Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Postcards vs Pictures I

No cards today and yesterday, so today i wanted to post something different.
Postcards are my addiction but i also love taking pictures. When i travel i always buy cards and try to take some decent pictures. Sometimes when i get home i realize that the pictures and cards are very similar. Today i'll start a serie of posts to show postcards and pictures.
Today's post shows 2 of the 12 portuguese historical villages, both in my district. These villages are very old settlements founded even before the portuguese nation foundation. They stand out for their militar architecture because some of them are surrounded by walls and protected by a castle.

This card is from Marialva and it shows the castle, a pillory, a cistern and the jail.
"Despite being practically abandoned nowadays, the village of Marialva had its hey-day in the 12th and 13th centuries, when the Castle was built. It is one of the most singular ruins of Portuguese castles, keeping its structure almost intact, as well as the population settlement around it. The wall line that surrounds the ancient village is interrupted by two small windows and two gates (the Guardian Angel gate and the Hill gate) connected by an ancient pavement. The pillory, the cistern, the fortress, the donjon, two churches and five towers remain." - in: http://www.ippar.pt/english/monumentos/castelo_marialva.html
This is the picture i took. That day the weather wasn't that good and the sky was kind of grey. To visit the castle we have to buy a ticked and i was lucky because i was the only one visiting it at that hour. That was great because i like to take my time and i hate to have people arround me when i'm taking pictures.

This one is from Sortelha and i've already been there a few times.
"Sortelha is likely a pre-roman settlement, which has been continuously inhabbited, in turns by celts, romans, goths, arabs, leonese and, at last, portuguese. The present castle walls were built on the 13th century. It is one of the best preserved portuguese Historical Villages." - in: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=abd41212-c4e4-44e5-b81d-eabdf8c438a0

I think i took this picture 2 years ago, probably the last time i went there.
If you ever visit my region, you must visit this village. It keeps an immaculated mediaeval architecture and is extremely well preserved with its stony lanes and granite houses (some have been turned into restaurants and holiday inns). Definitively, this is one of the most typical and beautiful villages in Portugal. This historic village hasn't got signs of modern life, time didn't pass here.
Portugal isn't only beaches and sun, if you want to see something else, you must visit our Historic Villages, i'm sure you’ll not loose your precious time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Florence - Italy

This is one of the italian cities i would love to visit! I bought these cards in Italy but in Milan, not Florence.
"Florence is known as the “cradle of Renaissance” for its monuments, churches and buildings. In 1982, the historic center of Florence (Italian: centro storico di Firenze) was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for the importance of its cultural heritages." - in: wikipedia

"Ponte Vecchio, the oldest of Florence's six bridges, is one of the city's best known images. Probably going back to Roman times with its stone pillars and wooden planks; it was built in stone but then newly destroyed by a flood in 1333. It was built again twelve years later, perhaps by Neri da Fioravante (or Taddeo Gaddi, according to Giorgio Vasari).
The five arches became three and the main part was widened. The shops, housed under the porticos, first belonged to the Commune which then rented them out. But later on, towards the 15th century, they were sold to private owners and began to change through subsequent additions, raised parts and external terraces, extending towards the river and altering the original architecture in an anarchical, suggestive way." - in:

"In 1293, after the political success of the guilds, the new Priors wanted to build a monument which would become the most important civic monument in Florence, the Palazzo dei Priori, seat of the Signoria, later called Palazzo Vecchio. According to tradition, the central nucleus of the building was erected by Arnolfo di Cambio between 1299 and 1304.
It has the appearance of a fortress, topped by a huge open gallery, from which rises the slender tower known as the Arnolfo tower and which repeats in the belfry the design of the top of the palace. The two rows of elegant ogival mullioned windows; this is the only measured proportion to the Palace. It was subsequently enlarged by Vasari, in the sixteenth century and by Buontalenti, in the seventeenth century. Palazzo Vecchio, after having been the seat the seat of the town authorities, became the home of the Medici family.
Later it was the seat of the provisional governments (1848-49 and 1859-60), and when Florence was the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871 it housed the Chamber of Deputies and the Foreign Ministry. It has been the seat of the municipal authority since 1872." - in:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Basque Country

I've spent the last weekend in the north of the country and a friend of mine gave some cards, incluing great cards from the Basque Country in Spain. These are 4 of them.

This is a card from Bilbao, the is the largest city in the Basque Country and the capital of the province of Biscay, and on the card there's the City Hall. "The building was built in the former site of a convent, in the district of Uribarri, in 1892 by Joaquín Rucoba. It was built in Baroque style. One of the highlights of the building is the Arab hall, a richly decorated hall that follows the Neo-Mudéjar style and resembles the decorations found in the Alhambra of Granada." - in: wikipedia

These are the San Antón Church and the Roman Bridge. You can see both in Bilbao's coat of arms. The church was built in 1422 over the old city's fortress.
Typical house in Puerto de Orduña.

The beautiful Bakio Beach, located in Bizkaia's town of the same name, has a long promenade that runs alongside the beach, offering an extraordinary view of the sea.

Friday, September 26, 2008

From Peru

These are the 6 great cards i've received today from Peru sent by Mery "maypar". It took more than 1 month to arrive but it was worth waiting :) Thanks Mery.

This beautiful sunset is one of the attractions of the Madre de Dios region, in the southeast Peru . "The region is almost entirely low-lying Amazonian rainforest.The territory embraces high and low jungle zones. Madre de Dios is mainly a province with abundant virgin jungles, subjugating landscapes and countless micro-climates. It is possibly the least eroded and exploited area of the Peruvian Amazons. A land with wide, slow rivers and beautiful lagoons surrounded by the most exhuberant vegetation: Madre de Dios has the best soil of the Amazon jungles. Also, this region shelters native tribes for whom the advance of civilization has not yet arrived." - in: http://www.perucontact.com/en/conozca/madre_dios.php

A night view of the Plaza de Armas, historic centre of Lima with the Archbishop Palace and Basilica Cathedral. "The Archbishop Palace is the home of the Archbishop of Lima. The first major church began construction in 1535. Pope Paul III turned it into an episcopal seat in 1541.
The Basilica Cathedral of Lima, which has become one of the main symbols of the city, started construction the same year the city was founded; 1535. Since then there have been numerous remodilations. The Cathedral of Lima displays a form architecture that makes it unique in all of South America, of the style of the viceroyal time." - in
: wikipedia
"Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nasca and the pampas of Jumana cover about 450 km2. These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long. They are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/700

"The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city's robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades.
The ornamented architecture in the historic centre of Arequipa represents a masterpiece of the creative integration of European and native characteristics, crucial for the cultural expression of the entire region. Criterion iv The historic centre of Arequipa is an outstanding example of a colonial settlement, challenged by the natural conditions, the indigenous influences, the process of conquest and evangelization, as well as the spectacular nature of its setting." - in:

Chan Chan Archaeological Zone. On the back of the card: Chan Chan: the world's largest pre-Hispanic mud-brick citadel. The ancient Chimu Kingdom (700-1400 AD) founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River in the department of la Libertad and called it Jang-Juang, which in the ancient Mochica language means "sun-sun".
Chan Chan was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The city is severely threatened by erosion from El Niño, which causes heavy rains and flooding on the Peruvian coast.
Finally, a card of the Pastoruri Glacier, 1 of the 663 glaciers in the Huascarán National Park, a national park in the Cordillera Blanca, a range of the Andes, in Ancash region.
"In 1985 the park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its protection was initially arranged by the Peruvian government in 1975 in order to safeguard flora and fauna, geological formations, archaeological remains and the panoramic scenery of the Cordillera Blanca, and to encourage scientific research into the area's natural and cultural resources. Tourism is promoted in the area, making its protected status a source of wealth for its inhabitants and others." - in: wikipedia

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Algar-Seco - Portugal

1 card today from Portugal, a beautiful lottery card sent by Carla.

"This set of rocky formations, which the sea, the wind and the waters were cutting patiently along million years, was always a place that impressed the visitor, a painted picture of strangers and incomparable forms, of caves, algares and cliffs sculpted in the limestone and in the clay, where the blue and calm vastness or the towering waves are hidden in the infinite horizon. A place that strokes and renews the spirit in the quiet days and in the nights of full moon. Where is possible to breathe the refreshing smell of the sea that jumps over the unreal fortress, when the ocean is infuriated." - in: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=72b17b6b-0904-41d8-a851-b74aae2b4023

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

While i was out

After a few days in the north of the country with a friend, i'm back. From the trip i've brought around 30 new cards and when i got home i had more 6, including a new country and new unesco whs.

This an used card from Bolivia but sent from Germany by Gabriela "zimtschneck". This is a card from a new country and a new unesco whs. The card shows the Fuerte de Samaipata in Santa Cruz.
"The archaeological site of Samaipata consists of two parts: the hill with its many carvings, believed to have been the ceremonial centre of the old town (14th–16th centuries), and the area to the south of the hill, which formed the administrative and residential district. The huge sculptured rock, dominating the town below, is a unique testimony to pre-Hispanic traditions and beliefs, and has no parallel anywhere in the Americas." - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/883

And now a card sent by Lingkong "lingmusic". The Wannian Temple located in Mt. Emei of Sichuan Province. Mt. Emei is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 The temple was built in the Jin Dynasty. Originally named Puxian Temple, it was renamed "Baishui Temple" in the Tang Dynasty, and again changed into "Wannian Temple" during the Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty.

I won this card on the portuguese community and it was sent by Juan "almenara".
The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). Originally capable of seating around 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It remained in use for nearly 500 years with the last recorded games being held in the 6th century. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games. - in:

A RAS card sent by Ana "ninocas" :D "Ericeira is a fishing and seaside resort town on the west coast of Portugal about 35 km north-west of the centre of Lisbon. Its name originates from Ouriceira, which derives from Ouriço, the Portuguese name for a sea urchin, as seen on the coat of arms." - in: wikipedia

A new official card - HU-12940, my 1st official from Hungary. It was sent by Gábor.
"Kazincbarcika is the third largest city of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Northern Hungary. It lies in the valley of the river Sajó, 20 km (12 mi) away from the county capital, Miskolc." - in: wikipedia.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Official + unesco cards

I've found 4 cards today in my mailbox. 2 official from Finland and unesco cards from Germany and Spain.
FI-371013. This card was sent by Minna "minnasusanne". I've already traded with her on the forum and when i saw her signature on the card i thought it was a surprise or tag card. I just realized it was an official card a few minutes later. This was the 1st time i got an official card from someone i've already traded with!! And it was her 300th sent card :o That's a lot of cards Minna.
Kiitos ;)
FI-367944. Sent by Anna.

"St. Michaelis Church in Hildesheim is an early-Romanesque church.
Abbey Church of St. Michael's was constructed between 1001 and 1031 under the direction of Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim. Bernward named the church after the archangel Michael, the Christian angel of protection who carries the deceased to heaven, because he planned to be buried in the Michaeliskirche. Bernward's plans were spoiled by his death in 1022, eleven years before the completion and consecration of the church in 1033. Bernward's successor, Godehard, transferred Bernward's remains to the crypt following its completion.
St. Michael's Church was destroyed in an air raid during World War II, but reconstruction was begun in 1950 and completed in 1957. In 1985, the church became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, along with the Cathedral of Hildesheim, its collection of medieval treasures and its 1000-year old rosebush." - in: wikipedia
The card was sent by "bine".

A card showing the Roman Theatre in Mérida, sent by Francisco "franito".
"Mérida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain.
It was founded in the year. 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (the name Mérida is an evolution of this) by order of Emperor Augustus, to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The city became the capital of Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman empire. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan); because of this, the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida" is a World Heritage site." - in:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Official cards

2 official cards today!!

FI-367942 from Annillina "milkshake", a 12 year old finnish girl.

DE-211972 from Britta "Geheimnis" in Meppen. Britta sent me this card in german. I studied german for 3 years and i almost forgot it, but she wrote simple german and i was able to understant.
This is St. Vitus Church in Meppen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Avignon - France

Today i've only received this unesco card from France. it was sent by Sylvie "pazzolina".

"The Palais des Papes in Avignon is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. It is one of many places called the Palace of the Popes.
Avignon became the residence of the Popes in 1309, when Pope Clement V, unwilling to face the violent chaos of Rome after his election, moved the Papal Curia to Avignon, a period known as the Avignon Papacy. Clement lived as a guest in the Dominican monastery at Avignon, and his successor Pope John XXII set up a magnificent establishment there, but the reconstruction of the old bishops' palace was begun in earnest by Pope Benedict XII and continued by his successors to 1364.
The popes departed Avignon in 1377, returning to Rome, but this prompted the Papal Schism during which time the antipopes Clement VII and Benedict XIII made Avignon their home until 1408." - in: wikipedia

Usually i post the cards and the stamps but today i had to post the envelope. Is so beautiful. This one won't go to recicle like the other ones ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vernazza - Italy

This card is so beautiful :) It was sent by Gosia.

"The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast of the Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy comprising five villages, "The Five Lands": Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all encapsulated in the Cinque Terre national park. The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Cinque Terre, due to the geographical and anthropomorphic features of the territory in which they are found, represent one of the main tourist attractions of the Riviera of La Spezia and in general of the Liguria region. The orographic context is a naturally rugged, hilly territory, attenuated by the presence of terraces for crops, which degrade towards the seafront in steep slopes.
Man's action over the centuries has modelled the territory without altering its delicate ecological balance by terracing the slopes, an agricultural technique intended to exploit as much as possible the heavily sloping soils which degrade towards the sea, thereby making it one of the most characteristic landscapes of Liguria." - in:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Zealand, Portugal

These are the cards i've received today. A volcano card from New Zealand sent by Sally "twinkley". She read i like volcanos and she asked me if i wanted to receive another one from NZ. The second card is from Portugal and it was sent by Helena "leninha".

On the back og the card: Mt Ruapehu (2779m) erupting in September 1995 just at sunset, viewed from the National Park township.
"Mount Ruapehu is an active stratovolcano at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand. Ruapehu is one of the world's most active volcanoes and the largest active volcano in New Zealand.

Mt. Ruapehu served as the setting for Mt. Doom in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It is predominately featured in The Return of the King as Frodo and Sam stumble up—and then get stuck coming down—its slopes." - in: wikipedia

This is the Alferrarede Castle in Alferrarede. This castle is classified as a National Monument but is a private property. The Counts of Alferrarede live there.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Old Geneva - Switzerland

"Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). Situated where the Rhône River exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
Geneva is widely regarded as a global city, mainly because of the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross." - in:

The Geneva Old Town (La Vieille Ville) is a picturesque portion of Geneva, characterized by its cobblestone streets, old buildings and sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Perched on a hillside south of the Rhone River, la Vieille Ville can be seen from around Geneva. The heart of the old town is the Geneva Cathedral." - in: http://switzerland-geneva.com/attractions/oldtown.html
Exactly 4 years ago i was in Switzerland. This was 1 of the cards i bought there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Montevideo - Uruguay

When i open the envelepe i've found today in my mailbox, i just felt like jumping, not only because i've got a card from a new country but also because it was sent by a dear friend, better said, it was sent by my dear "sister" in Brazil Andréa "andreaeiko".
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital and chief port of Uruguay. Montevideo has a fine harbour, one of the most important in the Americas.

"Salvo Palace is a building in Montevideo, designed by the architect Mario Palanti, an Italian immigrant living in Buenos Aires. Finished in 1925, Palacio Salvo stands 100 metres high with the antenna included and was the tallest building in South America at the time.
The building was originally intended to function as a hotel, possibly mixed with some private residential units. This did not work out, and it never functioned as a hotel. There is now a mixture of offices and private residences in the building." - in: