Monday, September 1, 2014

Sant Julià de Lòria - Andorra

I try to visit a new country every year and last year the new country on my list was Andorra. I bought a lot of cards there but these three are part of the 240 postcards offer from Paulo. 

Sant Julià de Lòria is one of the parishes of Andorra, in the far south of that country. It is also the name of the main town of the parish, which at 908 m is the lowest settlement in Andorra.

Sant Julià perfectly combines nature and rest thanks to its wide range of sports and cultural offers.

Beeing the lowest settlement in Andorra, Sant Julià enjoys a more temperate weather, with less harsh winters, compared to the other parishes of the Principality.

Baiona - Spain

Zé sent me this card of the Monterreal Castle in Baiona, a city in Galicia, northwest Spain. 

Monterreal castle was built between the 12th and 16th centuries. For centuries it protect Baiona from its enemies and pirates but now it receives tourists from all over the world as the castle is now one of Spain's most popular paradores, a kind of luxury hotel, usually located in a historic building such as a monastery or castle. 
When Columbus's Pinta landed here in 1492, Baiona became the first town in Europe to receive the news of the discovery of the New World.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Castelo Novo - Portugal

Castelo Novo is one of the 12 portuguese Historical Villages. This is a  group of 12 villages classified under a government program called The Historic Villages Program (Programa de Aldeias Históricas). The aim of the program was to restore and promote a series of ancient villages/human settlements important to the history of Portugal. Most of the villages, 7, are located in my district but that's not the case of this one, Castelo Novo is located in the neighboring district of Castelo Branco. 
The card was a gift from Paulo.

Foto: Homem Cardoso
Situated in the east slope of Gardunha mountain range, this 650 m high Historical Village stands out for its concentrically harmonious design and the well-preserved urban structure. The streets have been drawn in accordance to the contour lines, revealing former manor houses, side by side of stone houses, small wooden verandas and vestiges of Roman paths. Among the must-see places, you should visit the Town Hall, the jail and the pillory, the drinking fountain Chafariz da Bica, Misericórdia Church and the Castle. - in: http://en.lifecooler.com/lifecooleren/castelo-novo-historical-village-historic-villages-and-towns-328209-1.html

Shepherd in Alentejo - Portugal

When I first saw this card, sent by Eduardo, I thought it was from Serra da Estrela, a mountain in my region, my I was wrong, the card is actually from Alentejo, a region in the South-Central part of Portugal. 

The area is commonly known as the "bread basket" of Portugal, a region of vast open countryside with undulating plains and rich fertile soil. With very few exceptions all the major towns are mainly reliant on agriculture, livestock and forestry. There are several types of traditional cheeses, wines and smoked hams and sausages made in the Alentejo region. - in: wikipedia

Postcrossing 9th Anniversary Meeting in Porto

Last month Postcrossing celebrated its 9th anniversary and 6 portuguese and 1 spanish postcrossers attended a meeting in lovely Porto. Luís and Zé sent me these cards, also signed by Paula, Blá, Diana, Ana and Vanesa. 

 Forways Lda. 
Porto is one of my portuguese favorite cities and this year the european citizens elected the city as Best European Destination 2014. I couldn't agree more!!
Porto is one of Europe's oldest tourist destinations. Its wealth of monumental and artistic heritage, Port Wine, open-air leisure spaces and cultural life are just some of the reasons to visit this city.
At any time of the day, 365 days of the year, Porto has a special charm for anyone visiting the city for the first time, as it does for those coming back for a second visit, to discover a city that is simultaneously modern and authentic.
In 1996, the historical centre of Porto was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces.
Setting out to discover Porto means bumping into surprise after surprise. Whilst maintaining its welcoming and conservative nature, the city is, at the same time, contemporary and creative. This can be seen in its streets, its architectures and its monuments, its museums, its leisure spaces, its esplanades and its shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive. - in: http://www.europeanbestdestinations.org/destinations/porto/

Edição: Vistal Gráfica Lda * Foto: Eduard - Fotolia.com
The yellow and red Lisbon's trams are probably more famous than those in Porto but these vintage tramcars are one of the symbols of the city. Its history dates back to 1872  when the first line of "american cars” was opened in the city of Porto. STCP’s Tram network is currently made up of 3 different lines running through Porto’s most iconic. Line 22, or the Downtown Line running through Porto’s most famous downtown streets on a circular route between Carmo and Batalha /Guindais Funicular and Lift. - in: http://www.stcp.pt/en/tourism/porto-tram-city-tour/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toronto Meet-Up

One last card from Canada, this one from a meeting in Toronto. Marie has already been to a couple of meetings and she sends me a card averytime she attends a new one, this time was no exception. This was a meeting with 16 postcrossers, well, that's the number of signature I can count on the card. 

This is a view of Toronto's downtown featuring the Roger's Center, CN Tower and the Financial District.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Snowy views from Canada

Also from Canada, are these two lovely snowy view cards, both sent by Christine. I love them. 

 Photo © Michel Degray
Autumn's snow in Montréal. Christine says is common to see buildings with these steep stairs in the city center and also in the portuguese are. I just found out that Montreal has a modest portuguese population but one of the city's neighbourhoods is Little Portugal!! 

Photo: Claudel Huot
Château Frontenac in Quebec City is said to be the most photographed hotel in the world, and it is easy to see why. The Chateau Frontenac has towered over Old Quebec City since 1893 and resembles a castle from a fairy-tale with its grand copper turrets and majestic stone towers. Located high on a bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the Chateau Frontenac’s elegant rooms have hosted royalty, world leaders and movie stars for over a century. It is more than just a grand hotel with stunning architecture- it is the symbol of the city. - in: http://www.quebeccityjourney.com/chateau-frontenac.htm