Saturday, March 28, 2020

Škocjan Caves - Slovenia

When in Slovenia one has to add some caves to the visit list. These are no ordinary caves. Škocjan Cave system is one of the largest known underground canyons in the world; is an example of natural beauty with great aesthetic value; due to particular microclimatic conditions, a special ecosystem has developed; the area has great cultural and historical significance as it has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and is typical example of contact karst. - in: wikipedia

 Due to their exceptional significance, the Škocjan Caves were entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986.
 International scientific circles have thus acknowledged the importance of the Caves as one of the natural treasures of planet Earth. 
Ranking among the most important caves in the world, the Škocjan Caves represent the most significant underground phenomena in both the Karst region and Slovenia. - in: http://www.park-skocjanske-jame.si/eng/caves.shtml
On the card there's the Cekvenik bridge in Šumeča jama Cave, which crosses the Reka river.

This exceptional system of limestone caves comprises collapsed dolines, some 6 km of underground passages with a total depth of more than 200 m, many waterfalls and one of the largest known underground chambers. The site, located in the Kras region (literally meaning Karst), is one of the most famous in the world for the study of karstic phenomena. - in: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/390/

Lake Bohinj - Slovenia

I've read somewhere that Lake Bled is for tourists and Lake Bohinj is for travelers. I'm not sure if I'm more a tourist or a traveler but I do know that I want to visit both lakes. 
Cards sent by Ivana, Tina and Leonardo. 

Situated on the edge of the Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps, Lake Bohinj is the largest lake in Slovenia. It is located in a glacial valley and it comprises almost 100 million cubic metres of water – according to an old Bohinj joke: no more than a bucket if it is large enough. The steeply descending lake basin is relatively smoothly shaped and has no shallow areas. In summer, the temperature of the water rises to 22 °C; in winter, the lake freezes sometimes. Water level rises 2 – 3 metres after heavy rainfall. - in: https://www.bohinj.si/en/attractions/lake-bohinj/

Many visitors to Slovenia say they’ve never seen a more beautiful lake than Bled…that is, until they’ve seen the blue-green waters of Lake Bohinj, 26km to the southwest. Admittedly, Bohinj lacks Bled’s glamour, but it’s less crowded and in many ways more authentic. It’s an ideal summer holiday destination. People come primarily to chill out or to swim in the crystal-clear water, with leisurely cycling and walking trails to occupy them as well as outdoor pursuits like kayaking, hiking and horse riding. - in: https://www.lonelyplanet.com

Photo by Peter Strgar
Church of St. John the Baptist, thought to have been built as early as pre 1300, is one of the most beautiful examples of the Middle Age architecture and fresco painting in Slovenia. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ljubljana - Slovenia

Back in 2013 Mafalda lived in Ljubljana for a couple of months, luck girl!! 

Slovenia's capital and largest city is one of Europe's greenest and most liveable capitals; it was the European Commission's Green Capital of Europe in 2016.

Foto © Francí Horvat
Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the leafy banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, which flows through the city's heart, free for pedestrians and cyclists. 
Slovenia's master of early-modern, minimalist design, Jože Plečnik, graced Ljubljana with beautiful bridges and buildings as well as dozens of urban design elements such as pillars, pyramids and lamp posts, which exist solely to make the city even prettier. - in: https://www.lonelyplanet.com

Leiria - Portugal

In October 2017, 86% of the Leiria pine forest area was completely destroyed by an huge fire. Since then, several initiatives have been developed to recover the forest. Postcrossing joined one of these initiatives and for the 2nd consecutive year, some postcrossers, including Óscar, who sent me this postcard, rolled up their sleeves, grabbed their hoes and went to Leiria to plant trees. 

www.edigpostais.com
Leiria, located in the center of Portugal is a beautiful city with a strong historical character bathed and influenced by the rivers Lis and Lena.
The Castle is the ultimate symbol of Leiria and from here its history and development unfolded, having been an important landmark of Portuguese nationality (...).
Leiria was also had an important role  in the history of the Portuguese Discoveries, as it was in this area that the pine forest was planted and which provided  the timber and pitch used in the building of Portuguese ships, especially during the period of the Discoveries, that allowed the country to sail to other worlds. It was D. Afonso III in the 13th century that started planting the pines, and with King D. Dinis (between 1279 and 1325) this culture was intensified. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cabo - Madeira

In February, the only problem Vitória had when traveling to Madeira, was a sprained ankle. That didn't ruin her mood and she had a very pleasant stay on the island.
Last year I saw and bought a lot of postcards in Madeira, but Vitória managed to discover and send me this one that I didn't even get see. A cow, a chapel and a beautiful landscape, wonderful choice.

© Foto: Vítor Marques | © Casa dos Postais
After some research, I managed to discover that this is the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Death, founded in the 17th century and located in Sítio do Cabo, in the parish of Ponta do Pargo.

Friday, March 20, 2020

PT RR - Group 147 * Surprise February '20

Can we go back to February, when life was still pretty much normal and the virus still didn't dominate all aspects of our existence? Can we? 
I don't thing so but at least I can travel back in time with postcards. These brought me back some memories of happier times. 

© Edição Vistal * Foto: M. Boeck - Design: G. A. Wittich
If I ever rode a donkey, it was when I was a child and I don't have any memories of that. 
Back in the past donkeys were considered the "poor men's tractor" but nowadays machines have taken over donkeys place on rural areas and they've become walking companions. In Algarve there are several offers of donkey trekking. 
The card was sent by Inês.

In 2016 I travelled to São Miguel island and had the oportunity to eat its traditional volcano-cooked stew. It all starts by collecting ingredients in a pot: sausages produced on the island (meat sausage, moorish sausage and blood sausage), vegetables (carrots, turnips, cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams) and meats (chicken, of pork and the tasty and succulent meat of cattle raised on pasture and fed essentially with grass). The pot is then inserted into a 1m-deep hole at or near the hot springs at Furnas Lake, where the stew will cook at around 100°C for the next six to eight hours.
Card sent by Paulo.

In 1998 I've spent 2 weeks of my summer holidays in Sesimbra. 
In Sesimbra, xávega art, also known as “chincha”, or “art of the caneiro”, has been practiced for many decades in the bay. 
Among the most caught species are mackerel, horse mackerel, sea bass, mullet, snapper, poplar, cuttlefish and squid.
Card sent by Rui.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Cards from Hawai'i

A month ago Ara was in Hawaii and last week I received these three postcards sent by her, from three different islands, O'ahu, the Big Island and Kaua'i. 

 Photographers - Dai Hirota and Tom Sakiyama
USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Utah Memorial and USS Bowfin.
On the back of the card: 
Pearl Harbor is on the island of O'ahu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also de headquarters of the US Pacific Fleet.
At 7.55 on the fateful morning of December 7, 1941, 183 Japanese warplanes surprised the military base and demolished the US Pacific Fleet docked at Pearl Harbor. Overall, nine ships were sunk and twenty three ships were severely damaged. Three of the twenty one would be irreparable. 
The overall death toll reached 2350, including 68 civilians, and 1178 injured. Culminating in the loss  were the 1177 crewmen that lost their lives on the USS Arizona. The attack was the catastrophic event that finally propelled the United States into World War II.

Photo by Michael Paravano
 Honomalino black sand beach is one of the most picturesque sites on the Big Island. Because it is only accessible by foot and located in a very remote area south of the fishing village of Miloli'i, it is often free of crowds and remains in a fairly natural state. Honomalino bay has nearly a half-mile of beach, which is actually a mixture of black and white sand known as a salt-and-pepper beach. High palm trees fill out the scene. The short hike to Honomalino passes through some nice rainforest and also crosses massive lava flows from Mauna Loa. - in: https://bigislandhikes.com/honomalino

Photo © Vincent Scott Tylor
The Kalalau Valley is located on the northwest side of the island of Kauaʻi. The valley is surrounded by cliffs over 610 meters high.
Kalalau is one of the most photographed and famous valleys in the entire archipelago, primarily because the valley and the surrounding coast have served as a backdrop for numerous films, including "King Kong" (the original), "Mighty Joe Young "," Jurassic Park "," Six Days Seven Nights "and also the" Lost "series.
The abundant sun and rain provide an ideal environment for flora and fauna.
Many native Hawaiians lived in the valley until the 20th century. Today, its designation as a state park prohibits anyone from residing there and only those who get the proper permits can step on this untouched terrain.

Friday, March 13, 2020

ZA-151540

From an Indian valley to the most famous mountain and landmark of South Africa. 
Table Mountain is also the country’s most photographed attraction. The mountain gained natural park status in 1998 and in 2004 the Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Images: Shi Zhao, Miquitos
ZA-151540, sent by JVR Family.
The Khoi and San people named the mountain Hoerikwaggo or Mountain in the Sea.
The mountain was sacred for the Khoi and San people as they believed their god (Tsui or Goab) lived there.
The first European to see the Cape was Bartolomeu Dias in 1448. In 1497, Vasco da Gama spotted it as well. The first recorded climb of the mountain was done by the Portuguese navigator, Admiral Antonio de Saldanha in 1503. It was de Saldanha who gave the mountain its name, naming it Taboa da caba, meaning table of the cape.
In 1652 the Khoi and the San people were robbed of their land when the Cape was colonized by the Dutch led by Jan van Riebeeck. They quickly established Cape Town, built houses and brought slaves.
Since then, many people from all around the world have climbed the mountain. Starting with 1929 the cable car opened and since then reaching the summit was made easier than ever.
More than 22 million people have used the cable car which was renovated and reopened in 1997. - in: https://tablemountainnationalpark.org

Dhankhar - India

On a recent trip to the Spiti Valley, my penpal Sachin took some pictures that are now beautiful postcards. This one from Dhankhar village is the 1st of many to follow, she said. 

Photo: Sachin
Dhankar Village is a large high village which used to be the capital of the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is at an altitude of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) above sea level, between the towns of Tabo and Kaza, Himachal Pradesh. Above the village sits the local monastery - the Dhankar Gompa. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, March 5, 2020

St. Theodore Stratelates Church - Crimea

St. Theodore Stratelates Church in Alushta, Crimea.

RU-6209522, sent by Dmitry.
The construction of this orthodox church, in gothic style, began in 1833. Alushta citizens loved the temple and tried to make it more beautiful and well-maintained. In 20-ies of XX century, the temple has undergone some changes: to the altar of the sacristy was attached and ponomar-room, as well as a new throne. 

Temple doors were closed in 1964. The building is organized as "Builder" club, besides it was several times rebuilt, the bell tower was destroyed and the former temple lost its original appearance.
The temple was restored due to indifferent people, alushta citizens who are trying to preserve the historical and architectural values ​​of the city. They asked to rebuild the temple in honor of St. Theodore Stratelates, to save it from total destruction. The funds for the reconstruction were allocated by the city with the help of parishioners.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

FR-1263600

Since September 2006 I've sent 1499 official cards and received 1503. This official from France is my 1500 received card. These numbers could be higher but there were times when I reduced or even stopped sending officials. 

FR-1263600, sent by Anna.
In the Vaucluse, 35 kilometres from Avignon, Bedoin is a lovely little agricultural village at the foot of Mont Ventoux. Spread out over a large area, it comprises several hamlets all of which are blessed with that Mediterranean climate of sun nearly every day of the year. 
At the top of the Saint-Antonin hill, the baroque church of Saint Pierre, built between 1708 and 1736, which dwarfs all the other buildings with its size and grandeur. 
The village is quite lively; shops, outdoor cafés and restaurants line the main street. And water is everywhere with no less than 15 fountains and a washhouse.

Vouzela - Portugal

I must say that I don't know much about Vouzela, the only thing I associate with this town is the railway bridge, which until recently, I thought it was an aqueduct. Thanks to Rui, I got to know more about it and might consider a visit in the future. 

Edição - Papelaria Papelzel
Vouzela is a town in the district of Viseu in Portugal. 
The Town Hall building dates from 1926 and has been serving the city council since 1995.

Happy Postcrossing from... Brazil

My Happy Postcrossing from... collection is slowly growing up. One of the last additions was the brazilian card, sent my Luzia. 

www.papersisters.de
There are several things that we immediately associate with Brazil, such as, caipirinha, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, capoeira, samba, Iguaçu Falls, also football, fauna and flora of the Amazon, among many other things.