Saturday, February 28, 2015

Armação de Pêra - Portugal

Sofia sent me this card from Armação de Pêra, in Algarve, as a game prize. 

© Edição Vistal 
Armação de Pêra is a beautiful long expanse of sandy beach stretching for over 6 km and framed by the golden limestone cliffs that form the natural backdrop to so many of the beaches on this western side of the Algarve. Originally used by the local fishermen from the nearby village of Pêra for preparing their fishing tack (armação), Armação de Pêra has now become one of the most popular beaches in the Algarve and a modern resort, offering a host of amenities and entertainment. - in: http://www.portugal-live.com/portugal/algarve/armacao-de-pera.html
The fishing legacy is still however alive as along the beach you can see the local fisherman heading out to sea on their boats. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PT-402182

I love to get official cards from my own country but that doesn't happen that often. João sent me a view of the lovely town of Marvão. I've been there almost 2 years ago but I need to visit the town again with more time. 
Marvão is on the UNESCO Tentative List. 

Nearby the border with Spain, situated between Castelo de Vide and Portalegre, on the highest point of the lovely São Mamede mountain, in Alentejo, is situated this charming village of Marvão. 
In a peacefull and relaxing environment, surrounded by 13th and 17th century defensive walls, Marvão rises high, with its lovely white houses, narrow and winding streets, showing that time is not as quick as it often seems. 


Photo © Rui Cunha 
PT-402182, sent by João.
Its strategic location, on the higher point of the São Mamede Mountain, with difficult accesses, that served as a natural protection, and near the border with Spain, made of Marvão an important Portuguese defensive point for many centuries, being the stage of several battles and political conflicts. 
Visiting Marvão, one has the certain of visiting history itself, along these historical streets, with gothic and manueline inheritances, and medieval testimonies of other times, marked in the typical granite constructions. 
The Castle and its imposing walls from the 13th century are unforgettable monuments of the village.
Located next to the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park, from the highest points in Marvão, like Torre de Menagem (Watchtower) or the Pousada de Santa Maria, one can enjoy of astonishing landscapes throughout the surrounding natural area. - in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-marvao-14917

CA-506369 & CA-506372

Two beautiful snowy official cards from Canada. 

 © Published & Distributed by The Postcard Factory
CA-506369, sent by Masha.
Winter is generally December, January and February, though winter weather can start in November and last through late March, early April, especially in the eastern part of the country.
The height of winter is freezing cold in most places except for the BC coast, where winters are moderate with little snow. Nearby Whistler, on the other hand gets loads of snow and is a major ski destination through May.

Photo P.Quitternelle
CA-506372, sent by Michèle.
In the Rockies, winter is long. However, snow stays around only in the higher altitudes. Calgary, does not get much snow, but Banff and Canmore may get two feet in April. In addition, southern Alberta gets winter relief from warm Chinook winds.
Eastern Canada, including Toronto and Montreal, has a short, fierce winter, below zero temperatures most of the time, and -20°C (-4°F) not uncommon. At least one or two snowfalls of eight inches or more will likely hit in January and February. - in: http://gocanada.about.com/od/weatherincanada/ss/Canadas-Four-Seasons_2.htm#step-heading

Sunday, February 22, 2015

SG̱ang Gwaay - Canada

Now is time for a new UNESCO site in my collection. Many thanks Brittany for this SG̱ang Gwaay card. This canadian site was classified as World Heritage Site in 1981. 

© 2014 Canada Post
Ninstints is the usual name in English for SG̱ang Gwaay Llanagaay ("Red Cod Island Village"), a village site of the Haida people in Haida Gwaii on the North Coast of British Columbia.
At the village of SGang Gwaay llnagaay (Nan Sdins) the remains of large cedar long houses, together with a number of carved mortuary and memorial poles, illustrate the art and way of life of the Haida. The site commemorates the living culture of the Haida, based on fishing and hunting, their relationship with the land and sea, and offers a visual key to their oral traditions. The village was occupied until shortly after 1880. What survives is unique in the world, a 19th century Haida village where the ruins of houses and memorial or mortuary poles illustrate the power and artistry of Haida society. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/157

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mt. Rainier - USA

Beautiful cards of Mt. Rainier in Washington, USA. The 1st two cards were sent as officials and the other two were sent by "beachyblonde" and "ilove2smile". 

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A..

Photo by Charles Adams
 US-3161235, sent by Donna.
"Mount Rainier is a large active stratovolcano (also known as a composite volcano) in Pierce County, Washington, USA, located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle. 

US-733762, sent by Bob. 
It towers over the Cascade Range as the most prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and Cascade Volcanic Arc at 14,411 feet (4,392 m). It is the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. 

The mountain and the surrounding area are protected within Mount Rainier National Park. With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles (93 km2) of permanent snowfields and glaciers Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each over 1,000 feet (300 m) in diameter with the larger east crater overlapping the west crater. Geothermal heat from the volcano keeps areas of both crater rims free of snow and ice, and has formed the world's largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters. 

A small crater lake about 130 by 30 feet (40 by 9.1 m) in size and 16 feet (5 m) deep, the highest in North America with a surface elevation of 14,203 feet (4,329 m), occupies the lowest portion of the west crater below more than 100 feet (30 m) of ice and is accessible only via the caves." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, February 19, 2015

US-3161232

Cinderella Castle is the main attraction and the symbol of the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World.
Magic Kingdom, is the first-built of the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando, Florida. It opened on October 1, 1971. It is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters. 

www.postcardfair.com
US-3161232, sent by Ciara.
Rising high in the sky at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., Cinderella Castle welcomes you to a magical world of fantasy and fun. The central icon of Walt Disney World Resort, the castle invites all who visit to celebrate in a place where dreams come true.
Boasting soaring spires, ornate turrets and regal royal-blue rooftops, the 189-foot castle invokes both the magic and mystery of real-world castles—such as Fontainebleau and Versailles—and fictional palaces like the one seen in Disney’s animated classic Cinderella.
Adding to the enchanted environment, the castle is surrounded by a tranquil moat, lush green grass, rose bushes and a wishing well, providing perfect picture-taking opportunities from nearly every angle.
Cinderella Castle provides a spectacular backdrop for the fireworks extravaganzas that occur in Magic Kingdom park on select nights. Over 16 million colored lights illuminate the castle when the sun sets; and during fireworks shows, lights and music effortlessly come together to create an even more magical setting. - in: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/magic-kingdom/cinderella-castle/

BR-339885

An official from Ouro Preto, a city that I'd love to visit in Brazil. I've a few cards from here but this is the 1st with the Museum of the Inconfidência. 

Edição: Postais de Minas
BR-339885, sent by Célio.
Museum of the Inconfidência is a history museum dedicated to those who died in a failed rebellion movement, Inconfidência Mineira, for Brazilian independence from Portugal. It was established in 1938. It is located in Tiradentes Square in Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais. 
The museum keeps a valuable collection of objects and manuscripts relating to the Inconfidência revolutionary plot, such as works attributed to Aleijadinho, Xavier de Brito, Master Ataíde, Servas ... as well as clothing, furniture and assorted objects of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. - in: http://www.ouropreto.org.br/ingl/museus.asp
The museum was established in the 20th century but the building was built in the 18th. It was used as legislative house and jail.

Falésias Beach - Brazil

Falésias (cliffs) Beach is a beach in Jequiá da Praia,  municipality located in the coast of the Brazilian state of Alagoas.
The card was sent by Luzia.

Assistel Turismo Distribuidora
The beach seems to be really beautiful but I can't find information about it...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Inca Trail - Peru

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is on the bucket list of many hikers and adventurous travelers. My friend Miguel went to Peru last year, went to Machu Picchu but didn't he didn't hike this four-day trail. 
When he sent me this card, he didn't know that this trail was already added to the UNESCO WHS as part of the Qhapaq Ñan Andean Road System a few months earlier. It was a great and unexpected surprise. 

Foto Colección: Neus Escandell-Tur y Alexandra Arellano
Proving that the journey is as important as the destination, Peru’s famous Inca Trail has been named a new UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014, giving Peru a total of 12 listed sites.
Listed as the ‘Qhapaq Ñan Andean road system,’ the UNESCO site covers a mind-boggling 30,000-kilometer network of 15th-century Incan roads, connecting the one-time Inca capital of Cusco with cities all around Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Chile, and all six countries teamed up to apply for the prestigious UNESCO status. Winding through verdant valleys, desert plains and thick rainforest, the trails are an extraordinary feat of engineering, running all the way from the coast to the 6,000-meter peaks of the Andes, and dotted with some of South America’s most impressive Inca Ruins. - in: http://thingstodo.viator.com/cusco-machu-picchu/inca-trail-named-unesco-site/

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Porth Arthur - Australia

These cards are also from a UNESCO site, not new in my collection but I really wanted these cards. Both were in my favorites and were sent by Alison. 

The Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. 
Consisting of eleven sites spread throughout Australia in Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia and on Norfolk Island, the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property tells the epic story of Australia’s convict heritage. 
Each site in the Property represents a different aspect of the convict system and are the most significant examples in Australia’s history of forced migration.

 Photographs by Dennis Harding
Now an imposing ruin, the Penitentiary was constructed in 1843 as a flour mill and granary. In 1857 it was converted into a penitentiary, capable of housing over 480 convicts in dormitory accommodation and separate apartments. 
Flanked by the Watchmen’s Quarters, the Penitentiary also contained a mess room, library, Catholic chapel, workshops and ablutions complex. The building was gutted by fire in 1897 and lay derelict until a concerted conservation program began in the 1960s. 

Mike Calder Photography
Port Arthur's timber and stone church, constructed in 1836-37 is a lasting tribute to its convict builders.
Built on high ground to overlook the convict settlement, the church could accommodate over one thousand souls at its services. 
The church was never consecrated, due to its use by prisoners of different denominations, but was representative of the authorities’ goal to reform the convict population through religion. 
The church was destroyed by fire in 1884 and has undergone repeated conservation work throughout the 20th century. - in: http://www.portarthur.org.au/

Monday, February 9, 2015

Indian UNESCO WHS

India has 32 sites inscribed on the UNESCO WHS list and thanks to Col Akhil, I'm only missing one site now. 

Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC. They evolved over time from what was basically a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture. Rani-ki-Vav was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 m by 9.4 m, at a depth of 23 m. The well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft 10 m in diameter and 30 m deep. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/922

Photo: J. M. Garg
This National Park in the western part of the Himalayan Mountains in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests. The 90,540 ha property includes the upper mountain glacial and snow meltwater sources of several rivers, and the catchments of water supplies that are vital to millions of downstream users. The GHNPCA protects the monsoon-affected forests and alpine meadows of the Himalayan front ranges. It is part of the Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and includes twenty-five forest types along with a rich assemblage of fauna species, several of which are threatened. This gives the site outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1406

 Photo: Anirban
Situated at the base of Nanda Devi peak, India’s second highest peak; the Nanda Devi National Park is situated in the higher ranges of Himalaya in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in North India. Designated as the World Heritage Site, the park has unique topography and supports several habitats, species and eco-systems.
The Nanda Devi basin was declared a sanctuary in1939. In the 1982, an area of 630.33 sq km was added and it was declared a national park, which now forms the core zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in the 1988 along with the Valley of Flowers.
Besides the Himalayan valleys and lush greenery, visitors can see animals including snow leopards, Himalayan black-bear, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr and many more.
The park is also an ideal place for bird watchers. About 100 species of birds have made the park their home. Birds including orange-flanked bush robin, Indian tree pipit, blue-fronted redstart are seen more often. The park is also home to several species of butterflies, 312 species of flowers including juniper and alpine vegetation. - in: http://travel.india.com/nanda-devi-national-park/

Photo: Rajika Travels
Where the land meets the sea at the southern tip of West Bengal lies the Indian Sunderbans, a stretch of impenetrable mangrove forest of great size and bio-diversity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans is a vast area covering 4264 square km in India alone. The Indian Sunderbans forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. A paradise for birdwatchers, the list includes such rarities as the Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Pitta and the Mangrove Whistler.
The Sunderbans are a part of the world's largest delta formed by the mighty rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Situated on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, it is also the world’s largest estuarine forest. The Sunderbans is criss-crossed by hundreds of creeks and tributaries. It is one of the most attractive and alluring places remaining on earth, a truly undiscovered paradise.
The Sunderbans forest is home to more than 250 tigers. The Bengal Tigers have adapted themselves very well to the saline and aqua environs and are extremely good swimmers. - in: http://www.sunderbansnationalpark.com/

The Keoladeo Ghana National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary lies between two of India's most historic cities, Agra and Jaipur. This north Indian sanctuary is situated in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi.
Keoladeo is famous as one of Asia’s finest birding areas, with over 380 resident and migrant species, including the Common, Demoiselle and the rare Siberian Cranes. It is also an excellent place to watch mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyaena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar. The park derives its name from the temple of Keoladeo (Shiva) and ‘ghana’ which locally means dense, implying the nature of the vegetation. During the cool winter months it is also possible to see large Indian Pythons sunning themselves. - in: http://keoladeonationalpark.com/

Saturday, February 7, 2015

CN-1472208 & CN-1464562

Officials from China. 

CN-1472208, sent by Yan.
The card speaks for itself.

CN-1464562, sent by Catherine.
Changbai Mountain is situated in Antu County of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in northeast China, bordering the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the south. As a dormant volcano, it boasts rare animals, marvelous lakes, amazing hot springs, and forests that stretch to the horizon. There is splendid scenery during the four seasons, but it is especially beautiful in winter. - in: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/jilin/changchun/changbai.htm