Saturday, October 31, 2015

La Coruña - Spain

Last month Celina has been to different places in Spain, first to the northwest and then to the south. This 1st card came from the north. 

Ediciones Arribas
A Coruña (Galician: (official name), Spanish: La Coruña) is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country. The city is the provincial capital of the province of the same name, having also served as political capital of the Kingdom of Galicia from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and as a regional administrative centre between 1833 and 1982, before being replaced by Santiago de Compostela.
A Coruña is a busy port located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf (the Portus Magnus Artabrorum of the classical geographers) on the Atlantic Ocean. It provides a distribution point for agricultural goods from the region. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Coria - Spain

Vitória sent me a lot of cards in the last months and not all of them were portuguese. This one was sent from Coria, a spanish town in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura. 

Foto: KARPINT
Standing in the south side of the city of Coria, this Holy Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption. Construction began in the 15th century, but it was not completed until the 18th century. This endowed Coria Cathedral with a wealth of architectural styles, ranging from the gothic through to the plateresque and baroque.
We should also highlight the masonry of the choir and its organs, as well as the cathedral's jewel in the crown: the Tablecloth from the Last Supper. This holy relic is kept in the cathedral's Museum of Religious Art, along with other priceless treasures, such as precious metalwork, manuscripts, choirbooks and religious imagery. - in: http://www.turismoextremadura.com/viajar/turismo/en/explora/Catedral-de-Coria/

Porto - Portugal

Recently the readers of USA TODAY and 10Best elected Porto as the Best Under-the-Radar Romantic Destination. 
I don't know if Vitória knew about this when she decided to go to Porto to celebrate her 6th wedding anniversary but I believe she and her husband had a great and romantic time enjoying these views. 

 Papyrus
Known not only for the wine produced here, Porto also gave the country its name, derived from its history as the Roman settlement of Portus Cale. Sprinkled like medieval jewels on a rocky gorge carved out by the Rio Douro, Portugal's second largest city combines the best of Old World charm with modern-day comforts. Designated a World Heritage City in 1996, the 2,000 year old city offers a host of sightseeing options - best seen on foot as most of the monuments are located in the hilly city center. History buffs are sure to enjoy a tour of the Baroque churches, museums and a walk through the ancient Ribeira district, where laundry is still washed in the river and hung there to dry.

Forways, LDA
PT-428658, sent by André
Wine tours are offered at several wine distilleries. Porto's sleeping scene offers a wide selection, from venerable city center hotels, boutique gems and a 5-star resort with a unique wine theme throughout. Evening entertainment can be found in Fado clubs, wine bars and Jazz and Blues clubs. - in: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-under-the-radar-romantic-destination/

Monday, October 26, 2015

Figueira da Foz - Portugal

This summer Cristina didn't have the chance to travel abroad but that doesn't mean she didn't have a great time. Figueira is her 2nd home and the city brings me nice memories too. 

Paulo Renato da Silva
Facing what the town claims to be Europe’s widest beach, Figueira da Foz, is the largest and most bustling seaside resort on this coast, its fabulous beach attracting a vibrant holiday crowd throughout the summer. It’s not immediately attractive – ugly high-rises line up along the seafront – though the tight grid of central old town streets around the casino brim with shops and pavement cafés that give this working port its own distinct identity.
Most summer visitors, however, are here for the enormous sandy town beach which is 2km long and very wide – it takes a good ten minutes to reach the sea across the sands: waves here can be pretty huge, making it a popular spot for surfers, who also frequent the nearby Praia do Cabadelo, on the other side of the Rio Mondego. At the southern end of the beach are the remains of an old sea fort, Forte de Santa Catarina, and the Mercado Municipal, good for fresh products as well as beachwear, lace, embroidery and other crafts. - in: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/portugal/coimbra-beira-litoral/figueira-da-foz/

Castelo de Vide Castle - Portugal

All these cards are from Castelo de Vide and all of them were sent by Vitória. This is no surprise, although Vitória lives now in Sintra, she's originally from this lovely town. 

Castelo de Vide is a town in the Alto Alentejo region..
The town is located in the foothills of the northern reaches of the hills of the Serra Sao Mamede natural park and the Alentejo plain to its north is strewn with granite boulders.

Forways, LDA
The castle's fortification encloses an area of houses which made up the original village. Later a town wall was built to encompass the town's expansion.
The castle was built by Dom Dinis and Dom Alfonso from 1280 to 1365. The castle resisted attack from the Spanish in 1704 but was later yielded to a threat by Lord Berwick. It is said that gunpowder dumped into the well exploded a year later and destroyed much of the castle. There is still an intact well next to the main castle building so it was probably rebuilt.

Fotovila
The castle tower is well worth the climb since it gives a clear view of the town and surrounding countryside with Marvao clearly visible in distance. - in: http://www.alentejo-property.com/castelo-de-vide

Red Waistcoat Festival - Portugal

Last week Leninha sent me a postcard to let me know of her change of addressfrom Rio Maior to Vila Franca de Xira. She says that in Vila Franca she can only find cards of bulls and bullfighting! No wonder, despite the accidents that happen every year, bulls and bullfights are part of the city's tradition.
Today I'm posting her card and another one that Sonia sent me a few years ago, also related to the Red Waistcoat Festival.

Edição da Câmara Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira
This festival is considered the greatest festival in the Ribatejo region.
Every year, during the first week of July, the festival  attracts thousands of fans and tourists to Vila Franca de Xira, who are fond of bullfights, folk music performances, concerts and religious celebrations.

© @nher
This young boy is wearing the campino tradional costume. Campino, the central figure of the Red Waistcoat  Festival in Vila Franca de Xira, is a cattle herder. Campinos work on horse-back, using a long pole to manage and direct the herd.
Campinos are also known for their distinctive attire, which consists of a green and red stocking cap with a tassel, white shirt with full sleeves, red vest, short dark trousers and white stockings.
The boy is not a campino yet but someone in his family probably is, maybe his dad or grandpa, and he's celebrating this tradition in an ethnografic parade.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ribamar - Portugal

This week I've only got mail on tuesday but I can't complain, in one day I got 16 cards, one of them was this one from Ribamar sent by Zé. 

© Grafipost - Editores & Artes Gráficas, Lda
The modest Chapel of St. John the Baptist was built in 1736 and rebuilt in 1959. Inside the chapel there is the image of St. John the Baptist in polychrome wood.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Veiros - Portugal

This card from Veiros is the 2nd of 3 cards that Vitória sent me a few days ago. 

Veiros is a peaceful small village nearby Estremoz, situated in the vast Alentejo’s region, characterized by its small rural houses and by its historic Castle. 

Edição: Município de Estremoz
This is quite an ancient location, with vestiges of Roman occupancy, being re-conquered from the Moors in 1217 by the Portuguese king D. Afonso the 2nd that donated this territory to the Avis Order. 
In Vieiros was born the first Duke of Bragança, D. Afonso, back in 1377 
This quiet lovely village presents interesting monuments such as what is left of the Castle nowadays; the Renaissance Mother Church; the São Salvador do Mundo Church probably founded in the 13th century but much transformed afterwards; the lovely Nossa Senhora do Mileu Church (13th/14th century) or even the Renaissance Pillory built in 1539. - in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-veiros-15442

Palaces of Sintra - Portugal

A few days ago I told a friend that I need to go to Sintra again to visit the palaces I didn't visit yet. These cards sent by Vera and Ninocas show the ones I already visited. 

Located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the fruit of King Ferdinand II’s creative genius and the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal, denoting clear influences from the Manueline and Moorish styles of architecture. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth. - in: http://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/parks-and-monuments/park-and-national-palace-of-pena/

Also they known as Paço Real (Royal Palace) or Palácio da Vila (Town Palace), the Sintra National Palace is situated in the Praça da República, the “centre or the city historical centre“. 
Its two huge twin chimneys, from the Palace kitchen, are the image of this Palace and completely dominate the landscape of this historical centre, classified as world heritage by UNESCO. 
In its origin this was a Moorish Palace, being years after one of the preferred places of Portuguese kings and queens, even though the palace that we can see nowadays has suffered changes all over the centuries and new parts were increased to the initial structure. 
Sintra National Palace is unique amongst the royal mediaeval palaces in Portugal, forever linked to the most significant periods of the Portuguese History. - in: http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-palacio-nacional-de-sintra-4872

Iberianlandscapes.net * © Sergiy Scheblykin 2014
The Moors Castle is a ruinous castle that is set  amidst the lush forests of the Sintra hills and is a popular tourist attraction of Sintra. The castle was established during the 9th century by the North African Moors to guard the town of Sintra but it fell into disrepair after the Christian conquest of Portugal.

Monday, October 19, 2015

10th PC Anniversary Meeting in Lisbon

4 months after the 10th anniversary of Postcrossing and the meeting in Lisbon, I'm finally posting the cards Ninocas, Vitória and Zé sent me from there. All the cards were also signed by Duarte, Luís and Paula. 

 Portugal Souvenir
This multiview card of the portuguese capital shows images of the Augusta Street Arc; the 25th of April Bridge, Belém Tower, a typical tram, Commerce Square, Monument to the Discoveries and a view to St. Jorge Castle. 

 © Foto: António Henriques
Castle of São Jorge or Saint George Castle can be a magical place to explore. Set on a hilltop high above Lisbon, it was once used as a fortress by the Moors until it fell in 1147. Today a popular tourist destination, this monument to the past was restored to preserve its history, and still allow it to be a very user friendly place to visit. - in: http://www.top10portugal.com/castle-sao-jorge-lisbon

Portugal Souvenir * © Foto: Nuno Trindade
The 25th of April Bridge is the oldest bridge across the Tagus river in Lisbon. The more than two km long suspension bridge opened in 1966 after almost four years of construction.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Postcards from Algarve - Portugal

Ninocas and Sofia have been to Algarve this summer. I'm also considering a visit to this portuguese region but only as a plan B for my 1st holidays of next year. Lets see how it all goes. 

 Photography & design © Michael Howard * www.mikehowardphoto.com
Not so long ago Ninocas sent me a card with one of Tavira's churches, now she sent another card with 4 churches: St. Mary of the Castle Church; St. Brás Church; Our Lady of Piety Chapel and Holy Spirit Church.

 Photography & design © Michael Howard * www.mikehowardphoto.com
I'm not a fruit kind of person but I really like Algarve's oranges. They're juicy, very sweet and tasty, delicious!! 
Sweet oranges were brought from China to Europe by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and Portugal produces more than 200,000 tons per year. The Algarve produces more than half of the domestic production.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Portuguese castles

Castles are one of my favorites themes on postcards. This one sent by Sofia shows some beautiful portuguese castles. I've been to all of them except two. 

www.edigpostal.com
Clock wise: Guimarães; Porto de Mós; Montemor-o-Velho; Almourol; Ourém; Marvão; Óbidos; Penela; Pombal; Linhares da Beira; Roman Temple in Évora (not a castle, why is it on the card??); Castelo Rodrigo; Leiria; Celorico da Beira and Santa Maria da Feira. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Porto Santo - Madeira

My 1st contact with Margarida was a couple of years ago because of our blogs. A few comments later we started to swap cards and we finally met last month. This card from Porto Santo Island arrived before that meeting. 

© Francisco Ribeiro
Ana Ferreira Peak is situated 280 meters above sea level. It is the highest point on the west side of Porto Santo Island.
At its peak it sprouts into a spectacular organ-pipe array of pentagonal rock columns, caused by volcanic activity millions of years ago.

Old couple - Portugal

In the last 2, 3 months I've received a lot of cards from my portuguese friends, most of them from their holidays. Vitória was recently on holidays and she sent me a couple of cards. She knows how much I like old people cards and sent me this lovely one.  

© Edição Vistal * Foto: P. S. Vierow
I don't know exactly where the card is from but in this case it doesn't matter, the card is lovely anyway!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monthly Favorite Surprise RR * September '15

This afternoon I've been choosing and writing card for October's Monthly Favorite Surprise RR. Three of them will be sent tomorrow and then I need to find the 4th card. But for now, I'm sharing the 4 cards I got last month. This time they came from Austria, Netherlands, Lithuania and Russia.

www.tkv.at
The beautiful Austrian province of Tirol is one of the best skiing areas in winter. In summer it offers fantastic hiking paths and stunning views of lakes and valleys. In addition, Tiroleans love their traditions and food. It’s a great place to get an insight into the Austrian culture. - in: http://www.austria.info/uk/where-to-go/provinces/tirol
The card was sent by Gudrun. 

© Uitgeverij van der Meulen bv Sneek
Nanda sent me this card with the Noordwijk Lighthouse. It dates from 1921 but a wooden light has already been built here in the 19th century. The tower has 6 floors and a staircase with 108 steps. Is not possible to climb the tower. 

Foto: © Antanas Varanka
In August's RR Ausra sent me a card with some churches in Vilnius and in September Ieva sent me this card with St. John's Church, one of the churches in Ausra's card. I didn't get to see this one. 
One of the picturesque parts of the Vilnius University building is the Church of Sts. Johns and its bell tower. The full name of the church is the Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.
The construction of this church lasted for almost 40 years and was completed in 1426. At that time it was a Gothic building. In 1571 the church was transferred to the Order of Jesuits and became a part of the university complexes.
Besides masses, the Church of Sts. Johns has also witnessed student protests, theatre performances, and welcoming ceremonies for kings. In Soviet times, it was turned into a warehouse. Later, the University Museum was established here.
Today, the Church of Sts. Johns performs its main functions once again. It was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
The bell tower of the church, which is 68 meters high, is among the highest buildings in the Old Town.
The present facade was designed in the 18th century by the most prominent Vilnius Baroque architect, Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas (Johan Christoph Glaubitz). - in: http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/en/what-to-see/places-to-visit/churches/church-of-sts-johns/

This was the last card to arrive and it was a wonderful surprise sent by Anna, not only because it is a beautiful card but especially because it is from the only russian UNESCO site I was still missing. I couldn't be happier. Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex was added to the WHS list last year.
This property lies on the shores of the Volga River, south of its confluence with the River Kama, and south of the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan. It contains evidence of the medieval city of Bolgar, an early settlement of the civilization of Volga-Bolgars, which existed between the 7th and 15th centuries AD, and was the first capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century. Bolgar represents the historical cultural exchanges and transformations of Eurasia over several centuries that played a pivotal role in the formation of civilizations, customs and cultural traditions. The property provides remarkable evidence of historic continuity and cultural diversity. It is a symbolic reminder of the acceptance of Islam by the Volga-Bolgars in AD 22 and remains a sacred pilgrimage destination to the Tatar Muslims. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/981

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Monthly Favorite Surprise RR - August '15

In August I also got nice cards from this RR. These came from Lithuania, Czech Republic, Indonesia and Ireland. 

Fotos: K. Driskius, R. Paknys, L. Jankauskas
Exactly one month ago (already one month) I was flying to Vilnius. These are some of the many churches in Vilnius, I visited three of these.
These are: St. Anne and the Bernardines Churches; St. Michael's Church; St. John's Church; the Cathedral; St. Theresa Church and Gates of the Basilian Monastery and St. Peter and St. Paul´s Church. 
The card was sent by Ausra. 

© Foto: Zd. Hartinger
Radana sent me this card of the beautiful Byzantine Chapel of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Radhošť mountain. The building was consecrated in 1898.

Photo © Heritage Collection
The Great Mosque of Sultan Riau is part of the Penyengat Island Palace complex. 
The complex is an interesting blend of Javanese and Dutch architecture, still imbued with an air of dignity, even though it has been abandoned for more than 80 years. Here are tombs and crypts, and a restored fort.
The pride of the island is the Sultan’s Mosque, the Mesjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat. Peeping through the palm trees like a fairy tale castle, it is still in use today. Rumour has it that a large part of the mosque was made of eggs, gifts from the Sultan’s loyal subjects on the occasion of his wedding. The egg-white proved to be a strong bonding agent. The mosque has excellent acoustics and even a whisper can carry right across the auditorium. Here is also the beautifully preserved handwritten and illustrated Quran of over 150 years old. - in: http://www.indonesia-tourism.com/forum/showthread.php?1340-The-Great-Mosque-of-Sultan-Riau-Pulau-Penyengat
The card was sent by Jennifer.

Photography reproduced from original artistic work © Liam Blake
In this RR I've received another card from John and like in the July's RR, this card was also from my favorites.
This is a view of the Blasket Islands from Dunquin, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.
Dunquin or Dún Chaoin is a traditionally Irish speaking Gaeltacht village on the most south westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula, in the south-west of Ireland. It comprises eleven townlands on the mainland and the Blasket Islands three miles offshore and it is often referred to as "the next parish to America"
Dún Chaoin is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture. The spectacular views of the Blasket islands, the rugged cliffs which make up the coastline, the picturesque, narrow, winding pathway leading to the pier and the splendid sunsets are featured in many calendars, postcards and tourist brochures each year. - in: http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/dunquin.html