Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Porto - Portugal

A postcard from one of my favorite portuguese cities, that I won in a FB lottery and sent by Anne Silva. 

Fotos: Manuel M. Pinturache, Nuno Perestrelo, Sérgio Duarte © 2016 - Ed. 19 de Abril: 179
On the bigger image of the card, you can see the twin churches of Carmo and Carmelitas. Carmo Church, built between 1756 and 1768 in rococo style, has a beautiful azulejo-covered exterior. The tiles were added in 1912. The church stands next door to the Carmelitas Church, part of a 17th century convent. 
The two churches are separated by a very narrow (1m wide) house that was inhabited until the 1980's. The house was built so that the two churches would not share a common wall and to prevent any relations between the nuns of Carmelitas Church and the monks of Carmo Church.

Monday, March 26, 2018

PT RR - Surprise Group * March

March is almost over, finally, I can't wait for April and my holidays, holidays mean to travel, of course. I'll write about that later but now it's time to write about cards. These are from this month's surprise group.

I have already received postcards from many places, countries and continents but receiving a postcard from another planet was something that had never happened before. Paulo saw that I like volcanoes and sent me this postcard with a volcanic plain in .... Mercury!!
On the back of the card: This enhanced-color MESSENGER image shows Mercury's epic volcanic plains in the planet's northern hemisphere. In the bottom right of the image is the Mendelssohn impact basin, which is 181 miles (291 kms) in diameter. 

Mont-de-Marsan, a town in the french region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in southwestern France, is where Joana lives. She says there's not much to see in the town except for these houses, which house the local tourism office. 

 Foto: António Cunha
Inês Barbosa always manages to find new and unknown churches for my collection. I had never seen this church and had never heard about Marmelar, an old parish of Vidigueira where the church, dedicated to Stª Brigid is located.
This small and pretty church was possibly built in the first half of the 16th century and still retains its original Manueline-Mudéjar style.

imagem: Oswaldo Santos
Sandra says that it is difficult to choose a postcard to send me, I really have many, but she still managed to send me a postcard that I didn't have.
Cabreira Waterfall is located in the village of Silva Escura, Sever do Vouga municipality. It originates in the waters of the Mau River and gains speed and strength on a rocky slope 25 meters high.

Polar Bears in Canada

It's no secret that many polar bear populations are disappearing. Changes in the world's climate have destroyed much of the sea ice these creatures call home, making it harder for them to find food. 
There are 19 recognized subpopulations of polar bears throughout the world. 5 of these subpopulations are declining, and 7 more may be facing the same problem (though there is currently not enough data to determine their status).

Despite these alarming trends, there are still a few places where the world's largest land predators can be seen in great numbers. In certain parts of Canada, scientists believe that the amount of bears might actually be increasing. The town of Churchill, Manitoba is often referred to as the "polar bear capitol of the world."

US-2594697, sent by Rori.
As Canada's polar bears migrate from the inland to the shores of Hudson Bay, many of them converge in Churchill. It is estimated that 1,200 or more of these creatures move through the area each autumn.
The window period to see these bears is very brief, lasting from October to early November. As soon as sturdy ice forms on Hudson Bay, they leave the area to hunt seals for the winter. - in: http://www.canadapolarbears.com/articles/churchill-polar-bears

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mesa Verde - USA

Mesa Verde is a National Park and World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States. 
Cards sent by Lisa, don't know who sent the 2nd one and the last card was sent by Carol. 

 The Mesa Verde landscape is a remarkably well-preserved prehistoric settlement landscape of the Ancestral Puebloan culture, which lasted for almost nine hundred years from c. 450 to 1300. This plateau in southwest Colorado, which sits at an altitude of more than 2,600 meters, contains a great concentration of spectacular Pueblo Indian dwellings, including the well-known cliff dwellings. This rich landscape provides a remarkable archaeological laboratory for enhancing our understanding of the Ancestral Puebloan people.

Some 600 cliff dwellings built of sandstone and mud mortar have been recorded within Mesa Verde National Park – including the famous multi-storey Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Square Tower House – and an additional 4,300 archaeological sites have been discovered. The cliff dwelling sites range in size from small storage structures to large villages of 50 to 200 rooms.

Many other archaeological sites, such as pit-house settlements and masonry-walled villages of varying size and complexity, are distributed over the mesas. Non-habitation sites include farming terraces and check dams, field houses, reservoirs and ditches, shrines and ceremonial features, as well as rock art. Mesa Verde represents a significant and living link between the Puebloan Peoples’ past and their present way of life. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/27

Monday, March 19, 2018

Officials from USA

All these officials from USA arrived last week. 

US-5189846, sent by H. J.
Garden Key Light is located at Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas Islands, Florida. The station was first established in 1825. The current lighthouse was first lit in 1876.
The lighthouse is a black iron hexagonal tower.
 In 1912, the station was automated. The light was deactivated in 1924.

Image © by KITTIWAKE card Co
US-5190072, sent by Caitlin.
On the back of the card: Greetings from Boston, MASS - where over 20 million annual visitors travel to see the Freedom Trail, USS Constitution; over thirty colleges; Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, Museum of Fine Arts; Institute of Comtemporary Art; Chrildren's Museum; Boston Aquarium; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; the JFK Library; Museum of Science; the Public Garden, home of the iconic Make Way for Ducklings statues and the $2.50 per-ride swan boats; Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox; and the Boston Garden, home of the Bruins and Celtics.

 © RTSI
US-5185955, sent by Juan.
Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. 
It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International.
Excalibur, named for the mythical sword of King Arthur, uses the Medieval theme in several ways. Its facade is a stylized image of a castle.
The 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) gaming area at Excalibur consists of both table games and over 1,200 slot machines. In addition to casino space, the Excalibur resort includes a renovated pool area, a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) spa and fitness center, eight restaurants and a food court, the Chapel at Excalibur, and the Octane Lounge & The Lounge with live music on the weekends.
Excalibur is home to three permanent shows: the all-male revue Thunder From Down Under, The Australian Bee Gees Show, a tribute to the Bee Gees and the medieval themed dinner show Tournament of Kings. - in: wikipedia

US-5188215, sent by Roma.
The Olympic Mountains are a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the United States. The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high – Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,962 ft (2,427 m); however, the eastern slopes rise out of Puget Sound from sea level and the western slopes are separated from the Pacific Ocean by the low-lying 20 to 35 km (12 to 22 mi) wide Pacific Ocean coastal plain. The western slopes are the wettest place in the 48 contiguous states. Most of the mountains are protected within the bounds of the Olympic National Park. - in: wikipedia

Meeting in São Paulo - Brazil

On February 25, there was held a postcrossing meeting in São Paulo. That same day it was also held in Lisbon another meeting. There was a ocean between us but whatsapp brought us together. We made a video call, Luzia's idea, and for a few minutes we were able to see and hear our friends jn Brazil. Well, we couldn't hear them very well because it was a bit noise where we were. Howecer it was very funny and nice thing to do. 

© Luzia Celeste Rodrigues
Pateo do Collegio is the name given to the historical Jesuit church and school in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The name is also used to refer to the square in front of the church. The Pátio do Colégio marks the site where the city was founded in 1554. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, March 18, 2018

TW-2472396

Official from Taiwan.

TW-2472396, sent by Wei Ji.
Along the stretch of road from Jinguashi to Shueinandong is a series of 10 hairpin turns known as Jinshui Road. This section of roadway is only 700 meters long, but it winds like a snake and features beautiful mountain vistas, making it a popular place for automobile commercials. - in: https://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/en-us/attraction/Detail?wnd_id=85&id=111630

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sun Moon Lake - Taiwan

Two officials from Taiwan with images of the Sun Moon Lake, the largest body of water in Taiwan.

Photo by yuyen
TW-2472397, sent by Emily.
Sun Moon Lake is a lake in Yuchi Township, Nantou County. The area around the lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name.

TW-1370727, sent by Erin.
Sun Moon Lake is located 748 m (2,454 ft) above sea level. It is 27 m (89 ft) deep and has a surface area of approximately 7.93 km2 (3.06 sq mi). The area surrounding the lake has many trails for hiking.
The lake and its surrounding countryside have been designated one of thirteen national scenic areas in Taiwan. - in: wikipedia

Shore Temple - India

This year I've only received a postcard from a new UNESCO site so far, it is not easy to add new places to my collection.
I'm not getting cards from new places but every now and then I received cards from places I'm already familar with. A few days ago I've received an Indian official card with Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram, I'm posting it today together with the postcard sent by Claus in 2009.

 The Shore Temple is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. 

IN-283668, sent by Sachin.
The main Shore Temple (...) is a five-storied structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site. Built with sculpted granite stones hauled from a nearby quarry, it is the earliest important structural temple in South India. Its pyramidal structure is 60 feet (18 m) high and sits on a 50 feet (15 m) square platform. 
The temple is a combination of three shrines. The main shrine is dedicated to Shiva as is the smaller second shrine. A small third shrine, between the two, is dedicated to a reclining Vishnu. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Verla Groundwood and Board Mill - Finland

Verla is a well preserved 19th century mill Finnish village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. 
I don't remember who sent the 1st two cards but the last one is a meeting card sent by Heidi. 

Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, located in the northern part of the Kymi River Valley in southeast Finland, consists of the Mill, the associated residential area and the power plants. The mill buildings and the workers' houses mostly date from the 1890s and from the beginning of the 20th century. The property is a very well preserved example of a forest industry settlement of the late 19th century. Similar communities were established in coniferous forest zones in northern Europe and in North America, where wood as a raw material and water as a source of energy were easily at hand.

The first groundwood mill in Verla was founded in 1872 and the board mill began operations ten years later. The existing buildings, which are architecturally harmonious, date back to the turn of the 20th century. The mill itself ceased to operate in 1964, and all the machines and items related to production were left in the mill as they were when the production ceased. The buildings and the machines were carefully conserved and turned into a museum, and the Verla Mill Museum was officially opened in 1972.


The property itself consists of approximately 50 buildings in an area of 23 ha. The Verlankoski Rapids separate the production area from the residential area. On the rapids, there are three water power plants from three different decades, the newest one dating from the 1990s. The mill owner’s residence and a park from the late 19th century dominate the village. The sheer rock face above the rapids bears a prehistoric rock painting, representing fishing and hunting. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/751

FI-3191909

A nice maxicard sent as an official from Finland. 
This is Utö Lighthouse, located on Utö island, small island in the Archipelago Sea in the Baltic sea and belongs to Finland's Pargas municipality. 

design: Juha Flinkman * photo: Juha Flinkman
FI-3191909, sent by Ari.
The first lighthouse in Finland was built on Utö in 1753. The round lighthouse building was blown up during the Swedish - Russian war of 1808 - 1809. The present lighthouse was built in 1814 under the supervision of Chief Pilot Gustav Brodd. The lantern and the lights have been modernized several times. The present lens was installed in 1906.
As there was no church on Utö, the islanders furnished the third floor of the lighthouse as a church where services could be held. This lighthouse church is probably the oldest in the world and is mentioned for the first time in 1841. - in: http://www.uto.fi/2.0/sights.php?lang=en&sub=lighthouse

Monday, March 12, 2018

DE-7006096

An official from Neverin, a village in the german state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

DE-7006096, sent by "luciusmetellus".
This is a water tower built about 140 years ago to provide fresh water to the village. Today is empty and became the symbol of Neverin. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Germany

 I finally got cards again シ This week I've received a few, most of them officials. The 1st of these Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church cards is one of them.

The Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) is the most famous landmark in the western city centre and is one of Berlin’s most important churches – but at the same time much more than just that. It is composed of the ruins of the church that was destroyed in the war, as well a modern church building. It is a memorial for peace and reconciliation, commemorates Berliners’ determination to rebuild after the war, and is a place of contemplation.

Foto: G. Schneider
DE-7005531, sent by Michael.
In honour of Wilhelm I, the first German Kaiser, his grandson Wilhelm II planned a magnificent church, which was built by Franz Schwechten between 1891 and 1895 in the Neo-Romantic style. With five spires, the bombastic design reflected the tastes of the time and that of the Kaiser.
The church bells were the second biggest in Germany after Cologne, and when the church was inaugurated, the five bells rang so loudly that the wolves in the zoo started howling. During the Second World War, the chimes stopped and the five bells were melted down for munitions. 

Air raids in 1943 damaged the church so badly that the top of the main spire broke off and the roof collapsed. At the end of the war, the Allies were unwilling to rebuild it, since it had been a symbol of excessive national pride. The ruin stood as a constant reminder to Berliners of the horrors of war. In 1956, plans to completely demolish the church and build a new one led to angry public protests. As a compromise, the architect Egon Eiermann integrated the ruin in his design for the new church. The present church was completed between 1959 and 1961. The design consists of concrete honeycomb elements with stained glass inlays. Inside the octagonal nave, the stained glass produces a rich blue light and an atmosphere of meditative calm. The memorial hall in the old spire is now a memorial against war and destruction and a symbol of reconciliation. It also contains a crucifix made of nails from the burnt roof timbers of Coventry Cathedral, which was almost completely destroyed by bombs in 1940. The crosses of nails from Coventry, which are also in Dresden, Hiroshima and Volgograd, are a symbol of reconciliation. - in: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/kaiser-wilhelm-memorial-church

Monday, March 5, 2018

PT RR - Surprise Group * February

It's official, I don't have any new postcards to show. It's almost two weeks without postcards in my mailbox, I do not know how it's possible but it's happening and I'm hating it. Maybe tomorrow?! I hope...

 Last month's surprise postcards were sent by Tiago, Inês Brito and Ana. Lina also sent a postcard, the same  Leninha sent from the meeting with Luzia last year. 

© Michael Howard Photography * www.mikehowardphoto.com
The beach of Praia do Monte Clérigo is set towards the north-western corner of the Algarve, which makes it a very different place to the well known spots on the south coast. The Algarve's west coast has a fairly wild feel about it characterised by wide sandy beaches facing into the full force of the Atlantic Ocean. Set in the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, this beach has been well protected from the slightest hint of over-development. - in: https://www.travel-in-portugal.com/beaches/praia-de-monte-clerigo.htm

Foto: Ana Maria Abrão
With more than a thousand years of existence, Silves Castle is one of the most remarkable works of military architecture that the Arabs left in Portugal. 

The Benedictine abbey of Jumièges, in the Seine-Maritime department in Normandy, was founded in 654 by St. Philibert. The ruins of this Romanesque abbey are among the most beautiful ruins in all of France.
Built during the life of William the Conqueror, it was partially destroyed after the French Revolution, when much of the church and adjacent buildings were used as a quarry. Only the western façade with twin towers, the nave, and small parts of the transept, lantern tower and choir have survived.