will only accommodate cards up to 4×6 inches (if the pockets were top-loaded then I could have fit in oversized cards).  Also, the pockets have sewn-in black backing so that I can only display one side of the cards.  But it is still much better than having my cards thrown into boxes.  Several teachers at my school enjoyed looking at my cards when I took the album to work one day.

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