Thursday, October 31, 2013

Douro - Portugal

Douro is one of Margarida's favorite places in Portugal, she already went to grape picking there. She sent me this card back in August, the grape picking was in September and i'm posting this card in October. 

www.touaqui.pt
As you follow the Douro upriver the water becomes clearer and the air fresher. The hills that surround the river banks are hand sculpted with terraces lined with grapevines that produce the famous Port Wine and the other table wines of the region.
The Douro is like a canvas that changes with the seasons as it is painted with splashes of colour from the leaves and flowers of the different species of plants. In the springtime, with the almond trees in blossom, white and violet blend with the green of the trees. In the autumn, the hills and valleys are covered in a carpet of copper and browns.
The leafy green contrasts with the bright clean waters of the various rivers and tributaries that snake through the region. 
The Douro region is dry in the summer and icy cold in the winter; it is a land of contrasts: the beautifully kept vineyards and almond and olive trees that appear in the local cuisine are in direct contrast with the stretches of harsh and wild terrain and the fertile highlands with their varied fruits and vegetables. 
In the Douro region, nature lives in harmony with the farmers who are able to work the land while preserving the scenery and maintaining its beauty intact. - in: http://www.dourovalley.eu/en/landscapes

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ribamar's mill - Portugal

When Zé isn't at his home in Massamá, he's probably in Ribamar, where he also has a house. He sent me this card from there a few weeks ago. 

© Grafipost - Editores & Artes Gráficas Lda
I didn't find much about this mill, i only know it is located in St. Isidoro parish. 

Cacela Velha - Portugal

My dear friend Ninocas went on holidays to Algarve and sent me this card from Cacela Velha. 

 Foto © Art & Concept: Gustav A. Wittich | © Edição Vistal
Cacela Velha is a village located in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António. The village is situated on top of a hill with a view to the easternmost lagoon of the Ria Formosa.
Cacela Velha's church was built in1518 on the ruins of a 13th century medieval construction. It was also damaged by the earthquake of 1755 and it was rebuilt in 1795.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vitória's Holidays

Like me, Vitória was on holidays last month. This time we didn't spend any time together but she thought about me while she was travelling. These cards are kind of a travel diary of her holidays with her husband. 

 © Fotografia: J. A. R / Publiçor
The first destination of Vitória and her husband was Santa Maria, one of the Azores islands. She sent me this card of the Our Lady of the Purification Church, in the parish of the Santo Espírito. This is a Baroque temple that dates back to the 16th century.

 © www.veracor.pt
On their way to mainland, they had a couple of hours layover on São Miguel Island, and of course, Vitória took the opportunity to buy and send postcards. This postcard is very beautiful, with the beautiful Seven Cities Lagoon and the cows, but the stamp she used is very special. The happy couple on the stamp is Vitória and her husband Vítor. The photo was taken during their honeymoon in 2009, on São Miguel, and as in the postcard, in the Seven Cities Lagoon. 

© Fotógrafo: Modesto Galán
To finish their holidays, they went to Spain to visit Caceres, a city on my must visit list. Beyond the Tower of the Storks, of which i already have a postcard, the postcard also shows St. Matthew Church. The church was built on the ruins of an Arab mosque in the 16th century.  It was built in  late Gothic style, called Spanish Plateresque.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Old People

Old people is one of my collections and Eduardo and Tiago surprised me a few days ago with these two great cards. Both cards are great. 


 © Edições 19 de Abril: 36 * Foto: Kärsti Stiege  
The picture of this man and his donkey was taken in 1990 in the Caldeirão Mountain, in Algarve region. 

Edição: Foto Quatro, LDA ® * Foto: Jorge Corte Real ©
So, so cute this old lady!! Love her :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CA-362837

This Lighthouse in Cape Spear, built in 1835-1836, is located at the most easterly point in North America.
Cape Spear, located on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John's, Newfoundland, is the easternmost point in Canada and the easternmost point in continental North America.
The Portuguese named this location "Cabo da Esperança" which means "cape of hope", which became "Cap d'Espoir" in French and finally "Cape Spear". - in: wikipedia

Produced & Distributed By M & B Postcards
CA-362837, sent by Karen.
Perched on a rugged cliff at our continent's most easterly point lies Cape Spear Lighthouse – the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province and an iconic symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador's mariner history. 
Constructed in 1836, the Cape Spear Lighthouse represents the unique architecture of lighthouse construction during this era. The structure consists of a stone light tower surrounded by the lightkeeper's residence. In 1955 a new lighthouse tower was built on the site using the active light from the original lighthouse. 
The human side of Cape Spear tells the story of the Cantwell family. Generations of this famous family of lightkeepers resided at Cape Spear for over 150 years and worked tirelessly to maintain a light so vital to mariners. Step inside the restored lighthouse and discover the true life of a 19th-century lighthouse keeper. 
Journey back in time and explore the remnants of the sites World War II coastal defence battery – Fort Cape Spear. Walk in the footsteps of Canadian and American soldiers as they guarded St. John's from attack from lurking German U-boats. 
For the naturalist, Cape Spear will overload your senses with ocean vistas of crashing waves, feeding whales and majestic icebergs. - in: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/PlacesToGo/CapeSpearLighthouseNationalHistoricSite

Officials from USA

Officials from NY, Arizona, California and Maine. 

 Photo by Maureen Moore
US-2364527, sent by Maureen.
The picture of this bald eagle was taken my Maureen in Cornwall, NY.
The Bald Eagle  is a bird of prey found in North America. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. 
The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The Bald Eagle appears on most official seals of the U.S. government, including the Seal of the President of the United States and the Presidential Flag, and in many U.S. federal agency logos. - in: wikipédia

 US-2411727, sent by Tilly.
Superstition Mountain is located immediately east of the Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona. Although its precise origin is debated by geologists, many believe that the mountain was formed from volcanic activity as far back as 25 million years ago. The ash and basalt composed mountain was eroded by the elements to give it the unique form it has today, creating the prominent landmark and popular recreation destination in the region. - in: wikipedia

 Photo by © Abigail 
US-2413262, sent by Marylou & Greg.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego was erected in November of 1855. For 36 years, the tower was a beacon at the entrance of the San Diego Bay. At 422 feet above sea level, the location initially seemed to be good for ships entering the area. It was soon recognized, however, that the light was often hidden by low-hanging clouds and dense fog. The site was abandoned shortly thereafter for a new location closer to the water and at the tip of the Peninsula (1891). It's often called the Old Point Loma Lighthouse for that reason.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the centerpiece of the Cabrillo National Monument, which honors Portuguese navigational explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who first discovered San Diego Bay and charted the coast of California. - in: http://gocalifornia.about.com/cs/calighthouse/a/lh_ptloma.htm
 It is no longer in operation as a lighthouse but is open to the public as a museum.

Photo © Courtney Thompson
US-2367047, sent by Liz.
Eagle Island Light is a lighthouse on Eagle Island in Penobscot Bay. The tower was first lit in 1838 but had to be torn down because of physical defects. It was rebuilt in 1858 and operated by several families over the next century. In 1959 the light was automated, and five years later, over vehement local protests, the keeper's house was torn down and the bell was removed. The crew that removed the bell lost control of it, and it fell into the Bay. A lobsterman salvaged it some years later and it is on exhibit on Great Spruce Head Island.
Today Eagle Light is owned by a nonprofit which provides public access and has restored both the light itself and the square pyramidal bell tower. Along with several other lights in Maine, the growth of trees around the light has made its future problematic. in: wikipedia

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

EC-1702

What a nice surprise i had a few days ago!! My 1st official from Ecuador, only my 5th card from this card. All the cards, from all the countries are more than welcome in my mailbox but its a nice feeling to get a card from a not so common place. 

This a card from the Chimbacalle Station in Quito, Ecuador's capital. 
In 2011 Quito elected its "Seven Wonders" and Chimbacalle Station has taken the first place from a list of 36 atracctions in the city.

EC-1702, sent by Paola. 
The first Ecuadorian train, built by General Eloy Alfaro, roared into Quito on June 25, 1908 and thus fulfilled the long-sought dream of uniting the important port city of Guayaquil on the Pacific coast with the capital city in the Andes.
Most sections of the Ecuadorian railway network have lain dormant for decades but this  train station is once again fully functional and shines brightly as one of the most important tourist attractions in Quito. Since 2011, it has also been the starting point for four different tourist routes into the country’s interior. This makes the train station a key starting point for tourists who would like to use Quito as a base for discovering this small but very diverse Andean country.
The station was fully restored without modifying the original architecture. The colonial style has been completely preserved and is evident in the large windows, the massive girders and the wooden doors with their decorated high reliefs. The main entrance still preserves the colorful ceramics of the era. - in: http://www.ftnnews.com/other-news/14167-chimbacalle-train-station-comes-first-in-a-contest-to-name-the-seven-wonders-of-quito.html

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Santo António do Pinhal - Brazil

This is the main church of Santo António do Pinhal, a small city in São Paulo state. 
The card was sent by Luzia. 

Fotógrafo: Edson Amaral
Built in 1811, the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua is a reference to the city of Santo Antonio do Pinhal. In addition to being one of the best-known points of the city, the Church also hosts events and religious festivals throughout the year. One of the best known is the festival in honor of the city's patron saint held in June.

Monday, October 21, 2013

ZA-32500

My 3rd official from South Africa. 

NZ-32500, sent by Wilna
Olivia Game Lodge is located only 35km from Bloemfontein. Is possible to find there over 14 species of wildlife, beeing one of the the white lion. 

NZ-89985

Lois sent me an Auckland card with the War Memorial Museum, one of New Zealand's most important museums and war memorials. 
Inaugurated in November 28th, 1929, the museum is one of the most iconic Auckland buildings, constructed in the neo-classicist style, and sitting on a grassed plinth (the remains of a dormant volcano) in the Auckland Domain, a large public park close to the Auckland CBD.

© Scenix Marketing, Auckland
NZ-89985, sent by Lois. 
The museum houses a large collection of Māori and Pacific Island artefacts and treasures, including for example three entire buildings, including Hotunui, a large carved meeting house built in 1878 at Thames, and Te Toki a Tapiri, a waka taua (war canoe) from 1830. 
The museum also stores a photographic collection of 1.2 million images, and stores and exhibits 1.5 million natural history specimens from the fields of botany, entomology, geology, land vertebrates and marine biology. The stated goal is to eventually possess specimens from all New Zealand species.
There is also an extensive permanent exhibition covering wars, both within New Zealand and New Zealand's participation in overseas conflicts. This exhibition is linked to the War Memorial, and for example shows models of Maori pas (earth fortifications) and original Spitfire and Mitsubishi Zero aeroplanes. The Museum holds the largest collection of applied and decorative arts in New Zealand and selections are currently displayed in the Landmarks and Encounters Galleries.
Parts of the museum, as well as the Cenotaph and its surrounding consecrated grounds (Court of Honour) in front of the Museum, also serve as a war memorial, mainly to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. There are two 'Halls of Memory' within the museum, whose walls, together with a number of additional marble slabs, list the names of all known New Zealand soldiers from the Auckland Region killed in major conflicts during the 20th Century. - in: wikipedia

MY-169142

An official from the Mulu National Park in Malaysia. As the card says, this is the world's largest cave system sent in exotic tropical forest. 

Photo credits: Sarah Waugh, Jan Castley, J Satem, B Wan Ullok © Perkata
MY-169142, sent by Nurul.
From top left: firest lined rivers, the Pinnacles, Pagoda flowers, Deer Cave and layered tropical forest.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blue River Provincial Park - New Caledonia

The Blue River Provincial Park was created in 1980 and covers a surface area of  9,045 hectares.
Lumber and mining operations at the turn of the century have left marks that are still visible.
Learn more about New Caledonian history in this unique natural environment, alternating between observing the scrub that has grown back in the mining zones and the rain forest.

Both of these environments are exceptional for the abundance and diversity of the flora, and there is an especially high rate of endemic plants.
Most of New Caledonia's birds are found in the Park, which contains the largest population of Cagous in New Caledonia thanks to the Southern Province's repopulation program. - in: http://www.office-tourisme.nc/en/parc-provincial-de-la-rivi%C3%A8re-bleue

Shirakami-Sanchi - Japan

Although this card has been sent from Indonesia, the card is actually from the UNESCO site Shirakami-Sanchi in Japan. The card was sent by Jennifer and it shows one of the Ammon Falls. 

Situated in the mountains of northern Honshu, the area includes the last remaining virgin stand of Siebold's beech forest, the typical Japanese climax temperate forest. The area covers about one-third of the Shirakami Mountains which are a heavily dissected range with summits rising to just over 1,200 m. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/663
This site was included in the list of World Heritage Sites in 1993.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cyprus

It never crossed my mind to visit Cyprus but i must confess, i never bothered to get to know more about the country and its tourist attractionsTjitske was there last month and said she liked it.

Cyprus is a diverse country, halfway between Europe and Asia, an ideal country for a vacation. With a warm climate, Cyprus, which was the birthplace of Aphrodite, surprised by the unspoiled landscapes of its interior and by disarming generosity of its people.
Cyprus is the largest island in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Has been since ancient times a zone of passage between Europe, Asia and Africa, still exist today numerous traces of successive civilizations (Roman theatres and villas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, castles of the time of the Crusaders and testimonies of prehistoric habitat).

Edition: Petros Sophokleous
After the occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkey in 1974, the Cypriot, Greek and Turkish communities were separated by the so-called green line. The Greek zone joined the European Union, but the country remains divided by this "line" patrolled by Turkish and Greek troops and U.N. peacekeepers. It is possible to cross the border, or the "green line", but only from the Republic of Cyprus to the occupied zone and only for a day.
Cyprus is also known as the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, who, according to legend, was born here.
 Cyprus offers many beach and archaeological tourrist attractions. It has a large flow of tourists during the summerwhen the heat and sunshine are extraordinary.
The beaches are beautifulas is common in the Greek Islands and there are many tours and activities related to the seain addition to great hotels and resorts along the coast.

Turkey

Gokçe sent me this card 2 months ago, i think! Turkey is on my must visit list. 

Clock wise: Hagia Sofia in Istanbul; Kekova in Kas, Antalya; Hadrian Temple in Ephesus; Kusadasi in Aydin; Düden Waterfall in Antalya; Perge also in Antalya; Abant in Bolu; Alanya.
In the middle: Cappadocia. 

Edirne - Turkey

I'm waiting for a couple of new UNESCO cards in the next days. I was hoping to get a few this week but i've only got mail once and only 2 cards!! This was probably one of the worse weeks ever. 
Many, many weeks ago i've got a card, sent by Nihan, from a turkish site missing in my collection, Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex, in Edirne, on the WHS list since 2011. 


Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex is located in the most eye catching spot of the city. The complex is considered to be the most harmonious expression ever achieved of the Ottoman kulliye, a group of buildings constructed around a mosque and managed as a single institution.
This masterpiece created by Mimar Sinan during his best period, is located on the summit of a hill, and is in the classical Ottoman style. With its advanced design, this mosque built on the orders of Sultan Selim II (1569-1575), reflects Mimar Sinan's genius. This mosque, which has four minarets with three balconies each, is recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Ottoman Turkish architecture.
Also the building with its four minarets that catch one's eye from far off, and with the location chosen for construction, shows that Mimar Sinan was an expert of city planning. Selimiye Mosque with its single great dome and four slender minarets, dominates the skyline of the former Ottoman capital of Edirne.
Selimiye Mosque that is qualified in architectural history as the building established on the widest area, draws attention with its dome, 43.28 m high and 31.30 m in diameter.
Selimiye Mosque is very important with its ornamental features like stone, marble, tile, wood, mother of pearl, besides the architectural features beyond reach. Its niche (mihrap) that shows the direction of Mecca and its pulpit (minber) are two of the main monuments of marble craft. The tile ornaments of the mosque has a special place in Ottoman art. These tile works, which are some of the best samples of 16th century tile craft, are made in Iznik with underglaze technique. - in: http://www.goturkeytourism.com/things-to-do/selimiye-mosque-and-its-social-complex-edirne-turkey.html

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Parthenon - Greece

Also from Greece and also from a UNESCO site, is this card of the Parthenon in Athens. The card was sent by Grace. 

The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron deity. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy, western civilization and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.

 
Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was used as a treasury. For a time, it also served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the 5th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, with the permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek government has been committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Greek UNESCO WHS

In one post i've two new UNESCO sites from Greece, Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios and Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. 
The 1st card was sent from Czech Republic by Pavla and the 2nd by Elenor. 

 Harenberg | Sehnsuchts - Postkartr | Ägäis
Nea Moni is an 11th-century monastery on the island of Chios, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Together with those at Daphni and Hosios Loukas, it is well known for its mosaics, which, , are among the finest examples of the Byzantine art in Greece. 
The construction of the monastery of Nea Moni of Chios is fully documented as it was linked to a major event in Byzantine history. Constantine the Gladiator, a nobleman living in exile, was told by two monks of Chios, Nicetas and John, that he would become Emperor. When Constantine Monomachos married the twice-widowed 64-year-old Empress Zoe in 1042, thus becoming Basileus, he remembered the prediction. In 1045 he founded the monastery, choosing as its site a valley on Chios on the slopes of Mount Aetos and bestowing it with possessions and privileges. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/537
Over the centuries, the monastery amassed substantial riches and became one of the wealthiest monasteries in the Aegean. At its peak, around 1300, its estates covered one third of Chios and it is estimated that up to 800 monks belonged to it. The subsequent Genoese domination reduced its wealth, but the monastery prospered again during the Ottoman era.
During the 17th century the number of monks decreased further, but recovered in the next century.
The monastery's decline began only after the destruction of Chios by the Ottomans in 1822, during the Greek War of Independence. The monastery was sacked and looted, and never recovered its former glory. In 1881, an earthquake added further damage to the main church, leading to the collapse of its dome, while several other buildings, like the 1512 bell-tower, were destroyed. In 1952, due to the shortage of monks, Nea Moni was converted to a convent. According to the 2001 census, it is inhabited by only three nuns. - in: wikipedia

© Photography spirouphotogallery
The sanctuary of Asklepius in Epidaurus was a sacred healing place devoted to Asklepius, the healer god, the god who had the power to cure people from their pain and illness. Such sanctuaries were frequent in ancient Greece and in fact, they were quite popular as people from all over the Mediterranean would come to find healing.

There were many such sanctuaries scattered along Greece, but the most famous one, visited by people from all over Greece and from other areas of the Mediterranean Sea, was in Epidaurus, where Asklepius was born, according to the myth.
In order to please the visitors of the temple and pay tributes to the gods, people in 340 B.C. built a theatre, which is nowadays known as the Theatre of Epidaurus and it is considered to be a masterpiece of architecture. Polykleitos the Younger constructed this theatre, which is famous for its great acoustics. - in: http://www.greeka.com/peloponnese/epidaurus/epidaurus-excursions/epidaurus-asklepieion.htm