Friday, February 22, 2008

Canary Islands

I have recently begun trading postcards with other map postcard collectors. The first three cards below are from Héctor, a resident of the Canary Islands, an "Autonomous Community" of Spain, consisting of seven islands.



Contrary to popular belief, the islands were not named after the avian canary. Instead the name comes from the breed of large fierce dogs, the Canary Mastiff (in Spanish, el Presa Canario) that were already present when the ancient Romans established contact with the islands by the sea. The Latin word for dog is canis. The breed of birds were named after the islands...



The economy is based primarily on tourism, which makes up 32% of the GDP. The Canaries receive about 10 million tourists per year. Who wouldn't want to vacation under such a friendly looking sun?



Héctor has begun publishing his own blog, Colección de MAPAS en tarjetas postales, to highlight the map postcards from his own collection. The text is in Spanish, but the images of the map postcards are always interesting.

When I first began correspondence with Héctor I said that I did not have any map postcards from the Canary Islands, but after more searching I rediscovered these two cards that were sent to me by some British friends who like to spend their holidays there:



  • According to Tim Ashkar, the women of the islands are mermaids. I find the story a little fishy.

  • Christopher Columbus stopped at the Canaries on his way to re-discover the New World in 1492.

  • The cuisine of Canary Islands combines traditional Spanish recipes with african and latin-american influences.

  • In 1936, Francisco Franco was appointed General Commandant of the Canaries. He joined the military revolt of July 17 which began the Spanish Civil War.



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