Monday, April 30, 2018

Churches in Valladolid - Spain

I've been to Valladolid once with two postcrossing friends. Unfortunately we couldn't find any cards, I think it was siesta time and the stores were closed. Now I finally have nice cards from there. 

Magdalena Church was ordered to rebuild in 1566 by Don Pedro de la Gasca, Viceroy of Peru and Bishop of Palencia and Sigüenza, as a funeral pantheon. The church was designed by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón and built by Francisco del Río. It has a single and spacious nave with a headboard under starry ribbed vaults and an altarpiece, the work of Esteban Jordán, who also made the tomb, carved in alabaster, of the Bishop Founder.
The main Renaissance facade, flanked by a tower, is presided over by the image of Mary Magdalene and the monumental noble shield of its promoter.

Foto: Constantino * © FISA - ESCUDO DE ORO, S. A.
The Church of Santa María de La Antigua, founded by Count Ansúrez in the 11th century, is a temple that stands out for its elegance and beauty and is one of the best known symbols of Valladolid.
La Antigua has undergone numerous modifications over the years, which have only added to its charm. From the XIII century it preserves the Romanesque style tower and portico.
The current church, Gothic style, replaced the old church in the 14nth century. In the middle of the 16th century the famous Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón reinforced it with new flying buttresses and buttresses given its ruined state. The last restoration was carried out from 1900 to 1952 to give it its current appearance.

Porto Covo beaches - Portugal

Southwest Alentejo was one of my options for my holidays this month. I've never been to this area of the country but I'm sure sooner or later I'll spend a few days there.  
These are just two of the beautiful beaches in the region. The cards were sent by Anne Silva and Paulo.

fotografia: Oswaldo Santos
Island beach is situated on the canal that links the inland to the Pessegueiro Island. This is a place blessed by nature, used throughout the centuries as a refuge for the boats that sailed the difficult Alentejo Coast. 
This is also a spot chosen for centuries by the local avifauna as a dormitory and nesting. 
The island, accessible by boat, has several interesting archaeological vestiges, specially from the Roman occupancy period. 
In the cliff next to the beach is situated the Pessegueiro Fort, built in the 17th century. - in:

© FRANCISCO MÁS LDA, Editores e Artes Gráficas
Burrinho Beach is comprised by rocky formations. Its sand only shows itself to the bathers by the low tide period. During high tide, the sand and rocks get fully immersed. - in:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Impérios - Terceira Island

One of the things I liked the most on Terceira island, were the impérios, cute and colorful structures used as a place to store the reliquaries, penants, symbols; to cook and/or distribute the offerings; and to perform some of the religious services associated with the cult of the Empire of the Holy Spirit.
Anabela sent me this card with 5 of the more 70 impérios on the island. 

On the left side:
* Império of the Holy Body: located in the parish of Our Lady of the Conception and was inaugurated at the end of century XIX, year of 1895;
* Império of the Holy Spirit in Vila Nova: located in the parish of Vila Nova, in the municipality of Praia da Vitória. It was founded in the 19th century more precisely in 1888;
* Império of Serreta: located in the parish of Serreta, in Angra do Heroísmo and it was founded in 1922;
On the right side:
* Império of Charity: located the parish of Santa Cruz, municipality of Praia da Vitória. The date of its construction dates back to the 20th century, to the year 1941;
* Império of Rua da Igreja: located in the parish of Ribeirinha, in the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sulphur Cave - Graciosa Island

I've already been to 3 of the Azores islands and I cant wait to visit the other 6. On Graciosa island, one of the attractions is the Sulphur Cave, a large cave of volcanic origin. 
The 1st card was sent by Manú (I think) and the other one was sent by Lurdes. 
This place is one of the portuguese sites on the UNESCO Tentative List. 

Photo by Jorge Góis
Sulphur cave is located in the only caldera of the island, whose origin is related to the collapse phase and drainage of a lava lake in the interior of the caldera. It is formed by an unique and huge dome that shows the existence of basaltic prisms. its maximum altitude is 100m and its diameter is 150m. In the bottom of the cave a big lagoon can be seen. There is a permanent fumarolic activity which exhales the CO², H²S, H² gases There are two holes in this cave that allow the entrance of the sun light. - in:

Foto: Karl-Heinz Raach
The access to the cave is made through a tower with about 37 meter high and a stairway with 183 steps. 

PT RR - Group 103 * April Surprise

Another RR, more surprise cards. Even though this is a RR in Portuguese, I've got card from 3 different countries, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. 

Philippe Boile
Ana lives in France but sent me a card from Mons, Belgium, with a detail of Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church. Although located in the heart of the old County of Hainaut, the Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church is one of the most characteristic churches and most homogeneous of Brabantine Gothic architecture.
The collegiate was built in the 15th century on the orders of canons. Along with the nearby belfry it is considered as a major symbol of the city of Mons. - in: wikipedia

A spanish card from Galicia, sent by Zé.
The settlers of Monte de Santa Tecla established the hill fort culture, of which there are still important remains. It was discovered in 1913, when a road was opened. Circular buildings predominate, although there are also oval and square ones, the latter under Roman influence. - in:

Pereiro is a village in the municipality of Alcoutim, Algarve. The local church dates from the 16th century.
The card was sent by Tiago.

Álvaro José Baptista Rodrigues
Inês has been helping me a lot to increase my collection of old people. This time she sent this old couple of shellfish gatherers in Cacela.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Europe RR - Group 101 * Surprise

This Europe RR has a new host and everything seems to be working faster and better. So far, I've joined this and 2 other groups. 
In this group we're supposed to get cards according to our wishlist or favorites. There's no doubt Tatiana, Yuliya and Gerald read my profile. 

I've been to Madrid 3 or 4 times but never visited or seen Almudena Cathedral. 
At the end of the 19th Century building work was started on the Almudena Cathedral which was constructed on the site of the old Santa María la Mayor church to honour the patron virgin of Madrid. In 1883 the first stone of this impressive monument was laid, located in one of the most beautiful areas of the city. In 1911 the crypt was opened for worship, but construction was halted until after the Civil War, when architects Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro were placed in charge of the project. In spite of everything, the building process was extremely slow. In 1993, the cathedral was consecrated for worship by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. The inside of the church retains a Gothic style, although the outside is Classicist. - in:

The Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gerviaty is the largest in Belarus. It was built in Neo-Gothic style in the years 1899-1903 at the expense of Prince Olszewski.

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
Bremenhaven lighthouse is the oldest mainland lighthouse on the North Sea coast still in service today and certainly one of the most beautiful lighthouses anywhere. It was built in 1853 by Simon Loschen (...). The lighthouse is a successful synthesis of the architectural styles of North German brick Gothic and concessions to the requirements of the age of technology. - in:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - EUA

If you are an Harry Potter fan then the theme park "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is a place you can not miss when in Florida. Andréa has been there 5 years ago and Maria Gabriela visited the park  this year.

 Harry Potter: TM & © Warner Bros.. Entertainment Inc.
The theme park "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" opened in June 2010 and brought with it what most fans expected: being able to feel what it's like to be at Hogwarts, or Hogsmeade, or even in the company of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
A Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort have partnered to create the first environment in the world completely immersed in Harry Potter, based on the famous books of J.K. Rowling and the films of Warner Bros. Designed as a "park within a park", the new environment has become part of the Universal Adventure Islands at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Inspired by the compelling stories and characters of J.K. Rowling - and true to the visual landscapes of the films - "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" provides a unique opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends. The park allows visitors to see some of the major sites found in books and movies, including even the mysterious Forest.

Erg Chebbi - Morocco

Last month Celina spent a few days in Morocco exploring oasis, mountain, gorges and deserts. Morocco is on my must visit list and I believe that riding a camel on a desert must be something really cool. 

Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco's two Saharan ergs – large seas of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. 
The dunes of Erg Chebbi reach a height of up to 150 meters in places and altogether it spans an area of 50 kilometers from north to south and up to 5–10 kilometers from east to west lining the Algerian border. - in: wikipedia

Monday, April 23, 2018

Ningaloo Reef - Australia

I'm back from my holidays in the Netherlands and I wish I could go on holidays again tomorrow. Still more 8 weeks to travel again, I hope.

If you like to dive, then western Australia and Ningaloo Reef might be a good option for your next holidays. 
The Ningaloo Reef was declared a marine park in 1987 in order to protect this unique environment and its inhabitants. In 2011, the Ningaloo Reef and Ningaloo Coast received UNESCO World Heritage listing, with the inception of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. This was largely in recognition of the fact that the Ningaloo Reef is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on the planet; home to more than 250 species of coral and over 500 species of fish.

Foto: Benjamin James Knapinski
The Ningaloo Reef is not only a spectacular wonder of nature itself, but also forms an important habitat for many amazing marine creatures. The Ningaloo Reef is one of only a handful of locations worldwide where huge but completely harmless whale sharks regularly congregate in numbers, allowing visitors the extraordinary experience of swimming with these largest fish in the ocean.
Manta rays are another huge but harmless inhabitant of the Ningaloo Reef, particularly at Coral Bay which is home to a resident population of mantas. This allows visitors the year-round opportunity to swim with these playful and very inquisitive creatures.

AU-599871, sent by Su.
The Ningaloo Coast is also home to a large population of marine turtles. Six of the world's seven species of marine turtle have been recorded along the Ningaloo Reef, with green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles the most commonly encountered. The reef forms a feeding ground and habitat for these turtles, while the beaches of Ningaloo are critically important turtle nesting sites.
Humpback whales are annual visitors to the Ningaloo Reef, migrating from their Antarctic feeding grounds to winter in the warm waters of the Ningaloo. During this time the Ningaloo plays host to the highest density of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere, with as many as 30,000 individuals visiting during the June-November period. - in:

Monday, April 16, 2018


When I first saw this card I couldn't figure out what was on it. Then I read on the back that these iluminated things are kamakuras, which didn't help much, because I've never heard about kamakuras. Google helped on this. Kamakuras are snow huts. Each winter, the small onsen town of Yunishigawa, helds the Kamakura Festival and it transforms into a winter wonderland with hundreds of kamakura on display. 

Photo: Tateho Kitayama
JP-1081573, sent by Ren. 
Kamakuras range from the larger snow houses, which can be entered, to miniature illuminated versions on display at various locations around Yunishigawa Onsen.
The main event takes place at Heike no Sato (平家の里), an open-air museum in the style of a traditional village, with snow-covered thatched houses providing the perfect backdrop to the dozens of illuminated kamakura lining the paths. The larger kamakura can be entered, with many available for reservation to enjoy a special barbecue experience.
The second main location is held at a bridge vantage point down the road to the west, where visitors can admire hundreds of illuminated mini kamakura lining the Zawaguchi river bed. It's a mesmerising view and not to be missed – this site is illuminated everyday except Thursdays. - in:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Scenic India

Sachin and Aparna are two Indian girls with whom I change postcards, well, I've only started to swap with Sachin a few weeks ago.
I've got these card from them last month. 

Photo by Sachin
Last month Sachin sent me an official postcard and said that after reading my profile, she felt we had a lot in common. Hiking and photography, for example. We then decided to start swapping postcards and letters. After the official card, she sent me this postcard with a photo taken by her during a hike to the Harishchandragad Fort in the state where she lives, Maharashtra.
Tomorrow I'll send her a postcard.

Photograph © Nicholas Eakins
In March Aparna went on holidays to the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, where this postcard is from. 
On the back of the card: Seen here from Batal close to where Spiti region begins and with the Bara Shigri Range as backdrop, the milky blue waters of the Chandra river form by glacier, melt from the nearby Baralacha Range, head off throught the main valley of Lahoul district. 

Miri-Arab Madrasah - Uzbekistan

Located in the center of Bukhara, Miri-Arab madrasah is considered one of the most interesting monuments in the city, and is still an acting institution, where future imams and religious mentors receive their education.

Photo: Temur Khaitov
Construction of the Miri-Arab madrasah dates back to the 16th century and is related to the sheikh Abdallah Yamani (from Yemen), the spiritual pir (guide) of sheybanids. 
The décor of the Miri-Arab madrassah has dominance of different stone mosaics of exquisite work with geometric, vegetative and calligraphic writings and patterns. 
Miri-Arab madrasah was the only spiritual educational establishment in the USSR that had begun to function after the WWII. All leading imams of those times had graduated from this religious center.
Décor and architecture of the building are done in exquisite oriental taste. The monuments had gone through many destructions, but restorers managed to reconstruct the large part of the building, returning its initial look. - in:

Saturday, April 14, 2018


This card is not that big but there's still a lot of space on the back to write at least "hello". There's not a single word from the sender, only the ID, my address and 3 stamps!! 

RU-6291728, sent by ??
The Kreuzkirche is a church in the former city district of Lomse in Königsberg, Germany, now Kaliningrad, Russia. The church was designed by architect Arthur Kickton and built between 1930 and 1933 for the evangelical community of Königsberg. 
The church was only lightly damaged in World War II and became a garage and a factory for fishing equipment thereafter. After a fire it was decided in 1988 to use the building as a church again, now for the Kaliningrad Orthodox community. - in: wikipedia

Friday, April 13, 2018


Polar bears can be found in the Artic, the U.S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), and Norway (Svalbard).  Each of these countries either banned hunting or established rules for how many polar bears could be hunted within its own boundaries. These rules help keep polar bear populations stable. Today, 25,000 to 40,000 polar bears roam the Arctic.

Photo by Andrey Gudkov
RU-6349308, sent by Daniel.
Some facts about polar bears:
* Because they spend most of their lives on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean depending on the ocean for their food and habitat, polar bears are the only bear species to be considered marine mammals;
* Polar bear fur is translucent, and only appears white because it reflects visible light. Beneath all that thick fur, their skin is jet black;
* Although about half of a polar bear’s life is spent hunting for food, their hunts are rarely successful. Polar bears main prey consists of ringed seals and bearded seals, though they will also scavenge carcasses or settle for small mammals, birds, eggs and vegetation;
* While climate change remains the greatest threat to the polar bear’s survival, that is not all that the predator is up against. The oil and gas industry is turning its eyes to the arctic, and with it comes the potential risks of habitat destruction from oil exploration work. Contact with oil spills can reduce the insulating effect of a bear’s fur requiring them to use more energy to get warm, and can poison them if ingested. Polar bears can also be exposed to toxic chemicals such as pesticides through their prey, which can affect a bear's biological functioning and ability to reproduce.
Melting sea ice from climate change has increased human-polar bear conflicts when hungry polar bears go searching for food in the summer. Fortunately, people are learning to adapt to the polar bear's presence and take preventative measures to reduce the risk of conflict;
* Male polar bears can weigh up to 800kg, and are twice the size of females. This, in addition to the fact that they can measure up to 3 metres long, makes polar bears the largest land carnivore in the world;
* Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, which they use to find seal breathing holes in the ice. Once it has found the hole, the bear will wait patiently until the seal comes up for air to attack. They can even detect a seal in the water beneath a metre of compacted snow. - in:

Lipari - Italy

With the many Portuguese postcards and some Spanish, among others, that Paulo sent me, came also a solitary Italian postcard, the first of these Lipari's cards. Lipari is one of 8 Aeolian Islands, an archipelago in northern Sicily. These islands are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. These islands provide an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena.
The 2nd card was sent by Luca in 2010.

Photo: Johanna Huber
Lipari is the largest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands (...). The island has the biggest town of the archipelago, also called Lipari; a lively busy place with picturesque streets, an attractive harbour and a historic castle-citadel. - in:

Castello – This is how they refer to the citadel, a structure constructed on a Greek acropolis before being surrounded by walls in the 13th century. In the 16th century Charles V had it reinforced after the town was sacked by Barbarossa. - in:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Derwent Water - England

Over the years I've received a few double cards and some cards that I don't like. It doesn't make sense to me to keep those cards, especially the ones I don't like. I organized them in an album and every now and then I tag in the used cards tag. The last time I tagged for this card. Derwent Water is one of the principal bodies of water in the Lake District National Park in north west England. I got rid off some unwanted used cards and got an UNESCO missing site. 
The card was sent by Dorothy. 

Located in northwest England, the English Lake District is a mountainous area, whose valleys have been modelled by glaciers in the Ice Age and subsequently shaped by an agro-pastoral land-use system characterized by fields enclosed by walls. The combined work of nature and human activity has produced a harmonious landscape in which the mountains are mirrored in the lakes. - in:

Photo: George Allsop
On the back of the card: Typical of everything that is beautiful in the Lake District, this broad laki is ringed by mountain peaks and dotted with mysterious little tree-clad islands. It measures three miles long by one and a half miles wide at its widest point. 

Ela Park - Switzerland

A beautiful snowy view of Ela Park in Switzerland, with the Chapel of Del. 
Card sent by Óscar.

Ela Park is Switzerland's largest regional nature park and it lies in the heart of Graubünden canton. 
I couldn't find information about the chapel.