Thursday, September 10, 2020

PT RR - Group 149 * Surprise June 20

June's cards from the Portuguese RR. Only Portuguese cards this time, sent by Tiago, Rui and Paulo. 

 © concept by
Tiago noticed that I started collecting FOTW postcards and sent me the most beautiful flag of all, ours.
Portugal has an area of 92,212 km², we are 10,427,301 and Lisbon is our capital;
* The Portuguese Language - Spoken by 230 million people around the world, it is the official language of 9 countries;
* Festa de São João in Porto - One of the liveliest celebrations, in which one requires to hit attractive girls on the head with garlic flowers or soft plastic hammers;
* Port Wine: A sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro valley;
* Cork Monopoly - Over half of world's cork is produced in Portugal;
* Formation: The name of Portugal first appeared in 868 during the Reconquista over the Moors;
* Name Origin: Portugal is derived from the county around Porto (Portus Cale in Latin).

 © Foto: carlos Sarzedas
Located within the protected Arrábida Natural Park, Cabo Espichel is a lonely, brooding promontory where land comes to an abrupt end on the south-western tip of the Setúbal Peninsula some 50 km south of Lisbon.
Once a place of intense religious devotion, this remote and often windswept place features a delightful church flanked by two rows of arcaded pilgrims’ lodgings set around an open courtyard to form the sanctuary known as Our Lady of the Cape (Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Cabo).
Built in the classical style, the 17th-century church has a splendid interior of baroque paintings, gilt wood carvings and a fine frescoed ceiling by Lourenço da Cunha. - in:

Centro Português de Fotografia
Unloading of wine barrels at the Vila Nova de Gaia pier around 1940.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - June' 20

June's MFS cards are from Russia, Sweden and Germany.

Tanya from Belarus sent me this card of the Trinity St. Sergius Monastery in Russia. 
The five-domed Church of John the Baptist's Nativity (1693–1699) was commissioned by the Stroganovs and built over one of the gates. 

Also from Russia and also a UNESCO site, Anna sent this card of the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, the main temple of the city. It was erected during the reign Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky in 1158. 
For a long time the temple was the main church of Vladimir principality and was best suited for majestic crowning ceremonies of the princes as both the exterior and interior were richly decorated in gold.
Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir is also known for its icon of Vladimir Mother of God. In 1408, the icon was moved to Moscow; now it is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery.
The cathedral serves as a burial place for Vladimir’s princes.
In 1927, the Communists closed the Cathedral for religious services. However, in 1944, the services were resumed as part of Stalin’s effort to enlist the Orthodox Church’s support for the war against the Nazis. - in:

© Jeppe Wikström
Sunrise over the Royal Palace in Stockholm, sent by Iris.
Stockholm's Royal Palace is one of the largest palaces in Europe. It is the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden.
This combination of royal residence, workplace and culture-historical monument open year round to visitors makes the Royal Palace of Stockholm unique amongst Europe's royal residences.
The palace is built in baroque style by the architect Nicodemus Tessin and is formed as a Roman palace. The palace has more than 600 rooms divided between eleven floors with a state apartment facing the city and smaller living rooms facing the inner courtyard.
The palace contains many interesting things to see. In addition to the Royal Apartments there are three museums steeped in regal history: the Treasury with the regalia, the Tre Kronor Museum that portrays the palaces medieval history and Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities. - in:

© concept by
Germany has an area of 357.168 km², a population of 81.459.000 and its capital is Berlin.
* Goseck Circle - The oldest sun observatory currently known in Europe, 7000 years ago:
* Half-Timbered Houses - 2.5 million, the highest number of any country worldwide;
* The German Autobahn - The oldest motorway network in the world and the only one with no speed limit;
* Punctuality - germans are extremely punctual and even a few minutes delay can offend;
* the Mauer Mandible - Shows that ancient humans were present in Germany 6000.000 years ago;
* Reunification - The fall of Berlin Wall, 3 October 1990, began in the evening of 9 November 1989.
New Flag of the World sent by Katja.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - February' 20

I'm going back in time to finally show the MFS RR cards from February. It took me all this time to post them because the card from Malaysia only arrived a few weeks ago. 

© concept by
Switzerland has an area of 41.285 km², a population of 8.211.700 and its de facto capital is Bern.
* Best best in the world to be born - According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Quality of Life Index;
* Infraestructure and Environment - Electricity generated in Switzerland is 56% from hydroelectricity and 39% from nuclear power, resulting in a nearly CO2 - free electricity - generating network:
* Tallest dams in Europe - Hydroelectricity is the most important domestic source of energy in the country;
* Resort Facilities - The world's fanciest skiing and winter resorts are in Switzerland;
* Armed Neutrality - oldest neutral country in the world, 1815;
* Foundation Date - Celebrated on 1 August 1291: oldest surviving written document of an alliance between Url, Schwyz and Unterwalden, the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy.
New Flag of the World sent by Grace.

Edith is saying Hallo from the Netherlands with this new card to the Happy Postcrossing from... collection. 
The Netherlands has an area of 41.548 km² and a population of 16.979.120. 
Amsterdam canal houses are one of the most recognizable architectural features of the country. 
Even more famous than the canal houses, are these Dutch painters, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. 
Genever and poffertjes are some famous products but my favorite, missing on the card, are stroopwafels. Love them!!

Photo: Ingmar Muusikus
Singa Village in Karula Upland. 
Karula National Park is located in Valga and Võru Counties. It was created to protect the nature characteristic of Estonia, to promote an ecological lifestyle and to revive the South Estonian country culture.
Card sent by Ella. 

C. K. sent this card in early February but it only arrive in July!! 
Kapas Island is an island located about 6 kilometers east of Marang, Malaysia. It measures roughly 1.5 by 2.5 km. Its name, Pulau Kapas (Malay for cotton island), refers to the island's white beaches. The island has tropical jungle, clear seawater, white sand beaches and coral reefs in the surrounding waters. It is promoted as a "diving and snorkeling paradise". - in: wikipedia

Monday, September 7, 2020


In Northern Manitoba lies Little Limestone Lake – Manitoba’s colour changing Lake.

Photo: Cortsey of Manitoba Parks
CA-1014554, sent by Jane.
Little Limestone Lake is the world’s largest example of a marl lake, which is a calcium carbonate-rich lake. When it’s warm out, the marl forms into calcite and separates from the water, which creates crystals and leads to the turquoise hue in the water (what you find in the Caribbean). As it cools off though, the calcite dissolves which decreases the marl level and turns the water crystal clear. Throughout the year the lake will change colours, and hence the view depends on the time of the year.
There is nothing little about Little Limestone Lake as it is around 15 kms long and approximately around 4 kms in width.
The Little Limestone Lake is actually a Provincial Park (...). - in:

Meetings in Toronto

Marie has been to quite a few Postcrossing meetings and she always remembers to send me a card. These are some of the last meeting cards she sent me. 

 Photo by Rahuul_s - Design by Esther & @kai_swap * original designer Ewa Slocinska 
With 630.20 km2, Toronto is the capital of Ontario Province; 
Over 1000 of its population 2930 000 are postcrossers;
Some famous attractions are the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Islands, Royal Ontario Museum and St. Lawrence Market. 
T. O., T-Dot, The Six, Muddy York and Hogtown are some of its nicknames;
The blue jay was adopted as the team symbol of the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team. Other sport teams are Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC;
Drake, Jim Carrey, Margaret Atwood and Jane Jacobs are famous torontians;
Toronto is one of the few cities in North America that retain its historic streetcar lines;
The Toronto Islands are the largest urban car-free community in North America. 

Stinkypaw 2020
The Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, is the seat of the municipal government of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and one of the city's most distinctive landmarks. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (with Heikki Castrén, Bengt Lundsten, and Seppo Valjus) and landscape architect Richard Strong, and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel, the building opened in 1965.

The Postcrossing Logo is a Registered Trade Mark * Photo by s. Meier
 It was built to replace Old City Hall, which had housed city offices since 1899. The current city hall, located at Nathan Phillips Square, is the city's fourth and was built to replace its predecessor which the city outgrew shortly after its completion. - in: wikipedia

Sunday, September 6, 2020

NY by night

New York City is defined by its skyline—the silhouette created by Manhattan's buildings is instantly recognizable and utterly mesmerizing. 

Photo by © Stephen Wilkes - Courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery
US-2196319, sent by Liz.
In fact, NYC is home to more than 200 buildings measuring 500 feet or taller, roughly double that of its closest US competitor. 

US-6801729, sent by Amber.
You can appreciate the skyline's grandeur from the observation decks atop the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and Top of the Rock, and revel in its scope from lower vantage points like the Brooklyn Bridge or the Brooklyn Heights promenade. - in:

New York skyline with the Empire State Building.
More than any other building in the world, the Empire State Building represents the ambition of humans to build towers that reach for the skies. The skyscraper is probably New York's best known building and can be seen on many postcards.
The Empire State Building also features in many films, most notably the classic film 'King Kong' from 1933. Even today, though the building has been stripped from its title of the world's tallest building, it is a symbol of New York itself, visited by more than three million people each year. - in:
Card sent by Karina during her romantic trip with her husband to New York in 2013. 

Idaho State Capitol

The State Capitol completed construction in 1912 under the design of John Tourtellotte and Frederick Hummel. The State Capitol's design was highly influenced by the U.S. Capitol Building. The State Capitol's pronounced symmetrical wings, Roman columns, and the signature dome purposefully resembles the U.S. Capitol Building.

US-6799767, sent by Cathy. 
Much like a majority of the buildings designed by Tourtellotte and Hummel in Boise, sandstone from Table Rock was used in the construction. This is also the only State Capitol Building in the United States that utilizes geothermal heating.
Tourtellotte and Hummel's design for the State Capitol is Neo-classical.   The interior is a beautiful execution of natural light and marble.   The marble columns are actually not marble but created by an artisan using an almost forgotten technique called scagliola.   Known as poor mans marble, scagliola ironically was a forgotten art and only a handful of artisans at the time of construction were experts at creating the columns inside the Capitol.   

Budget restraints nearly changed the face of the Capitol as we know it today. The building had to be downsized, which shortened the width and the dome was at risk until John Tourtellotte vouched for its importance to the building. Because of Tourtellotte's efforts, the dome was saved.
A few years later in 1919, construction began on the two wings of the building that would hold the House and Senate chambers. Other than renovations and additions underground, the Capitol Building took the shape that we see today. - in:

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

US-6801742 & US-6808989

American officials from California and Wisconsin.

Photographer - Mark Henderson
US-6801742, sent by K.
 Muir Woods National Monument is in Marin County, California, just a few miles north of San Francisco. The 558-acre monument preserves one of the last remaining ancient redwood forests in the Bay Area. Some of the redwoods are nearly 1,000 years old and reach heights of more than 250 feet.
Named for conservationist John Muir, it was the 10th national monument to be designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, the first to be in proximity to a major city, and the first to consist of formerly privately-owned lands.
Today, Muir Woods National Monument is home to more than 380 different plants and animals, including 27 species of mammals, 50 species of birds, 12 species of reptiles, and 5 species of amphibians. - in:

Photo © Zane Williams
US-6808989, sent by Rob.
One of the most enduring fall traditions in the U.S. is going to a pumpkin patch to choose your very own pumpkin to decorate or carve and partaking in all the fun fall activities that go along with it.
Pumpkins grow in many different places across America, which means that pumpkin patches are accessible from lots of major cities from coast to coast. Pumpkin patches are fun for families with kids, but they also make for a great outing as adults looking to get outside and celebrate too. Lots of pumpkin patches offer more than just pumpkins too. At these farms, you can learn about how pumpkins are grown, hop on a hayride, tour a spooky barn, taste pumpkin-flavored goodies, and find your way through a corn maze. - in:

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Once on the brink of extinction, the manatee population level in Florida has been rising thanks to the legal protection afforded to animals classified as "endangered species". 

Photo: R. Kinre / Comstock
US-6841280, sent by Juan.
The manatee, Florida’s gentle giant (aka, the “sea cow”), may be spotted in the largest numbers during the winter and early spring months. 
Manatees are often found congregating around bubbly springs, within state and marine water parks, or near power plants where the outflow of warm water keeps their body temperatures constant.
Manatees are related to the elephant, with grayish thick, leathery wrinkled skin. Propelled by huge powerful tails, manatees are actual slow swimmers. They lumber along quietly through Florida’s waterways. If you look, you can find them year-round in Florida, but it is much easier in cooler months when large numbers cluster near the temperate water.
As herbivores, manatees usually dine on marine and freshwater plants, grazing along grass flats and aquatic meadows, surfacing for air while breathing through their whiskered nostrils. These gentle creatures are definitely heavyweights, tipping the scales anywhere between 1,000-3,500 pounds and consuming up to ten percent of their body weight in marine vegetation each day. The females give birth to calves typically weighing more than 60 pounds as they nurse under water. - in:

Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley - Mexico

Sometimes it is not that easy to decide whether a postcard is from a UNESCO site or not. This one, for example, raises some doubts but after some research, Oscar, who sent it, and I decided to include it in our collections and thus remove one more place from our missing lists.
This painting by José María Velasco shows a cactus in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, the originary habitat of Mesoamerica. This Mexican site has been classified as a World Heritage Site since 2018.

Reproducción Autorizada por el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura 2018
Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, part of the Mesoamerican region, is the arid or semi-arid zone with the richest biodiversity in all of North America. Consisting of three components, Zapotitlán-Cuicatlán, San Juan Raya and Purrón, it is one of the main centres of diversification for the cacti family, which is critically endangered worldwide. The valley harbours the densest forests of columnar cacti in the world, shaping a unique landscape that also includes agaves, yuccas and oaks. Archaeological remains demonstrate technological developments and the early domestication of crops. The valley presents an exceptional water management system of canals, wells, aqueducts and dams, the oldest in the continent, which has allowed for the emergence of agricultural settlements. - in: