Friday, April 30, 2010

Tallinn - Estonia

This card from Tallinn, Estonia, was sent by Ella "eellaa" and it was in my favorites.


"The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants' houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/822

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shark Bay - Australia

The last unesco card in my collection is from Australia, the Shark Bay in Western Australia.
The card was sent by Heather "hmassese".


"At the most westerly point of the Australian continent, Shark Bay, with its islands and the land surrounding it, has three exceptional natural features: its vast sea-grass beds, which are the largest (4,800 km2) and richest in the world; its dugong (‘sea cow’) population; and its stromatolites (colonies of algae which form hard, dome-shaped deposits and are among the oldest forms of life on earth). Shark Bay is also home to five species of endangered mammals." - in: www.whc.unescoorg/en/list/578

DE-577241

A postal strike is about to start :( that's not good for postcrossers but, fortunatelly, i've got nice mail today. This german official card was 1 of the cards i've received today.


DE-577241, sent by Andrea.
"Ahrensburg is a town in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan region, situated in Stornmarn. Population around 31,700 (2009). Its outstanding sight is the Renaissance castle dating from 1595. Other sights are the adjacent castle church with its "Gottesbuden" Almshouses. Ahrensburg is situated in the Tunneltal, in which Alfred Rust excavated many items dating back to the ice age." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

»NEW« TRAVELLING RR - Group 100 - city

More cards from the New Travelling RR. This is the group 100, dedicated to cities. The cards are from Spain, Russia, Iceland and Portugal.

A card with Malaga's Town Hall. "On 11th April 1919 the Town Council took possession of what was to become the Town Hall, and still is to the present day. The new building, the work of architects Guerrero Strachan and Manuel Rivera Vera, was to satisfy a double need: on one hand that of responding to the increasing administrative demands of a growing city and, on the other, that of projecting a renewed image of prestige and progress. The construction project not only contemplated a new Town Hall, but also a Provincial Court and the Courts of First Instance. The building is situated on one of the city's main communication arteries, the Paseo del Parque where it constitutes an additional decorative element, given its character as an artistic monument, represented both by the beauty of its façades and the decoration in the interior, which transmits an air of prestige." - in: http://www.malagaturismo.com/

"Santander Cathedral is located in the Spanish city of Santander. Its structure is mainly Gothic, although it has been extended and renovated in later times.
The cathedral is a historical monumental complex built between the end of the 12th century and the 14th century on top of the former Santander Abbey also known as the "Abbey of the Holy Bodies" (Abadía de los Cuerpos Santos), an old monastery dedicated to Saints Emeterius and Caledonius." - in: wikipedia

"Saint Petersburg is a city in Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). It is often called just Petersburg and is informally known as Piter.
Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on May 27, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow with 4.6 million inhabitants, and fourth in Europe after Istanbul, London and Moscow. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and an important Russian port of the Baltic Sea." - in: wikipedia

"The Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutjeran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns.
State Architect Guojón Samúlsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland's landscape. It took 38 years to build the church. Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986, the landmark tower being completed long before the church's actual completion. The crypt beneath the choir was consecrated in 1948, the steeple and wings were completed in 1974. The nave was consecrated in 1986. Situated in the centre of Reykjavík, it is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city." - in: wikipedia

"Caldas da Rainha is a city in western central Portugal. The city is best known for its hot springs and pottery.
The city was founded in the 15th century by Queen Leonor, who established a hospital at the site of some therapeutic hot springs. The Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in world, with five centuries of history. The city's name means "Queen's Hot Springs" or "Queen's Spa"." - in: wikipedia

Syracuse, Italy

This card came from the UK but it's from a new unesco whs in Italy - Syracuse & the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica, on the list since 2005.
The card was sent by Johnson.


"Syracuse is a historic city in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is famous for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of Archimedes. This 2,700 year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the south-east corner of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea.

The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and became a very powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth, exerting influence over the entire Magna Grecia area of which it was the most important city. Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it in importance, as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860.

In the modern day, the city is listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans, and the local language spoken by its inhabitants is the Sicilian language." - in: wikipedia

Arad Fort - Bahrain

Today is my day off and that means i've time to scan and post cards.
I don't know how the ash cloud affected my mail but with 7 cards received so far, i can't complain, even if only one of them was sent from Europe, not counting Portugal.

This card was sent from Portugal but its a card from a new country, Bahrain. Zé, "zepombal" went on a trip to UAE, Oman and Bahrain a few weeks ago. He hosted a lottery to draw 3 cards but in the end all the participants received 1 card from his trip.



"Arad Fort is a 15th century fort in Arad, Bahrain. It was built in a typical Arab style.
Close to the Bahrain International Airport, the fort has been extensively renovated and presents a magnificent sight when it is illuminated at night.
It is believed that the fort was used by the Omanis during their brief occupation of Bahrain in 1800, and it is located adjacent to the strategic waterways between Bahrain Island and Muharraq Island.
Little is known of the fort's history, and there is no firm evidence of the precise date of construction, but comprehensive excavations have been undertaken in order to discover its past." - in: wikipedia

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rome International Meeting

The idea of this meeting started because some portuguese postcrossers planned to go to Rome to visit Rita, another portuguese postcrosser that moved to the city 2 or 3 months ago.
The portuguese talked other postcrossers and the meeting became international.


The meeting was last weekend and beside the portuguese - ninocas & family, geminiscp, rita_simões, susana_portugal and diego_portucale, joana122 - there were also people from other places. Tjitske from the Netherlands, dardo from Spain, masito from Switzerland, anjaaustel from Germany and a local, shelphie10 from Italy.

This second card, also from Rome, was sent by Joana and i love it, well i love both.
I really wanted to go on this trip with them but because of my job that wasn't possible. The good news is that i'll go to Rome next June with another postcrosser. I bought my plane tickets last night :)
Oh, imagine the cards, the pictures, the ice creams, all the monuments. I wish i could erase May from the calendar :P
I'll start my Rome countdown today!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

RU-130587

From a different part of the world came this card, more precisely from Vladivostok, Russia.
"Vladivostok is Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's border with China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet." - in: wikipedia


RU-130587, sent by Marina.
The card shows the Far Eastern National University, an institution of higher education located in Vladivostok. Established in 1899, the university was closed in the late 1930s under Joseph Stalin, and reopened in 1956, two years after Nikita Khruschev visited Vladivostok.
On the right corner, there's the Church of Our Lady's Protection.

US-650696

This is one of the cards i've received today. It really pleased me. A nice card with a good picture and, the most important, a nice text on the back.
The card is from Chatham, Massachusetts with the Stage Harbor Lighthouse.


US-650696, sent by Anya.
"Stage Harbor Light (also known as Harding Beach Light), built in 1880, is the youngest of the Cape Cod Light Stations. Chatham is the entrance to Stage Harbor, important to fishing and commercial traffic of the time. The light was installed to complement the light at Chatham, which one of the foggiest points on the East Coast.
The tower was built of curved iron plates lined with brick - identical to the "Chatham Twins." A fifth-order Fresnel lens was installed. The light was attached to a keeper's house similar to the one at Mayo Beach.
During Prohibition, liquor was stored under the floorboards in the passage between the light and keeper's house. During a surprise inspection, the inspector noted the loose floorboards, but simply told the keeper to repair them!
An automated light on a skeleton tower was built in 1933, and the lighthouse was decommissioned. The lantern room was removed, and the site sold to private ownership." - http://www.rudyalicelighthouse.net/MassLgts/StgHrb/StgHrb.htm

Thursday, April 15, 2010

»NEW« TRAVELLING RR - Group 62 * Churches

I've received a few days ago an envelope with 10 churches card and i chose these 3.

This is the Sabctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba.
According to legend, the Virgin of Charity appeared over the waters of the Bay of Nipe, and upon recognition of the event by the Catholic Church, the sanctuary was built in 1927.
The Lady of Charity is truly a saint for all the believers in the syncretism of Cuban Catholicism and African religious rites. Her temple stands on a hill overlooking the town.
Thousands of people come to the church to vererate the Lady of Charity, the Holy Patron of Cuba. Some come to keep a promise, others take offerings which are added to the hundreds of pieces and objects that have been dedicated to the Virgin, among which is Hemingway's Nobel Prize medal. Pilgrims often collect copper stones from the mine close to the church.

With Leslie and Sheila's help, i finally know where this postcard is from, and it's from Torzhok, a town in Tver Oblast, Russia, situated on the Tvertsa River, 38 miles northwest of Tver, and 145 miles from Moscow.
After some research i've finally discovered the name of this church and it's location. This is the Dormition Cathedral in Veliky Ustyug, a town in Vologda Oblast, also in Russia.
"According to the Ustyug Chronicles, in 1290 bishop Tarasy from Rostov arrived to Ustyug to consecrate the newly constructed temple in the name of the Dormition of the Virgin. The burned down wooden cathedral was replaced in the middle of the XVI century by a stone one. Built in the style of the main Russia temple – the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, it became the first stone city cathedral in the Russian North.

The present shape of the Dormition Cathedral has developed as a result of numerous reconstructions which it underwent for 450 years. The huge building of the temple, the main part of which is built according to the strict monumental forms typical of the XVI century, looks really majestic. The southern facade of the cathedral is completely hidden behind the constructed in the middle of the XIX century two-storeyed warm side-chapel of Epiphany. A high cathedral belltower (the end of the XVII – XVIII century) with its complex construction, consisting of two incorporated volumes adjoins it from the east." - in: http://www.cultinfo.ru/vologdachudo/page6_en.htm

Helsinki Cathedral

This beautiful card from Helsinki was sent by Heidi "dollart" during a postcrossing meeting a few days ago. The card was signed by her, "huppu68", "tarya" and "juliaino".


"Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St. Nicholas' Church.
A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Helsinki, with a tall green dome surrounded by four smaller domes, the church was built in 1830–1852, in neoclassical style.
Today the cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki. Annually more than 350,000 people visit the church, some of them to attend religious events, but most as tourists. The church is in regular use for both worship services and special events such as weddings." - in
: wikipedia

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Asakusa - Tokyo

Relie went to Japan and got a few cards for her GTKY friends.
Thank you dear.
This is a card from "Asakusa, a district in Taito, Tokyo, most famous for the Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. There are several more temples in Asakusa, as well as various festivals.


For most of the twentieth century, Asakusa was the major entertainment district in Tokyo.
Asakusa is on the north-east fringe of central Tokyo, at the eastern end of the Ginza subway line, approximately one mile east of the major Ueno railway/subway interchange. It is central to the area colloquially referred to as Shitamachi, which literally means "low city," referring to the low elevation of this old part of Tokyo, on the banks of the Sumida River. As the name suggests, the area has a more traditionally Japanese atmosphere than some other neighborhoods in Tokyo do." - in
: wikipedia

NL-323452

A dutch official card.


NL-323452, sent by Danielle.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta - Pakistan

This is also a card from a new country, Pakistan, and also a new unesco site, Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta.
A double thank you to Huang from China.


"One of the largest necropolises in the world, with a diameter of approximately 8 kilometers, Makli Hill is supposed to be the burial place of some 125,000 Sufi saints. It is located on the outskirts of Thatta, the capital of lower Sind until the seventeenth century, in what is the southeastern province of present-day Pakistan.
Legends abound about its inception, but it is generally believed that the cemetery grew around the shrine of the fourteenth-century Sufi, Hamad Jamali. The tombs and gravestones spread over the cemetery are material documents marking the social and political history of Sind.
Imperial mausoleums are divided into two major groups, those from the Samma (1352–1520) and Tarkhan (1556–1592) periods. The tomb of the Samma king, Jam Nizamuddin II (reigned 1461–1509), is an impressive square structure built of sandstone and decorated with floral and geometric medallions. Similar to this is the mausoleum of Isa Khan Tarkhan II (d. 1651), a two-story stone building with majestic cupolas and balconies. In contrast to the syncretic architecture of these two monuments, which integrate Hindu and Islamic motifs, are mausoleums that clearly show the Central Asian roots of the later dynasty. An example is the tomb of Jan Beg Tarkhan (d. 1600), a typical octagonal brick structure whose dome is covered in blue and turquoise glazed tiles. Today, Makli Hill is a United Nations World Heritage Site that is visited by both pilgrims and tourists." - in: wikipedia

Maldives

I finally have cards from the Maldives, a new country. I got these thanks to Sumie from Japan.
The 1st card shows the Malé Atoll and the 2nd starting from left top: Vilingili Reef, Mayaafushi, Rasdhoo Atoll, Laviani Atoll, Kuda, Bandos, Nakatchafushi, Ihuru, Baros and Kuredu.

"The Maldives is an island counrtry in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of 26 atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about seven hundred kilometres (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka.

The atolls of Maldives encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers, making it one of the most disparate countries in the world. It features 1,192 islets, of which two hundred are inhabited. The Republic of Maldives's capital and largest city is Malé, with a population of 103,693 (2006). It is located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll, in the Kaafu Atoll. It is also one of the Administrative divisions of the Maldives. Traditionally it was the King's Island, from where the ancient Maldive Royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located.
The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the lowest country on the planet. It is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world, at 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in)." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tahiti - French Polynesia

The Seychelles card wasn't the only card from an exotic place that i've got in the last days.
This is a card from French Polynesia, "a french overseas collectivity in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is made up of several groups of polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory (Papeete)." - in: wikipedia
This amazing card was sent by Magali "mlysao".

"Tahiti is the largest island in the windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of Society Islands. The island has a population of 178,133 according to an August 2007 census. This makes it the most populous island of French Polynesia, accounting for 68.6% of the total population. The capital, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast." - in: wikipedia

PT-117909

It was really funny to receive this oficial from my own country.
I've already received 2 portuguese cards but this one is special because it's a card from my region and it was sent from my city. I believe the sender has family living here because he said he was spending Easter holidays here when he got my address.

This is a card from Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain range in mainland. Serra da Estrela is also a natural park.
The card shows a typical house used to hold sheeps, a shepherd and the Serra da Estrela cheese. The Serra da Estrela cheese has very rigorous rules and its production is limited to some regions.
"It is made of sheep milk, mostly during the months of November to March. Its maturation period has specific norms and must last thirty days at least. According to its maturation it becomes creamy pouring out or thicker. It is a cured cheese from artisan work with half-soft paste, creamy, white or slightly yellow, uniform (without holes or just a few) obtained from slow draining of curdled-milk, after raw sheep milk coagulation, with Cynara cadunculus thistle. The shape is a low cylinder with side camber and a little in the upper face, not having precise tacks. It shows a soft well formed rind, smooth and thin, with a uniform straw-yellow colour." - in: wikipedia

JP-102077

This beautiful card is from Japan.
I live far from the sea, i don't get to see lighthouses that often, so it's always nice when i get a lighthouse card.
JP-102077, sent by Satoko.

"Hinomisaki, which is located north of Izumo Shrine, is a port town that faces the Sea of Japan where blue sky and clear sea water are beautiful. It is a part of the Daisen Oki National Park. The Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse, which stands on a part of the coast, is 38.8m high, and is the highest of stone-build lighthouse in Asia. Visitors can pay 200-yen admission fee and go up to the upper deck, where a beautiful 360-degree panoramic view of the Sea of Japan, as well as boulders and cliffs of Owashi beach, can be enjoyed. The lighthouse was selected as one of the World's One Hundred Most Historic Lighthouses. Walking trail has been developed around the lighthouse, from where the beauty of the Sea of Japan can be observed. The sun setting on the Sea of Japan is worth a look." - in: http://www.japan-i.jp/explorejapan/chugoku/shimane/matsue-izumo/d8jk7l000002t1xc.html

German official cards

DE-563669, sent by Andre.
This is the Castle of the Counts of Erbach, in Erbach, the district seat of the Odenwaldkreis in Hesse, Germany.
"The castle of the princely Counts of Erbach was built into a residence in the style of the times in the 18th century. Since the noble house did not have the needed materials on hand, only the middle wing of the planned three-winged building was ever built. The façade is to a great extent built out of not sandstone, but rather sheeting or wood coloured to look like it.
The antique collections at the castle have remained almost unchanged since Count Franz I’s time (1754-1823).
In 2005, the state of Hesse bought the castle for €13,000,000.
Within the castle complex is the likewise Late Barroque orangery with the castle garden." - in: wikipedia

DE-559587, sent by Mario.
"The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany, at 2,962 metres above sea level. It is located on the Austrian border beside the town of Grainau in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the federal-state of Bavaria.
There are also two cable cars that go to the peak from the base of the mountain: one ascends from the German side of the mountain at the lake Eibsee, and the other ascends from Austria near Ehrwald. The peak is regularly crowded with tourists.
For those wishing to reach the summit under their own power, various hiking and ski trails can also be followed to the top. Hiking to the top from the base takes between one and two days, or a few hours for the very fit. Food and lodging is available on some trails. In winter the Zugspitze is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination, with several slopes on both sides. The Zugspitzplatt is Germany's highest ski resort, and thus normally has sufficient snow throughout the winter." - in: wikipedia

DE-513548, sent by Karin.
This is an official from Germany but the card is from La Digue, the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles.
"It has a population of about 2,000 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe (linked by ferry to Praslin and Mahé) and La Réunion. It has an area of 10 km². La Digue is named after a ship in the fleet of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, who visited the Seychelles in 1768." - in: wikipedia

FI-778971 & NL-308023

More officials, this time from Finland and Netherlands.


FI-778971, sent by Outi.
"Temppeliaukio Church is a Lutheran church in Helsinki. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, and opened in 1969.
The interior was excavated and built into the rock, but is bathed in natural light entering through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics. The acoustic quality is ensured by the rough, virtually unworked, rock surfaces. Leaving the interior surfaces of the church exposed was not something that was in the original plans for the church, but the orchestra conductor Paavo Berglund and the acoustician, Mauri Parjo, contributed to the plans. The back wall of the altar is a majestic rock wall, originally created by a withdrawing glacier.
The Temppeliaukio church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city; half a million people visit it annually. The stone-hewn church is located in the heart of Helsinki. Maintaining the original character of the square is the fundamental concept behind the building. The idiosyncratic choice of form has made it a favorite with professionals and aficionados of architecture." - in wikipedia
NL-308023, sent by Linda.
This postcard is from 's-Hertogenbosch, the capital city of the province of North Brabant, in south Netherlands, some 80 km south of Amsterdam.
"The old city of 's-Hertogenbosch is still almost completely surrounded by continuous ramparts. On the south side, this wall still borders on an old polder, kept intact as a nature reserve, that stretches all the way to Vught. These city walls are currently undergoing renovations. Hidden below the old city is a canal network called the Binnendieze that once spanned 22 kilometres. It started out as a regular river, the Dommel, running through the city in medieval times but due to lack of space in the city, people started building their houses and roads over the river. In later times it functioned as a sewer and fell into disrepair. In recent decades, the remaining sixth of the old waterway system has been renovated, and it is possible to take several guided subterranean boat trips through it." - in: wikipedia