Monday, August 29, 2011

Montserrat Monastery - Spain

The Montserrat Monastery was one of the places Déa "andreaeiko" visited in Spain. This is my 1st card from this place and i've lots of spanish cards.

Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain.

It hosts the Virgin of Montserrat, and the Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, a publishing house, one of the oldest presses in the world, still running, with the first book published in 1499.

The monastery is Catalonia's most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat.

Virgin of Montserrat (the black virgin), is Catalonia's favourite saint, and is located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Deu de Montserrat, next to the Benedictine monastery nestling in the towers and crags of the mountain.

The Basilica houses a museum with works of art by many prominent painters and sculptors including works by El Greco, Dali, Picasso and more.

Montserrat's highest point, Sant Jeroni, can be reached by a footpath from the topstation of the funicular Sant Jeroni. From Sant Joan, almost all of Catalonia can be seen and on a clear day the island of Majorca is visible. - in: wikipedia

Archaeological Site of Atapuerca - Spain

I finally have a card from this spanish unesco site. I've seen someone offering it on the unesco offers tags but i was always late to tag that person. But now, Fabienne "famalubel" was offering it on the Unesco thread and we arranged a trade.

The Atapuerca Mountains (Sierra de Atapuerca in Spanish) is an ancient karstic region of Spain, in the province of Burgos and near Atapuerca and Ibeas de Juarros. It contains several caves, where fossils and stone tools of the earliest known Hominins in West Europe have been found. The earliest hominids may have dated to 1.2 million years ago, representing the first in Europe. "The Archeological Site of Atapuerca" has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jelling Stones - Denmark

I've also completed Denmark, that means i've the 4 danish Unesco sites. This card with the Runestone of Harald Bluetooth, the larger of the two Jelling stones. The card was sent by Steffi "Eeyore1974".

The Jelling Stones are enormous carved stones in Denmark. They are a Unesco WHS since 1994. The two stones are carved with runes. The Jelling Stones date back to the 10th century, and are located in the town of Jelling, in a churchyard. The first of the stones was raised by King Gorm the Old, and the second was raised by his son, Harald Bluetooth in memory of his parents, celebrating his conquest of Denmark and Norway, and his conversion of the Danes to Christianity. The runic inscriptions on these stones are considered the most well known in Denmark.

The inscription on the Runestone of Harald Bluetooth reads: "King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, and in memory of Thyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian."
The stone has a figure of Jesus Christ on one side and on another side a serpent wrapped around a lion. Christ is depicted as standing in the shape of a cross and entangled in what appear to be branches. One scholar has suggested that this imagry was used to suggest that Christ had replaced the Norse pagan god Odin, who in one myth hung for nine nights in the tree Yggdrasill. - in: wikipedia

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Czech castles

These 3, also sent by Emerich, are even greater. The castles are really beautiful and those characters are so funny.

Lipnice nad Sázavou Castle was founded at the beginning of the 14th century by the Ronovci family and the most significant member of this noble family, Jindřich of Lipá, was also one of its owners. The history of the castle was influenced by renovations by the Trček family from Lípa and especially by a fire in the 19th century. Today the castle is opened to the public again; people can see monumental castle architecture, a gothic chapel and cellars with the former feast hall of Jindřich of Lipá. Many legends and mysteries are connected with this castle. - in:

Loket Castle is a 12th-century Gothic style castle located on a massive rock in the town of Loket, Karlovarský kraj, Czech Republic. Once known as "the Impregnable Castle of Bohemia", because of its thick walls, it is one of the oldest and most valuable historical stone castles in the Czech lands. It is administered by the Loket Castle Foundation since 1993 and preserved today as a museum and national monument.
The town centre and castle were both used as locations in the film Casino Royale as the town in Montenegro where Bond meets his contact René Mathis. - in: wikipedia

Český Šternberk Castle is a Bohemian castle of the mid 13th century, located within the village with the same name of the Central Bohemian Region in Czech Republic. It is an early Gothic castle which was constructed, named and still owned by members of the same family. Český Šternberk Castle is today a residence that bears a long historical and architectural heritage and represents an attractive tourist destination open to the public. It is considered one of the best preserved Gothic Bohemian castles. - in: wikipedia

Czech Monasteries

These cards are great. I've 3 more of this collection. Too bad i don't understand a word of czech, i'd like to know what's written on the front and back of the cards.

The Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary in Zeliv, a town in South Bohemia, is part of a Premonstratensians Monastery. The church was built on the foundations of the original Romanesque basilica from the first half of the 12th century. The new Gothic church was finished at the beginning of the 14th century. Its present appearance comes from the Baroque reconstruction by J. B. Santini between 1713 - 1720.

The Cistercian Vyšší Brod Monastery with fortifications was founded in 1259 by Wok von Rosenberg.

Slavonice - Czech Republic

I already have all the Unesco sites from Czech Republic and thanks to Emerich, i'm getting some of the tentative sites aswell. The Renaissance Houses at Slavonice are on the Tentative List since 2001.

Slavonice is a town situated in the southwest of Moravia.
The town has a traditional medieval renaissance city centre with Sgraffito covered buildings dating from the 14th to 16th centuries, the oldest dating to 1545. The Sgraffito are the second oldest in the Czech Republic, with older existing only in Prague from 1544. The renaissance character of the town is due to a period of extreme wealth in the 14th to 16th century when Slavonice were an important town on the route from Prague to Vienna. When the route was relocated to the north, passing through Znojmo the town's source of wealth dried up as the local farming and forestry activities could never generate enough income. The town is therefore very much preserved in its renaissance look. - in: wikipedia

Friday, August 26, 2011

Abaiang Lagoon - Kiribati

Kiribati is the newest country in my collection. The card, sent by Emerich, shows 2 local kids on the Abaiang lagoon.

Kiribati is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles).

The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of "Gilberts", derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. The capital of South Tarawa consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999. - in: wikipedia


I've received this card a few days ago but couldn't register it because the ID was wrong. I requested help to find the right one and it didn't took that long to receive an email from the postcrossing support with the correct ID.

US-1255813, sent by Terry.

Virginia is for Lovers is the tourism and travel slogan of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Used since 1969, it has become a well recognized and often imitated part of American jargon.


This australian official card would be very useful if i ever travel to Australia. As Linda says, australians are well know for their use of slang and nicknames. Learn some of them.

AU-149657, sent by Linda.

Amber fluid - beer; Fair dinkum - true, genuine; Strewth - exclamation, mild oath ("Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke"); No worries! - Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I'll do it); Yobbo - an uncouth person; Flat out like a lizard drinking - flat out, busy; Barbie - barbecue (noun); Bloke - man, guy; Fair crack of the whip! - A request directed to others to display an honest understanding, dealing or arrangement; Footy - Australian Rules football; Dinky-di - the real thing, absolutely 100% genuine; Bingle - motor vehicle accident; Tinnie - can of beer..... and many other!


A church and snow, thats 2 things that i really like. This is a nice card from Seinäjoki is a city located in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland.

FI-1172366, sent by Pirjo.

The card shows the Törnävä's church, which was built originally in 1825 as a manor's gunpowder stockhouse and then in 1864 transformed into Seinäjoki's first church.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eyjafjallajökull - Iceland

I'm so glad to have this card. For a volcano lover, this is a great acquisition. I already had a stamp with Eujafjallajokull's ashes, now i finally have a card of the volcano itself.

The card was sent by Ella from Estonia.

Eyjafjallajökull (Icelandic for "Glacier of Eyjafjöll" or literally "Glacier of islands' mountains" — also known by the numeronym E15, is one of the smaller ice caps of Iceland, situated to the north of Skógar and to the west of Mýrdalasjökull. The ice caps covers the caldera of a volcano with a summit elevation of 1,666 metres (5,466 ft) . The volcano has erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period, most recently in 2010.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on 14 April 2010 affected the economic, political and cultural activities in Europe and across the world.

There was extensive air travel disruption caused by the closure of airspace over many countries affecting the travel arrangements of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and elsewhere. Sporting, entertainment and many other events were cancelled, delayed or disrupted when individuals or teams were unable to travel to their destination.

The state funeral of President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and his wife on 18 April 2010 was affected as some national leaders were unable to attend, including Barack Obama, Stephen Harper, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The President of Portugal, Cavaco Silva had to extend his state visit to the Czech Republic. The President made his way from Prague to Barcelona by car and then took a Falcon of the Portuguese Air Force home to Lisbon. President Silva arrived in Portugal on the evening of 18 April. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany was forced to make a "surprise" visit to Portugal as she returned from the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC. She was expected to return to Germany by 10am on Saturday, but has since then flown to Rome and is also expected to return home to Germany by car. - in: wikipedia

Engelsberg Ironworks

I'm wainting for a few new unesco cards in the next days. I don't need to wait for this one anymore, because it arrived last it from Sweden and it was sent by Merja. The Engelsberg Ironworks is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1993.

Engelsberg is an outstanding example of an influential European industrial complex of the 17th-19th centuries, with important technological remains and the associated administrative and residential buildings intact. It is the best preserved and most complete example of a Swedish iron-working estate, of the type which produced the superior grades of iron, using primitive smelting furnaces, that made Sweden the economic leader in this field for two centuries, from at least the end of the Migration Period. - in:

Monday, August 22, 2011

St. Petersburg cards

I can get enough of St. Petersburg cards. When Dasha "devana" propused me a trade, i had to say yes because she had great cards to offer.

Tsarskoye Selo is a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located 24 kilometres (15 mi) south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.

On the card there's the Alexander Park with the Arsenal, a Neo-Gothic castle-like building built between 1819-1834.
The central element of the building was the “Knights’ Hall” located on the second storey. It contained the finest part of the collection of arms and armour that belonged to Emperor Nicholas I. In 1883, on the instructions of Alexander III, this unique collection was transferred to the Imperial Hermitage, where some of it is now on display in the Knights’ Hall.

The Arsenal suffered considerable damage during the Second World War. At the present time a project has been drawn up for the revival of the building. After the restoration there are plans to use the Arsenal to display the surviving part of Nicholas I’s collection of arms and armour in collaboration with the State Hermitage. - in:

Ionnovskii Monastyr' (Convent of St. John) was established to mark the death of pious Father John of Kronshtadt, in his time (the latter part of the nineteenth century) one of the most honored holy men in Russia. He is buried in a tomb located in the lower floor. The convent complex is Byzantine in style. Sanctified in 1901, the convent's activities were curtailed by the anti-religious activity of the Bolsheviks. The building itself survived however, and the convent is now under the special patronage of the Patriarch (Orthodox church leader). - in:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ortahisar Castle - Turkey

Another travel card and from another GTKY friend. But this was a very special travel, an honey moon :) That's right, an honey moon in Turkey. Relie got married not so long ago and she went to Turkey. That's really sweet of her to send a card to her GTKY friends. I wish her all the happiness in the world.

Ortahisar means "middle castle," and as its name implies, it is central among the Cappadocian towns of Goreme, Urgup, Uchisar and Nevsehir.

Ortahisar is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named. This 90m high natural fortress, a prominent landmark in the region – honeycombed with caves and tunnels, camouflaged by nature without the slightest indication of human presence inside – has partly crumbled away revealing some of its interior. Today it has been restored and the peak is accessible by a staircase. The Ortahisar Castle offers a magnificent panorama over the fairy chimneys of Hallacdere and the snowy peak of Mt. Erciyes. - in:

Valencia - Spain

Ana "anagahan" was also travelling these last days, she went to Spain.
I always feel like travelling to Spain and that may happen in a few weeks but that's not sure yet.
Anyway, Ana sent my this Valencia card, which shows the city's skyline, the bull fight arena and the North Station.

Valencia is the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain.

There are few cities like Valencia, able to harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, dating to the year 138 BC, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium.

Valencia is trade and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, magic, business. It is the centre of international and avant-garde design, and one of the most active cities in Europe regarding fairs and conferences.

Thanks to its location, Valencia has historically been Spain’s Mediterranean port and has that special charm of cities that are also seaports. And the fine sand and clean water, the vastness of the sea and the closeness of the coastal mountains make the Valencian coast uniquely attractive. - in:

Karina in Italy

After Portugal, Karina "kazinhabuebo" went to Italy and like in here she also had a meeting. The meeting was on august 9th in Milan. She signed and sent this card which was also signed by her husband and 2 other postcrossers but i can't understand their signatures. Sorry!!

I believe we can all identify the cities on the card! Just to make sure: Pisa, Vatican City, Florence, Naples, Milan, Rome, Siena, Venice and Amalfi. I've already been to 5 of these and i'd like to visit the others too.

Turku - Finland

I don't know exactly why this card was one of my favorites but i guess it was because of the ducks. Now that i remember, i've a few view cards with ducks. Maybe i like ducks!!!

The card was sent by Marita "MaHaKo".

The Aura River can be regarded as the heart of Turku and the Föri ferry is one of the best ways to cross it. “Föri” is Finland’s only ferryboat which takes passengers from Turku to Åbo, across the river, free of charge.

Taizé's lake - France

Another lake but this one is located in France.

Celina went for the 5th time to Taizé and she sent me this card with a view of the lake.

I'd like to go to Taizé because i'm really curious about it but i don't think that's going to happen some where in a near future. I'm glad i've already been to 3 european meetings.

West Lake - China

West Lake was added to the World Heritage Site List this year and it was described to have "influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries," and reflects "an idealized fusion between humans and nature."

Xī Hú (literally "West Lake") is a famous fresh water lake located in the historic center of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. The lake is divided by the causeways of Sū Tí, Bái Tí and Yánggōng Tí. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake.

The West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout the ages for its natural beauty and historical relics, and it has been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers, as evidenced by the impact it had on various Chinese classical gardens. - in: wikipedia

Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor, is one of the ten views at the West Lake.
At present Flower Harbor is famed for its half-a-year-long flower scenery. The best time for flower viewing is when spring translates itself smoothly into summer. The garden is full of flowers. The red fish pond is fringed with blossoms and verdant trees while fishes hover and float soundlessly; the peony garden showcases the celestial tints and aromas in supreme elegance; streams bubble their way into the flower harbor, without minding the changing time. The widespread lawn is deeply colored by green grasses, and the dense wood hides away paths stretching into it under its flourishing grace. - in:
My trade with Lydia was for four cards, the penguins, these two and a new unesco. These two are from Beijing and Suzhou City.

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing also known as Nantang (the South Cathedral) to the locals, is a historic Roman Catholic Church located in Beijing, China. While the original foundation of the cathedral was in 1605, making it the oldest Catholic church in Beijing, the current building in the Baroque style dates from 1904. - in: wikipedia

This is a card of the Lion's Grove Garden, famous for the large and labyrinthine grotto of taihu rock at the garden's center. The name of the garden derives from the shape of these rocks which are said to resemble lions. It is recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Lion Grove Garden was built in 1342 CE during the Yuan Dynasty. - in
: wikipedia

Emperor Penguins

Don't you feel like having a penguin as a pet?? :D They're sooo cute!

I don't usually choose animal cards on a trade but when i saw Lydia's "lydiaxu" penguin cards, i had to pick you. I was really hard to choose because all were great.

Emperor penguins are the largest of all the penguins. They stand almost 4 ft. (1.2 meters) tall and weigh 70 to 90 lbs. (30 to 40 kg.). They live and breed at the beginning of winter, on the fast ice all around the Antarctic continent. The total population is estimated to be about 200,000 breeding pairs. Emperor penguins can mate when they are 4 years old and can live to be 20 years of age.

Emperors live in the coldest climate on earth. Temperatures can drop as low as -140 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius) on the Antarctic ice. After mating, the female lays one large egg. The egg is then immediately rolled to the top of the male's feet. The egg is then incubated or kept warm on the male's feet by a thick fold of skin that hangs from the belly of the male. The males manage to survive by standing huddled in groups for up to 9 weeks. During this time the female returns to the open sea to feed. During the time the male incubates the egg, he may lose about half his body weight because he does not eat.

When the egg hatches the female returns to care for the chick. Once the female returns, the male will go to the open sea to feed. The male will return in a few weeks and both male and female will tend to the chick by keeping it warm and feeding it food from their stomachs. After 7 weeks of care, the chicks form groups called "cr�ches" and huddle together for protection and warmth. They are still fed by the parents. The chicks know their parents by the sound of their call. The chicks are fully grown in 6 months, which is the beginning of the summer season in the Antarctic. At this time all the penguins return to the open sea.
The shape of their body helps them to survive. They have short wings that help them to dive up to 900 feet to catch larger fish. They can swim 10-15 kilometers an hour which lets them escape their main enemy, the leopard seal. They can stay warm because they have a thick layer of down under the outer feathers and a layer of blubber. The layer of downy feathers trap air that keeps the body heat in and cold air and water out. They also have large amounts of body oil that aids in keeping them dry in the water. - in:


I wasn't exactly sure where in Japan is this card was from, so i asked the send if he could help me on that. The card shows the Cape Nosappu, a point on the Nemuro Peninsula, which is the easternmost point in Hokkaido.

JP-190833, sent by Y. Yonehara.

The Cape Nosappu Lighthouse is the oldest in Hokkaidō. It was built in 1872.

Friday, August 12, 2011


And the last official of the week is from California, USA.

US-1230777, sent by Qiana.

That 1st thing that crossed my mind when i saw this card was "Baywatch". I used to watch it everyday.
We don't have watch towers like this in our beaches.


I believe this is my 1st official from Croatia. It made me super happy to receive it.

HR-23387, sent by Annais.

Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.
Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially between Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries.

The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre, first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632. - in: wikipedia


On the same day we had the meeting in Sintra, a few german postcrossers were also having a meeting in Ulm, a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube.

This is an official and a meeting card!

DE-998841, sent by "kaffeetante".

The card was sent by "kaffeetante" and signed, if i understood correctly the signatures, by "christine", "difemo", "venia" "nitrin" and "angeleye".
The card shows the Wiblingen Abbey, a former benedictine abbey in the suburb of Wiblingen in the south of Ulm. The church shows characteristics of late baroque and early classicism. Its library is a masterpiece of rococo.
This former benedictine abbey was founded in 1093 was later used as barracks. Today its buildings house several departments of the medical faculty of the University of Ulm, a museum and the south wing of the abbey, having been rebuilt in 1917, is part of the local network of municipal retirement homes.

Marie & Ula Meeting

Marie "renegade_cavalcade" was on a trip around Europe and she visited some countries. Poland was one of them and she had the opportunity to meet Ula "ulpa", one of our GTKY friends. They sent me this beautiful card with the Sigismund's Column in Warsaw.

Sigismund's Column, erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland. It is one of Warsaw's most famous landmarks and one of the oldest secular monuments in northern Europe. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland's capital from Kraków to Warsaw.

On the Corinthian column (which used to be of red marble), 8.5 m high, a sculpture of the King, 2.75-metres high, in archaistic armour is placed. Sigismund's Column now stands at 22 metres and is adorned by four eagles. The king is dressed in armor and carries a cross in one hand and wields a sword in the other.
On 1 September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, the monument was demolished by the Germans, and its bronze statue was badly damaged. After the war the statue was repaired, and in 1949 it was set up on a new column, made of granite from the Strzegom mine, a couple of metres from the original site. The original broken pieces of the column can still be seen lying next to the Royal Castle. - in:

Meetings with Karina

Karina aka kazinhabueno, is a postcrosser from Brazil and we, some portuguese addicted postcrossers, met her last week.

Last friday, Karina and her husband had a guided tour around Lisbon with Graça "gracinha". She guided them throught some of the most emblematic landmarks of the city. I guess it was a nice way to see the city, as it was their 1st time there. Postcrossers are great touristic guides.

Graça sent me this card.

Later that day they went to a fado restaurant to have dinner, hear fado and meet other postcrossers. They met José "pilotOne", Carole "cloable", Rita "rita_simões", Helena "leninha", Luís "ludovico" and Joana "joaninha".

They signed cards again and this one was sent by José.

I met them next day, saturday, in Sintra. It's always great to visit Sintra but this time the weather wasn't that great. Even with lots of fog we visited the Pena Palace. Visiting the Montserrat Palace (on the card) was also an option but i didn't have time to go there as i had a train to catch back to my city.
That day it was Karina and her husband, me, Susana "susanaportugal", Joana "joaninha", Ana "ninocas" and family, Rita "rita_simões" and her boyfriend, Vitória - who sent me this card - and her husband and José "pilotOne".

For me the day ended next to this building, the Town Hall. It was great to meet Karina and meet again my portuguese friends.
New meetings will probably happen in the next weeks.