Friday, November 30, 2018

9th Postcrossing Christmas Meeting - Portugal

It is officially open the season of Christmas lunches and meetings and in the Postcrossing already began to celebrate. The 9th portuguese Christmas Meeting was held last weekend in Viseu. I made it this time!! It was me and 23 postcrossers + husbands, wives, grandchildren, boyfriends, etc. A lot of people gathered around the postcards.
Speaking of postcards, we had an official postcard, which I sent to me. Sofia was also at the meeting and, surprise, she also sent me a postcard.

Imagem by Cristovão Cunha * the Postcrossing logo is a registered trademark
The biggest surprise for me was when they started to sing Happy Birthday to me at lunch. As if that wasn't enough, they also surprised me with a birthday cake and a postcard signed by everyone. It was (almost) a teary moment. If any of them is reading this, thank you again!!

Although I don't live far from Viseu, I don't know the city very well. In the postcard that Sofia sent, you can see some of the points of interest of Viseu.
Occupied since the Castro era, the History of Viseu is closely connected with the History of Portugal. If the mythical figure of Viriathus, the warrior who led Lusitanian tribes against the Romans, gave the old city vital importance during Roman times, King Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese King, established a close connection between the first years of the foundation of the country and this noble Beira Alta city. 
It’s not possible to separate Viseu from the History of the country, but the arts also owe much to the birthplace of Vasco Fernandes whose works are a symbol of the scholarship and excellence of Portuguese Renaissance. This famous 16th century painter is the figure who left the greatest artistic heritage in Viseu and the Grão Vasco Museum gathers a considerable collection of works from this artist, keeping his memory alive in the city.
The city also had a golden age for religious art and architecture as proven by the great number of churches decorating the old town, the Religious Art Museum and the Cathedral itself which is one of the most symbolic buildings in Viseu and shows the importance of this Beirã city as the seat of the diocese.
Viseu Cathedral is actually a great starting point for a visit to the city. In the cathedral churchyard, one of the most interesting places in the old town, you will find, apart from the Cathedral and the museums, Misericórdia Church, the pelourinho and Passeio dos Cónegos. Here you will often find dark granite, typical in the region, surrounded by contrasting white and seemingly immaculate façades. Then, continue your visit until you reach Rossio, where you will be able to relax and enjoy green areas, or you can follow the traces of the defensive wall built by King John I which was only finished during the reign of King Afonso V and can still be seen beyond the Cavaleiros and Soar Doors. - in:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ribeira de Terges e Cobres - Portugal

Leninha bought an house and moved again. She sent this card to give me her new address. I think this is the 4th time I've to change her address in my files!! 

Fotografia: Rui Mateus
Couldn't find much about the place on the card. Ribeira de Terges e Cobres is a river in southern Portugal but I don't see a river on the card. No information either about the ruined chapel. 

PT RR - Group 125 * Surprise November

This Surprise Group of November is complete and I'm now waiting for December adresses. The postcards were sent by Patrícia, Joana, Tiago and Paulo.

Ilustração de Jorge Colombo
In Portugal a lot of people say that these chocolate umbrellas remind them of their childhood. I never liked chocolate that much and that's probably why I don't have memories attached to them. However, some days ago one of my oldies at work gave me one. 
The umbrellas are one of the most characteristic and popular products of the Regina brand, reprinted by Imperial, who holds the brand since 2000.

Claire Aho © JB
I've no idea where these children are. Maybe in France, where Joana sent the postcard from or maybe in Finland, the home country of Claire Aho, the author of the photo.

2014 © michael dragaschnig
I do not know where this gentleman is either, perhaps in Aljezur, where Tiago bought the postcard thinking of my old people collection.

Fotografia: Oswaldo Santos
I've been to Arcos de Valdevez a few years ago but I did not have time to really get to know the city, I didn't even take photos. 
The current bridge connecting the two banks of the village of Arcos de Valdevez is a 19th century structure, begun in 1876 and completed in 1880, which completely replaced a copy of medieval origin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Columbia Icefield - Canada

Another canadian natural attraction. 
The Columbia Icefield is located in the Canadian Rockies, partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park. 

Photo by R. Kelly
The Columbia Icefield is a surviving remnant of the thick ice mass that once mantled most of Western Canada's mountains. Lying on a wide, elevated plateau, it is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies. Nearly three-quarters of the park's highest peaks are located close to the icefield; ideally placed to catch much of the moisture that Pacific winds carry across the British Columbia interior. Most of this precipitation falls as snow; up to 7 metres a year!
Since more snow falls in a year than can melt during the short summer season, it accumulates. As time passes, the snow transforms into ice and begins to flow outward through gaps in the mountains surrounding the icefield, creating great tongues of ice called glaciers.

Alberta Color
CA-386547, sent by Susan.
The Athabasca is the most-visited glacier on the North American continent. Situated across from the Icefield Centre, its ice is in continuous motion, creeping forward at the rate of several centimeters per day. Spilling from the Columbia Icefield over three giant bedrock steps, the glacier flows down the valley like a frozen, slow-moving river. Because of a warming climate, the Athabasca Glacier has been receding or melting for the last 125 years. Losing half its volume and retreating more than 1.5 kms, the shrinking glacier has left a moonscape of rocky moraines in its wake. - in:

Monday, November 19, 2018


The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are located at Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung.  The construction started in 1974 and was completed in 1976.

Photo: yuyen
TW-2626357, sent by Jennifer.
In Chinese culture, dragons symbolize auspicious power and strength, and they have control over water, including rain, floods, etc. Tigers, on the other hand, symbolize prowess, righteousness, and harmony.
The dragon's throat is the entrance and the tiger's mouth is the exit. Entering a dragon's throat and coming out a tiger's mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Zadar - Croatia

I've many trips planned in my head and one of them is a road trip in Croatia, starting in Zagreb, heading next to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park and from there, many stops along the Adriatic Coast. Zadar is definitely one of the places I want to visit. The city center seems quite interresting and now that its defensive system is classified as UNESCO site, I'm even more interrested in visiting this ancient city. I'm also curious about the sea organ
Thanks Agata for another great card. 

Foto: A. Carli
In 2017 Zadar's Defensive System  made it to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites as one of the Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries. Apart from Zadar’s defensive system, the property also lists the Fort of St Nicholas in Šibenik and other defensive systems in Italy and Montenegro. 

The 15th and 17th centuries was the golden age of the mighty Republic of Venice, whose rule also included some of what is now Croatian territory such as Zadar region. It was an important maritime republic and a leading trading power of that time.
During the Venetian rule, Zadar used to be the military and administrative centre on the Adriatic coast and the defensive system reflects its important role. Situated on the historical peninsula, the system follows the coastline and consists of the bastioned city walls and gates such as the Land Gate, an example of Renaissance works of the famous Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli. - in:

Bielefeld Meeting - Germany

Although the portuguese postcrossers love to meet, I miss most of the meetings. Fortunately, next week I will make it to the Christmas meeting in Viseu !! As in Bielefeld, we will also have an official postcard, which I'll shown here once I get it in my mailbox.

Leonie doesn't miss a meeting in Bielefeld and just like in the last years, she remembered to send me a postcard.
Some facts about Bielefeld:
* The city has a population of 333,451 inhabitants and is located in North Rhine-Westphalia;
* Sparrenburg, the medieval castle, is the most famous building in Bielefeld and the symbol of the city. Another attraction of the city is the Market Square;
* The city has an official football team called DSC Arminia Bielefeld;
* Bielefeld is known for its linen and in the early 1920s, a city bank issued even money made from linen;
* When it comes to food, the city is known for the pudding and the pickert, a flat, fried or baked potato dish;
* To enjoy nature you can stroll through the Teutoburg Forest or visit the animals at the Olderdissen Zoo.

Friday, November 9, 2018

L'Aveyron - France

Rodez is a small city in the department of Aveyron in the region of Occitanie, South of France. A few days ago the city hosted the Parabadminton European Championship and Heidi was one of the players. She and her women doubles partner won a bronze medal. 

Aveyron contains a part of the Cévennes National Park. Well-known tourist attractions are the castle of Najac, a medieval ruin perched high on a hill, and the many beautiful old castles and monasteries such as Conques Abbey, Sylvanès Abbey, Bonneval Abbey and Loc-Dieu Abbey, located near Martiel in a region with many dolmens. The small city of Millau is the site of the world's tallest bridge, the Millau viaduct, opened by President Chirac in December 2004.
Activities include horseriding, fishing, swimming in the Lacs du Lévézou and hiking/camping. The inhabitants are also very good craftsmen, and Aveyron is full of various craft objects, handmade, that can be found locally. Examples include the couteau de Laguiole, the world famous Roquefort cheese, from the village of the same name and other local produce. Markets take place every Saturday on market places around the region. - in: wikipedia

PT RR - Group 117 * Surprise October

Postcards from last month surprise group in the portuguese RR. 

The Eiffel Bridge in Viana do Castelo was inaugurated the 30th of June of 1878, in the time of the iron architecture. Designed by the famous Eiffel House, the metallic bridge over the “Rio Lima” allowed the railway traffic but it also replaced the old wood bridge that linked the S. Bento place in Viana to the left bank of the “Rio Lima”(Darque). With 563 meters long and 6 meter large, 2 000 000 kilos of iron had been required for the construction of the platforms that lay on nine granite squared stone pillars, whose substructures reach the 22 meters. - in:
Card sent by Inês. 

 Foto: Susana Luzir
I really like to received cards from places in Portugal that I've never heard of before, it's a great way to discover new places in my won country. Sandra introduced me to the Monastery of St. Andrew of Ancede in Baião.
Although its foundation date has not been identified, it is known that in 1120 this Monastery belonged to the Diocese of Porto through its connection to the Order of the Augustinian Canons. In 1141, D. Afonso Henrique sold the Couto letter (granting immunity to royal power) to the abbot of the Monastery for 150 morabitinos. In 1560, it was attached to the Convent of Saint Dominic in Lisbon by decision of Pope Pius IV. In the 18th Century, various buildings were built and still distinguish this architectonical set: the barns and wine cellar, the octagonal Chapel of Our Lord of BomDespacho and, probably, the fountain. At the beginning of the 19th Century, the Monastery was sold at a public auction to the Barron of Ancede. - in:
Miranda do Douro church is not new to me and I've already visited it. This is the largest religious temple in Trás-os-Montes region.
Following a political and religious reorganisation by King D. João III that affected the cathedrals of Portalegre and Leiria, construction on the Miranda do Douro Cathedral begun on May 24, 1552. 
Gonçalo Torralva and Miguel de Arruda, with subsequent execution by Francisco Velasquez, completed the construction in the early 17th century, maintaining Episcopal status until 1780, when the diocese was transferred to Bragança. This building was thus designated as a Co-cathedral or simply as the Main Church of Miranda do Douro. - in:
Card sent by Paulo.

 Foto: W. Müller * Art & Concept: G. A. Wittich
Last month Inês Brito send me a card with an old man and his donkeys, this time she sent this gentleman and his fishes. I like the postcard but that fish in the man's mouth wasn't really necessary. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

US-5605713 & US-5623359

I'm running out of postcards to post here !!! I hope the postman brings new ones tomorrow.
Among others, last week he brought these two US officials.

US-5605713, sent by Mrs Bacon's class. 
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders the U.S. states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the second smallest by population and the sixth smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states. The state capital is Montpelier, the least populous state capital in the United States.  - in: wikipedia

Photo by C. C. Duncan
US-5623359, sent by Sherry.
Sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico are one of the great joys of visiting (or living in) Florida. If you like sunset pictures, these tips might make your sunset photos an instagram success.
* Go to the AppStore and download a sunrise and sunset timing app. (Lots of the weather apps also have this function.) That way, you’ll never miss a sunset;
* In most sunset photos, the horizon is the focal point so make sure you’re careful when you position it. If the sky is really pretty then place the horizon in the bottom third of the photo. If the sunset is over the sea and is making reflections, then position the horizon in the top third of the photo;
* Creating a silhouette in the foreground will give your sunset pics a sense of perspective. Look out for birds! A few birds flying across the image can really elevate your photographs;
* If you’re at the beach, the reflections of the sun on the water can be impressive. If you’re in a city however, look out for the sunset reflecting on glass buildings or windows. The way the light is reflected can create very interesting images;
* Turn on the flash and use it just for taking a portrait photo of someone at sunset. It will highlight their features and stop the photo looking too dark;
* Spotty, wispy clouds are ideal. The light will reflect from behind them and create interesting shapes. After a thunderstorm when the sky is clearing often provides the best conditions for sunset photographers;
* After the sun has dipped below the horizon, the sky will keep changing colour for another half an hour. Hang around to watch this spectacle and capture even more colours;
* It’s not just where the sun is that the sky will put on a stunning display. Look all around you and to capture some breath-taking colours and lights. - in:

Crater Lake National Park - USA

American officials from Oregon with the beautiful Crater Lake National Park.

Lantern Press Photography * image #76023
US-5606887, sent by Pat.
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Crater Lake National Park is the fifth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests.

 Photo by Craig Tuttle
US-1671354, sent by Nancy.
The lake is 1,943 feet (592 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world
The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m). 
Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake's water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain. - in: wikipedia

 atwork & design © 2017 Robert B. Decker
US-4765147, sent Jason.
On the back of the card: Established in 1902, Crater lake inspires awe. Native Americans watched it form 7700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a towering volcano. Scientists marvel at its purity; fed by rain and snow, it's the deepest lake in th United States and perhaps the most pristine on earth. 
Artists, photographers and sightseers stand in wonder at its blue waters and stunning setting. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mount Fanjingshan - China

China adds new places or monuments to the UNESCO WHS list every year. This year was no exception and Mount Fanjingshan is now the 53th chinese site on this prestigious list. 
Many thanks to Johnson for this great card. 

Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province (south-west China), Fanjingshan ranges in altitude between 500 metres and 2,570 metres above sea level, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species that originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago. The property’s isolation has led to a high degree of biodiversity with endemic species, such as the Fanjingshan Fir (Abies fanjingshanensis) and the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi), and endangered species, such as the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus), the Forest Musk Deer (Moschus berezovskii) and Reeve’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii). Fanjingshan has the largest and most contiguous primeval beech forest in the subtropical region.  in:

Rajabai Clock Tower - Mumbai

It's time now for a new UNESCO site. The Rajabai Clock Tower, in South Mumbai, is part of The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, which was added to the list of World Heritage Sites this year. 
The card was sent by K. R. 

Rajabai Clock Tower stands in Mumbai University Fort Campus located next to the High Court. The tower was built by Sir Gilbert Scott, who modeled it on the Big Ben. The foundation stone of the tower was laid down on March 1869. The majestic tower holds a big clock which can be viewed from a distance. The clock also plays melodic tunes at fixed intervals. 
Rajabai tower owes its name to Premchand's mother, who was a blind woman. As Premchand's family was a strict follower of Jainism, his mother took her dinner before evening and the evening bell of the tower assisted her in determining the time without anyone's help. She would then take the dinner herself. Premchand was the sole contributor for the construction of the tower and hence wanted it to be named after his mother Rajabai. - in:


When it comes to choose cards I always take some time to check, when possible, what cards the person I'm sending the card to already has, to avoid duplicates. That's exactly what Morfey did. Even though I already have a few cards of the Red Square in Moscow, none of those cards depicts this monument. 

The Monument to Minin and Pozharsky commemorates Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who gathered an all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under the command of King Sigismund III of Poland from Moscow, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles in 1612. - in: wikipedia

RU-6824793, sent by Morfey 
Designed by the architect I. Martos, it was erected in 1818 and became Russia's first monumental sculpture. One of the bas-reliefs shows the people of Novogorod bringing their sons to be armed - Minin famously forced the city to provide funds and fighting men by holding their womenfolk hostage. The other shows the Poles fleeing from the Kremlin, pursued by Russian troops. The pediment is inscribed with the words: "To Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky, from a grateful Russia".
The statue once stood in the centre of Red Square, with the figure of Minin pointing towards the Kremlin. However, it was moved in 1930, after the construction of Lenin's mausoleum - rumour has it that Minin's rabble-rousing gesture appeared rather ambiguous in relation to the positioning of the great leader's tomb. In fact, the reason for moving the statue was more simple than that - its location interfered with Stalin's plans for massed military parades. - in: