Thursday, May 28, 2009

Country #100

I got my country number 100 this week, a card writen and stamped from..... Saudi Arabia :) Thanks Ganesh.

This is a viw of the Souda Mountain in the Asir Region, located in the southwest of the country.

3rd Postcrossing Meeting - Brazil

A few days ago some brazilian postcrossers had another postcrossing meeting, the 3rd one in São Paulo. Yesterday i've received a postcard signed by some of them.
The card shows the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, one of the most important theatres in South America and one of the landmarks of the city of São Paulo.

It is significant both for its architectural value as well as for its historical importance, having been the venue for the Week of Modern Art in 1922, which revolutionised the arts in Brazil. The building now houses the São Paulo Municipal Symphonic Orchestra, the Coral Lírico (Lyric Choir) and the City Ballet of São Paulo.
The construction began in 1903 and lasted 8 years.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

USA & Hong Kong

Almost a week without any updates and the reason is the lack of time and cards. So far, i've only received 2 cards this week, 1 from the USA and the other from Hong Kong.

This american card was sent from Canada by Shaunna. She saw that Boise was one of the US capitals in my wishlist and asked me if i wanted to trade. Off course i wanted :)
On the back of the card: Finished in 1920, this is the only state capitol building heate with geothermical hot water. The exterior walls were constructed of natural sandstone plentiful to the area. large shade trees and manicured gardens add color and beauty to this magnificient structure.

And from the other side of the world, i've received this Hong Kong card with the floating population sent by Licia.
I didn't find information about this floating population but Licia helped with that ;)
"The Boat people or Tankas is an ethnic group in China that has traditionally lived on junks in coastal parts of Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, and Hainan provinces, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Though many now live onshore, some members of the older generations still live on their narrow boats and pursue their traditional livelihood of fishing. Originally the Tankas were a non-Chinese ethnic group and were classified by the Qing government as "mean". The Yongzheng Emperor freed them and several other "mean" groups from this status in a series of edicts from 1723 to 1731. They mostly worked as fishermen and tended to gather at some bays. Some built markets or villages on the shore, while others continued to live on their junks or boats. The Tankas arrived in Hong Kong around the 7-9th century from the Malay Oceanic. As Hong Kong developed, some of the fishing grounds in Hong Kong became badly polluted or were reclaimed, and so became land. Those Tankas who only own small boats and cannot fish far out to sea are forced to stay inshore in bays, gathering together like floating villages." - in: wikipedia

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ukraine

To finish this week i got 3 beautiful cards from Ukraine. I only had 1 card from there but with Aleksandra's help now i can get to see and know a bit more about the country.
Thanks a lot Aleks.
Let's begin with a card from Kiev, Ukraine's capital city. On the card we can see the belltower of the Saint Sophia Cathedral, an Unesco whs.
"Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus'. Today, it is one of the city's best known landmarks and the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The cathedral's name comes from the 6th-century Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople (meaning Holy Wisdom, and dedicated to the Holy Wisdom of God rather than a specific saint named Sophia). According to a less popular theory, its model was the 13-domed oaken Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod (ca. 989), which Yaroslav I the Wise determined to imitate in stone as a sign of gratitude to the citizens of Novgorod who had helped him secure the Kievan throne in 1019.
The first foundations were laid in 1037, but the cathedral took two decades to complete.
On 21 August 2007, the Saint Sophia Cathedral was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, based on a voting by experts and the internet community." - in: wikipedia

This is a card from the Donetsk Region, where Aleksandra lives.
"The Regional Landscape Park Kleban Byk is an oasis of pure nature and fresh air, in the territory of in the center of the industrial region of Konstantinovka (Donbass), in the south-east of Ukraine. It covers an area of more than 1870 hectares - with in its centre, a lake of 630 ha - and composed with remarkable landscape; interesting geological structure (several different natural zones, including steppe, chalk rocks with chalk flora and fauna) geological natural monument like petrified trees and a rich faun and a flora, include 200 bird species, many reptiles and mammals and more than 600 plants. Many of them are included in the Ukrainian Red List." -in: http://www.svit-ukraine.org/.our_activities/past_workcamps/Kleban_Byk_2006

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wexford - Ireland

No cards today.
I'm bored, there's nothing to watch on tv, nothing to do, i just wanted to post something to kill some time. I only had 1 irish card here, it was about time to have another 1. I got this one after a private trade with Morag "soffita1" maybe 2 years ago.
"On the Banks of the River Slaney is only twelve miles from the International Europort at Rosslare Harbour and a two hour drive from Dublin, Wexford is an energetic, cosmopolitan mix of old and new cultures. Its narrow winding streets and old Town Walls stem from early Celtic and Nordic heritage. From the famous backdrop of the spires of the Twin Churches to our ward-winning Quayfront, Wexford Town has much to offer, excellent hotels with conference facilities, health spas and leisure centres, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, self-catering and superb shopping and dining facilities. The seaside resorts of Curracloe, Kilmore, Rosslare and Carne are all within close promity." - in: http://www.wexfordtourism.com/

Gran Canaria - Spain

Today i've received this card, a spanish card sent as a french official card.
The card is from Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Island, and i'll take this opportunity to show another card from there that i've received a few years ago from an old penpal.

FR-51509, sent by Martine.
"This island is called a "Miniature Continent" due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with its long golden beaches and endless dunes of white sand, its green ravines and picturesque villages. A third of the island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The north tends to be cooler while the south is warmer and sunny. The east coast of the island is flat dotted with beaches while the western coast is rockier and mountainous.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city of the Canary Islands, also the capital of the province of Las Palmas, and also one of the two capitals of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, along with Santa Cruz de Tenerife." - in:
wikipedia

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An official and a new unesco

I didn't get cards last friday and yesterday but today i've received an official card from USA and a new unesco whs from Italy.

US-398533, from Laura.
"Hot Springs is the 10th most populous city in the U.S. state of Arkansas.
Hot Springs is traditionally best known for the natural spring water that gives it its name, flowing out of the ground at a temperature of 147 degrees Fahrenheit (64 degrees C). Hot Springs National Park is the oldest federal reserve in the USA, and the tourist trade brought by the famous springs make it a very successful spa town." - in: wikipedia

Luca "diaboluke" sent me this card of Positano, one of the towns lying on the Amalfi Coast, a World Heritage Site since 1997.
"The main part of the city sits in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.
Positano was a port of the Amalfi Republic in medieval times, and prospered in the 16th and 17th centuries. But by the mid-19th century, the town had fallen on hard times. More than half the population emigrated, mostly to Australia.
Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the 20th century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s, especially after
John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar in May, 1953: "Positano bites deep", Steinbeck wrote. "It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."
Today, tourism is the by far major industry in Positano. Major factors that help the tourism industry include the warm summer weather, the beaches and the cuisine as well as the unique fashion Positano carries." - in: wikipedia

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Valença - Portugal

"An ancient and attractive border town, Valença, rises on a hilltop overlooking the river Minho and has two double-walled forts linked by a causeway in the Vauban (French engineer and arquitect) style. The forts, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, offer fine views across the river into neighbouring Tuy, in Spanish Galicia. Surrounded by the walls and ramparts, the old quarter has picturesque cobbled alleys full of shops selling handicrafts of linen, pottery and wickerwork which are popular among visitors from Spain." - in: http://viajar.clix.pt/geo.php?c=11&lg=en

"The most interesting things to visit are mainly inside the fortress that looks down to the Minho River and Spain. They have been destroyed several times whether it were the Barbarians, the Arabs, the armies of Asturias and Leon or even the French troops in the 19th century, they have always been restored and still very well preserved.
Valença's fortress is a piece of gothic and baroque military architecture. The first walls were built in the 13th century.
It was upgraded during the 17th and 18th century forming the present bulwarked system. It is placed on top of two small hills and it is formed by two polygons (the Recinto Magistral and the Coroada) separated by a ditch and with four doors (Coroada, Gaviarra, Fonte da Vila and Sol). The main entrance is Porta do Sol (Sun's door). This door was damaged during the Napoleonic invasions. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some favorites

I've about 230 cards in my favorites cards album and today i got 4 of them... not bad ;) These are from Susana "sushis".

"Almería is the capital of the province of Almería, Spain. It is located in southeastern Spain on the Mediterranean Sea.
Its Moorish castle, Alcazaba, is the second largest among the Muslim fortresses of Andalusia after the Alhambra." - in: wikipedia

"The Castle of Cardona is probably the most important medieval fortress in the province of Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on a hill overlooking the river valley of the Cardener and the town of Cardona.
The fortress was initially constructed by Wilfred the Hairy in 886. It is in both the Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Today, the fort's main jewel is the torre de la minyona (from the 11th century) a tower which measures 15 meters in height and 10 meters in diameter. Additionally, there is the romanesque church of Sant Vicenç de Cardona adjacent to the fort. The fort is currently used as a parador, or state-run luxury hotel." - in:
wikipedia

Saint-Malo is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel.
Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and sometimes pirates. The corsairs of Saint-Malo not only forced English ships passing up the Channel to pay tribute, but also brought wealth from further afield.
St-Malo is the most visited place in Brittany, thanks more to its superb old citadelle. From outside the walls, the dignified ensemble of the old city might seem stern and forbidding, but passing through into the streets within the walls brings you into a busy, lively and very characterful town, packed with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.

You'll find information about this place in Brazil a few post below.

Bellinzona - Switzerland

3rd unesco, new unesco, of the week! A great swiss whs sent by Doris "theswissmiss".
"Bellinzona is the capital city of the canton Ticino in Switzerland. The city is famous for its three castles (Castelgrande, Montebello, Sasso Corbaro) that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000.

The site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1th Century BC and until the 13th Century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona.
The Castelgrande hill includes a nearly vertical side on the north and a steep southern side, but is nearly flat and 150-200m in diameter. Much of the visible castle dates from 1250-1500 with extensive renovations and some expansion in the last two centuries. Most of the area inside the castle walls is now flat, open space.
The castle can be reached by taking an elevator from the foot of the rock to the castle grounds or by climbing steep, narrow streets from the city center through the city wall onto the castle grounds. - in:
wikipedia

Montserrat

I've sai it before and i say it again, i love my brazilian sister Déa. She knows i love vulcanoes but this isn't an ordinary vulcano, is a vulcano from Montserrat, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean Sea and a new territory in my collection.

"The Soufrière Hills volcano is an active complex stratovolcano with many lava domes forming its summit on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. After a long period of dormancy it became active in 1995, and has continued to erupt ever since. Its eruptions have rendered more than half of Montserrat uninhabitable, destroying the capital city, Plymouth, and causing widespread evacuations: about two thirds of the population left the island." - in: wikipedia

Bonito - Brazil

First of all, let me teach you a portuguese word. Bonito = beautiful. Now that you know what bonito means, i guess you agree, that Bonito is the perfect name for this place in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
These beautiful cards were sent by my beautiful "sister" Déa!! I love this girl :)

Located in the south border of Pantanal, Bonito is a unique reserve that presents some of the most interesting tours in Brazil. The natural beauties in Bonito include caverns with deep azure lakes inside, incredibly clear rivers that work as natural aquariums, hundreds of waterfalls and much more.

This is one of the 11 waterfalls along the Aquidaban River; one of them is 120 meters high, considered one of the biggest ones of the region.

"Gruta do Lago Azul ( The Blue Lake Cave). One hundred meters from the cave’s mouth, one can see a lake of deep blue colored water. Expert divers have never reached the bottom of this lake. No one knows for sure where this water comes from, as the rivers in the region have a slight greenish color. People believe there is a subterranean river feeding the lake. When the sun’s rays enter the cave and hit the water, it appears a spectacle of rare beauty." http://www.biosferabrasil.com/meu_destino.php?cod_destino=2&idioma=i

Cards & Calendars

Since i was a kid, i've always collected postcards and pocket calendars. For several years i took the calendars collection more seriously than the cards collection. Now is not that easy to get calendars and i got totally addicted to my cards collection, but i still collect calendars.
Katy knows that and she sent me some great calendars and another postcard.

Some estonian images. And look at the stamps, so cute ;)

Katy sent me this Tallinn card awhile ago when we're doing the GTKY Valentines RR.
Historically, Tallinn, has been attacked, sacked, razed and pillaged on numerous occasions. Although extensively bombed by Soviet air forces during the latter stages of World War II, much of the medieval Old Town still retains its charm. The Tallinn Old Town became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997.

And these are the calendars she sent me. I love the penguins calendar!!
Tänan väga Katy!!

USA RAS Card

Yesterday i had this RAS card in my mailbox sent by Karen "57cupcake". I was a complete surprise because i've never even traded with her... but i guess, we don't need any particular reason to make someone smile :D Thanks Karen!!!

This is the Seagull Monument in Salt Lake City.
"The Seagull Monument is a small monument situated immediately in front of the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on Temple Square, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 1848 the Mormon pioneers planted crops for their first spring season in Utah. As the crops ripened, Mormon crickets descended upon the farms from the foothills east of the valley. The insects consumed entire fields. According to traditional account, the harvest was saved by flocks of native seagulls which devoured the crickets. This event, popularly called the "Miracle of the Gulls", is remembered by Latter-day Saints as a miracle.
Seagull Monument is believed to be the first monument dedicated to birds.
The California gull is now the Utah State bird. - in:
wikipédia

New unesco cards

Hooray, new unesco cards and a new country :) The 1st card is from Weimar in germany and it was sent by Sabine "TG250607". The 2nd is my 1st card from Bosnia and it was sent by Vesna.

"In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the small Thuringian town of Weimar witnessed a remarkable cultural flowering, attracting many writers and scholars, notably Goethe and Schiller. This development is reflected in the high quality of many of the buildings and of the parks in the surrounding area.
The high artistic quality of the public and private buildings and parks in and around the town testify to the remarkable cultural flowering of the Weimar Classical Period. Enlightened ducal patronage attracted many of the leading writers and thinkers in Germany, such as Goethe, Schiller, and Herder to Weimar in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, making it the cultural centre of the Europe of the day." - in:
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/846

"The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad, across the Drina River in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, was completed in 1577 AD by the Ottoman court architect Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. It is characteristic of the apogee of Ottoman monumental architecture and civil engineering.
Three of its 11 arches were destroyed during World War I and five were damaged during World War II but were subsequently restored. During the Bosnian War the bridge was a place of a brutal killings of a large number of civilians during the Višegrad massacre in 1992." - in:
wikipedia

DE-331298

An official from Germany.

DE-331298, sent by Nadine.
Sankt Goarshausen is a town located in the State Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. St. Goarshausen is situated on the eastern shore of the Rhine, in the section known as the Rhine Gorge.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Daniel's cards

Today is an holiday, that means no cards in the mailbox. This week i got some nice cards but i still have these cards that Daniel from Hungary sent me. Daniel, if you see this, thank you so much, the cards are great.

"Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. Pécs has been selected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2010 sharing the title together with Essen and Istanbul." - in: wikipedia
On this card is possible to see the Széchenyi-Square with the mosque of Gázi Kászim pasha and and the statue of Hunyadi János,Szechenyi Square with the fount of Zsolnay, the cathedral of the 4 Towers, a far-view of the Mecsek hill and the County Hall.

Another multiview of Pécs with the cathedral, the turkish temple, the fount of Zsolnay like on the first card. Out of these on the right-bottom side you can see the hebrew temple of the Kossuth Square (it is next to Szechenyi square), the statue of Zsolnay is the left-top side, and the other three pics you can see something about the life of this city on some places of the towncentral.

A beautiful reproduction how Pécs looked like a few years ago.

Szeged is the fourth largest city of Hungary, the regional centre of South-Eastern Hungary and the capital of the county of Csongrád.
Here there's the Votive Church, Ferenc Móra Museum and the Water Tower.

Now a card from Baja, a city in southern Hungary.
The images from right to left. A statue at the Béke square, the Town Hall, the Sugovica river, a Franciscan Monastery, Hotel Danube, the statue of András Jelky - an adventurer and explorer in the 18th century and "Halászlé", a fish soup.

Portuguese cards

2 new portuguese cards. The 1st one from Azores is the last card related to the photo contest on the portuguese community and it was sent by Márcia "magl". The 2nd was sent by Joaquim "kosta28" and is a thank you card.

"Situated on the northern coast of the amazing Graciosa Island, on the Azores Archipelago, the lovely Baleia (“Whale”) Islet received its name because of its curious configuration, quite similar to that cetaceous. These volcanic rocks, basaltic, also form a pleasant Bay of great natural beauty and crystalline waters, located in front of the Islet. In fact, it does seem that this “Whale” is heading straight to the Graciosa Island shore." - in: http://www.guiadacidade.pt/portugal/index.php?lg=en&G=monumentos.ver&artid=18888&distritoid=44

An interior view of the 19th century Stock Exchange Palace in Porto with its beautiful Moorish Revival Arab Room.