Friday, July 31, 2009

Lottery cards

A few days ago Rita "rita_simões" hosted a lottery on the portuguese community and what we had to do was guess the name of the city on a card. The correct answer was Stockholm and i was the winner. Zé "zepombal" also hosted a lottery and this time we had to guess his age :) this was pretty easy because he said he was born in 1949 :P Off course we all guessed it right and he sent cards to everybody!!

The city was really Stockholm and Rita sent this nice black & white card.
"Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the parliament, and the official residence of the Swedish Monarch. Stockholm has been the cutural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden since the 13th century. Its strategic location on 14 islands on the south-central east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its historical buildings and architecture, its rivers and many parks, and its large shopping districts. Stockholm is one of the most visited cities in the Nordic Countries, with over 1 million visitors every year." - in: wikipedia

A card from pombal, Zé's hometown, with the Cardal church, a barroc temple from the 18th century.
By the way, these stamps are just great.

Monday, July 27, 2009

X Photo Contest

A few days ago i won another photo contest on the portuguese community. This time the theme was "parties/festivities" and i won with a pictures from last year's carnival. Now is my turn to open a new contest and the theme is "the sea".
Last week i've started to receive the 1st postcards, prizes of the contest.

This one arrived from Brazil and it was sent my Cinthia.
The card don't identify these mountains in Campos de Jordão, São Paulo state, but according to wikipedia, Campos do Jordão is a city located on the Mantiqueira Mountains, so the mountains on the card must be the Mantiqueira Mountains.

Another cathedral for my collection, another 1 sent by Zé.
faro cathedral started to be built by the end of the 13th century. It suffered some alterations due to the english troops invasion and the 1755 earthquake.
The cathedral is one of the most sumptuous monuments in Faro's Old Town, decorated with gilded wood-work, marble inlaid work, ceramic tiles panels and sculptures.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Budva - Montenegro

Last week i've received a lot of great cards including a card from a new country :P Montenegro :D, nº 101 in my countries list.
Receiving a card from a new country is always great but it is even better when the card is sent by a special friend.
Thanks a lot Ana, i love the card.

"Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budvanska rivijera, is the centre of Montenegro's tourism, and is well known for its sandy beaches, diverse nightlife, and beautiful examples of Mediterranean architecture.
Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic sea coast
Budva is the capital of Montenegrin tourism.
Because of its 11,310 m of sandy beaches in and around Budva, and its vast cultural heritage, beautiful architecture, and vibrant nightlife, Budva is increasingly attracting foreign tourists. This makes it the most attractive tourist destination in Montenegro." - in: wikipedia

Leipzig - Germany

This is a card from Leipzig sent by Detlef with a coffee house from 1556.

"Leipzig is the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany.
The Leipzig region was the arena of the Battle of the Nations, which ended Napoleon's run of conquest in Europe, and led to his first exile on Elba.
Johann Sebastian Bach worked in Leipzig from 1723 to 1750 and Richard Wagner the composer was born in Leipzig in 1813. Robert Schumann was also active in Leipzig music." - in:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brazilian official cards

Last friday and today i've got 2 brazilian cards. I like both of them.

BR-69928, sent by Rubens.
This strange building is the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Paraná State.
"The Oscar Niemeyer Museum was inaugurated in 2002 with the name Novo Museu or New Museum. With the conclusion of remodeling and the construction of a new annex, it was reinaugurated on July 8, 2003, with the current denomination to honor its famous architect who completed this project at 95 years of age. It is also known as Museu do Olho or Museum of the Eye, due to the design of the building.
The museum focuses on the visual arts, architecture and design. For its magnificence, beauty and for the importance of the collection, it represents a cultural institution of international significance. The complex of two buildings, installed in an area of 35 thousand square meters, it is a true example of architecture allied with art. The first building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1967, faithful to the style of the time, and conceived as an educational institute. It was remodeled and adapted to function as a museum, for which Niemeyer designed the annex, reminiscent of an eye, imprinting it with a new characteristic identity.
The museum features many of Niemeyer's signature elements: bold geometric forms, sculptural curved volumes placed prominently to contrast with rectangular volumes, sinuous ramps for pedestrians, large areas of white painted concrete, and areas with vivid murals or paintings." - in
: wikipedia

BR-69288, sent by Tito Garcez.
This card was a good surprise because it was sent by Tito, once a very active postcrosser on the portuguese community in the postcrossing forum. He hasn't been there for awhile so it was good to hear from him again.
This card is from his hometown Aracaju, Sergipe state. On the card we can see the João Alves Filho Bridge, also known as Aracaju Bridge, and a folk group.

South Africa whs

These are my 1st unesco cards from South Africa, all of them sent by Gisela "protea".

"Parys is a town situated on the banks of the Vaal River in the Free State province of South Africa.
Parys is in the 5km buffer zone of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. Vredefort crater is the largest verified impact crater on Earth. It is located in the Free State Province of South Africa, and named after the town of Vredefort, which is situated near its centre. The site is also referred to as Vredefort dome or Vredefort impact structure. In 2005, the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest." - in: wikipedia

"Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, some seven kilometres off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island". Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. It is of particular note as it was here that former South African President and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela and former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, alongside many other political prisoners, spent decades imprisoned during the apartheid era.
Today the island is a popular tourist destination and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It is reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and is open throughout the year, weather permitting, and tours of the island and prison are led by guides who were formerly prisoners there. Robben Island Museum (RIM) operates as a site or living museum." - in
: wikipedia

The bushman painting in Drakensberg National Park.
"The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to 3,482 metres (11,420 ft) in height.
Caves are frequent in the more easily eroded sandstone, and many have rock paintings by the Bushmen. The Drakensberg has between 35000 and 40000 works of bushman art and is the largest collection of such work in the world. Some 20,000 individual rock paintings have been recorded at 500 different cave and overhang sites between the Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park and Bushman's Neck. Due to the materials used in their production, these paintings are difficult to date, but there is anthropological evidence, including many hunting implements, that the bushman civilization existed in the Drakensberg at least 40,000 years ago, and possibly over 100,000 years ago." - in: wikipedia

Maiden's Tower

Today i've received another beautiful card from my dear postcard pal Gokçe. The card shows the Maiden's Tower also known as Leander's Tower. It sits on a small islet located in the Bosphorus strait off the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul.
"Maiden's Tower was first built by the ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in 408 BC to control the movements of the Persian ships in the Bosphorus strait. Used as a lighthouse for centuries, the interior of the tower has been transformed into a popular café and restaurant, with an excellent view of the former Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman capital. Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day.
There are many legends about the construction of the tower and its location. According to the most popular Turkish legend, a sultan had a much beloved daughter. One day, an oracle prophetised that she would be stung to death by a venomous snake's bite on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort to thwart his daughter's early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father.
On the 18th birthday of the princess, the sultan brought her a basket of exotic sumptouous fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding amongst the fruits bites the young princess and she dies in her father's arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden's Tower.
The older name Leander's Tower comes from another story about a maiden: the ancient Greek myth of Hero and Leander. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who lived in a tower at Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont. Leander (Leandros), a young man from Abydos on the other side of the strait, fell in love with her and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp every night at the top of her tower to guide his way.
Succumbing to Leander's soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. This routine lasted through the warm summer. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero's light, and Leander lost his way, and was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well. The name Maiden's Tower might also have its origins in this ancient story." - in:


And these are the other 4 cards Aletta sent me, all from Vietnam.

"The Presidential Palace of Vietnam, located in the city of Hanoi, was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina. Like most French Colonial architecture, the palace is pointedly European- the only visual cues that it is located in Vietnam at all are mango trees growing on the grounds.
When Vietnam achieved independence in 1954, Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the grand structure for symbolic reasons, although he still received state guests there, and he eventually built a traditional Vietnamese stilt house and carp pond on the grounds. Today, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum stands nearby and the Presidential Palace remains part of Hanoi's cultural core. The palace hosts government meetings. It is not open to the public, although one may walk around the grounds for a fee." - in: wikipedia

Turtle Tower is a small tower in the middle of Sword Lake in Hanoi.
"According to legend, in the 1500's a golden sword was taken from Emperor Le Thai To by a turtle in the lake. In some tellings of the tale, the turtle was heroically returning the sword to the lake where it belonged. In others, the turtle supplied the gold sword to the Emperor so he could smite his enemies. Still others say the turtle stole the sword and the Emperor had the lake drained looking for it. And in another variation, the turtle indicated to the Emperor which way his troops should go to win the war. In any case, this shrine was erected to commemorate the a turtle and a sword." - in:
Thien Dihn residence in the Emperor Khai Dihn's mausoleum.
Khai Dinh (in his reign from 1916 - 1925) is the 12th King of Nguyen (Nguyễn) dynasty, was in throne at the age of 31. The mausoleum is located 10 km's from Hue and started to be build in 1920. It was only completed after 11 years.

"Thai Hoa Palace (the Palace of Supreme Peace) was built in 1805 in the style of architectural designs made for the construction of the other structures like shrines, palaces and mausoleums in the imperial city of Hue in the 19th century. The size of the structure is about 1,300 sq. meters. The main hall is 43.3 meters long and 30.3 meters wide. The palace is made of two separate halls. The front hall is called ante-chamber and the other is billed as the main hall where is erected throne of the king.
This is the most significant place in the royal palace. It was used for the king's official receptions and other important court ceremonies such as anniversaries and coronations."
- in:

Aletta's cards

Aletta and i agreed on a trade and she said he would sent a filled envelope. I was expecting something great but never imagine to received 7 wonderful cards. I know, there are only 3 here but will post the other 4 in another post.

Malacca is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. This historical city centre has been listed as a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO since 7 July 2008.
The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1795 and built their landmark better known as the Stadthuys or Red Building. A good exemple of those red buildings in the Christ Church in the Dutch Square. Constructed in 1753, the Christ Church's structure reflects original Dutch architecture. The building houses hand-crafted church benches, jointless ceiling skylights, a copper replica of the Bible, a headstone written in the Armenian language, and a replica of "The Last Supper".

"The Water Village (Kampong Ayer) is an area of Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan that is situated in the middle of the Brunei River. 39,000 people live in the Water Village. This represents roughly 10% of the nation's total population. All of the Water Village buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River.
The Water Village is really made up of small villages linked together by more than 29,140 meters of foot-bridges, consisting of over 4200 structures including homes, mosques, restaurants, shops, a school, and a hospital. 36 kilometers of boardwalks connect the buildings. Private water taxis provide rapid transit. Most of these taxis resemble long wooden speed boats. From a distance the water village looks like a slum. It actually enjoys modern amenities including air conditioning, satellite television, Internet access, plumbing, and electricity. Some of the residents keep potted plants and chickens. The district has a unique architectural heritage of wooden homes with ornate interiors." - in:

"Siem Reap City is the capital of Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In town, there are Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake. It is perhaps best known for its proximity to Angkor Wat." - in:

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Unesco envelope

Today my mailbox was empty but i still have a lot of cards that i received in the last days to show.
All these cards are unesco, 3 of them new in my collection. The envelope was sent from Poland by Andrzej "andes1".

Binarowa is a village in southern Poland.
The village is the site of St. Michael's Archangel church, built in the beginning of 16th century. This is one of the six Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland, on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2003.

Arles, in southern France, is a good example of the adaptation of an ancient city to medieval European civilization. It has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C. The Arles Amphitheatre is a Roman amphitheatre that continues in use as a bullring.

The Cologne Cathedral, in Germany, is also an whs but i already had it in my collection and have posted a card here with information about it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Official cards

3 officials i've received yesterday from Russia, my 1st official from there, Malaysia and USA.

RU-55470, sent by Olga "kelpie".
This is a view of the Altai Mountains, a new unesco in my collection :)
"The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in central Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
A vast area of 16,178 km² - Altai and Katun Natural Reserves, Lake Teletskoye, Mount Belukha and the Ukok Plateau - comprise a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai. As stated in the UNESCO description of the site, "the region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation". While making its decision, UNESCO also cited Russian Altai's importance for preservation of the globally endangered mammals, such as snow leopard and the Altai argali. The Uvs Nuur basin is also a protected site." - in:

MY-22554, sent by Muhamad.
Another day in a Malaysian island paradise where de blue sky float above the emerald green waters of unspoiled beaches.

US-447305, sent by Victoria.
"The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption replaced two previous churches of the same name successively. The first original cathedral was built in 1854 and still stands today and is now known as Old Saint Mary's Church. In 1891, a second cathedral was constructed but was destroyed in a fire in 1962. The present-day cathedral was commissioned just as Vatican II was convening in Rome. Prescriptions of the historic church council allowed the Archdiocese of San Francisco to plan boldly in the building of its new cathedral. That resulted in the modern design of the present structure. The cornerstone was laid on December 13, 1967 and the cathedral was completed three years later. On May 5, 1971, the cathedral was blessed and on October 5, 1996 was formally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the name of Saint Mary of the Assumption. The first papal mass was celebrated by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral in 1987." - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michigan Lighthouses

2 beautiful lighthouse cards sent by Christine "chris2320" from Michigan.

East Michigan lighthouses: Poe Reef Light; Fort Gratiot Light; Harbor Beach Light; Pointe Aux Barques Light; Old Mackinac Point Light; Round Island Light; Charity Island Light; Saginaw River Light.

"Middle Island Light Station is located in Lake Huron, halfway between Thunder Bay Island and Presque Isle. There are seven buildings on the island, including a light tower, Keepers Quarters, an Oil House, Tool Garage, a Fog Horn building and two brick privies. The conical brick tower stands 77 feet tall. The Lighthouse is white with an orange band in the middle. It's light is 78 feet above low water and can be seen for 17 miles.
Visitors can take a day tour of the island or even spend a private night on the island in a rustic lodge." - in:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Winnipesaukee Lake - USA

And the last card of the week was the beautiful sunrise over the Winnipesaukee Lake in New Hampshire. The card was sent by Dulcey and i love it.

"Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire. The lake contains at least 253 islands, half of which are less than a quarter-acre in size and is indented by several peninsulas, yielding a total shoreline of some 288 miles (463 km).
Lake Winnipesaukee has been a tourist destination for more than a century, especially for residents escaping the summer heat of Boston and New York City. The Native American name Winnipesaukee means either "smile of the Great Spirit" or "beautiful water in a high place." - in: wikipedia

Portuguese lottery cards

I've recently won a lottery on the portuguese community hosted by Joaquim "kosta28" and yesterday i've received his cards.

Tricana, the most beautiful sardines canes in the world.

This is the Our Lord of the Navigators Church in Caxinas, Vila do Conde, also known as the Boat Church. It was inaugurated in 1985.

Other officials

The other 2 official cards i've received are from Singapore and the Netherlands.

SG-18429, sent by Zhou "xinyu".
This is an official from Singapore but the card is from China and it shows the Washing Ribbon Pavilion over the water at the Master of the Nets Garden, one of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou. The classical gardens in Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000.
"Classical Chinese garden design, which seeks to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, is nowhere better illustrated than in the nine gardens in the historic city of Suzhou. They are generally acknowledged to be masterpieces of the genre. Dating from the 11th-19th century, the gardens reflect the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture in their meticulous design." - in:

NL-182456, sent by Kaleb.
The De Bijenkorf is the biggest department store in Amsterdam.
"The history of De Bijenkorf dates back till 1870, when Philip Goudsmit opened its first the shop with buttons and sewing supplies at the busy Nieuwendjik street. During the renovation of the shop in 1912, it had to be temporary moved to the Dam square. The sales quadrupled and ever since the Bijenkorf, now in its monumental building dating from 1957 (designed by Marcel Breuer), has been located at the Dam square.
The Bijenkorf is an institution. Not only because of the quality of it’s up market choice and sometimes high prices. The store contains a restaurant and a coffee bar, art gallery and a hairdresser for the young people. It organizes festivities, concerts, fashion shows, cultural travels and exhibitions.
No wonder The Bijenkorf bears the proud title Koninklijke – Royal. The Royal Bijenkorf - because it’s rich history is inseparably linked with the history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. De Bijenkorf and its personnel bravely resisted German occupation during the WWII. The store has been burnt two times, remaining opened throughout the war years. As Jewish-owned, De Bijenkorf had to be formally handed over for the time of the Nazi rule in the Netherlands, to the non-Jewish proprietors." - in: