A Long Time Coming

Alegria Lagoon, El Salvador

Alegria Lagoon, El Salvador

This beautiful postcard sure took its time to reach me. It was sent on 24 March 2013 and only reached me on 10 October 2013. Judging by the multitude of bends and the shape, it sure had a journey on its way here. It was sent to me by William and shows the Alegria Lagoon or as it is called in Spanish, Laguna de Alegria. The lagoon is located on the Tecapa volcano, which is about 26 kilometers from Unsulutan. Too my dismay though, not much information is available on the lagoon in the English language. So this is basically what you need to know: Pretty. Water. El Salvador. Alegria. Go see it. That’s it folks! Thank you for the beautiful postcard William!

Arandelovac

Arandelovac, Serbia

Arandelovac, Serbia

This, my first postcard from the Balkan country of Serbia, comes from Renato. Renato tells me that Arandelovac is about 80 kilometers from the Serbian capital, Belgrade. At 376 square kilometers and a population of 46 000 people, it doesn’t seem to be one of the tiniest places in Serbia. The name of the town is quite pretty when translated and means, “The town of Archangel.” The area is well known for its springs and the production of mineral water and a large producer of bottled mineral water and other drinks is found in the town. I was pleased to see that the twin town of Arandelovac is Ptuj in Slovenia, of which I am also fortunate enough to have a postcard. Thanks Renato!

The Mountain Kingdom’s Feat

Katse Dam, Lesotho

Katse Dam, Lesotho

This great postcard of the Katse Dam in our neighbouring country of Lesotho, comes from Hape. The Katse Dam forms part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. It is a joint project between the governments of Lesotho and South Africa, that supplies water to both countries, making it Africa’s largest water transfer scheme. There is also an element of hydroelectric power generation, which is good for my coal-dependent home country. The Katse Dam, which has a surface area of 3580 hectares was Africa’s largest dam until the Tekezé dam was completed in Ethiopia in 2009. I think that was quite a feat for our tiny little neighbour. The Katse Dam was first opened in 1996 and by 1998 the reservoirs had been filled. That is one very large dam. When I think about dams filling up, I am always reminded of a not-so-bright South African politician that once said the previous government had built the dams too big, so they take longer to fill. It was argued that if the dams were smaller, they would fill up quicker and there would be more water to go around. Now, with that kind of logic in our government, all I can say is: No wonder! Thank you Hape, this is truly an awesome postcard!

Bridge of Beauty

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany

This stunning postcard comes from Sarah who lives in Cologne, Germany. The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne is a bridge that crosses the Rhine. Its predecessor was the Cathedral Bridge, that could not handle all the necessary traffic anymore and got demolished to make way for the Hohenzollern Bridge, which completed in 1911. The bridge was originally a rail and street bridge until its destruction in 1945, after which it was rebuilt to accommodate only rail and pedestrian traffic. It opened to pedestrians by 1948 and by 1959 could once again accommodate trains. It is also the most heavily used rail bridge in Germany today, with 1200 trains passing through daily. This has to be one of my most beautiful postcards from Germany yet. Thank you Sarah!

Las Croabas

Las Croabas, Puerto Rico

Las Croabas, Puerto Rico

This stunning postcard comes from Eduardo from Puerto Rico. Eduardo tells me that this town lies to the far East of the island. Las Croabas is a fishing town located near San Juan, Puerto Rico. Despite being a fishing town, the area attracts a great number of tourists, particularly to the La Cordillera Nature Reserve, that is located close by. The nature reserve consists of 10 islands than can be enjoyed either from the sea or from the land. Something I’d like to see is the magnificent Las Croabas lagoon, where you can make the water glow by just putting your hand into it. Magic! No, okay, there are bioluminescent plankton in the water and once disturbed, they start glowing, how cool is that? Thank you Eduardo for letting me learn about this interesting place!

The Journey to Yourself

The Way of Saint James

The Way of Saint James

This great postcard comes from Veronica, who lives in Spain. The way of St. James or El Camino de Santiago refers to a pilgrimage route to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where it is believed that the remains of St. James are buried. This postcard takes me back to 2009, where I had a university assignment that I did on Santiago de Compostela. This pilgrimage is considered as one of the most important pilgrimages after that of Rome and Jerusalem. Personally, I cannot see the need for a pilgrimage in the christian faith, but to each his own. During the Middle Ages the route was very popular and drew in a number of pilgrims on the route. After the protestant reformation, the black death and political unrest in the region during the 16th century, the route became virtually untraveled and by 1980 only a few pilgrims would arrive at Santiago. The route was declared the first Cultural European Route in 1987 and has subsequently also been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thank you Veronica!

The Pleasant Lake

Lake Pleasant, Arizona

Lake Pleasant, Arizona

This beautiful postcard is but one of many beautiful postcards sent to me by Irma. Irma tells me that the lake is to be found 30 minutes northwest of Phoenix, in the Lake Pleasant Regional Park. The lake is part of an artificial reservoir created to serve the area in 1927. The lake was originally 15 square kilometers but the surface area was expanded to 30 square kilometers. There are also 10 fish species to found in the lake and the park in which it is has numerous other leisure and educational activities. Seems like a pretty awesome place. Thank you Irma!