Saturday, May 20, 2017

Taormina - Italy

Beautiful cards from Taormina, a city located on the east coast of Sicily about halfway between Messina and Catania on the Ionian Sea.

 © SIME * ph. Antonino Bartuccio
 Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below and on the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, the European highest active volcano, often capped with snow, offering to the visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea. Taormina really seems to be born as a tourist resort since past times, when ancient people like the Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards chose it as their residential site thank to its favourable position, mild climate and magic atmosphere. - in:

 © SIME * ph. Demetrio Carrasco
Isolla Bella is tiny island located in a small bay on the coast just below Taormina. The island is connected to the mainland by a small and narrow path that depending on the tide may be submerged. The island itself was actually private property up until 1990 when the owners went bankrupt and auctioned the island, which was bought by the Region of Sicily. Since then it has been designated as a nature reserve and is home to numerous species of birds and lizards. - in:

© SIME * ph. Alessandro Saffo
One of the main attractions of the city is the Ancient Theatre. Built for the most part of brick,  is therefore probably of Roman date, though the plan and arrangement are in accordance with those of Greek, rather than Roman, theatres; whence it is supposed that the present structure was rebuilt upon the foundations of an older theatre of the Greek period. With a diameter of 109 metres (358 ft) (after an expansion in the 2nd century), this theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse); it is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. - in: wikipedia


This cute little badger lives in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park in Spain. I've never seen a badger and this is my 1st card with this cute animal. 

Editora y Distribuidora, El Olivo S. L. L. 
ES-456442, sent by Lisca.
This natural park is located in the eastern and northeastern part of the province of Jaén, Spain, established in 1986. With an area of 2,099.2 square kilometres (810.5 sq mi), it is the largest protected area in Spain and the second largest in Europe. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1983 and also a Special Protection Area for migratory birds in 1988. - in: wikipedia

Alcúdia - Spain

Last march Heidi participated in a parabadminton tournament in Mallorca. The results weren't the best but it was a good opportunity to practice and enjoy a few days on this spanish island. 

Tullio Gatti Photo Gallery
The port and holiday resort of Alcudia lies on the north east coast of Mallorca, and is one of the most attractive areas on the island. It is considered as the favorite resort with families. 
Alcudia has a fantastic 10km stretch of soft sandy beach, ideal for all the family and there are plenty of attractions around the resort. 
For the tourist there are clean beaches and quiet calas (bays) near by, as well as peaceful Aucanada pine forests. - in:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pueblos Blancos - Spain

Andalucía was my 1st option for my holidays last month. Unfortunately I didn't make it and instead of spending a week in southern Spain, I spent a week in southern Portugal, which was also great. 
When searching for ideas of what to visit in Andalucía, I discovered the beautiful Pueblos Blancos, White Towns, which are a series of towns and large villages in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga. Setenil and Olvera, both in the province of Cádiz, were the towns I wanted to visit. 
I didn't get to visit Andalucía but Celina gave me these 2 cards from there. 

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: A. Murillo
Setenil de las Bodegas grew out of a collection of cave dwellings, and many of the present-day dwellings were hewn from rock. Entire rows of whitewashed buildings seem to be submerged under massive rocky overhangs. Setenil de las Bodegas has been settled since the Moorish Almohad period of the 12th century. A legacy of the Islamic heritage, the ruins of a Moorish castle overlook the medieval village. - in:

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: A. Murillo
Olvera is a small village located in the heart of the Cadiz mountains, Spain. The village’s main monument is the city itself, with its whitewashed houses, steep narrow streets all running up towards the impressive silhouette of its church and castle at the top of the hill.
The hills surrounding Olvera are full of olive tree plantations that provide the best extraction of olive oils in Andalusia. It’s believed that the name of the town is related to the amount of olive trees in the area. - in:

La Alberca - Spain

I've discovered and have been to many places thanks to postcards. I've never heard about La Alberca before but because of this postcard I googled it and now I want to go there. The village is not that far from my city, only an hour and a half.
The postcard was a gift from Celina.

© Ediciones A. M. * Fotografia: A. Murillo
La Alberca is a village in the province of Salamanca, autonomous community of Castile and Leon.
In 1940 La Alberca was declared an historic artistic ensemble due to its architecture, typical to the Sierra de Francia. It is part of the network of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain.
Built on granite and wooden columns, the Plaza Mayor de La Alberca features a typical mountain architecture. Its façades are crossed by a series of balconies, illuminated by the luster of whitish lime, maintaining a perfect balance and harmony through the combination of wood and granite.
The originality of its streets, squares and houses is the result of a popular architecture that has been maintained throughout the centuries.

São João Baptista Fortress - Terceira Island

This year the Europa stamps have a wonderful theme, castles. One of the portuguese stamps depicts São João Baptista Fortress in Angra do Heroísmo, on Terceira island, Azores. Lurdes, who lives on the island, sent a few cards of the fortress with the matching stamp. 

This military monument of big dimensions is located on the Brasil Mount, an ancient extinct volcano that forms a small peninsula on the south coast of the town, and two lovely bays (Angra and Fanal). The Fortress would have been part of a set of fortifications built for the protection of the rich Angra do Heroísmo coast. 

© Grafipost - Editores e Artes Gráficas, Lda
Built over the Spanish occupancy of the territory (1580-1640) the forts were built in order to protect the coast from the aggressive Pirate attacks and also for the Spanish troops barracks. 
Angra do Heroísmo was by then a very important town for the international trading, as it was situated in a strategic point in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and provided a very good port. 
The construction of the Fortress began in 1593, and here were lodged the Spanish troops for eleven months when the Portuguese Restoration happened. 
Already in the 20th century, during the Dictatorship period, the Fortress was used as a Political Prison. 
The São João Baptista Fortress has a defensive wall area of about 4 km long, surrounding the Brasil Mount, housing in its interior the São João Baptista Church, the Santa Catarina Chapel and the Governor Palace , and is even considered to be the biggest fortress built by Spain in the world. - in:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Angra do Heroísmo - Portugal

Nice views from Angra do Heroísmo on Terceira island, Azores. The 1st card arrived yesterday and it was sent by Lurdes, the 2nd was sent by Luís two years ago. 

Both these cards show nices views of Angra do Heroísmo with Monte Brasil in the background. 
Monte Brasil is an extinct volcano that emerged from the sea to join the city of Angra do Heroísmo. It is a protected landscape and the city's natural park. Monte Brasil has excellent viewpoints and tree and shrub species that are of special interest. - in:

I've been to the Terceira island in 2012 and this was pretty much the view I had from my hotel room in Angra do Heroísmo.