Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last cards of the month

More cards today, 7. 1 from USA, 5 from Brazil and 1 from Portugal.
The brazilian cards were sent by Tito "tito.garcez", 3 of them are a lottery prize and 2 are surprise cards. This is the surprise week. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

The Prescott Rodeo is the oldest in the USA. The card was sent by Carol "adobe".

That is a place that protects the numerous dunes and primitive landscapes of the rivers and sea. Placed on a branch of land that projects itself into the ocean, the small village of Mangue Seco gets isolated from the noise of crowd as well as to the moviment of the continent.- in: http://www.brasiladentro.com.br/en/hotels-inns/bahia/mangue_seco_ba This place village is located on the border between Bahia and Sergipe states.

João Alves Filho bridge in Aracaju, capital city of Sergipe state.

Church of Our Lady of Rosário in Coronel Xavier Chaves historic city in Minas Gerais state. It was built in 1717.

São Francisco de Assis Church in São João Del Rel, Minas Gerais, inaugurated in 1774.

Our Lady of Conceição Church in Prados, also in Minas Gerais, from the 18th century.

An handmade card sent by Paula "geminiscp". These are the portuguese postcrossing meeting participants. The meeting was in Lisbon on July 19th. On the card you can see Carla, kryx87, geminiscp, mariadocostume, susanaportugal, valdagua and ludovico.

Expo 2008 Zaragoza - Spain

This post is dedicated to the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza - Spain, because 21 of the 24 cards i've received yesterday were brought from there and Paulo, the sender, asked me to make a post about it. But, what is Expo 2008?? "Expo 2008 is an international exposition held from 14 June to 14 September 2008, held in Zaragoza, Spain, with the topic of "Water and sustainable development". The event is being placed in a meander of the river Ebro." - in: wikipédia

On this card we can see the "Water Tower, one of the most emblematic buildings of Expo 2008 and its vertical icon. It was designed by Enrique de Teresa. It is 76 metres high with 10,400 accessible square metres. At the upper floor, there is a 720 square metres panoramic bar with fantastic views over Zaragoza. Inside the tower there is a 23-metre-high sculpture called Splash, which represents a Splash of water, "the arrival of life on our planet".The Splash sculpture based on dynamic simulation systems was designed by Pere Gifre from Ikonic Arts.
The Water Tower hosts the exposition Water for life where "audiovisual media and lighting pay a key role in the way the contents are communicated". - in:
wikipedia

This is the Aquarium. "This thematic pavilion is the biggest freshwater aquarium in Europe with 300 species of fauna from different rivers around the world in 60 tanks or terrariums. Rivers represented are:
The Nile: It contains species of the great African lakes. It also has crocodiles and an exhibition on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
The Mekong: In this river visitors will find species of the Himalayas, gardens from the river's lower course, the Pacific Ocean and coral reefs.
The Amazon river: It is divided into three different areas. The first of them is the Amazon jungle with its coconut trees and mangroves. The second area is about the Amazon forest while the third area is the mangrove swamp with an exhibition on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Murray-Darling river: This exhibition begins in the flooded regions and goes through desert areas. It finishes with a video exhibition about birds.
The Ebro: It is also represented in two areas. The first area is a mountain cave and the second is the course of the river. There will also be an exhibition on the Mediterranean sea.
The "World River": It represents the past, when "all the continents were united as a single island surrounded by ocean". - in:
wikipédia

More than one hundred countries, plus dozens of companies and NGOs, participate in Expo 2008. These are some of the cards Paulo got on the Switzerland pavilion and from the spanish region of Andalucía pavilion.

And even more cards, these ones from Russia and Croatia pavilions and some others.

If you want to some more informations about Expo 2008, this is the official site: http://www.expozaragoza2008.es/

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RAS Cards Day

Well, well, well, today was a great postcard day, if I counted right, i've got a total of 24 cards today, 24 surprise cards :o that's true. Today i'll show only 3 of them, i need to take a picture of the other cards, they are just too many to post them here one by one.
These 3 wonderful cards, are RAS cards sent by Américo "valdagua". He saw my album of cards i would like to receive and sent me 3 of them. These cards are so beautiful and make me proud of my beautiful country :D
"Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) is a cape which forms the westernmost point of both mainland Europe and mainland Portugal.
It was known to the Romans as 'Promontorium Magnum' and during the Age of Sail as the Rock of Lisbon. The Portuguese poet Luís de Camões (16th century) defined Cabo da Roca as the place "where the land ends and the sea begins" - in:
wikipedia
The lighthouse on the card is the same lighthouse on the stamp.
"Albufeira is a Portuguese city and a municipality in the Algarve region. Its name came from the Arabic al-Buħayra = "the lagoon".
The architecture of the town ranges from typically Algarvian narrow streets with pale white and sometimes tiled houses to very modern tourist developments. The apartments near the newly built Marina e Bryn are a unique spash of pinks, blues and yellows, dubbed Legoland by the local inhabitants." - in:
wikipedia

"The Vasco da Gama Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and roads that spans the Tagus River near Lisbon, capital of Portugal. It is the longest bridge in Europe. The bridge was opened to traffic on March 29, 1998, 18 months after construction first began, just in time for Expo 98, the World's Fair. It's name celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery by Vasco da Gama of the sea route from Europe to India." - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Portuguese RR - Landscapes

I was just waiting to received the last card of this RR to show all the cards, and it arrived today.
Pope's Square and Curral Mountain in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais - Brazil. Card send by Luciana "lucca".
A multiview of Rio de Janeiro, sent by Valéria "vbformig", showing diferent view of the city, such as Sugar Loaf, Christ Redeemer, Maracanã Stadium, etc.

This is the card sent by Susana "susanaportugal" showing the Tagus river seen from the Portas do Sol park, where Santarém Castle was located.

Finally, the card sent by Ana "ninocas", Marinha (Navy) Beach in Algarve. "It is one of the most beautiful and emblematic beaches of Portugal. in 1998 it was awarded the distinguished "Golden Beach" award by the Portuguese Ministry of the Environment because of its outstanding natural qualities. As well, pictures of the beach have often been used in promotional material and "Guides to Portugal" distributed around the world." - in: wikipedia

Czech Unesco Cards

3 great new unesco cards from Czech Republic sent by Milan "littlebig". Now i've 6 of the 12 unesco sites from there.

The Gardens and the Castle at Kromeriz are a World Heritage Site since 1998. "As the nomination dossier explains, "the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden"
The castle used to be the principal residence of the bishops and (since 1777) archbishops of Olomouc.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (who actually never visited Kroměříž)." - in: wikipedia.

Cesky Krumlov, situated on the banks of the Vltava river, was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617

Litomysl Castle was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. The noble family of Pernstejn's rebuilt the original Mediaeval castle into a Renaissance castle in the second half of the 16th century. Despite of later reconstructions of interiors especially at the end of the 18th century the appearance of the castle remained almost intact including the unique scoring decoration of facades and fronton. Litomysl Castle is an outstanding and immaculately preserved example of the arcade castle, a type of building first developed in Italy and modified in the Czech lands to create an evolved form of special architectural quality. - in: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/litomysl.html

Monday, July 28, 2008

Manaus - Brazil

Today i've received 3 cards from Brazil. Mauro, the sender, saw my blog and said he would like to send me some cards and the cards arrived today. They are from Manaus, the capital city of the Amazonas state, one of the brazilian states missing in my collection. It's quite hard to get cards from there, so it was a good surprise when i opened the envelope.
Thank you Mauro!

"Manaus is a city in the northern part of Brazil and capital of Amazonas State. Located on the Rio Negro near its confluence with the Rio Solimões, it is the chief port and a hub for the region's extensive river system. It is also a common point of departure for tourists visiting the rest of the Amazon region.
Situated on the banks of the Rio Negro (meaning Black River, because of the dark color of the water), Manaus is an important centre for ecological tourism." - in:
wikipedia.

"Rio Negro Palace was built at the height of the rubber boom has been transformed into one of the city's leading cultural centers, home to several small but excellent museums. Built by a Manaus rubber baron in the early years of the 20th century, the main palace is wonderfully ornate, with rich tropical hardwoods used for floors and doors, and banisters and moldings. Some rooms have been decorated with lovely period furnishings; others now serve as display spaces for modern Brazilian art and sculpture. The palace served as the state governor's mansion for many years; there are some artifacts from that period, but it's the building, not the history, that impresses." - in: http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/central-and-south-america/brazil/manaus/attraction-detail.html?vid=1154663251601

Floatings houses!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tongariro National Park - New Zealand

A few days ago i was just cheking some tags on the postcrossing forum, when i decided to saw which cards Adrienne "adriennegarry" was offering on the "you choose tag 2". I immediately fell in love with this card and I had to tag her! This is now, one of my favorite cards and i've just added volcanoes to my wishlist :)

On the back of the cards: "Tongariro National Park, in the central North Island, encompasses some of the most active volcanoes in New Zealand. Captured during a moment of perfection are Mt. Ngauruhoe, in the foreground, and Mt. Ruapehu behind."


"Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 25 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites.
Tongariro National Park was the fourth National Park established in the world. The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park." - in:
wikipedia.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Faro - Portugal

After 4 days without cards, today i've received this surprise card from Ana "ninocas" and a RR card, also sent from her. Faro is 1 of the capital cities of the portuguese districts, the only one missing in my collection. Now, thanks to Ana, i've all the capital cities :p

"The walls that surrounded the town in Moorish and medieval times. The vestiges of the past still to be seen in churches and museums. The refreshing verdure of a garden beside the lagoon and the sea. The outline of noble residences that bear witness to Faro's splendour in centuries past. Narrow streets of whitewashed houses that recall the town's Moorish heritage. These are among the sights to be savoured on a walk aroundFaro, a city where there is lots to see, to enjoy and to remember." - in: http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/algarve/faro/ukfaro.html

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jyväskylä - Finland

3rd day in a row without cards in my mailbox :( I'm just seating here doing nothing so i've decided to update this blog with some finnish cards.

This is a thank you card sent by "dollart".

"Jyväskylä is a city and municipality located in Central Finland, 147 km from Tampere and 270 km from Helsinki, near the lakes Päijänne and Keitele. It is the center of the Jyväskylä Region.

And this one is a "your hometown tag" card sent by Marita "MaHaKo".

The site of many education-related firsts in Finland, Jyväskylä is known as a city of schools, the Athens of Finland, and is also famous for its many buildings designed by Alvar Aalto and for hosting Neste Oil Rally Finland, which is part of the World Rally Championship." - in: wikipedia.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Algarve - Portugal

We don't get mail on saturdays but i've got 5 beautiful cards this morning. My brother spent 1 week in Algarve, south of Portugal, he returned home today and in his bag he had this 5 beautiful cards and 1 fridge magnet. Thank you brother!

© Michael Howard photography www.mikehowardphoto.com


Isn't this a gorgeus beach?? I'm not a beach lover and Algarve doesn't attract me that much (i've only been there once and i'm 600 km's away) but some of the beaches are really beautiful. This one is "Praia dos 3 Irmãos" - Beach of the 3 Brothers in Alvor. My brother was here and he said it was a very quite beach, just a few tourists. I really hate crowded beaches, kids running and making noise.... i guess this might be a good beach for me.


© Michael Howard photography www.mikehowardphoto.com


Another card from Alvor. Alvor is an ancient port and fishing village on the mouth of the River Alvor in the western Algarve. In the village we can visit the remains of a 13th century castle, a 16th century church and an attractive jumble of narrow cobbled lanes with the original low traditional fisherman’s cottages.



© Michael Howard photography www.mikehowardphoto.com


"The Alvor Beach has the particularity of marking the division between the Ocean and the Alvor River. Therefore, besides the very extensive sandy area, one can also find an interior lagoon with channels of calm waters. The huge sandy barrier as far as the eye can reach, allows the visitor to choose the place that better suits his interests. In this beach there is also a great fauna and flora diversity. The Alvor Beach is one of the most famous and looked for Beaches in the Algarve." - in: http://www.guiadacidade.pt/portugal/index.php?lg=en&G=monumentos.ver&artid=13907&distritoid=08


© Michael Howard photography www.mikehowardphoto.com


Another beautiful beach, São Rafael Beach in Albufeira. "Sao Rafael is a quiet beach resort in the Algarve, and sits just west of the major tourist region of Albufeira. The main beach at Sao Rafael is regarded as one of the best in the central Albufeira area, and has been awarded the European Blue Flag for excellence. The main beach is attractive and fairly large, with a number of arched rock formations along the golden sand, providing much needed shade in the height of the summer. The waters of Sao Rafael are perfect for snorkelling, and the headlands offers some scenic walks." - in: http://www.directline-holidays.co.uk/Sao%20Rafael


© Michael Howard photography www.mikehowardphoto.com


This last card is from Lagos.
"Lagos became important during the 15th century period of Portuguese exploration. Prince Henry the Navigator lived most of the time in Lagos. From here he directed expeditions to Morocco and to the western coast of Africa with caravels, lateen-rigged ships with excellent seafaring capabilities. Lagos was also the home port for Gil Eanes who was the first to sail beyond Cape Bojador in 1434, then considered the end of the world. This was a breakthrough in the Portuguese exploration of Africa.
This old Portuguese town was a very beautiful city with many monuments until it was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami of 1755. But it still preserves some rebuilt walls from the 16th century, a governor's castle from the 17th, and the site of what is believed to have been the first black slave market in Europe in 1444."
- in: wikipedia.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monaco's Palace

In Monaco not everything is expensive, cards aren't, that's why i've bought a lot.
I think i went to 2 shops to buy cards and in one of them the owner put some kind of "postmark" on the back of the card. The cards weren't sent from Monaco but at least that mark proves the cards were bought in Monaco.

"The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. Founded in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th century as sovereign princes, but their power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours.
Thus while other European sovereigns were building luxurious, modern
Renaissance and Baroque palaces, politics and common sense demanded that the palace of the Monaco rulers be fortified. This unique requirement, at such a late stage in history, has made the palace at Monaco one of the most unusual in Europe.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the palace and its owners became symbols of the slightly risqué glamour and decadence that were associated with Monte Carlo and the French Riviera. Glamour and theatricality became reality when the American film star Grace Kelly became chatelaine to the palace in 1956. In the 21st century, the palace remains the residence of the current Prince of Monaco." - in: wikipedia.

"Honor, Loyalty and Devotion to Duty is the motto on the flag of the Palace Guards, a group created in 1817 to provide 24-hour security for the Palace, royal residences, the Sovereign Prince and his family.
The Guard is composed of 3 Officers, 15 Sergeant-majors and 80 Privates, all highly trained French military men. It has been reorganized several times since its inception and in January 1904 Prince Albert I renamed them "Compagnie des Carabibiers du Prince".
These are the Guards one sees each day promptly at 11:55 AM in front of the royal entrance on the Palace Square performing the ceremony of the Changing of the Guards. This tradition is performed in full dress uniform, black in the winter and white in the summer, and has not changed for more than 100 years. But this ceremony is only one of the many duties of the Palace Guards. They escort religious and civil and ceremonial processions; and ensure security for sports and other public events in the Principality."
- in: http://www.palais.mc/

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Surprise Trade # 3 + Surprise card

Today i've received my last card from the Surprise Tarde round 3, so here are the 3 cards. And today i've also received a surprise card sent from Paris by Paula "geminiscp".

This is my 3rd card of the US National Parks. It was sent by "ribit1".
"Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Almost 40 % of the land area (79,579 acres/322 km²) has been designated as Wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m)." - in: wikipedia.

I've received this 1 today and it was sent by Tina "athena125".
The man on the picture is Janka Kernsnik and i couldn't find any information about him in english but Ana helped me with this. So, Janka Kernsnik was a slovenian publicist and politician born in Brdo Castle in 1852. Thank you Ana :D
"Brdo is an estate and a mansion in the Slovenian region of Upper Carniola. It is the Slovenian Government's main venue for diplomatic meetings and other Government-sponsored events.
The present mansion was built in 1510 in the Renaissance style, but has been frequently renovated since. The interior of the mansion is decorated with paintings, frescos and sculptures by famous Slovene artists." - in:
wikipedia.

This lovely card was the 1st one i've received from this trade and it was sent by "doumik". My mom likes it a lot :p
"The various elements of the Alsatian costume were inspired by the style of the French nobility and bourgeoisie and adapted to local needs with variations from one area to another. Women wore white shifts with ruffled cuffs and collars and long skirts - befitting modest, hard-working peasants. Interestingly, colours played a religious part - ribbons adorning the skirts were black if you were Protestant whereas Catholics wore brighter, less austere colours.
Men also had their own dress codes - black trousers with six gold buttons signified bachelor status. Shirts were white linen, waistcoats were red and jackets were black.
These traditional costumes went out of fashion long ago but can still be seen in folklore musuems, museums of life in Alsace or at festivals and celebrations." - in:
http://www.imagesofalsace.com/Folkore/Costume/costume.html

And now, also from France, the surprise card from Paula. Cards from Paris are always beautiful.
"Notre Dame de Paris, built between 1163-1330, is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture." - in: wikipedia.