Schwalmtal is a municipality in the district of Viersen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is named after the river Schwalm, which flows through the area. Schwalmtal is situated approx. 12 km west of Mönchengladbach. (source) Thank you Tami!
Kansas is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind," although this was probably not the term's original meaning. Residents of Kansas are called "Kansans."
Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing many crops, and leading the nation in wheat, sorghum and sunflower production most years. The state is divided into 105 counties with 628 cities, and is located equidistant from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. To the west, nearly a quarter million people reside in the Topeka metropolitan area. Topeka is the state capital and home to Washburn University. (source)
Kashuby is a region of Poland located in the North, to the West of the city of Gdansk - the capital of Pomerania. The first part of Kashubia, called Norda, is located in the north. This area possesses a varied and scenically impressive section of the coastline. Its golden beaches, dunes, and fresh sea breeze easily capture tourist attention. The picturesque towns on the coastline - Jurata, Chalupy, Jastarnia and Hel seated in Hel Peninsula were originally the centre of the fishing industry.
The Kashubians live in a territory that includes the ex province of Gdansk, the ex province of Slupsk and the northern part of the ex province of Bydgoszcz. Today Kashubia is populated by approximately half a million native Kashubians. The beauty of the region, however, has attracted many people from other parts of Poland to settle there. Many Kashubians also live abroad. For various reasons-economic or political-many Kashubians now live in Western Europe, Canada, and the United States. (source)
The Island of Hawaiʻi, also called the Big Island or Hawaiʻi Island, is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean. With an area of 10,432 km², it is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined and is the largest island in the United States. The Island of Hawaiʻi is administered as the County of Hawaiʻi within the state of Hawaii. The county seat is Hilo. Traditionally, Hawaiʻi is known as the "Big Island" to reduce confusion between Hawaiʻi Island and the state. (source) Thank you Maria!
Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa. The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims and Christians with a very small minority who practice traditional religion.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium. (source) Thank you Amelija!
Colleen (choke) sent me this card because of the special post mark she got for me.
The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Envisioned since the 1880s, the bridge was completed in 1957 only after many decades of struggles to begin construction. Designed by engineer David B. Steinman, the bridge (familiarly known as "Big Mac" and "Mighty Mac") connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south. It is the third longest in total suspension in the world and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere. The Mackinac Bridge carries Interstate 75 across the straits. (source)
The Mackinac Bridge Walk is an annual event held every Labor Day since 1958 in Michigan in which people may walk the length of the Mackinac Bridge. Walkers are traditionally led across by the governor of Michigan. In an average year, 50,000 to 65,000 people participate in the five-mile walk. This is more than the combined population of the two counties connected by the bridge. (source)
Thank you so much Colleen! :)
Some time ago Gilles sent me a postcard from Cape Verde. Today, when I opened my mailbox, I saw an envelope from Gilles again, but I had no idea why was he sending me postcards again.
I was really surprised when I saw that he had sent me a map and a flag card from Cape Verde too. As I love map and flag cards, this envelope made my day.
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 km off the coast of Western Africa. The islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,000 sq km, are of volcanic origin and while three of them (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation. Due to the infrequent occurrence of rainfall the overall landscape is not particularly green, as the country's name suggests (verde is Portuguese for "green"). The name of the country stems instead from the nearby Cap Vert, on the Senegalese coast.
The country has an estimated population of over 500,000, with its capital city (Praia), accounting for the majority of its citizens. Politically, the country is a very stable democracy, with notable economic growth and improvements of living conditions, despite its lack of natural resources, and has garnered International recognition by other countries and international organizations, which often provide development aid. Since 2007, Cape Verde has been classified as a developing nation. (source)
The national Flag of Cape Verde was adopted on September 22, 1992, replacing the flag adopted during Cape Verdean independence, fought for with Guinea-Bissau, another former Portuguese colony on mainland West Africa.
The 10 stars on the flag represent the main islands of the nation (a chain of islands off the coast of West Africa). The blue represents the ocean and the sky. The band of white and red represents the road toward the construction of the nation, and the colours stand for peace (white) and effort (red). The yellow colour, circular formation of the stars, and dark blue field show similarity to the flag of the European Union. (source) Thank you so much Gilles! :)
The Lahn River is a 245.6-km-long, right (or eastern) tributary of the Rhine River in Germany. It has its source in the Rothaargebirge, the highest part of the Sauerland. It meets the Rhine at Lahnstein, near Koblenz. Important cities along the Lahn include Marburg, Gießen, Wetzlar, Limburg an der Lahn, Weilburg and Bad Ems.
The lower Lahn has many dams with locks, allowing regular shipping from its mouth up to Runkel. Riverboats are also used on a small section north of the dam in Gießen. (source)
Montana is a state located in the Western United States. The western third of the state contains numerous mountain ranges. Other island ranges are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña (mountain).
Montana has several nicknames, none official, including: "The Treasure State" and "Big Sky Country," and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains," and more recently, "The Last Best Place." The state ranks fourth in area, but 44th in population, and therefore has the third lowest population density in the United States. The economy is primarily based on services statewide, with ranching, wheat farming, oil and coal in the east, and lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining in the west. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Battle of Little Bighorn site, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park. (source)
Electoral College Reform by Neil Freeman, 2003
The electoral college is a time-honored system that has only produced results in conflict with the popular vote three times in over 200 years. However, it's obvious that reforms are needed. The organization of the states should be altered. This Electoral Reform Map redivides the territory of the United States into 50 bodies of equal size. The 2000 Census records a population of 281,421,906 for the United States. The states ranged in population from 493,782 to 33,871,648. In this map, new states have formed, all with equal populations of roughly 5,617,000. (source)
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square km and an estimated 10 million people.
The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for sugar production, the economy is now dominated by services. The country's economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system. The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean's largest tourist destination; the country's year-round golf courses are among the top attractions. Music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and song and baseball the favorite sport. (source)
Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with a population of 564,657 within its administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 km2. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River, about 320 km northwest of Cape Spartel in Africa.
It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial centre and the largest/second largest container port in the "Europe's Atlantic coast". Lisbon is the 25th most livable city in the World according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. The city is the sixth-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, and Milan, with about two million tourists a year. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal. (source)
Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America. The capital is Panama City. The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Revenue from Canal tolls represent today a significant portion of Panama's GDP. Panama has the third or fourth largest economy in Central America. It is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. Panama has the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin and its jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds - some of them to be found nowhere else in the world. (source)
The Eiffel Tower is an 1889 iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tallest building in Paris, it is the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
The tower stands 324 m tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world from its completion until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France after the 2004 Millau Viaduct. (source) Gracias Elena!
Augustów is a town in north-eastern Poland with 29,600 inhabitants. It lies on the Netta River and the Augustów Canal.
The town was first mentioned in 1496 and was granted city rights by king Sigismund II in 1557. World War II brought destruction of about 70% of the town and death or departure of most of its residents, amongst them a community of several thousand Jews who were imprisoned in the ghetto situated between the canal and the river. The Germans executed practically all of them before they left. In 1945 the Soviets conducted the nearby Augustów chase 1945 - a special operation against former Armia Krajowa anticommunist fighters.
In 1970 Augustów officially became a health-cure resort, and in 1973 adjoining local villages were made a part of it. (source)