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Blog > Postcards from the southern end of the world

Reto (aka Acclax) from Switzerland went on a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip in February to a very special place, and wrote back with a report of his adventures. We’re always happy to hear about the special places postcrossers explore and send postcards from in Travel Mode, and Reto’s postcards from the southern tip of the world have started arriving to their destinations today, so this seems like a good occasion to publish this blog post. Enjoy!

South Georgia Post Office

I had the opportunity to travel to the island of South Georgia this February. This island lies around 55° S and 36° W in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean. It’s biggest “village”, Grytviken, is home of the most southern post office of Great Britain, with an official letter box and daily emptying hours. With only three permanent inhabitants in summer (and none in winter), it’s a very popular stop for ships visiting Antarctica.

Together with Postcrossing, I was able to post the first 20 official postcrossing cards with a GS-code to people scattered all over the world. Even though I posted them on March 3rd, they are still on their long journey to its recipients.

Whaler ship

Grytviken once was a Norwegian, later English whaler station. The whalers used every part of the whales: the blubber and meat were rendered to extract the oil, and the bones and meat were turned into fertilizer. Elephant seals were also hunted for their blubber. Around 300 men worked at the station during its heyday, operating during the southern summer from October to March.

Shackeltons grave

You can still see the ruins of the big tanks, working facilities together with some old houses, barracks and a little church. There is also a very interesting museum where you learn a lot about the history of Grytviken and South Georgia. Next to the village is a cemetery where you can visit Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave. In 1914, Shackeleton planned to cross the Antarctic continent, but the Endurance, his ship, was broken by ice in the Weddell Sea in November 1915. To save his men, Shackleton and five of his men went back to South Georgia to get help. Believe it or not, all 28 members of this expedition survived. During my trip, the wreck Endurance was discovered on March 9th on the ground of the Weddell Sea.

Fur seals Young sea elephants

Between the ruins you find fur seals in abundance, they are everywhere, the young ones very curious and extremely close. You also find sea elephants in Grytviken and king penguins.

Mail Box

And of course, there is the post office where I posted twenty cards with the code GS-1 to GS-20. When I asked at the post office, how long it takes to send these cards, I was told, that it could take “some weeks” to be picked up. Hopefully, these cards will have been shipped to the Falkland Islands by now. From there, they are brought to London. From there, they are being distributed to all over the world.

So, if one of you reading this receives a card with the code GS-1 to GS-20, you can be sure that your card had experienced a long, special journey!

PS: Planning to visit a special post office or mailbox? We’d love to hear about it!

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69 comments so far

mezzanine2, Canada
In this one post, we learn about geography, history, the natural world, travel. I hope to see more posts about mailing postcards in different places around the world.
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Tjoks, South Africa
This was very interesting. I hope I will be a lucky recipient☺
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kjkillian, United States of America
This is so fun! I wonder if there are many other countries that haven't had postcrossing cards sent yet?

I'm also trying to do some math to see if I might be one of the lucky recipients of a South Georgia card. I won't hold my breath but it will be a pleasant surprise if so! Fingers crossed!
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NIDUSKA, Finland
Beautiful place to post postcards,thank you for interesting story
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Tinkatutu, Australia
Awesome story and what a place! Love the collection details on the last photo...and chuckled at the notion that Port Lockroy, some 2000 km away to the SW, is 'local' to Grytviken 🤣.
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MichyJo, United States of America
What an amazing trip and a fun post! I love the thought of those little postcards reaching out an making connections from that little post office on South Georgia Island.
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thstreit, Switzerland
Tschou Reto
So cool! I have a similar dream - Pitcairn Island 🇵🇳 😁
I already ordered some honey (favorite one of Queen Elizabeth II) from there and I got a rock from this island. Even before I started with Postcrossing. We will see!
More realistic is the target to sent postcard from the European small countries: I did Monaco, San Marino & Liechtenstein last year. Maybe Andorra, Vatican & Luxemburg this year!
Mit ämene liebä Gruess us Spiez!
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ViktoriyaFromBlr, Belarus
It's just amazing! So interesting to read!
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tippy0828, United States of America
Wow! Awesome trip, thanks for the info on a place I knew nothing about!
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Aguaroble, France
Amazing! I wonder how you arrived on the island... By plane? Boat? With other tourists? Or scientist?
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debster, United States of America
This post is very interesting. I love the pictures. I hope The Little Mail Carriers aren’t jealous.
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GayeDoreen, United States of America
This is fantastic! I was in Ushuaia in February and visited one of the post offices there. Truly amazing! We had sailed to Antarctica on a Viking Cruise and came back for a short tour of the area.
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bigred398, Canada
What a fantastic trip. I enjoyed reading your adventure and loved the pictures.
Many thanks for sharing
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piaw, United States of America
Fascinating! I've read a lot about Shackelton but had never seen a photo of his grave.
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bandcrab, United States of America
This is so cool! Congrats on the fun trip!
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ilovecoffe, Germany
What a great story!
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cpaige, Canada
I had a friend send me a post card from there and it took 6 weeks to reach me here in Canada via GB. That was 2 1/2 years ago!
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DaisyDekker, United States of America
Thank you....enjoyable article!
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rockycip, United States of America
Thank you for your very interesting travelogue.
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Myrake, Belgium
Amazing trip! Congratulations Reto, I love it!
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pmsobon, Switzerland
Reto, great story - and pictures! Thanks for bringing us with you… and thank for making 20 Postcrossers day with those cards!
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shazbook, Australia
Oh, my postcrossing heart, an adventure on a postcard is everything to all of us postcrossers...I can't wait to hear your next post about where these cards landed...dont stop blogging...we love hearing these stories...
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SchwarzwaldUhu, Germany
Lieber Reto,

thank you for this additional report about your phantastic journey and the impressive photos. I was the lucky one to be the first receiver a card from there , GS-1. At first I said to my wife, oh another nice card, but with the title Antarktis ? What does this mean ? When I turned it, I looked at the stamp, a walruss , and the name South Georgia with the Queens profile. What is this ???. Then your explanation, and later of course google. So this was really a gift for an old man who red all about Shackletons expedition and dreamed as a young boy to be there.
"Danke nochmals" and thank you postcrossing-team for this project.

Best wishes to all in the postcrossing world

Albrecht
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Steffi67, Germany
What a wonderful and interesting blog! Thank you so much for the story and great pictures!! That makes my day! ♥️
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alison41, South Africa
Such an interesting post. I e-mailed it to many of my travel-bug friends. Being able to easily pass on blog posts via e-mail is helpful. Thanks for adding the option.
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eesti23, Netherlands
This was a super fun post and congrats to the luckily recipients, once you know who you are! :-)
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Zfirearm, Australia
Wow, that island is so cool! I would love to visit it one day!
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betslets, United States of America
Postcrossing is all about Connections and this story was especially amazing. For those of us who are more confined these days (and with a variety of reasons) it is so special to get these wonderful travel stories...will some of these photos evolve into postcards??? Thank you, Reto, for sharing your adventure.
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Flippie, Canada
Thank you for sharing your Story, Reto. I hope that I'm one of the lucky ones are to receive a card from you and from this great spot.
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sacdalton, United States of America
What a wonderful post about adventure both personal and postal! Happy trails to those cards traveling the world!
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jjmedusa, United States of America
This is utterly fascinating and I really enjoyed reading about this. The recipients of these postcards are so lucky! Thank you for sharing, Reto, and for Postcrossing's help in making this happen!
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KristinaGisela, United States of America
What a great trip and fascinating travelogue! Such a coincidence that the Endurance was found at the same time you were there!
And, look! Your first card has arrived! Congratulations @SchwarzwaldUhu!
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kathilo, United States of America
No doubt Shackleton is pleased with his final resting place, but I have a hunch his descendants don't make very frequent trips to put flowers on his grave!
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scirocco_dave, United Kingdom
Great story - great trip! This is what makes postcrossing so special.
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xellengg, Hong Kong
this is amazing, thats why i love postcrossing so much! Thank you dor sharing.
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MNF, Portugal
what a amazing journey! Love it!
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Pangolin, United States of America
What a great post! Thank you for all of it!
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D2M2, United States of America
Thank you, Reto! Such a great adventure.
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MerlinM, Germany
What a wonderful story. I have never been to such rare places but love to use the travel mode whenever I am on the way even within my Country. I hope one of these days I can also use the travel mode from a very historical and rarely visited place like you shared with us. Thank you for sharing the story with us.
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fisherman, Ireland
What a wonderful trip and thanks for sharing your photos and experiences. I would love to go there some day.
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harrickson, United States of America
Thank you for sharing such an interesting story! I have never used travel mode, but in hindsight, I should have tried it when in another country. Not sure when I will again have the opportunity to try it, but I definitely will the next time I travel outside the country.
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Acclax, Switzerland
To all of you, Thank you so much for your comments and joy!
5 out of 20 have arrived so far, 15 still traveling!
Take care
Acclax
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wifetoalineman, United States of America
My favorite post. This is so cool and thanks to you for sharing your adventures with us.
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petrini1, United States of America
Fascinating! What a terrific experience.
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Kewl, Philippines
Wowza!
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ChristinaMind, Russia
Thank you for such a wonderful report, I hope that I will visit there too one day!
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werewegian, United Kingdom
I received one of these cards today GS-5 and feel like I've won the lottery! Thanks for the great blog post.
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yBenP, Hong Kong
Thank you for sharing!
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ipuenktchen, Iran
wow, what an interesting blog post, never heard of this place in antarctica!
and one of the cards is arrived, what a chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GS-5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wonderfull!!! thx for sharing the story and pics!
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Geminiscp, Portugal
***amazing!!!*** I'm glad you had fun and congratulations to the 20 lucky winners! Travel Mode was the best invention ever, since Postcrossing was invented!!! :)
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credo, South Africa
Fantastic!!!
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mrsandman, Finland
Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing this. That must have been quite an exciting journey, for sure! Lucky are the ones, who will receive those cards, so congrats to all those 20 who will receive a happy surprise in their mailboxes.
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AnMiSa, Germany
There ist still a chance... What a great story and experience! I love to learn about unknown places, about the time it takes a card to arrive somewhere else in the world... and maybe in my mailbox.
Greetings from Mecklenburg Lake District
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AugustoAssis, Brazil
Amazing journey, incredible experience!
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HM, Netherlands
So nice to read this blog!

Amazing to see seals where you might expect rabbits. I guess the winters are realy cold at South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands.
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Tinangel13, United Kingdom
My ex visited Gritviken when he was in the Royal Navy.. it sounded like an amazing place and I was quite envious of him.. thank you for sharing this with us!
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Toome2, Netherlands
This story will make my day!
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MeggieW, Australia
How lucky you were to visit South Georgia. Thank you for sharing. I hope all the postcards sent arrive and they are treasured.
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GABoyd, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand has an affliction with Shakelton. Some of his crew retired here. Quail Island was used as a base for his dogs & ponies. The Canterbury Museum has a permanent exhibition about Antarctica & there's the Antarctic Centre, out by the airport
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sutan, Indonesia
Traveling plus Postcrossing-on-a-travel-mode are always be a great idea. The postcards sent and the stories written left memorable marks in one's life (and digitally ;)). Tried Travel Mode once and hopefully will do my second, third, fourth etc. I hope world will fully recover so we could all travel freely again
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cmcclarin, United States of America
This was quite wonderful. I live on the southern end of the state of Georgia in the USA, often referred to as "south Georgia", so I did a double-take on the heading! I've read of Shackleton and the Endurance, of course. Remarkable story! Thank you so much for sharing!
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LaurieBulson, United States of America
Fascinating! Your photos are so well done, too! Thank you for sharing.
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rcornelison, United States of America
Thank you for sharing your amazing journey and the pictures are wonderful. What a tiny post office. Makes me want to go traveling.
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Shy_Octopus, Poland
Thank you for sharing this story!
I would love to know how you got there, what was your preparation and when is the best time to go there :).
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Knerq, United States of America
So amazing!
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Elco, Netherlands
Bedankt voor het interessante verhaal. Ik heb vorige week mij aangemeld bij Postcross en mijn eerste kaart verzonden. Heb al een reactie ontvangen uit Duitsland dat mijn kaart is aangekomen. Het lijkt mij leuk om deelnemer te zijn van Postcross en deze leuke verhalen te horen.
Ik hoop op een leuke tijd samen met Postcross.
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SeanPatrick, United States of America
I really enjoyed this information.
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toosberry, Australia
Thank you for sharing this story, I have enjoyed reading all the comments and loved the beautiful pictures.
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nkguenther, United States of America
This was very interesting. I only wish I’d been a postcrosser 3 years ago when we visited the Galápagos Islands!
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