Friday, October 30, 2009

Hoi An - Vietnam

I'm done with scanning, uploading and posting cards today. 4 days travelling and the result is almost 70 news cards. I've received and bought a lot of cards this month... postcards are never enough!!
So, one of my received cards this week was this beautiful card from Vietnam, my 1st written and stamped from there. It was sent by Valerie "octabis" while she was travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia. This is a card from Hoi An, a new unesco world heritage site.

"Hội An is a small city on the coast of the South China Sea in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is located in Quảng Nam province and is home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants.

In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.

As of 2009, Hội An is still a small city, but it attracts a fair number of tourists, also being a well-established place on the backpacker trail. Many visit for the numerous art and craft shops and tailors, who produce made-to-measure clothes for a fraction of the Western price. Several Internet cafés, bars and restaurants have opened along the riverfront. Hội An is famed for its centuries old cao lầu noodle, which can only be uniquely served here.The town is also famed for its unique lanterns." - in: wikipedia

New countries & new unesco whs

I was anxiously wanting for these 2 cards and they arrived when i was out.
These are from 2 new countries and 2 new unesco world heritage sites. They are from Mauritania and Zimbabwe :D
Thanks a lot to Sherri.

This is the Great Mosque in Oualata, "a small oasis town in south east Mauritania that was important in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as the southern terminus of trans-Saharan trade.
Oualata originally formed part of the Ghana Empire and grew wealthy through trade. At the beginning of the thirteenth century Oualata replaced Aoudaghost as the principal southern terminus for the trans-Saharan trade and developed into an important commercial and religious centre. By the fourteenth century the city had become part of the Mali Empire.
Today, Oualata is home to a manuscript museum, and is known for its highly decorative vernacular architecture. It is also a World Heritage Site." - in: wikipedia

"Khami is a ruined city in southern Africa, in what is now western and central Zimbabwe. It was once the capital of the Kingdom of Butua. It is located 22 kilometers west of the modern city of Bulawayo, capital of the province of Matabeleland North. Its ruins are now a national monument in Zimbabwe. Khami is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1986.
The town appears to have been founded at the time of the disappearance of the state at Great Zimbabwe, it grew between 1450 and 1650.
The site of Khami reveals seven built-up areas occupied by the royal family with open areas in the valley occupied by the commoners. The ruins include a royal enclosure or Hill Complex, which had to be on higher ground than other buildings, stone walls and hut platforms, and also a Christian cross believed to have been placed by a contemporary missionary." - in
: wikipedia

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

I got this card from the Philippines today, it's a new unesco card from there. Now, only one is missing to have all the unesco sites from the Philippines.
The card was sent by Jan "janbonivic".

"The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The National Park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The entrance to the Subterranean River is a short hike from the town of Sabang. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has been nominated for the "New Seven Wonders of Nature" competition.
The park has a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. Until the 2007 discovery of an underground river in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River was reputed to be the world's longest underground river.
The area also represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999." - in: wikipedia

Last officials

In the last few days i've received officials from Finland, Spain and Uzbekistan.

FI-669301, sent by Marika.
A snowy view from Lapland.

FI-626523, sent by Erika
A sunset in Kuhmo.

ES-56962, sent by Adriana
A card from Grao de Castellón, a city in the Valencian Community, in central and south-eastern Spain.

UZ-662, sent by Vitaly
My 1st official card from Uzbekistan and my 2nd card from there.
This is the Independence Arc in Tashkent, the capital city of the country.

Rita's cards

While i was out, Rita "rita_simões", sent me these 4 cards. One because of the photo contest and the others because of a lottery she hosted some time ago.

This wonderful card is a view of the Castro Guimarães Counts Palace in Cascais. It was built in the beggining of the XX century and it has been a Museum-Library since 1931.

Another Cascais view.

"The Castle of São Jorge is a Portuguese castle that occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and the broad Tagus River (Rio Tejo) beyond. The strongly-fortified citadel, which, in its present configuration, dates from medieval times, is located atop the highest hill in the historic center of the city. The castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon." - in: wikipedia

This last card is a view from Peniche, a seaside city "known for its long windy beaches, sought for recreational activities and sports as surf, windsurf or kite surf. Peniche has very good waves. Supertubos is the most popular wave in the region, with very fast and powerful (tubular) waves, one of the best in Europe; some call it the "European Pipeline". - in: wikipedia

Loulé II

Celina sent me another card from her hometown.

© Michael Howard photography

Here there's a fountain, a street view, a church and 2 Carnival views.

The Loulé Carnival started in 1906.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Officials from Paris

Tow officials from Paris but none of the senders is french.

As you can see, the postcard was sent from Germany. The sender was in Paris a few days ago.
A funny and weird view of the Eiffel Tower.

FR-68125, sent by Steffi
Steffi is a german girl living and studying in Paris.
She sent me this beautiful Paris by night card with the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Moulin Rouge and a partial view of the city.

Friday, October 23, 2009

FI - 666277

My 1st card with and holografic stamp.

FI - 666277, sent by "snowfriend"
"Koli National Park is a national park in the municipalities of Eno, Lieksa and Kontiolahti, Eastern Finland. It covers 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi) in the forested hills on the western shore of lake Pielinen, and was established in 1991.
Koli has lots to offer cultural heritage-wise. Former it was a sacrificial site. Later it was used for slash-and-burn agriculture. The aim of Koli National Park isn't to reserve wild nature but traditional agricultural heritage is cherished in Koli. Some fields are slashed, burnt and re-cultivated and hay is cut yearly. Traditional Finnish breeds of cows and sheep are grazing in the meadows of Koli." - in: wikipedia

Loulé - Portugal

Celina found out my portuguese blog and joined postcrossing a few days ago. She's still trying to figure out how everything works but we've already arranged a swap.

© Michael Howard photography

Loulé "is a rural administrative and active market town with some remains of a castle dating back to the 12th Century. The Arab castle has been virtually destroyed leaving some walls still standing that are now surrounded by modern buildings. Like most other towns in the Algarve, most of the older potentially interesting buildings have been destroyed in the earthquake that occurred in 1755. Within the remaining walls is a museum with an explanation of what was in the past the grandeur of the castle. The various earthquakes that it has suffered through its history have damaged the 13th Century Church of São Clemente. However, its Gothic arches and side chapels are remaining from the 16th Century have survived." - in: www.portugalvirtual/_tourism/algarve/index.html

Américo's cards

This morning the postman woke me up at 9.45 am. Usually he doesn't show up so early... he had to pleasure of seeing me in my pyjama... lol Well, he had a package for my brother and these 3 cards for me sent by Américo "valdagua".

This is the Monserrate Palace in the beautiful town of Sintra.
"The Monserrate Palace is an exotic palatial villa located near Sintra, the traditional summer resort of the Portuguese court. It was built in 1858 for Sir Francis Cook, an English baronet created visconde de Monserrate by King Luís. Monserrate turned to an English architect, James Knowles Jr., for designs. Though its Moghul-inspired details are unique in Portugal, its eclecticism is a fine example of the Sintra Romanticism, along with other nearby palácios, such as the Pena Palace." - in: wikipedia

Lagos is a city and a municipality at the mouth of the river Bensafrim and along the Atlantic Ocean ,in the region of Algarve, Southern Portugal.

"Apart from its animated lifestyle, the one learns that this was a fishing village and that its importance grew under the Arabs, which built several fortifications. It turned into an important naval center in the age of the Discoveries, in the 15th century; became the capital of the Algarve from 1576 to 1756 and was greatly damaged by the earthquake of 1755; thus its beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings. A fine new marina welcomes boats sailing in from the Atlantic. - in: www.portugalvirtual/_tourism/algarve/lagos/index.html

Another card from Algarve, this time from Ferragudo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ovo Castle - Italy

A few days ago i deciced to tag again on the castle tag. Today arrived this italian castle sent by Domenico "domenicoIT" from Naples.
"Castel dell'Ovo ("Egg Castle") is a castle in Southern Italy. The edifice is located on a small island of the gulf of Naples, Megaride, where colonists from Cumae founded the original nucleus of the city in the 6th century BC. In the 1st century BC the Roman patrician Lucius Licinius Lucullus built a magnificent villa Castellum Lucullanum on the site. Fortified by Valentinian III in the mid 5th century, it was the place where the last western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus was exiled in.
The first castle on the site was built by the Normans in the 12th century. The importance of the Castel dell'Ovo began to decline when king Charles I of Anjou built a new castle, Castel Nuovo, and moved his court there. Castel dell'Ovo became the seat of the Royal Chamber and of the State Treasury. The current appearance dates from the Aragonese domination (15th century). It was struck by French and Spanish artillery during the Italian Wars; in the Neapolitan Republic of 1799 its guns were used by rebels to deter the philo-Bourbon population.
The castle is connected by a small causeway that is a popular place for newlyweds to have their wedding photos taken. The causeway is over 100 metres long. The castle is rectangular in shape (approximately 200 by 45 metres at its widest) and has a high angular bastion that overlooks the causeway. Inside the walls are several buildings that are often used for exhibitions and other special events. Behind the castle is a long promontory which was probably used as a docking area. A large round tower sits outside the castle walls to the southeast.

The castle's name stems from a medieval legend which holds that the poet Virgil, who developed a medieval reputation as a great sorcerer, had a magical egg put in the foundations to support them. Its location affords it an excellent view of the Naples waterfront and the surrounding area." - in: wikipedia

Palmela Castle - Portugal

I've also got this Palmela Castle cards today from Graça "gracinha". These are brand new cards, plublished recently.

"Palmela is a charming small town centred around a fortified castle at an altitude of 1200 metres at the edge of the Arrábida mountain range. Its past strategic importance is evident given that the views from here are astounding, taking in vast expanses of farmland, the Sado estuary to the south and even Lisbon to the north.

Originally a Moorish stronghold, the castle as was constructed following the reconquest in the 12th century and remains a solid example of fine military architecture of the time. Apparently the Bishop of Évora died a painful death in the dungeon here, punishment for his part in a conspiracy against the 15th century King João II. A monastery was also added to house the faithful of the Order of Santiago, and it is this part that has been painstakingly transformed into possibly Portugal’s most desirable pousada.
Although not a million miles away from the capital, Palmela lies at the heart of one of Portugal’s richest wine growing regions, often growing the Periquita variety of grape. This is reflected in the lively local festivities, the Festa das Vindimas, which take place in September to celebrate the wine harvest.
Palmela is also an excellent base for exploring the natural assets of the Arrábida National Park where ancient forests contain much wildlife and the odd secluded monastery." - in:

Fátima - Portugal

This card arrived today. Zé "zepombal" sent it as a 1XI Photo Contest prize.
I've been to Fátima last January, visited the Holy Trinity Church and didn't like it. Don't ask me why... i just don't like it but i like the card.

"The Church of the Most Holy Trinity is a Roman Catholic church in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima in Fátima. Ranked as the fourth largest Christian church in the world, the church was constructed between 2004 and 2007.
The first stone was laid on June 6, 2004, by the now retired Bishop of the Diocese of Leiria-Fátima, Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva, Pope John Paul II blessed and donated the first stone, on March 9 2004. It is a piece of marble taken from the tomb of Apostle Peter, over which St Peter's Basilica in Rome was built. This was only a symbolic act, as the stone was later put inside the finished church for the pilgrims to see.
It was consecrated on October 12, 2007, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of Fátima.
The Church, dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, has about 8500 seats, and its architect was the Greek Alexandros Tombazis. It was entirely paid with gifts from the pilgrims. The decoration is inspired in Byzantine and orthodox art. - in: wikipedia

Don Benito - Spain

A few weeks ago i was in Salamanca for the 1st Portuguese Road Trip. We met to spanish girls there, one was already a postcrosser and the other, Mari Angeles, joined postcrossing after the meeting. I've received this card from her last week.

This is the Ave Maria Open Air Theatre in Don Benito, a small city in the Badajoz province, Extremadura, near the left bank of the Guadiana river. The theatre was built in 1927.

Officials from USA

I'm finally on holidays and in the next days i'll have time to postcards hobby. I've just scanned and uploaded a few cards, now i just need to post some of them. Lets start with 2 official cards from USA.

US-521646, sent by Elenie.
I love vulcanoes, Elenie read that on my wishlist and sent me this amazing Mount St. Helens card.
"Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle and 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.
Mount St. Helens is most famous for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 feet (2,950 m) to 8,365 feet (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.
The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied." - in: wikipedia

US - 526029, sent by Ann.

The card doesn't identify the beach, it only says "the beautiful beaches and aqua color waters of Florida".

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brazilian cards

Mauro sent me this week this 2 cards from 2 cities in his state Piauí.

"Parnaíba is a port city in Piauí, Brazil, on the right bank of the Parnaíba River, 360 km north of the capital, Teresina. It is one of the only four coastal cities of the state.

The town has some buildings of the old Portuguese type, including two churches and a fine hospital." - in: wikipedia

On there card there´s some views of Parnaíba: the Eagle Monument, Portinho Lagoon, Our Lady of the Grace Church, Humberto de Campos cashew tree, Parnaíba River Delta, Civic Center and the Barcas Port.

"Oeiras is a municipality in the Microregion of Picos of the Brazilian State of Piauí. Oeiras grew up around a church founded in 1695 dedicated to Our Lady of the Victory. Oeiras was elevated to the level of town in 1712, then became the capital of Piauí in 1759. In 1761 it became a city. The capital was transferred to Teresina in 1851." - in: wikipedia

More official cards

I've received these officials during this week. They're from Russia and Finland.

RU-70576, sent by Anna "lapka8".This is a beautiful Black Sea beach near Tuapse.

FI-656082, sent by Mervi.
Dipoli Internatiol Congress Centre in Otaniemi.