English-speaking world

December 23, 2016


Helena is Montana’s Capital City and located between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Montana’s capital owes its name to the town Saint Helena in Minnesota. Helena was born in 1864 when prospectors known as the Four Georgians struck gold on their attempt at a place they called “Last Chance Gulch”, now Helena’s main street. Today, Helena thrives as an educational, commercial, recreational, cultural, and political center for the entire state of Montana.

On a gentle slope surrounded by 10 acres of spacious lawns and other state buildings, Montana's Capitol looks north over the beautiful Prickly Pear Valley. The building is constructed of sandstone and granite in Greek neoclassical architectural style. A statue depicting Liberty sits atop the copper dome. Montana’s Capitol was constructed in two phases - the original structure was completed in 1902 and wings were added in 1911–12.

Street Address: 225 North Roberts Helena, MT 59601

November 01, 2016


The Most Magical Place on Earth

The Walt Disney World Resort is an entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando, Florida. Opened on October 1, 1971, Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. Magic Kingdom Park is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. The park is represented by Cinderella Castle, inspired by the fairy tale castle seen in the 1950 film. The castle was completed in July 1971, after about 18 months of construction. It is 56 m tall, as measured from water-level. Cinderella's Castle, the main entrance to Fantasyland, is the most photographed building at Walt Disney World. 

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto welcome visitors to the Magic Kingdom, where the charm of the past meet the thrills of the future

"Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together."
/Roy Oliver Disney/

Received from Michele, Bayonne, NJ
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October 23, 2016


The Crystal Cathedral is located in Garden Grove, just a few miles south of Disneyland. A striking modern glass and steel structure rises almost 13 stories. The Crystal Cathedral was the brainchild of famed Garden Grove Community Church founder Robert H. Schuller. He changed the church’s name to Crystal Cathedral Ministries when the cathedral was completed in the early 1980s. He went on to build the congregation into one of America’s first 'mega-churches’ with a huge worldwide following.

An aerial view shows the tremendous size of this beautiful church.  

From point to point, the Crystal Cathedral spans a full 415 feet with seating capacity of 2,889. The mirrored look of the exterior reflects the surroundings, a shining beacon to all of Orange County, California.

The interior of  the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA. 

The white steel trusses form a lace-like frame to hold 11,400 windows. 90 foot doors open to minister to drive-in worshipers. From point to point, the Cathedral spans a full 420 feet, with seating capacity of 2,862.


The cathedral’s most striking interior feature is one of the world’s largest pipe organs. The 185-foot (56-meter) wide marble chancel often holds hundreds of singers and musicians during large services and holiday concerts.

Postcards received from Diane, Fountain Valley, CA
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October 02, 2016


The world’s largest reptile is the Northern Territory’s very own Saltwater Crocodile, or Salties in the vernacular of the locals. This incredible carnivore has sat atop the food chain of the Top End (a geographical region encompassing the northernmost section of the Northern Territory), for 100 million years. Salties can grow up to seven metres and weigh over 1,000 kilograms, but the average sized male any traveller in the Northern Territory is likely to see will be around five metres. Crocodiles can live for up to 70 years. The largest confirmed crocodile from the Northern Territory was trapped in the Mary River in the 1980s and measured a bit more than 20 feet.

Crocodiles have 68 fearsome teeth in their jaws that replenish constantly if broken off. A large croc can exert more than two tonnes of pressure with its bite. Crocodiles can swim as fast as 10 kilometres per hour and can run over open ground as fast as 11 kph for short bursts. 
Private swap with Gloria from Northern Territory
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September 18, 2016


Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Anzac Day falls on the 25th of April each year. The 25th of April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916. 'ANZAC' stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in that war. The meaning of Anzac Day today includes the remembrance of all Australians killed in military operations.

Battalion bugler playing the Last Post

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day's activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day.

Private swap from Rosejoy
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September 11, 2016


  • The Borough of Seaside Park, located on the Barnegat Barrier Island in Ocean County, New Jersey, was incorporated in 1898. Seaside Park is a small town of only 0.77 square miles with a year-round population of just over 2,200 residents. With almost two miles of shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean, the borough’s main industry is summer tourism.
  • THE STATE HOUSE is located in New Jersey's capital city, Trenton, situated on a bank of the Delaware River. This gilt-domed building, constructed in 1889, houses the state's executive and legislative branches of government.
Sunset at Seaside Park. The State House, Trenton. Autumn waterfall, Morris County. Aerial view of Newark. Clinton Historical Museum, Hunterdon County
  • Newark, New Jersey's largest city, is the leading industrial and financial center in the State. Containing a major maritime port, Newark is one of the great sea, truck, rail and air transportation hubs of the nation.
  • The Town of Clinton is located in central Hunterdon County, in northwest New Jersey. The landmark 10-acre Red Mill Museum Village is home to the Hunterdon Historical Museum, which has a collection of more than 40,000 historic artifacts. You’ll also find a replica of a log cabin, an old schoolhouse and the Mulligan quarry buildings on its grounds. In October, the Haunted Mill is an especially popular Halloween scare fest.
  • Morris County is located about 40 km west of New York City and was named after Colonel Lewis Morris, governor of New Jersey. The county is part of the New York Metropolitan Area, and its county seat is Morristown.
 See more at: http://www.visitnj.org
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August 28, 2016


Located in the heart of Southern California, the lively city of Buena Park is close to all major attractions, dining, shopping, beaches, sporting venues and entertainment.  The city is perfectly situated just 5 miles from Disneyland Parks®, 15 miles from white sandy beaches and 20 miles from Los Angeles. The city is not only known for its premier location, but for its world famous entertainment - including Knott's Berry Farm.

Some of the greatest rides, shows and attractions are found at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California 

Knott's Berry Farm located in Buena Park, California offers dozens of rides, shows and attractions. Experience world-class thrills on Silver Bullet, the park's first-ever suspended coaster, or Sierra Sidewinder the spinning coaster that offers a panoramic view. Hop on board the Pony Express - The Ride, delivering a horseback relay at speeds never imagined in the Old West. For something different, detour to the Park's Old West Ghost Town and have a cool sarsaparilla or visit Camp Snoopy, home of the PEANUTS gang and filled with dozens of kid-sized adventures.  

An aerial view of exciting Knott's Berry Farm, one of Southern California's famous tourist attractions.

Since its opening in 1969, the Log Ride has always been one of the most elaborate log flume rides in the US, taking guests through an 85-foot-high by 330-foot-long mountain range themed to a nineteenth-century lumber camp. The ride is one of the oldest log flumes in the United States and one of the few log flumes that is themed in the world.

A thrilling jorney in hollowed-out logs nears the end as you race down the log flume for a wave-splashing finale

Postcards received from Diane, California resident

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August 20, 2016


Since it was built Viper has been one of the tallest and fastest looping roller coasters in the world. The roller coaster is located in the Baja Ridge area of Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. An enormous structure, made of red and white steel, this metal snake rises to 188 feet and slithers down the track at 70 miles per hour. It features a breathtaking 18-story drop, three vertical loops, a double barrel boomerang, a classic corkscrew, and speeds of 70 mph. Riders turn upside down seven times.

VIPER - The most Frightening Roller Coaster on Earth

Length: 3,830 feet
Introduced: 1990
Manufacturer: Arrow Dynamics, Inc.
Capacity: 28 riders

Received from Diane - California resident
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August 14, 2016


Cambridge is an extremely compact place. Cambridge University swamps the town. As one of the world's most famous and oldest universities, founded when students were driven out of Oxford by rioting in the early 13th century, its medieval colleges are simply superlative. 
The Backs (i.e. the backs of the colleges), where lawns reach down to the Cam River, is very picturesque and best experienced on a punt. At the front, the handsome facades of these same colleges dominate the layout of the town centre,  lining up along the main streets.

Many of the buildings are extraordinary beautiful, but the most famous is King's College, whose King's College Chapel is one of the great statements of late Gothic architecture. There are 31 university colleges in total, each an independent, self-governing body, proud of its achievements.
Nosing around the colleges hidden courts and gardens, and searching out ancient libraries, reflectories and chapels is the most pleasurable part of a visit.  

Cambridge City Council
University of Cambridge

Postcrossing Postcard: GB-376024

August 06, 2016


New Zealand's capital since 1865, Wellington is situated on the south-west tip of the North Island. Featuring a magnificent harbour and panoramic views from the surrounding hills, Wellington is a city of contrasts, offering a wide variety of commercial, cultural and recreational activities.

Background: Wellington from Northland. Top right: 'The Beehive'. Bottom from left: Cable car, City and Harbour, Carter Fountain.

In some ways it is similar to Naples, though it is only about one quarter the size. It is built on steep hillsides surrounding a large natural harbour and there is a cable car running up to the top of Mount Victoria. It is also close to a volcanic area. Wellington is a major port as well as a major financial and artistic centre, and has a vibrancy not found in any other New Zealand city.

Wellington at Dusk. This beautiful harbour retains New Zealand's seat of government, and is a major port facility for the lower North Island.

Aerial View showing Paremata, Mana, Plimmerton, Porirua Harbour and in the background, Kapiti Island, North Island, New Zealand.

Postcards received from Kelly - Wellington resident

July 31, 2016


With more than 300 miles of barrier island beaches, two national seashores and dozens of charming small towns, the pristine landscape of the North Carolina coast is made for relaxation. Carolina beaches are beautiful, with creamy-colored sand and gentle slopes. Sand fences are used for the purpose of building sand dunes by blowing sand, and also to protect existing dunes and their vegetation. They are placed so as not to entrap sea turtles.

Postcrossing Postcard US-4092303 received from Tanja

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July 23, 2016


The second largest French speaking city in the world. A jaunty city with a Latin soul, whose three million inhabitants celebrate their de vivre every day of the year. A multi-cultural metropolis graced with green and woody parks, colourful turreted houses and flamboyant murals and a climate controlled underground city of 29 kms of shops, cinemas, restaurants and theatres. A mosaic of international neighbourhoods, a 3,500-restaurant gourmet's dream, a nightowl's playground. It's one of the most relaxed comfortable, welcoming cities in the world. Montreal: a scintillating city for all seasons and a gateway to adventure.


Postcrossing Postcard CA-642758 received from Tristina
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July 02, 2016


Stellenbosch is only 41 km from Cape Town and 18 km from False Bay coast. The second oldest town in South Africa was founded by Commander Simon van der Stel in 1679 and is situated on the banks of the Eerste River. It is also known as the "town of oaks" and many oak trees were planted by the first settlers. The town is renowned for its university, which was established in 1918. Many beautiful buildings have been restored to their original charm and the town has fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture.

STELLENBOSCH, well-known educational centre of Western Cape

Stellenbosch has a mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool, wet winters. A walk along its leafy lanes and avenues begins to tell of its proud heritage.
Lying in a fertile valley, it is surrounded by vineyards, orchards and mountains. Stellenbosch is synonymous with high quality table wines.

June 24, 2016


Alberta's capital city has become widely known as  Canada's festival city. Every summer an array of colourful, exciting festivals fill the streets and parks.
West Edmonton Mall is the world's largest shopping complex with over 800 shops, eleven major department stores, 110 restaurants and 14 movie theatres. Of course, you can enjoy eating well anytime of the year in one of Edmonton's 400 restaurants specializing in over 25 different types of cuisine!

Edmonton skyline with Muttart Conservatory with Canada Place in the background

Edmonton offers many more attractions which are a "must see" while visiting. A laser light show and planetarium at the Space Science Centre. The historical exhibits at the Provincial Museum. And don't miss the Muttart Conservatory, futuristic glass pyramids which house flora and fauna of the world's four climatic regions!
Edmonton has more green space per capita of any city in North America with biking, cycling and walking trails winding through its massive river valley.

June 19, 2016


Located in central California, Yosemite National Park was established in 1890. Almost 95 percent of the park’s 747,956 acres is classified as wilderness. The Valley is a 7 mile wide canyon with incredible rock formations, including El Capitan, the world's tallest granite monolith and one of the world's top rock climbing destinations. Yosemite Falls is the largest waterfall in North America with breathtaking views. Peak visitation at the falls is in the spring as it is comprised entirely of melting snow. The park is also known for its Giant Sequoia trees, which are estimated to be over 3,000 years old.

On the left Elt Captain, the world's largest monolith of exposed granite, rises over 3,600 feet above the valley floor. To the right Bridalveil fall drops over 600 feet into Yosemite Valley's Merced River
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June 08, 2016


Oxford is ninety kilometres from London and only sixty kilometres from Heathrow Airport. The River Thames runs through Oxford, and the River Cherwell joins it there. The land is low, but there are hills to the west. 

Oxford spires from South Park

The city is an important centre for work, shopping and nighlife. But people from all over the world, come to Oxford to see the fine buildings, the museums, and the parks and gardens. Much of the city is old and very beautiful. Oxford is a very interesting city, and many visitors fall in love with it.

Radcliffe Camera

More than 110,000 people have their homes in Oxford. But in some months of the year there are a lot more people in the city; thousands of students come from other towns for parts of the year.

The Sheldonian Theatre (1664)
Designed by St Christopher Wren, where degree ceremonies are  held

The College of St Mary Magdalen 

The college was founded on St Swithun's Day in 1458 by William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VI. Today, Magdalen is one of the largest Colleges in Oxford both in student numbers and also ground area. From  the top of the building  there is singing  at dawn (six o'clock ) on May Morning each year.  A few students make the dangerous jump from Magdalen Bridge into the river below.

Magdalen College Tower from the Botanic Garden

June 03, 2016


Pacific islands of extraordinary beauty and fascination. Fragrant blooms of the tropic abound. Fringed by tall palms, white sand beaches remain unspoilt and uncrowded. The tourquoise waters of lagoons sparkle under a warm sun. This is the home of a proud people who still honour and nurture culture rich in age-old traditions and ceremonies. 

Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu, projects the image of a very cosmopolitan town with its mixture of European, Vietnamese, Chinese and Melanesian cultures. Alongside the modern two or three-storey buildings, the large colonial houses are reminders of a none too distant past.

Another heritage of those times, the bustling Chinese district, where you can find everything you could imagine "made in Hongkong" at very reasonable prices. Most of the commercial life is in the main street (Kumul Highway), with duty-free shops, coffee shops, restaurants, fashion boutiques, travel agencies, but also the banks and many other establishments.

May 20, 2016


Since its founding on September 4, 1781, Los Angeles has grown into a dynamic metropolis with its eye on the future, while preserving its extraordinary cultural heritage. LA is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, making it a truly global city. The city of Los Angeles covers a total area of 1,302 km2, comprising 1,214 km2 of land and 88 km2 of water. The city extends for 71 km longitudinally and for 47 km latitudinally.

 Aerial view at night of the LA skyline and LA Live, Nokia Center and Staples Center in the foreground

The City of Los Angeles holds many distinctions. LA is the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural mecca boasting more than 100 museums, and a paradise of good weather. From tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame’s collection of stars (numbering 2,576, and growing by one or two a month) to career opportunities like those presented in the expanding tech industry, Los Angeles is the place to be. It is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. Downtown LA is the largest government center outside of Washington, D.C. 

Received from Jennifer, LA resident
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May 07, 2016


New Jersey is known of being the home of the famous PNC Bank Arts Center. This venue is ranked in the top five amphitheaters in the country and ranked in the top two outdoor arenas within the New York Metropolitan area Originally called the Garden State Arts Center, this venue opened its doors to the public in 1968, after 4 years of making this amphitheater. 

 THE GARDEN STATE ARTS CENTER at Telegraph Hill, Holmdel, New Jersey, is a 5,058-seat amphitheater for the performing arts conveniently located at Exit 116 of the Garden State Parkway

In 1996 PNC Bank purchased naming rights to the venue changing the name from the Garden State Arts Center to the currently PNC Bank Arts Center. Amphitheater seating; contemporary,
classic rock, dance and opera summer concert series.
PNC Bank Arts Center, Garden State Pky. Exit 116, 732-203-2500.


Received from my penpal Michele in New Jersey  
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April 27, 2016


Berkeley is a city with a small population and a big reputation. It was named for Bishop George Berkeley and inspired by poetry specifically his allusions to ancient Greece, the original model for the University of California as envisioned by its founders. The University of California was formally founded in 1869, in Oakland, and moved to its current Berkeley location in 1873.

University of California campus in foreground, City of Berkeley

The town of Berkeley was incorporated in 1878, and Berkeley became an official city in 1909. And so Berkeley was, from the beginning, a college town, with all the amenities and spirit of innovation and exploration that influence a great place of learning.

Postcrossing Postcard US-1404774 received from Jillian
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April 16, 2016


In 1933, the first National Historic Park in America was established in Morristown. It anchors the New Jersey section of the Crossroads of the American Revolution. Revolutionary War encampment site of 12,000 plus Continental Army soldiers. The park also maintains a museum & library collection related to the encampments & George Washington, as well as items relating to pre- and post-Revolutionary America.

The Ford Mansion, located in the Morristown National Historic Park, served as home to General nad Mrs. George Washington from December  1779 to June 1780 during the Revolutionary War. This large Georgian style home was built in the early 1770's. Today the house is furnished to reflect how it might have appeared during Washington's stay. 

Received from my penpal Michele in New Jersey
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April 08, 2016


The name means "wild goose" in Ojibwa, and refers to the thousands of geese which rest on beautiful Lake Wawa during migration. A fur-trading post before 1700, later the site of three gold rushes, Wawa now thrives on iron mining and tourism-related business.

Greetings from Wawa
Ontario, Canada

A landmark sculpture in steel, the Wawa Goose has achieved worldwide publicity. It's one of the largest symbols of its kind, measuring 9 m high, 7 m from beak to tail, with a wingspan of 6 m, and weighing two tons.

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April 01, 2016


South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Stunningly beautiful and rugged, this island wildlife sanctuary, once visited, is not easily forgotten. Its snow covered peaks, blue glacier ice and emerald green bays are breathtaking sights.

Grytviken Church

The whalers church at Grytviken is a Norwegian Lutheran church, pre-fabricated in Strommen, Norway, then shipped down to South Georgia and erected near to the whaling station. It was consecrated on Christmas day 1913. The church is still in use having been repaired and restored in the 1990's though it hasn't had a pastor since 1931.

King Edward Point lies at the entrance to King Edward Cove, a small bay within Cumberland East Bay. Located midway along South Georgia it is approximately 1,400km (860 miles) from the Falkland Islands. Access is by boat or ship-based helicopter. The station focuses on appliled fisheries research and supports the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Typically King Edward Point station has 22 people living on station during the summer months and 12 people on station throughout the winter. 

Received from King Edward Point Research Station thanks to Ann

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