Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Medina Azahara - Spain

Located about 6 kms west of Córdoba, the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara is the newest spanish UNESCO site. 
A few weeks ago Tiago traveled to Andalucia and he visited some of the region's sites, this was one of them. 

The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara is an archaeological site of a newly-founded city built in the mid-10th century CE by the western Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The city was destroyed shortly afterwards, and from that time remained hidden until its rediscovery in the early 20th century CE.
The site is a complete urban complex including infrastructure, buildings, decoration and objects of daily use, and provides in-depth knowledge about the material culture of the Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus at the zenith of its splendour but which has now disappeared. In addition, the landscape features which influenced the city’s location are conserved.
The hidden character of the site over a long period has contributed to its preservation and it has not been rebuilt or altered in that time. - in:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Europe RR - Group 144 * Happy Mix

A watermill from Germany and a church from Finland. 

Foto: Reiner Mohr
A few days ago I added mills to my postcard wishlist and I immediatly started to get them. Gerald sent me a watermill located in Barmstedt. Rantzau watermill dates from 1863 and is still used when there is enough water.

The grey stone church of St. John in Hauho, was built probably at the beginning of 16th century. The present sacristy made of bricks replaced the old medieval one 1783-1784. The bell tower was built in 1811. The church bells were moved over to the new church in 1885.
There are several medieval wooden statues in the church, for example St. Peter and St. Anna. - in:
Card sent by Ritva.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ingersoll's International Meeting - Canada

So many meetings around the world these days. By the end of last month, a few postcrossers met in Ingersoll, Canada and they had special guests, Paulo and Ana were there. Marie was also there and sent me this card. 

Postcard design by @GETDesigns ©
Thomas Ingersoll was an early settler in Upper Canada, later Ontario. Ingersoll, originally Oxford-on-the-Thames, was renamed in his honor. 
The present-day town hall replaced a brick building built in 1857, that the town demolished  in 1990. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park - Canada

Canada has added a new site to the UNESCO WHS list. Pimachiowin Aki is the first site in the country to be recognized for both its cultural and natural significance. 
Jason sent me this card of the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park that is part of this site. 

Pimachiowin Aki (‘The Land That Gives Life’) is a forest landscape crossed by rivers and studded with lakes, wetlands, and boreal forest. It forms part of the ancestral home of the Anishinaabeg, an indigenous people living from fishing, hunting and gathering. The area encompasses the traditional lands of four Anishinaabeg communities (Bloodvein River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Poplar River). It is an exceptional example of the cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (‘keeping the land’), which consists of honouring the gifts of the Creator, respecting all forms of life and maintaining harmonious relations with others. A complex network of livelihood sites, habitation sites, travel routes and ceremonial sites, often linked by waterways, embodies this tradition. - in:

Besides the lands of the four Anishinaabe First Nations, the area also includes Atikaki and South Atikaki Provincial Parks, Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve.

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is a provincial park in northwestern Ontario. It borders eastern Manitoba, and is made up of Canadian Shield and boreal forest. Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is a wilderness park of 450,000 hectares (1,100,000 acres). 
Access to the park is via float plane or canoe. The park is noted as a wilderness canoe destination, with over 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of waterways that weave a pattern between large interconnected lakes and rivers, including the Bloodvein and Gammon Rivers. Portages connect many of the common canoe routes. The park has many archeological sites containing many Ojibway pictographs. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lake Powell - USA

This card was in my favorites gallery and it was sent by Linda. Unfortunately the mail sorting machines (I think) left an ugly scratch right on the middle of the card. Lets pretend it is a waterfall. 

Photo © Chuck Lawsen
Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, United States. Most of Lake Powell, along with Rainbow Bridge National Monument, is located in Utah. It is a major vacation spot that around two million people visit every year. It is the second largest man-made reservoir by maximum water capacity in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,069 acre feet (3.0000830×1010 m3) of water when full. However, due to high water withdrawals for human and agricultural consumption, and because of subsequent droughts in the area, Lake Powell is currently larger than Lake Mead in terms of volume of water currently held, depth and surface area.
Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a popular summer destination. The reservoir is named for explorer John Wesley Powell, a one-armed American Civil War veteran who explored the river via three wooden boats in 1869. - in: wikipedia

Jyväskylä International Meeting - Finland

A few days ago, around 100 postcrossers from different countries got together to spend three days in Jyväskylä. The program included a cruise with a steam ship, a visit to the postcard publishing house Karto, and a meetup in an old railway station that is now a restaurant.

 Illustrated by Jonna Markulla
I've already received cards from many meetings but I think I've never received cards with so many signatures. We all know that space on cards is limited but some of these cards were signed by 72 postcrossers. Heidi said they signed more than 2000 cards :o 

Anna-Maria also sent me a card and I really like this picture.
Olavinlinna Castle was founded in 1475 by Swedish nobleman Erik Axelsson Tott. Situated on a small island in Lake Saimaa it was one of the most modern fortresses of its time, consisting of a citadel, a bailey and five round cannon towers.
During the Great Nordic War (1700 – 1721) Russia conquered parts of southern Finland and in the Russo-Swedish War 1741 – 1743 Sweden tried to win back lost territories. Olavinlinna was captured by the Russians in 1742, and when peace was settled it became one in a line of Russian border fortresses and an army base, modernized under the surveillance of the famous Russian Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov.
After the Finnish War of 1808 – 1809 Finland became an autonomous part of Russia. The castle lost its strategic function and became a tourist attraction. - in:

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Hepoköngäs waterfall in Finland. 

Hepoköngäs is probably the most famous free waterfall in Finland today, at least as a tourist attraction. Not only is it the number one nature sight in Puolanka, it is also mentioned in practically every tourist guide in the Kainuu region.

Kuva: Markku Yli-Tepsa
FI-3279389, sent by Tiia.
As a nature sight, Hepoköngäs is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in Finland, but it is not the highest, contrary to some information sources. The fall has, however, earned its place as one of the best sights in Kainuu, as it is a refreshing and beautiful place in the middle of Kainuu's coniferous forests. The water flows like a foaming ribbon down the cliff and into a lake, making the entire lake heave. It is easy to get to admire the fall both from the top and from the lake shore, from where you can see the entire fall. - in:

Llanrwst - Wales

Last week my penpal Gemma went on holidays to Wales. I wish I could go on holidays too!! Postcards from my friends' holidays always increased my desire to travel again. By the way, I might need company to travel in October, any candidates??
I've been considering a few travel options but Wales is not one of them. However this beautiful scenery in Llanrwst is quite charming and appealing. 

Built as a residential dwelling in 1480, Tu Hwnt i’r Bont (Beyond the Bridge) is actually considerably older than the Inigo Jones bridge it stands beside. Some years later the building was used as the Courthouse for the surrounding area. From here the most serious offenders could have been taken to Tan y Craig in Llanrwst where they could be hanged outside the old gaol!

Picture Copyright © 10-99-11-11
Over the centuries Tu Hwnt i’r Bont has fallen into disrepair several times and been rebuilt and restored through the generosity of the townsfolk. During the last century, Tu Hwnt i’r Bont was acquired by the National Trust who have since leased the building for over 50 years.
The decision made by the original leaseholder, over half a century ago, to turn Tu Hwnt i’r Bont into a traditional Welsh Tea Rooms has proved to be a success. To this day the recipe for the scones remains true and continues to be a well kept secret!
For visitors to North Wales generally (and the Conwy Valley, Betws-y-Coed in particular), Tu Hwnt I’r Bont is itself, in this idyllic setting, an obvious ‘must see’ tourist attraction; offering as it does, a truly authentic and hugely enjoyable ‘taste’ of North Wales and its culture. - in:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Derby Silk Mill - England

UK's has 31 sites inscribed in the UNESCO WHS list and I'm only missing 2 of those 31 sites. A few days ago Julia sent me this card with the Old Silk Mill in Derby. 

The Derwent Valley Mills are the birthplace of the factory system. It was for this reason that they were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.
It was in the Derwent Valley that – thanks to pioneering work by Richard Arkwright, Jedediah Strutt, the Lombe brothers and others – the essential ingredients of factory production were successfully combined. Water Power was applied and successfully used for the first time on a relatively large scale. Not only was silk throwing and cotton spinning revolutionised with dramatic consequences for the British economy, the Arkwright model system also informed and inspired developments in other countries and industries. 

© Millstone Cards
The first stages of the fully mechanised factory were set in motion when the Lombe brothers set up a silk mill in Derby in the early 1720s, based on examples seen in Italy.
The silk throwing machines in this building were based on machines studied by John Lombe in Italy – the designs of these were copied and smuggled to England in an early example of industrial espionage. 
The layout of the mills, with a large number of people in two buildings doing a number of processes, was the prototype for the modern factory and was a model for the later textile mills built for Arkwright and partners 50 years later. - in:
The Silk Mill is the southern gateway to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hertogenbosch's Cathedral - Netherlands

(Sint-Janskathedraal) of 's-Hertogenbosch is the height of gothic architecture in North Brabant, Netherlands

. It has an extensive and richly decorated interior, and serves as the cathedral for the bishopric 's-Hertogenbosch.
The cathedral has a total length of 115 and a width of 62 metres. Its tower reaches 73 metres high.

NL-4160749, sent by Annelies.
In 1985, it received the honorary title of basilica from pope John Paul II.
Its construction is thought to have started in 1220 and was finished in 1340. Around 1340, building began to extend the church, from which its current gothic style came." - in: wikipedia

Monday, August 6, 2018

Holsten Gate, Lübeck - Germany

Holsten Gate is one of the relics of Lübeck's medieval city fortifications and one of two remaining city gates. Known for its two-round towers and arched entrance, it is regarded today as a symbol of the city. Together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The 1st card was sent by Sabine and the 2nd is an official sent by Franzi.

Holsten Gate is one of the most famous sights in Lübeck. When visiting the City of the 7 Spires take a moment to admire its symbol standing at the entrance to the old town.
Beside the Brandenburg Gate, Cologne Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady in Munich, the Holsten Gate in Lübeck is the most famous German building in the world.

In medieval times, Lübeck was considered to be an important city and owes its thanks to the success of the Lübeck merchants. Holsten Gate became the proud symbol of Lübeck as a free imperial city. 
The city gate was built between 1464 and 1478 along the lines of Dutch models. Its purpose served both as a form of defence and as a form of prestige. Above the round-arched gateway entrance of the twin-towered construction, the inscription CONCORDIA DOMI FORIS PAX (unity at home, peace abroad) can clearly be seen in golden letters. 

© Schöning GmbH & Co. KG
DE-7361938, sent by Franzi. 
Nearly every visitor is astonished by its odd leaning angle and its sunken south tower. But, during the 15th century people weren't quite as knowledgeable on "foundation work" as they are today.  As only the towers are standing on a "gridiron" with the heavy middle tract resting upon them, the towers unevenly subsided into the marshy ground.  In 1863, the Gate looked an appalling sight. With a majority of just one single vote, the city parliament decided to restore the gate and began extensive restoration efforts. It wasn't until 70 years later that the subsidence could be stopped. Most recent renovations were carried out between 2004 and 2006. Here, the slate roof, terracotta frieze and parts of the brickwork were replaced. 
Be sure to take a look inside the monument, too: There are many interesting facts to learn inside the Holsten Gate Museum, for example, »The Power of Trade«. Historic ship models, suits of armour, weapons, legal instruments and merchandise give a brief glimpse into the time of the Hanseatic League. - in:

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Murça's Roman Road and Bridge - Portugal

I believe this is my 1st and only card from Murça, a town in northern Portugal. Inês sent it as a prize for winning one of her lotteries. 

There are numerous vestiges left by the presence of Roman civilization in the present Portuguese territory, of which the county of Murça was no exception.
The Roman Bridge, on the Tinhela River, was the only way of connection in the county in Roman times, through which may have  passed some legions of Roman troops, people who dominated the Iberian Peninsula after defeating the Lusitanians .
Even nowadays, about two decades ago, people from the towns of Vale de Cunho, Pópulo and Cadaval, used the road and bridge to go on foot to the county seat, namely to go to the fair or to pick olives. 
This bridge, still maintains today some stretches of Roman sidewalk, that in brief stretches, is still original. It is believed that this Roman road made the connection to Chaves, Braga and other regions of Iberia.

Pinhôa Windmills - Portugal

 Last week Leninha surprised me with this lovely card for my elderlies collection.

 The Lourinhã district is one of the most representative when it comes to windmills, which despite no longer playing the active role in the economy they once did, are still without doubt important heritage to the centuries old traditions of our people.
At Alto da Pinhoa, in the Moita dos Ferreiros region, you can enjoy a close-up experience of five windmills which were fully restored in April, 2000.
Three of them are still in operation while one has been transformed into a bar (currently not open to the public) and another is used as a holiday home.

Foto e Grafismo: Acácio Soares
It is even possible to chat to the miller and his wife, simple and friendly people who’ll happily open the door to the central mill and show you it in operation (with a little help from the wind, of course!), and they’ll explain how it works. Fascinating for both children and adults. You’ll be able to see the two different grinding systems, one for corn and another for wheat, which use different types of stone in the grinding process. You can learn how to grade the grain of the floor and how to operate each of the mill stones. - in:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

13th Postcrossing Anniversary Meeting in Setúbal - Portugal

Postcrossing anniversary was last month and the portuguese postcrossers celebrated in Setúbal. They had a birthday cake, fried cuttlefish (a regional speciality) and of course, postcards. I wasn't there but the dearest Vitória, Inês and  Gracinha remembered me and sent me these beautiful postcards.

 © Foto: C. Monteiro / © Casa dos Postais
The construction of Fort of São Filipe began during the Spanish occupation, in 1582, during the reign of Filipe I, as a way to reinforce Setúbal's defense against pirates, which, since the reign of D. Afonso IV, was a concern.
With the restoration of independence, in 1640, D. João IV ordered to expand the defenses and their adaptation to the use of artillery. In century XIX a fire destroyed the house of the command.
In the XX century, classified as National Monument, the General-Directions of National Buildings and Monuments, made restoration works and the fort was adapted to function as an hotel.
  In the interior of the fort, besides the former governor's house, there is also a chapel totally covered in tiles.

 Postais de Tróia
Located on a place of great natural beauty, the Tróia Peninsula is a strip of golden sand with about 17km long and 1,5km width, surrounded by a deep blue sea that make of this a privileged place for wonderful leisure moments. 
The Tróia Beaches are famous for its peacefulness and great conditions offered to all visitors, and are usually beaches with big extensions that provide room and amenities for all. 
Nowadays Tróia offers the most diversified amenities and services, among accommodation, restaurants, fun parks, tennis and golf courts, among many others. A profound urban and landscape remodelling is nowadays taking place, in order to reorganize the buildings and constructions that were made in the 1960’s and 70’s which were built for a massive tourism and that got into a degradation point. - in:

Fotografia: João Dionísio
In the coastal region of Setubal we often observe specimens of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), considered one of the faunistic symbols of the region.
The area between the Atlantic Coast ( Galé and Arrábida) and the Sado Estuary is home to one of only three mammals communities residing in the European maritime space.
Groups of these sociable animals, called "roazes", supposedly, from habit of gnaw the meshes that fishermen launch into the sea, seek daily the tide favorable to travel to the estuarine area, addressing themselves to areas of estuaries and marshes, in search of food, mainly cuttlefish, sea bass and mullet, in a consumption that can reach up to ten kilograms per day.
It is estimated they can live 50 or more years, with females to register greater longevity than males. - in:

Wickerwork - Madeira Island

Miguel has recently been to Madeira Island with his family. He saw this card in Funchal and thought it would be a nice one for my elderlies collection. He knows I like cards with elderlies but he didn't know my mom used to work with wicker many years ago. 

On Madeira the wickerwork industry has its foundation in 1850 in the parish of Camacha, where the largest production of this type of craft on the island is found.

Fotografia: Miguel Perestrello
The trees that originate this work – Willows trees, grow on lands with plenty of water and each plant can produce between 2 to 5 kilograms of willow. Once cut, the willow must be peeled and dried, which is then followed by the transformation phase. 
Before being used for making baskets or furniture, the rods go through a treatment process where they are boiled to give elasticity and make them easier to handle. This is the process that gives them a brown colour instead of the original white one.
Wickerwork is used to manufacture objects for domestic use, of all shapes and sizes, including suitcases, boxes, chairs, tables, furniture, among others. 
There are all kinds of furniture pieces, especially chairs, couches and tables, alongside with other items such as agricultural baskets that are used in the grape harvest throughout the island, as well as the “Monte sledges” which concentrates a significant portion of this industry. - in:

Cabras Islet - Terceira Island

After a big meeting in June, Lurdes and Anabela had a mini-meeting with Barbara, an austrian postcrosser. Big or smaller, Postcrossing meetings are always great. 

Fotografia: Rodrigo Bento
The two Islets, named as Grande (big) and Pequeno (small), that constitute the Cabras Islet are located in front of the southern coast of the wonderful Terceira Island, about 1km distance from the Feteira small village. 
These Islets are classified as the Cabras Special Protection Zone, due to its natural importance, occupying a total surface of 29 hectares, having the Small Islet 84 meters and the Big Islet 147 meters high. 
These are the biggest Islets of the Archipelago, volcanic remnants which basaltic lava entered in contact with the water forming littoral volcanic cones, nowadays quite altered by sea’s erosion. 
Habitat for several species, namely avifauna, in the Cabras Islet many protected species nest, such as the Common Tern, the Calonectris, the Roseate Tern, the Capped Heron, or the Seagull, among many others. 
The access to the Islet is difficult, even though sometimes some of the areas are used as pasture for cattle. 
During summer months there are some boat trips available for those who wish to visit this Special Protection Zone, always with a conditioned number of visitors due to environmental issues. - in: