Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shuri Castle - Japan

Last week was a great week for my unesco collection with great new additions. Six cards from 6 new unesco sites and 1 site on the tentative list, all thanks to Claus. We had another trade, this time for 5 cards, but like always, he sent an extra card and 1 or 2 days after receiving his envelope, arrived a new surprise.
One of the 1st new 5 unesco cards is this from Japan with the Shuri Castle in Okinawa, a palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is a Unesco whs since 2000. The Ryūkyū Kingdom was an independent kingdom which ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th century to the 19th century. Despite its small size, the kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia.

Shuri Castle in Shuri, Okinawa was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed, with only a few walls standing as high as a few decimeters. In 1992, it was reconstructed on the original site based on photographs, historical records, and memory. - in: wikipedia

2nd Swiss Meeting - Lucerne

Grace and Tjitske sent me these 2nd swiss meeting cards. The meeting took place last weekend, august 21, in the beautiful city of Lucerne. I was there in February and loved the city.
Like the 1st meeting, this one also had the presence of international postcrossers. From Switzerland: azzurri; never_summer; emuster; egni; vre; masito; jamie1972 and giorgis; from Netherlands: Tjitske; from Germany: violanie59 and anjaaustel; from Spain: dardo; from Italy: selphie10.


Lucerne is a city in in north-central Switzerland, in the german-speaking portion of the country. The card shows 3 of the main touristic attractions of the city: Mt. Pilatus, the Löwendenkmal (The Lion Monument) and the Kapellbrücke.


"The Kapellbrücke is a 204 m (670 ft) long bridge crossing the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in Switzerland. It is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, and one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.
The covered bridge, constructed in 1333, was designed to help protect the city of Lucerne from attacks. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century, depicting events from Luzerne's history. Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.Some of the blackened structure of the bridge still remains today,evident from the newly rebuilt parts of the bridge.
Adjoining the bridge is the 140 feet (43 m) tall Wasserturm (Water Tower), an octagonal tower made from brick, which has served as a prison, torture chamber, watchtower and tresury. Today the tower, which is part of the city wall, is used as the guild hall of the artillery association. The tower and the bridge are Lucerne's trademark and form the most photographed monument in the country." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tasting a cloud

This card really makes me smile. It was a nice surprise from Ana "subtlelens". She said my mood on the postcrossing forum, "i want to fly again" inspired her to send me the card. Yep, i want to fly again and i may fly twice next holidays, to Madrid in November and i still don't know where to in October.
I really love to see the clouds when travelling by plane. I love to travel by plane.


I also like clouds when i'm taking pictures.
This card tastes like a cloud and the stamp smells like coffee, it really smells.
I bet Ana, Ana from Macedonia, the coffee lover, would like a stamp like this :D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Travelling RR - Group 170 * Used cards

Yes, these are used cards and they have been sent to someone else but aren't they great?? Katie "ilove2smile", sent some really nice cards and i picked these from Spain, Australia and USA. Too bad i don't have more decent used cards to trade or i would join more groups like this in the future.

La Gomera is one of Spain's Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In area, it is the second-smallest of the seven main islands of this group.
Las Hayas is a village in the West of La Gomera.

A very australian card with 6 australian icons: Uluru; kangaroos; Sidney Harbour; Kata Tuja; Great Ocean Road and a cute koala.

I love this one.
"Havasu Falls is the second waterfall in the canyon. Havasu is arguably the most famous and most visited of all the falls, and is considered one of the most photographed waterfalls in the world. The falls consist of one main chute that drops over a 120-foot (37 m) vertical cliff (due to the high mineral content of the water, the falls are ever-changing and sometimes break into two separate chutes of water) into a large pool.
The falls are known for their natural pools, created by mineralization, although most of these pools were damaged and/or destroyed in the early 1990s by large floods that washed through the area. A small man-made dam was constructed to help restore the pools and to preserve what is left. There are many picnic tables on the opposite side of the creek and it is very easy to cross over by following the edges of the pools. It is possible to swim behind the falls and enter a small rock-shelter behind it." - in: wikipedia

Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, is 350 years young.
Annapolis is home to the United States Naval Academy and St. John’s College, a liberal arts college with a history going back to 1696. Annapolis is well known as a center of sailing and boating in the Mid-Atlantic.

TW-180644

Yesterday the 5 million card was registered. I've received this official from Taiwan yesterday and tried to register it hopping that it could be the one :) Of course it wasn't. I need to try again for the 6 million.


TW-180644, sent by capsid0818.
Originally a fishing village, Chisingtan is located in the northeast of Hualien City, east coast of Taiwan. While retaining its humble traditional roots, today ChiSingTan has become one of the most popular beach sightseeing spots on the island.The beach there has an elegant arch shape. The seawater here is clean and blue. The black stones there are crystal. From here visitors can see the great green mountains afar and the twisting highways.

Monday, August 23, 2010

GB-160279

Another official, another cathedral but this time from Peterborough, a city in east England.


GB-160279, sent by Audrey.
"Peterborough Cathedral, properly the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew – also known as Saint Peter's Cathedral – the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough, England, and is dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, whose statues look down from the three high gables of the famous West Front. Founded in the Anglo-Saxon period, the architecture is mainly Norman, following a rebuilding in the 12th century. With Durham and Ely Cathedrals, it is one of the most important 12th century buildings in England to have remained largely intact, despite extensions and restoration.
Peterborough Cathedral is known for its imposing Early English Gothic West Front (façade) which, with its three enormous arches, is without architectural precedent and with no direct successor. The appearance is slightly asymmetrical, as one of the two towers that rise from behind the façade was never completed, but this is only visible from a distance, while the effect of the West Front upon entering the Cathedral Close is overwhelming." - in: wikipedia

SK-10378

My 1st official from Slovakia. I've received it last week but i forgot to scan it.
The card is from Presov, a city in eastern Slovakia, the third largest in the country.



SK-10378, sent by Antonia.
St. Nicholas Concathedral is one of the biggest's Slovak churches. It's the dominant of the Presov city. It was built in the middle of 14th century. Today's look is from the years 1981-1989. The concathedral is built in gothic style.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

And more 2 surprise cards but this time from Brazil. The cards were sent by Mauro.


"In portuguese, Baía da Guanabara is an oceanic bay located in southeastern Brazil in the state of Rio de Janeiro. On its Western shore lies the city of Rio de Janeiro, and on its Eastern shore the cities of Niterói and São Gonçalo. Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in area in Brazil, at 412 square kilometres (159 sq mi), with a perimeter of 143 kilometres (89 mi).

The bay is crossed by the mighty Rio-Niterói Bridge (13.29 kilometres (8.26 mi) long and with a central span 72 metres (236 ft) high).

The President Costa e Silva Bridge, Popularly known as the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, is a Box girder bridge located at Guanabara Bay, in the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and the municipality of Niterói. It is currently the longest prestressed concrete bridge in the southern hemisphere, and the sixth longest in the world. From the year it was constructed until 1985 it was the world's second longest bridge, losing only to Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
Construction began symbolically on August 23, 1968, with the presence of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in their first and thus far only visit to Brazil, next to the minister Mario Andreazza. Actual work began in January, 1969, and it opened on March 4, 1974.
Its official name is the "President Costa e Silva Bridge", in honor of the Brazilian president who ordered its construction. "Rio-Niterói" started as a descriptive nickname that soon became better known than the official name. Today, hardly anyone refers to it by its official name." - in: wikipedia

Cabanas - Portugal

Ana "ninocas" also likes to send surprise cards. This one from Cabanas, in Algarve region, is from her last holidays.
Speaking of holidays, mine will be exactly in 2 months. Just more 2 months and i'll travel again :)

"Cabanas de Tavira is a former fishing village, in the municipality of Tavira (Algarve, Portugal). With a little more than one thousand permanent residents, it has become a popular tourist destination in the summer because of its beautiful beach, Praia de Cabanas, located on an island just offshore (Ilha de Cabanas), which belongs to Ria Formosa Natural Park .
The town is a long line of low-rise shops, bars and cafés facing the Ria Formosa with several hotel and apartment complexes scattered around the outskirts of the town. Moored fishing boats line the seafront, although the town's economy has drifted mainly towards tourism rather than fishing in recent years." - in: wikipédia

Gracinha's cards

Graça "gracinha" likes to send surprise cards and in the last days i've received these 2. The 1st from the Tróia Península and the other the doll.
The buildings on the Tróia card don't exist anymore, they were destroyed in 2005 by implosion.

"Tróia is a peninsula located in the municipality of Grândola, Portugal, next to the Sado River estuary. Tourism is the peninsula's main activity due to its long beaches facing the Atlantic. There is a ferry boat connection between the peninsula and the city of Setúbal.
The peninsula has many hotels, some restaurants, a swimming pool and white sand beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean." - in: wikipedia
When i received this card i had no idea who sent it. There was no sender address, no note, nothing. But i wasn't the only one with such a surprise in the mailbox. Other portuguese postcrossers received the same card and then our guesses about the sender pointed to Gracinha ou zepombal. Zé said he didn't sent it, so it could only have been Gracinha.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crno Lake - Montenegro

The Montenegro card Ana sent me is this one with the Crno Lake, the biggest and the best known of 18 glacier lakes on the Durmitor National Park, in northern Montenegro.

Montenegro only has 2 sites classified as Unesco World Heritage Sites, Durmitor and Kotor, thanks to Ana i've cards from both sites. Thank you, thank you Ana!!!!

"Durmitor is a mountain and the name of a national park in North Western Montenegro. It reaches a height of 2,522 m.

The Durmitor National Park, created in 1952, includes the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara, Sušica and Draga rivers and the higher part of the canyon plateau Komarnica, covering the area of 390 km².

It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1980.

80 km long and 1,300 m deep Tara River Canyon, a part of the National park Durmitor, is second largest in the world, just behind Grand Canyon in Arizona." - in: wikipedia

Visoki Dečani Monastery - Kosovo

Great friends always send great cards but when they match our wishes, that's ever greater and special. Ana, dear Ana, checked my Unesco wishlist and decided to send me 2 sites missing on my list.
This one is from Serbia and the other is from Montenegro.
Thanks Ana for helping me, again, with my unesco collection :D

"Visoki Dečani is a major Serb Orthodox Christian monastery located in Kosovo, 12 km (7 mi) south of the town of Péc. The monastic katholikon is the largest medieval church in the Balkans containing the most extensive preserved fresco decoration.
The monastery was established in a chestnut grove by Serbian King Stefan Uros III Decanski in 1327. Its original founding charter is dated to 1330. The following year the king died and was buried at the monastery, which henceforth became his popular shrine. The construction was continued by his son Emperor Stefan Uros IV Dusan until 1335, but the wall-painting was not completed until 1350.
The monastic church, dedicated to Christ Pantocrator and built from blocks of red-purple, light-yellow and onyx marble. The church is distinguished by its imposing size and Romanesque and Early Gothic structure and design. Apart from the extensive and well preserved fresco cycles the interior features the original 14th-century stone templon, the throne of the hegumen and the carved wooden sarcaphagus of the founder King Stefan.

Visoki Dečani was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia. In 2004, UNESCO listed the monastery on the World Heritage List, citing its frescoes as "one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting" and "a valuable record of the life in the 14th century". In 2006, it was added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger due to the potential for attacks by ethnic-Albanian partisans; it is protected by the United Nations' KFOR." - in: wikipedia

Big Pit - Wales

Another great addition to my unesco collection was this Unesco from Wales, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, sent by Keeley.


"The Big Pit: National Coal Museum is a museum in Blaenavon in Wales, which is dedicated to the Welsh heritage of coal mining which took place at the town during the Industrial revolution. Big Pit was a working coal mine, adjacent to the preserved Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. The mine closed in 1980 and reopened for visitors in 1983. Today it is preserved for visitors under the auspices of the National Museum Wales. Big Pit National Coal Museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage. It is located close to Blaenavon, in Torfaen, which is a World Heritage Site." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Albi - France

This week i've received new unesco sites for my collection, 1 of them is from France, Episcopal City of Albi, one of the newest french unesco whs, added just a few days ago to the unesco list.
I've got it thanks to Patrick.


"Albi Cathedral is the most important religious building in Albi, southern France. It is considered as the largest brick building in the world. The cathedral became in 2010 a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The present cathedral was preceded by other buildings. The first dated from the fourth century and in 666 was destroyed by fire. The second is recorded in 920 by the name of Saint Cecilia, the present-day patroness of musicians. It was replaced in the thirteenth century by a Romanesque cathedral in stone.
The Gothic cathedral which we see today was constructed in brick between 1282 to 1480 in the wake of the Albigensian heresy and the brutal crusade which suppressed it, with great loss of life. In the aftermath of the bloodshed, the cathedral's dominant presence and fortress-like exterior were intended to convey the power and authority of the Christian faith." - in: wikipedia

FI-872903

This is a finnish official card but the card itself is from Öland, Sweden and the lighthouse is the Lange Jan.


FI-872903, sent by Ann-Catrin.
"Långe Jan is a swedish lighthouse located at the south cape of Öland, the second largest Swedish island. It is one of Sweden's most famous lighthouses and also the tallest lighthouse in Sweden.
The lighthouse was built in 1785, probably by Russian PoWs. The tower was built by stone from an old chapel. Originally the light was an open fire, and the tower was unpainted. It was painted white in 1845, and the same year the tower's lantern was installed, to store a colza oil lamp. A couple of years later a black band was added to the tower.The lighthouse remains in use and is remote-controlled by the Swedish Maritime Administration in Norrköping. During the summer-season it is possible to climb the tower, for a small fee." - in: wikipedia

US-779659

An official sent from Texas, USA.


US-779659, sent by Marcia.
This is Marcia's garden.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mahdia - Tunisia

This is not an official and is not from a forum activity. Grace "azzurri" went on holidays to Tunisia with her family and sent me this surprise card from Mahdia.
I've other cards from Tunisia but this is my 1st written and stamped from there.
Thanks Grace :D

"Mahdia is a Tunisian coastal city with 37,000 inhabitants, south of Monastir and southeast of Sousse. Mahdia is a provincial centre north of Sfax. It is important for the associated fish-processing industry, as well as weaving. It is the capital of Mahdia Governorate.

A city already existed at this site during the time of the Phoenicians and Romans, but was destroyed during the Arab conquest of North Africa. Mahdia was founded by the Fatimids under the Caliph Abdallah al-Mahdi in 921 and made the capital city of Ifriqiya, by caliph Abdallah El Fatimi.

It was chosen the capital because of its proximity to the sea, and the promontory on which an important military settlement had been since the time of the Phoenicians. In 1087 the town was attacked by raiding ships from Genoa and Pisa who burned the Muslim fleet in the harbor. This played a critical role in winning control of the Western Mediterranean and allowing the First Crusade to be supplied by sea. The Zirid dynasty had its residence here in the 11th century, but was brought to an end by the Norman conquest of the city in 1148. In 1160 the city comes under Almohad rule.

The role of the capital was taken over by Tunis in the 13th century during the Hafsid Dynasty. Some buildings still exist from the 10th and 11th centuries, such as the Great Mosque and the Casbah, which have helped make the city an important tourist attraction.

Later the city was subject to many raids. In 1390 a French crusader army laid siege to the city but failed to take it. Eventually the city was destroyed and burnt down by the Spanish.

Mahdia was also the site where Khaled Abdelwahhab hid approximately two dozen Jews from the Nazi occupiers during World War II." - in: wikipedia

NL-402040

Sometimes the received cards are not from the countries they have been sent from. That happened to me twice, i think. I don't really mind and this time i don't really mind at all. This card was sent from Netherlands but the card is from....... St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which means, a new country to enlarge my collection!! :D


NL-402040, sent by Sophia.
"he Tobago Cays are an archipelago comprising five small uninhabited islands - Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradol, Petit Tobac and Jamesby - located in the Southern Grenadines. The Tobago Cays are now the key element of the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a national park and wildlife preserve run by the St.Vincent and the Grenadines government. The Tobago Cays Marine Park consists of a 1,400 acre sand-bottom lagoon which encompasses four uninhabited cays and the 4 km Horseshoe Reef. While the cays are uninhabited, they are surrounded by the three larger inhabited islands of Union Island, Mayreau and Canouan.
The most extensive and well-developed coral reef complexes in St. Vincent & the Grenadines occur on shallow shelves around the windward sides of Mayreau and Union Islands and the Cays themselves. In addition, principal vegetation types include beach vegetation and dry forest. With the exception of a small mangrove in Petit Rameau and salt pond in Mayreau, there are no wetlands in the Cays.
Major users of the area include: cruise ships (an estimated 50,000 visitors each year of which 10,000 visit the Cays); yachts (an estimated 3,000 yachts anchor in the lagoon each year); day charters (from nearby hotels); sport divers and snorkelers; and fishing enthusiasts." - in: wikipedia

DE-666791

A german official card from Gießen, town roughly 50 kilometres north of Frankfurt am Main, with some of its monuments, such as, Old and New Castles, the Theater, Liebig Museum, train station building.....

DE-666791, sent by Jule.
"Gießen is a town in the German federal state of Hesse. The population is approximately 76,000, with roughly 24,000 university students.
Gießen came into being as a moated castle in 1152, built by Count Wilhelm von Gleiberg, although the history of the community in the northeast and in today's suburb called "Wieseck" dates back to 775.
During World War II, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp was located in the town.[2]. Heavy bombing destroyed about 75% of Gießen in 1944, including most of the town's historic buildings. It became part of the modern state of Hesse after the war." - in: wikipedia

BY-79192

Lately, everytime i request new official addresses i get 1 from Belarus and i'm also getting a few official cards from there. The last from there was this one.


BY-79192, sent by Sasha.
This is the Girl with Umbrella, a sculpture of Vladimir Zhbanov, situated in Mikhaylovsky Public Garden, Minsk.
"The umbrella that the girl is holding is obviously destined for sheltering her from rain, yet actually appears to be just an illusion. It seems that the girl invites people to hide under the umbrella she raises slightly. Clearly, symbolical umbrella provides no protection. The kid's stature reminds people of how helpless and unprotected, in essence, are their most valuable treasure - their children. Still, the majority of spectators visiting the garden do not notice that disturbing note at all. Some of them think the girl is just waiting for a friend of hers, the others consider her as just nice and elegant statue offering excellent opportunity to take a picture for memory." - in: http://www.radiobelarus.tvr.by/eng/textblock.asp?type=cont&id=16

Saturday, August 14, 2010

July Alternative RR (1) - VIII

I guess this is the last cards of this RR. All my cards have been received and i've received all cards except 1, but i didn't send a card to the person either. I'll only send a card if i receive her card. Fair enough, i think!!


Jennifer "jenhart75" sent this card from St. Cloud, Minnesota with the Munsinger Clemens Gardens.
"Munsinger Gardens and Clemens Gardens are two distinct but adjacent gardens on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Munsinger Gardens are informal with winding flower-bordered paths under tall pines, and date from 1915 when the city purchased the former site of a sawmill as a park. The gardens themselves were constructed primarily in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. Projects from this period included planting trees and flowerbeds, and building rock-lined paths, a lily pond, and a fountain. The first greenhouse was built in 1938; it has subsequently been replaced. The gardens were refurbished and expanded in the 1980s.
The Clemens Gardens were developed primarily in the 1990s by Bill and Virginia Clemens, who then donated them to the City of St. Cloud. They include six gardens in a formal European style with American plantings and fountains." - in: wikipedia

Convent of Christ in Tomar

Exactly 1 week ago i was in Tomar with Susana "susanaportugal". We decided to have a mini-meeting and even if it was a mini-meeting, of course we signed a few cards, including for ourselves.
This wasn't my 1st time in Tomar but it was my 1st time visiting the Convent of Christ. I really wanted to visit it and i absolutely loved it.


"The Convent of the Order of Christ is a religious building and Roman Catholic building in Tomar, Portugal, originally a Templar stronghold built in the 12th century. After the Order of the Knights Templar was dissolved in the 14th century, the Portuguese branch of the order was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ, which supported Portugal's maritime discoveries of the 15th century.
The Convent of Christ of Tomar is one of Portugal's most important historical and artistic monuments and has been in the World Heritage list of Unesco since 1983." - in: wikipedia

IS-9383

Isn't this great, a volcano card from Iceland, the Fimmvörðuháls, with a famous volcano stamp printed with volcanic ashes :) A famous vulcano from Iceland.... yes, that one that caused big troubles last spring in the european skies, the Eyjafjallajökull!!


IS-9383, sent by Harpa.
"Fimmvörðuháls is the area between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull in southern Iceland. The route between Skógar and Thórsmörk goes through this pass and is one of the most popular walking routes in Iceland, despite being 22km long and involving 1000m of climbing. At Fimmvörðuháls there is a modern comfortable mountain hut owned by Útivist, one of the Icelandic hiking associations. Also nearby there is an older, less equipped hut called Baldvinsskáli. The route from Skógar is particularly beautiful as numerous waterfalls are passed along the way.
On March 20th, 2010, an eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano began in Fimmvörðuháls following months of small earthquakes under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The eruption began around 23:00 and opened a 0.5 km (0.3 mi) long fissure on the northern part of the pass. Just over a week later, the Fimmvörðuháls eruption produced a 300-meter-long fissure and new craters were seen erupting on a northward path toward the area of Thórsmörk, a popular tourist nature preserve, prompting tours to stop briefly as volcanologists assessed the situation further.
In April this was followed by a larger eruption on Eyjafjallajökull itself, and there are fears that this will trigger a much bigger eruption of nearby Katla." - in: wikipedia

DE-660555

A yellow official card from Lünen, Germany.


DE-660555, sent by Margarete.
This is a yellow field of rapeseed, also known as canola plant.
In agriculture, canola is the name given to certain varieties of oilseed rape, or the oil produced from those varieties. Canola is a trademark for a hybrid variety of rape initially bred in Canada.