Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ciudad Rodrigo - Spain

Today i went to Spain. Usually i just go there with my dad or brother to get gas because it's cheaper over there, but today we visited a city not so far from the border.

This is not a postcard, is one of the pictures i took. This is Santa Maria Cathedral, a romanic in transition to gothic temple built between 12nd and 14th century.

The walls from the 12nd century and the cathedral.

Ayuntamiento - Town Hall, a building from 16th century.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Seychelles

Ladies and gentlemen, and the new country in my collection is..... Seychelles :D
I've found this great card today in my mailbox. Country #90!! It was sent by Brigitte "apperveilchen".

"Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius and Réunion to the south, Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest, and the Suvadives of the Maldives to the northeast. Seychelles has the smallest population of any sovereign state of Africa." - in: wikipedia

This cards is from one of the many small islands of the archipelago, Île Cocos. It has been a marine park since 1996 and is a great spot for snorkelling and diving. On the right side of the card there's the coco de mer, a big double coconut that only grows on 2 of the inner Seychelles islands.

When i was looking for some information about Seychelles, i've discovered that the the first recorded sighting of them took place in 1502, by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama :o This is something new for me. I need to creat a list of the countries discovered, colonized by the portuguese. Since i joined postcrossing, i'm discovering some interesting things about the portuguese discoveries ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Unesco cards

4 new unesco cards and all of them kind of hard to get. The 1st one, From Slovenia, was sent by Betty "MoDa" and the other 3, Portugal, Spain and Greenland, by Angélica.

"Škocjan Caves is a system of limestone caves in the Kras region in southwestern Slovenia, containing collapsed dolines, about five kilometres of underground passages, caves more than 200 metres deep and many waterfalls. This is one of the best-known sites in the world for the study of karstic (limestone) phenomena.
Škocjan Caves have been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1986." - in:
wikipedia

"The Prehistoric Rock-Art Site in the Côa valley is one of the largest known open air sites of Paleolithic art.
In the late 1980s, the engravings were discovered in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, in northeastern Portugal. The site in situated in the valley of the Côa river, and comprises thousands of engraved drawings of horses, bovines and other animal, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years." - in:
wikipedia
It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1998.

Monastery and Site of the Escurial, "built at the end of the 16th century on a plan in the form of a grill, the instrument of the martyrdom of St Lawrence, the Escurial Monastery stands in an exceptionally beautiful site in Castile. Its austere architecture, a break with previous styles, had a considerable influence on Spanish architecture for more than half a century. It was the retreat of a mystic king and became, in the last years of Philip II's reign, the centre of the greatest political power of the time." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/318

"The Ilulissat Icefjord runs west 40 kilometres from the Greenland Ice Sheet to Disko Bay close to Ilulissat town. The glacier flows at a rate of 20-35 metres per day, resulting in around 20 billion tonnes of icebergs calved off and passing out of the fjord every year. Icebergs breaking from the glacier are often so large (up to a kilometer in height) that they are too tall to float down the fjord and lie stuck on the bottom of its shallower areas, sometimes for years, until they are broken up by the force of the glacier and icebergs further up the fjord. On breaking up the icebergs emerge into the open sea and initially travel north with ocean currents before turning south and running into the Atlantic Ocean. The Ilulissat Icefjord was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004." - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tel-Aviv - Israel

No cards today and i'm really bored now. There's no one on the GTKY thread, there's no one on msn and there's no one at home, so i've deciced to post a card to kill some time.

"Tel-Aviv is the second-largest city in Israel. Tel-Aviv is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, covering 51.8 square kilometres (20.0 sq mi). Tel-Aviv was founded in 1909 on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa. The growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa, which was largely Arab at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of Modernist-style buildings." - in: wikipedia

This card was sent by Leeba.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More surprise cards

Is always good to receive cards but is so much better to receive cards from friends. With postcrossing i've found some very special friends around the world, i really mean FRIENDS :) And today i've received cards from my FRIENDS Valerie and Relie.

Île d'Oléron - Island of Oleron is an island off the Atlantic coast of France on the southern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait. It is the second largest French island after Corsica (not counting French overseas possessions).

On this card there's also Fort Boyard and Chassiron Lighthouse. "After the English briefly took possession of the Ile d'Aix in 1757, and in order to protect newly armed naval vessels coming out of the Grand Arsenal, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the construction of Fort Boyard in 1804.
Constructed upon a sand bank, which needless to say created many difficulties, the fort was completed in 1857, by which time modern weaponry had rendered it obsolete.
The fort has finally found its place as the home of the popular TV series which carries its name, and which isbroadcast in several different countries.

Built between 1834 and 1836, the foundations of the lighthouse at Chassiron are over three metres deep and eighteen in diameter. The stone comes from the Crazannes quarries, which also provided the material for the cathedral of Cologne.The tower is 46 metres high and the lights may be seen up to 52 km away in clear conditions. 224 steps lead to the light room from which a magical view is afforded over the Bout du Monde point (End of the World!)" - in: http://www.camping-oleron.com/anglais/06_visites_pays/chassiron.php

On the back of the card: Singapore. Host city of the 2008 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. Come experience for yourself a city brimming with unique attractions and exciting entertainment lifestyle offerings all year-round!! And if it's action you're after, gear up for the Singapore GP Season (20 Sep. - 5 Oct. 2008). To find out more about the events held during the season, go to www.visitsingapore.com/sgpseason

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Monaco by night

More cards from Monaco.

The territory of the Principality of Monaco at night.

"Monaco’s Hercule port is a natural bay situated at the foot of the ancestral rock of the Princes of Monaco. It is one of the rare, if not the only, deep water ports on the Riviera.
It was once used by the Greeks and the Romans as a commercial port, but it had an inconvenience : being poorly sheltered from winds from the East. For this reason, two quays were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century which offered a better but not totally efficient protection.
More recently, his Royal Highness the Prince Rainer III commissioned studies in the 70’s to improve the harbor’s protection by placing, beyond the two existing quays, a new seawall designed to totally shelter the port from Eastern swells.
The studies resulted in the construction of a 352 meter long, 160,000 ton immense structure at the base of the rock of Gibraltar. This unique structure has the advantage of being semi-floating in order to preserve the sea’s natural plant and animal life." - in
: http://www.ports-monaco.com/les_ports_de_monaco/le_port_hercule.html

Friday, August 22, 2008

Regensburg - Germany

To finish this week, a great new unesco whs from Germany - Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof - sent by Gabriela " zimtschnecke".

"Located on the Danube River in Bavaria, this medieval town contains many buildings of exceptional quality that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the region from the 9th century. A notable number of historic structures span some two millennia and include ancient Roman, Romanesque and Gothic buildings. Regensburg’s 11th- to 13th-century architecture – including the market, city hall and cathedral – still defines the character of the town marked by tall buildings, dark and narrow lanes, and strong fortifications. The buildings include medieval patrician houses and towers, a large number of churches and monastic ensembles as well as the 12th-century Old Bridge, which dates from. The town is also remarkable for the vestiges testifing to its rich history as one of the centres of the Holy Roman Empire that turned to Protestantism." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1155

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Portugal + Germany

Today was a nice day, 6 cards in my mailbox, 3 from Portugal sent by Américo "valdagua" and 2 from Germany sent by Phoenix.

An aerial view of Alcácer do Sal, a municipality in Portugal, located in the district of Setúbal.

Panoromic view of Palmela, gazebo, medieval castle and a fountain in S. João Square.

Palmela again with the castle, the gazebo and S. João Cinema, S. Tiago Church and garden.

"The Protestant Kaiser William Memorial Church is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall." - in: wikipedia

"The Reichstag building in Berlin was constructed to house the Reichstag, the first parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire supposedly set by a Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, who was later beheaded for the crime.Today's parliament of Germany is called the Bundestag. The Reichstag as a parliament dates back to the Holy Roman Empire and ceased to act as a true parliament in the years of the Nazi regime (1933–1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag or Reichstagsgebäude (Reichstag building) refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution." - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A surprise card + 1 new unesco

Today my postman gave me my cards in hands. He asked me how many cards i've in my collection and he said it was very interesting receiving so many cards. Off course i told him about postcrossing!!

A surprise card signed by the participants in the Helsinki Monthly Meetup this month. And they were: kilona, misterteapot, monna, juliacaesar, huppu68 and avij (?).

"Le Morne Brabant is a peninsula at the extreme south-western tip of Mauritius and the most windward side on this island. It is highlighted by an eponymous single standing basaltic rock with a summit of 556 metres above sea level which belongs to the most imposing sights on Mauritius.
This hill became well-known in the 19th century when runaway slaves used Le Morne Brabant as a hideaway. After the abolishment of slavery on Mauritius, a police expedition traveled to the rock on 1 February 1835 to tell the slaves that they are free people. However, the slaves misunderstood the expedition and jumped to death. Since then, this day is celebrated by Mauritian creoles as Annual Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery.
The peninsula of Le Morne benefits from a micro-climate." - in:
wikipedia
Le Morne Brabant Mountain was inscribed on the World Heritage List this year. The card was sent by Jenita "wolfgirlmu".

Saturday, August 16, 2008

British Columbia - Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is famed for its natural beauty. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the 15th largest metropolitan region in Canada.

"The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are located in Victoria, British Columbia and serve as the seat of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
The Neo-Baroque buildings face north on Belleville street facing the Inner Harbour and diagonally across from The Empress Hotel. A large statue of Queen Victoria stands on the front lawn as well a statue of a soldier to commemorate the province's World War I, World War II and Korean War dead. Atop the central dome is a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver." - in:
wikipedia
This beautiful card was sent by Samantha "jaid332".

Wildlife in British Coumbia: black bear, killer whale and a deer. Sent by Paige "towhateverend".

"Long Beach, the most easily accessed vacationing destination beach of the Pacific Rim National Park is the sandy coastlines of Long Beach located between the villages of Tofino, BC and Ucluelet, BC. In the late spring, summer and early fall the beach area is a popular surfing, sun tanning, photography, relaxing, rainforest hiking and beach walk destination. In the mild winter months the beach is a scenic wonderland of storms and crashing waves. Long Beach stretches for over 16 kilometres and is anchored by Schooner Cove on the north end of Long Beach and Florencia Bay on the south end." - in: http://www.vancouverislandaccommodations.com/parks/pacrim/longbeach.htm

Card also sent by Samantha.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Camaret-sur-Mer - France

Yesterday i've got 2 cards but I didn't have time to make the updates. Today is an holiday, no cards in the mailbox but I'll show this Camaret-sur-Mer card, a new UNESCO site in my collection, sent by Sylvie "pazzolina"

 This card shows the Chapel of Our Lady of Rocamadour and Vauban Castle in Camaret-sur-Mer.
"Camaret-sur-Mer is home to the Tour Vauban or Tour dorée (lit. "Golden Tower"), a historic fortification guarding the harbor and built in 1669-94. In 2008, the Tour dorée was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group.
Fortifications of Vauban consists of 12 groups of fortified buildings and sites along the western, northern and eastern borders of France. They were designed by Vauban (1633–1707)." - in
: wikipedia

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dubrovnik - Croatia

Like yesterday, today i've only received 1 card but it's a great card and a new unesco whs. It was sent by Christina "cvhr".

"The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95

Monday, August 11, 2008

Palma del Rio - Spain

Only this lottery card today. It was sent by Raquel "cartolenia" and she wrote in portuguese ;)

This is the interior patium of the San Sebastián Hospital in Palma del Rio, a a city located in the province of Córdoba.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Unesco RR "ORC" - Group 126

Valerie's card wasn't the only card i've received today, i've also received the 4 cards related to the Unesco RR. 2 of them are from Lithuania, my first unesco cards from there, sent by Vilma "s_vlm" and 2 cards from Germany, sent by Anne "nanou", 1 of them is a new site in my collection.
Thank you both for the nice cards.

"Neringa is a municipality in westernmost Lithuania, in the Curonian Spit. The Curonian Spit is a 98 km long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea.
The northern 52 km long stretch of the Curonian Spit peninsula belongs to Lithuania, while the rest is part of the Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia.
The Curonian Spit is home to the highest moving (drifting) sand dunes in Europe. Their average height is 35 m, but some attain te height of 60 m.
Since 2000, the Curonian Spit has been on the UNESCO's World Heritage List under cultural criteria "V" (an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture [...], or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change)." - in:
wikipedia.

The Cathedral Square in Vilnius with Gediminas Monument. "The Cathedral Square is the main square of the city's downtown, right in front of the neo-classical Cathedral. It is a key location in city's public life, situated as it is at the crossing of the city's main streets and reflecting the city's diversity.
In 1994 the Vilnius' Old Town was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of its universal value and originality. The definition of "historic center" itself has a broader meaning than the Old Town, formerly encircled with defensive walls. It embraces the valuable historical suburbs of Vilnius, such as Užupis, which historically used to be outside the city boundaries. Therefore Užupis is often considered a part of the Old Town of Vilnius." - in:
wikipedia

"The Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, also known as the English Grounds of Wörlitz, is one of the first and largest English parks in Germany and continental Europe. It was created in the later part of the 18th century under the regency of Duke Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau. The park lies on the anabranch of the Elbe, making it rich in water and diversity. Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000." - in: wikipedia

"The former imperial Roman bath complex in Trier is the Kaiserthermen. These remains still show how vast this 4th century complex was. Built during Constantine’s reign, they were once the third largest Roman baths in the world. Many of the walls still remain standing – particularly those of the hot water pool room. The full plan of the complex can be seen in parts of walls still standing." - in: http://www.agermanyattraction.com/germany-attractions-qt/kaiserthermen-roman-baths.htm

Four Lighthouse - France

Surprises are always great, specially when they come from someone special! This card is from Valerie "octabis" and it shows a storm over the Four Lighthouse in Brittany.
Merci Valerie, you're a star ;)

"1874. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); five white flashes every 15 s. 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery mounted on a square base. Lighthouse unpainted; lantern painted black. Fog horn (five blasts, in a 3+2 pattern, every 60 s). The lighthouse marks the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. Located on a waveswept rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Argenton. Accessible only by boat." - in: http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/fns.htm

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Castle RR - Group 6

One of my favorite cards to collect are castle cards, maybe because they're are always full of history and stories, they bring the past to our present. I'm lucky to live in a region with a lot of castles, some of them are really, really old. When i finally get my driver's license i want to photograph some of them and off course buy some cards ;) But for now, voilá the cards i've received a few months ago through the Castle RR.

The castle of Wineck, built in 1200, lies northwest of the village of Katzenthal in the Haut-Rhin province in France. Is the only castle of Alsace surrounded by vineyards.
Card sent by Dominique "doumik".

Some castles in Burgenland-pfalz, south-west Germany. The card was sent by Natascha "jadefalkon".

"The Turku Castle, dating from the 1280s, is a monument of Finnish history.
Turku castle is the largest surviving medieval building in Finland, and one of the largest surviving medieval castles in Scandinavia." - in:
wikipedia.
card sent by Marita "MaHaKo".

On this card sent by Christina "ChristinaB", there's the Schloss Leopoldskron, one of Austria’s most notable Rococo buildings, a beautiful piece of architecture by the little lake Leopoldskroner Weiher. On the background, in the top of the hill is the Hohensalzburg Castle, built in 1077, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ometepe - Nicaragua

A new country in my collection, Nicaragua, written and stamped from there :D :D Thank you, thank you Kris!!

"Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words ome (two) and tepetl (mountain), meaning two mountains.
The two volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island in the shape of an hourglass." - in:
wikipedia.