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SWALLOW’S NEST

Perched perfectly on the edge of the Aurora Cliff, overlooking the Black Sea, the Swallow’s Nest has appeared several times in Soviet films.Visitors can only go near the castle’s vicinity; visitors have been denied entry to the castle for more than four decades now after an earthquake left a crack on the Aurora Cliff.

Although this postcard came from Russia, Crimea is currently a disputed territory between Russia and Ukraine – which reminds me of an ongoing maritime dispute between China and the Philippines.

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HRAD KOKORIN

(Traveled from January 18 to February 16)

After a break from blogging caused by misplaced priorities, I am eager to write about one of my favorite topics: castles! I hope you are eager to read too. 😉  The Kokorin Castle is a small Czech castle (as you can see) in the middle of a forest. Unlike the elegant castles I have featured on this blog, the Kokorin Castle is an abandoned fortress which has lost its beauty through the years. Before you blame the Czech government for its “abandonment” of such a historical architecture, here’s an excerpt from the Czech Tourism Website:


After the Thirty Years’ War the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand included the desolate medieval residence in “the cursed castles”, which were forbidden to be repaired.


Why it has been declared ‘cursed’ – I will leave that assignment to you.

The Kokorin Castle may be lacking in grandiose, but I believe it is still worth visiting. A little hike through the woods will lead you to a castle that is easy to capture whole due to its size. It might help to know that there are stairs leading to the castle. And did I mention that it is a few hours drive from Prague? Not bad if you are up for a side trip huh.

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GOTHA: BLICK UM SCHLOSS FRIEDENSTEIN

(Traveled from January 17 to February 13)

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My castle collection is fast growing. Thanks to one of my favorite persons on Postcrossing: Dani from Altdorf, Germany! This is my second time to swap postcards with her. Just like our first swap, her second postcard to me did not disappoint. The card, as you can see has a minimalist decoration and a very informative write-up at the back. Please do not mind the date on the stamp. We agreed to swap written and in an envelope as opposed to the  written and stamped tradition and it was my suggestion that she could paste a used stamp on the postcard because I still wanted it to look like it was sent as a postcard per se without risking having the postcard stamped at the front by our very customer-centric and local post office. *sarcasm*

Just to add to what Dani wrote on the postcard.. the Friedenstein Castle was built by Duke Ernest I the Pious of Gotha dating from the 17th century. One of the main features of the castle is the Ekhof Theatre, which is the oldest castle theater in the world.

Geesh, this castle card gives me more reason to want to go to Germany!

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20150213_125121“LES MERVEILLES DU VAL DE LOIRE…CHAMBORD”

(Traveled from January 10 to January 22)

CHÂTEAU DE CHAMBORD – one of the most famous Renaissance castles located in one of France’s châteaux centrale, Loire Valley. Built in the 16th century, the castle has been restored several times to what it is now–characterized by its manicured gardens outside and a double-helix staircase inside. There is  a rumor that the staircase was designed by no less than the great Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Whether the rumor is true or not, the castle is a colossal masterpiece in central France worthy of a half-day tour. (Yes, I typed it right.)