Monday, December 30, 2013

Zaragoza - Spain

I believe this is the 3rd or 4th card Manuela sent me from this spanish city. It shows Our Lady of the Pilar image and a city view with the stone bridge crossing Ebro river, the Our lady of Pilar Basilica and on the left side the tower of the San Salvador Cathedral. 

Ediciones Arribas
The city of Zaragoza boasts the titles of Muy Noble (very noble), Muy Leal (very loyal), Muy Heroica (very heroic), Muy Benéfica (very beneficial), Siempre Heroica (always heroic) and Inmortal (immortal) which come from its resistance to the French army during the War of Independence.

Aveiro - Portugal

All these cards are from Aveiro and all of them were sent by Margarida. 

These are some of the most famous and well know images of this city, know as the portuguese Venice. The cards shows the Central Canal and its typical boats, the moliceiros, the Carcavelos bridge, the train station, the ovos moles ("soft eggs", literally) a local delicacy made of egg yolks and sugar, the salt ponds, the former pottery factory, now a cultural center and Costa Nova typical houses. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sesimbra castle - Portugal

A few weeks ago Margarida sent a weekend in Sesimbra, a fishing town in Sétubal district. I've spent my summer holidays there many years ago and i remember that i've visited the castle on my last day there. 

© Atlanticpost
Sesimbra Castle is built upon an ancient Moorish Castle, probably conquered by D. Afonso Henriques in 1165. The castle was increasingly abandoned, because of the Portuguese Discoveries that began in the 16th century. D. João IV was forced to renew it, following the Restoration fights. He ordered the construction of the ravelins, adapting the castle to newest artillery techniques. Part of the castle was devastated by the 1755 earthquake. In 1930, it was recovered by the Portuguese State. In present day, you can still contemplate the Medieval walls and citadel. Due to its location at a high spot, the castle is also a magnificent viewpoint, offering a breathtaking view over the bay, the city and Arrábida mountain. - in:

Old Ladies

Eduardo e Tiago helped me again with my old people collection. 

 Centro de Caridade Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro
This old lady is a linen spinner from Pêrre, a village in the municipality of Viana do Castelo.

This typical Algarve fireplace can be found in the Regional Museum of Algarve, in Faro. 

Portuguese PC Christmas Meeting

The portuguese Christmas Meeting took place on December 7th and 8th in Palmela and other places of the region. This year I had to skip it due to my work. 
Zé and Gracinha sent me these cards also signed by Ninocas, Paula, Rita Oliveira and Joana. 

 Papyrus - edição de postais - * Design: João Nogueira
Aletria, is a portuguese sweet dessert made with fine egg noddles which is mostly served at Christmas, not my Christmas though. I think we have never had it here at home, the only place i eat it is at work. If you want to try it, this is the recipe:
7 cups of full cream milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 + 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 pieces of lemon peel
- 1 12 oz package of very fine egg noodles
Pour the milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon stick into a large pan. Bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a small bowl and slowly blend some heated milk into the eggs and stir. Set aside.
Break up the noodles and add them to the boiling milk. Stir constantly until the noodles are cooked and remove from the heat. Slowly add the egg mixture into the cooked noodles and stir to incorporate. Turn off heat. Do not let the noodles boil. Remove from heat. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Pour the mixture into a large serving platter at least 1 inch depth.
Mª da Graça Mendes
Gracinha sent this card with the comemorative stamps of the Centenary of the Implantation of the Republic in Portugal.
Although the Republic has been deployed in 1910, at the end of 1908 the Lisbon City Council was already in charge of the Portuguese Republican party, which had won the municipal elections of November 1, turning the Portuguese capital in one of the first Republican capital of Europe.
These stamps are dedicated to the Republican School, to industrialization, housing, modernization of the State, civil registry, public health and civic participation.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

PT RR - Group 87 * Castles

Cards from Morroco, France and Portugal sent by Rita Oliveira, Joana Duarte and Vitória.

Colecção de Aguarelas de Alberto Sousa (in Arquivo Militar)
An watercolor of Asilah portuguese fortress. 
Asilah or Arzila is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1471, but John III later decided to abandon it because of an economic crisis in 1549. - in: wikipedia

Photo: P. Morales
  Château de Malle is a classified historic monument and is an exquisite residence surrounded by magnificent Italian style gardens. Built at the beginning of the 17th Century by Jacques de Malle, descendant of an old Preignac family and President of the Parliament of Bordeaux, the Château has remained in the same family without ever changing hands. The estate enjoys, amongst other things, a privileged geographical situation as the vineyard stretches over some of the most sought after land of three communes, Preignac, Toulenne and Fargues. It is also situated across two prestigious areas of controlled appellation of origin namely, Graves and Sauternes. Moreover, the excellent quality of the sweet wine from Château de Malle was acknowledged in the famous classification of 1855 destined for the Universal Exposition in Paris as per Imperial decree. - in:

© Foto: Nuno Trindade © Casa dos Postais -
A wonderful night view of the Pena Palace in Sintra.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Official from Canada, St. Thomas Anglican Church in Whitby, Ontario.

Photo by Schrembi
CA-391926, sent by Linda.
St. Thomas Church is one of the oldest Anglican churches in the area, was constructed in 1869. It
was designed by an architect (unusual for a small country church), Henry Langley, who also designed other historic buildings in the area. The bell was added in 1873. 

Friday, December 20, 2013


I've another Mt. Hood card but this is the 1st one i'm posting here. 

Smith Western Inc. 
US-2518595, sent by Elizabeth.
Mount Hood is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon, located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland.
It is the highest point in Oregon and the fourth highest in the Cascade Range. Mount Hood is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt, though based on its history, an explosive eruption is unlikely. Still, the odds of an eruption in the next 30 years are estimated at between 3 and 7 percent, so the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) characterizes it as "potentially active", but the mountain is informally considered dormant. - in: wikipedia


Look what i've got a few weeks ago in my mailbox!! A guatemalan card sent as an official from Germany. On this card i've two of my wishes, a volcano, the Volcán de Agua and a missing UNESCO site, Antigua Guatemala, the only I still needed from this country!! 

Antigua Guatemala is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

© Photo by Marino Cattelan 
DE-2664431, sent by Lothar.
Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala, was founded in the early 16th century.
After several Kaqchikel uprisings, the capital was moved to a more suitable site in the Valley of Almolonga in 1527 and kept its original name. This city was destroyed on September 11, 1541 by a devastating lahar from the Volcán de Agua. As a result, the colonial authorities decided to move the capital once more, this time five miles away to the Panchoy Valley. So, on March 10, 1543 the Spanish conquistadors founded present-day Antigua, and again, it was named Santiago de los Caballeros. For more than 200 years it served as the seat of the military governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala.
On September 29, 1717, an estimated 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Antigua Guatemala, and destroyed over 3,000 buildings. Much of the city's architecture was ruined. The damage the earthquake did to the city made authorities consider moving the capital to another city.
In 1773, the Santa Marta earthquakes destroyed much of the town, which led to the third change in location for the city.[4] The Spanish Crown ordered, in 1776, the removal of the capital to a safer location, the Valley of the Shrine, where Guatemala City, the modern capital of Guatemala, now stands.
The badly damaged city of Santiago de los Caballeros was ordered abandoned, although not everyone left, and was thereafter referred to as la Antigua Guatemala (the Old Guatemala). - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic

This is a card sent by Manuela showing the National Palace in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 
The palacio nacional is a building in Santo Domingo, that houses the offices of the Executive Branch (Presidency and Vice Presidency) of the Dominican Republic. Designed in an eclectic neoclassical style by Italian architect Guido D'Alessandro at the behest of Rafael Trujillo, construction started on February 27, 1944 —Dominican independence centenary—and was inaugurated on August 16, 1944.

Photo by R. Snipe
Occupying an area of 18,000 square metres and luxuriously appointed throughout, the National Palace is considered one of the greatest and most beautiful buildings built in the Dominican Republic. The building stands on the grounds of the former Presidential Mansion (Mansión Presidencial), built during the United States military occupation of 1916-1924.
While the president's office is located within the palace, the Palacio Nacional is not an executive residence as the president does not live there; there is no designated Executive Residence in Santo Domingo. The building comprises three stories. Building services are located at ground level. The main floor includes the ceremonial vestibule, the Presidential and Vice-presidential offices, and the Cabinet meeting room. The third storey houses the main reception rooms: the Hall of the Ambassadors, the Hall of the Caryatids, the Green Room, the Mahogany room, and the president's private quarters.
The dome, which rests on a windowed drum, is 34 metres high and has a diameter of 18 m. Inside, 18 columns sustain the dome. Most of the marble used throughout the building is Dominican, and was extracted from quarries in Samaná and Caballero. The Palacio Nacional complex also includes the "presidential" Chapel of San Rafael Arcángel, carried out in the same architectural style as the palace. - in: wikipedia

Monday, December 16, 2013

Potosí - Bolivia

This is another card from my UNESCO missing list sent by Stefanie. 
Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal 4,090 metres. 
The City of Potosí was founded in 1546 as a silver mining town, which soon produced fabulous wealth, becoming one of the largest cities in the Americas and the world. The site consists of the industrial monuments of the Cerro Rico, where water is provided by an intricate system of aqueducts and artificial lakes; the colonial town with the Casa de la Moneda; the Church of San Lorenzo; several patrician houses; and the barrios mitayos, the areas where the workers lived.
The card shows La Casa de la Moneda, Mint House. 

Foto Pacheco
The Casa de la Moneda (House of the Mint), in the centre of the city close to Republic Square, was constructed between 1753 and 1773. The house today is a numismatic museum. It possesses more than 100 colonial pictures and various archaeological and ethnographic collections. - in:
Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy of Peru ordered the construction of the first Mint in 1572 which proved to be insufficient for the coinage of the massive quantity of silver proceeding from Cerro Rico. It is for construct another Mint capable of meeting the needs of coinage.
This important building, built of stone, brick, tiles and cedar wood, has a surface area of 7570 squared meters. One can gain access to it through a beautiful entrance of mannerist style.
The Mint House of Potosi is considered as the most important civil building of Latin America. From the outside, the building looks like a virtual fortress. On the inside, the patios are decorated with arches, wooden balconies and ample eaves. - in:

Trianon Park, São Paulo - Brazil

Another card from Brazil and also sent by Luzia. This is her contribution to my old people collection. 

© 2012 Maurício Vieira
The Lieutenant Siqueira Campos Park, better known as Trianon Park, was inaugurated in April 1892 with the opening of the Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. It was designed by the French landscape designer Paul Villon.
In 1924, the Park was donated to the city, and, in 1931, received its current name in honor of one of the Tenentes Uprising heroes, Lieutenant António de Siqueira Campos.
Trianon Park currently has in its interior, in addition to the only remaining Atlantic forest reserve in the region, other attractions like the statue of the Faun of Victor Brecheret, a bird aviary, fountainschildren's recreation venues, public toilets and an administrative center, making it a haven of relaxation and rest in the middle of the bustling Paulista Avenue.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Alter do Chão - Brazil

Last October Luzia went on holidays to the Amazon region and she sent me this card from there. 

 Foto: Ary Mendonça
Alter do Chão is located on the banks of the Tapajós River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon River, in the Pará state, North region of Brazil. Alter do Chão is considered an important thermal center of the region and regular port for foreign cruises.
Most tourist visit Alter do Chão between the months of August to December when it occurs the ebb of the Pará's rivers. A few freshwater beaches with soft white sand appear when the water level is low. Due to this phenomenon many call Alter do Chão the "Brazilian Caribbean" or lost paradise.
At that time, many bars are open in Alter do Chão on a wide strip of sand that emerges in the midst of the river, to serve the tourists who have access to it through small canoes, known in the region as Catraias.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


From the other side of the Atlantic, came this official from Brazil. The card shows Porto Alegre, the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul state, and its harbour. 

Foto: Roberlandes O. Coelho - Brascard Edições de Postais Lda
BR-287685, sent by Aline.
Porto Alegre is the capital and largest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Its population of 1,509,939 inhabitants (2010) makes it the tenth most populous city in the country.
The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian state. Porto Alegre is one of the top cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil.
Porto Alegre was founded in 1772 by immigrants from the Azores, Portugal. In the late 19th century the city received many immigrants from other parts of the world, particularly from Germany, Italy, and Poland. The vast majority of the population is of European descent. - in: wikipedia

El Jadida - Morocco

Paula spent her last holidays in Morocco where she had the opportunity to visit a few UNESCO places. She even sent a few cards from there but some of them never arrived and she decided to resend them. The 1st card she sent and that got lost was from Essaouira, this one, sent from Portugal, is from El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan. 

Images du Maroc Eternel / Photo: Mohamed Seghir
The Portuguese fortification of Mazagan, now part of the city of El Jadida, 90-km southwest of Casablanca, was built as a fortified colony on the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century. It was taken over by the Moroccans in 1769. The fortification with its bastions and ramparts is an early example of Renaissance military design. The surviving Portuguese buildings include the cistern and the Church of the Assumption, built in the Manueline style of late Gothic architecture. The Portuguese City of Mazagan - one of the early settlements of the Portuguese explorers in West Africa on the route to India - is an outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures, well reflected in architecture, technology, and town planning. - in:

Mt. Kenya - Kenya

I guess all UNESCO collectors keep those special cards waiting for the perfect trade!! That's what happened to me a few weeks ago. It was worth waiting because in one envelope sent by Stefanie, i've got this card from Kenya, one from Honduras and another one from Bolivia, all from UNESCO missing sites. 

Copyright by Sapra M.M. 
At 5,199 m, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity (3.1-2.6 million years ago) is thought to have risen to 6,500 m. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provide an outstanding example of ecological and biological processes. Through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, the property also incorporates lower lying scenic foothills and arid habitats of high biodiversity, situated in the ecological transition zone between the mountain ecosystem and the semi-arid savanna grasslands. The area also lies within the traditional migrating route of the African elephant population. - in:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Medina - Saudi Arabia

This is my 3rd card from Saudi Arabia. It shows Al-Masjid al-Nabawī, often called the Prophet's Mosque,  built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city of Medina. 
Medina is the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, it is the second holiest city in Islam after Mecca.

Medina is the second holiest city in Islam and this mosque is the second holiest site. It was the second mosque built in history and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. After an expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incorporates the site of the final resting place of Muhammad.
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.
The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school.
One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome in the south-east corner of the mosque, originally Aisha's house,[2] where the tomb of Muhammad is located. In 1279 AD, a wooden cupola was built over the tomb which was later rebuilt and renovated multiple times in late 15th century and once in 1817. The dome was first painted green in 1837, and later became known as the Green Dome.
The mosque is located in what was traditionally the center of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site. Many pilgrims who perform the Hajj go on to Medina to visit the mosque and the Prophet. The mosque is open for service 24/7, all year round. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mt. Halla - South Korea

Last October Relie traveled to South Korea and visited the Jeju Island. She wrote this card on her flight from the island to Seoul. 
Mt. Halla, also known as Hallasan or Hanla Mountain, is the highest mountain is South Korea. 

© Photographed by Kwon Gi Gap
Hallasan (Halla Mountain) rises up proudly from the center of Jeju Island and is perhaps one of the island’s most memorable landmarks. Also called Mt. Yeongjusan, meaning ‘mountain high enough to pull the galaxy,’ Mt. Hallasan is widely acknowledged by scholars for its research value. Designated as a National Park in 1970, there are 368 parasitic mountains called ‘Oreums’ (peaks) around Halla Mountain. 
Mt. Hallasan is famous for its vertical ecosystem of plants that results from the varying temperatures along the mountainside. Over 1,800 kinds of plants and 4,000 species of animals (3,300 species of insects) have been identified; to explore the mountain's treasures, simply follow one of the well-developed mountain hiking trails. - in:
The special nature of this area led to its being designated and managed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2002, a World Natural Heritage Site in 2007.


Almost every year China has new sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This year was no exception and Xinjiang Tianshan, where the 1st of these 3 card is from, was classified as World Heritage Site. The other 2 cards are from Mount Sanqingshan National Park and Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces.

 Photo by Yu Wensheng
Tian Shan is large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. 
Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons. - in:
This card sent by Cui Mu shows One of the lakes in the mountain, Heavenly Lake. 
Heavenly Lake is nestled high in the Mount Tianshan, 115 kilometers (71 miles) west of Urumqi in Xinjiang. The area is one of the few unspoiled places in China. The crystal water reflects the snow-topped peaks, fluffy white clouds, and blue sky. This combined with the lush spruce forest covered shores creates a truly breath-taking view. - in:

 When i went to France i've sent 2 french missing sites to Kun and in return i got 2 of my missing chinese sites. Mount Sanqingshan National Park was added to the list in 2008.
Mount Sanqingshan National Park, a 22,950 ha property located in the west of the Huyaiyu mountain range in the northeast of Jiangxi Province (in the east of central China) has been inscribed for its exceptional scenic quality, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks: 48 granite peaks and 89 granite pillars, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes. The natural beauty of the 1,817 metre high Mount Huaiyu is further enhanced by the juxtaposition of granite features with the vegetation and particular meteorological conditions which make for an ever-changing and arresting landscape with bright halos on clouds and white rainbows. The area is subject to a combination of subtropical monsoonal and maritime influences and forms an island of temperate forest above the surrounding subtropical landscape. It also features forests and numerous waterfalls, some of them 60 metres in height, lakes and springs. - in

The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China covers 16,603-hectares in Southern Yunnan. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel and supports the production of red rice, the area’s primary crop. The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. The villages feature traditional thatched “mushroom” houses. The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures. - in:

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I've many cards from Poland but i'm always happy to get new ones from there. This is one is trully beautiful and that's a new castle card in my collection. 

Foto: Anna Bedkowska-Karmelita
PL-804002, sent by Agnes.
Ksiaz Castle, the Pearl of Lower Silesia, erected in the 13th century, is one of the greatest visitor attractions in the region. Throughout the course of history, this splendid castle had many owners. Between 1509 and 1941, the castle was under the dominion of the mighty House of Hochbergs. The Hochbergs expanded the castle and significantly contributed to its splendor. In 1941 the castle was confiscated by the Nazis. Under their reign numerous historic chambers were destroyed. The Nazis created a system of tunnels underneath the castle, which the function still remains a mystery.
After the castle had been liberated, the demolition work initiated by the Nazis was continued by the Red Army. In 1952 the renovation work was undertaken to restore the Ksiaz Castle to its previous grandeur. Nowadays, visitors can admire the majesty of numerous chambers, terraces and surrounding gardens. - in:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


An official from Ukraine showing Zaporizhzhya Sich. A sich is the administrative and military centre for Cossacks and especially the Zaporizhian Cossacks, a group of predominantly East Slavic people who became known as members of democratic, semi-military and semi-naval communities, predominantly located in Ukraine and in Southern Russia. - in: wikipedia

UA-749116, sent by Andrey.
The island of Khortytsya, in the Dnieper, was the headquarters (sich) of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks from the 16th to 18th cent. For nearly three centuries the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks served as the rallying point for Ukrainian struggles against social, national, and religious oppression. - in:
Zaporozhian Sich was located in a protected nature area. It was surrounded by a moat and a 10-meter shaft on which stood a wooden palisade. Inside the sich was a square with the church and the pillory where the perpetrators were punished. Around the square there were cossack houses, officers houses, warehouses, arsenals, crafts and shops.
Admission to Zaporozhian Sich newcomer was carried out under the following conditions:
- He was supposed to be a free and unmarried
- Had a good talk in Cossack's language
- Had to confess the Orthodox faith and know the symbols of faith and prayer
- Had to undergo a full training on arrival at Zaporozhian Sich - explore the army orders and only then written to the "trusted comrades" list that could happen no sooner than seven years.
The final fate of the Cossacks and Zaporozhian Sich was solved by August 5, 1775 signing of the Russian Empress Catherine II the manifesto:, "On the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich and joining it to Novorossiysk province".
In 2004 on Big Khortytsya Island began construction of reduced copy of the Zaporozhian Sich enclosed by a moat, rampart and timbered palisade with several towers. Already in 2009 the official opening of the Historical-Cultural Complex "Zaporozhian Sich" for visitors. - in: