Friday, January 29, 2021

Sintra - Portugal

Sintra is a very popular day trip when visiting Lisbon but there are plenty of attractions in the town to easily keeps the visitors busy for 2 or 3 days. I've been there a couple of times, always day trips, and I still have a lot to see. 
This beautiful card was sent by Rita to wish me happy holidays.

In 1995, Sintra gained the UNESCO Cultural Landscape classification. The town and the northern slope of the Serra de Sintra with its wonderful natural characteristics and impressive historic landmarks were thus accepted as worthy of world heritage status. in

papyrus - edição de postais
Sintra's Cultural Landscape is an exceptional mixture of natural and cultural sites within a distinct framework. Seen from a distance, it gives the impression of an essentially natural landscape that is distinct from its surroundings: a small chain of forested granite mountains rising over the hilly rural landscape. When seen from closer at hand, the Serra reveals a surprisingly rich cultural evidence spanning over several centuries of Portugal's history. - in

Christmas Meetings

Every year the portuguese postcrossing community tries to have a big Christmas meeting but thanks to this awful pandemic, that wasn't possible in 2020. However, a few postcrossers couldn't resist and organized smaller meetings. 

Card sent by Paula and also digned by João, Lina, Xana and Fernanda, who met in the beginning of December.

A few days later Zé attended another meeting in Lisbon area. Luís, Raquel, RFS and someone else whose signature I don't recognize, we also there. 

Gracinha didn't attend any of these meetings but also sent me a card. 
The situation is pretty dramatic now in Portugal but I hope things start to get better and maybe in a few months we can start planning "normal" meetings. Fingers crossed. 

PT RR - Group 155 * Surprise October '20

 I'm done with MFS RR postcards but I still had these cards from October surprise group of the portuguese RR. This was the last surprise group of this RR. The host changed twice and not many people is interrested in joining the open groups. 
In October I've received postcards from Patrícia, Rui and Óscar.

Photo by Milan

Long-eared Owls are lanky owls that often seem to wear a surprised expression thanks to long ear tufts that typically point straight up like exclamation marks. These nocturnal hunters roost in dense foliage, where their camouflage makes them hard to find, and forage over grasslands for small mammals. Long-eared Owls are nimble flyers, with hearing so acute they can snatch prey in complete darkness. In spring and summer, listen for their low, breathy hoots and strange barking calls in the night. - in:

I've been to Tomar a couple of times but never visited this aqueduct.
 The imposing Pegões Aqueduct was built with the aim of providing water to the Convent of Christ. Its building began in 1593, during the reign of King Filipe I of Portugal, and was finished in 1614. 
This national monument has close to 6 km of length and is formed by 58 round arches at the highest part, which was built over 16 gothic arches supported by pillars. It reaches 30 metres high. 
Enjoy a unique experience by walking at the top of the aqueduct on the platform that accompanies the water gutter. - in:

Classified as a National Monument since 1910, the Palace of Giela is a remarkable example of medieval and modern private civic architecture. Its origin, such as the old Castle of Santa Cruz, is profoundly linked to the origin and formation of Valdevez land. When the castle ceased to operate as a strategic point, the building of the "tower-house" of Giela marks a new era for the protection and stately and regal dominion over the area.
The medieval tower and the residential building with “Manueline” windows and a fort entrance is currently visible.
The tower was probably built in mid-14th century. Towards the end of the 15th century and beginning of the 16th, the residence area is built, being completed by 1573. In 1662 the Portuguese artillery causes serious damage to the building by the dismissal of the Spanish General Pantoja. During the 17th and 18th centuries several changes were made to the residential structure, starting from the 19th century a period of decline and abandonment. In 1999 the property is acquired by the local town municipality. - in

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

World Postcard Day

October 1st is now World Postal Day and of course, this is not a date that postcrossers miss out on. I've got this cards from meetings and friends to commemorate the date.

Concept  by postcardbazaar © 2020
 This first postcard was sent by Maria do Céu. In addition to the postcard, made for World Postcard Day, the postmark was especially created to celebrate this day.

Designed by Valéria Formigoni * Postcrossing logo is a registered trademark
When is not possible to meet in person, lets do it virtually. That's what some brazilian postcrossers did to clelebrate this date. 
Another great card designed and sent by Valéria.

From Canada and sent by Marie, of course, this postcard came from yet another meeting in Toronto.

 DE-9658760, sent by Erika.
This is an official postcard and is also a postcard from a meeting in Bielefeld.
© Portugal Souvenir

Like Maria do Céu, Patrícia also wanted to send a postcard to commemorate the day of the postcard. Despite having sent it to my old address, the postcard was not lost, on the contrary, it was very well kept by my former neighbor.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - November '20

One more post and I'm done with MFS RR cards, well, for now. 
In November I've received cards from China, Netherlands, Russia and Germany.

Shantang Street, also called Seven-mile Shantang, is a prosperous ancient street block built in 852 AD. Visiting this old place, you will see many featured old houses selling local food, delicate handicrafts and feel the real flavor of old Suzhou and Wu culture in ancient times. - in
This beautiful snowy night view of Suszhou was sent by alaxos.

Désirée said she saw this card on my favorites wall but that isn't exactly true. I've other star forts on my wall but not this one in Naarden. 
Naarden is a small town located to the east of Amsterdam, famous for its ‘star fort’ grid which resembles a giant snowflake from the air.
Naarden forms part of the historic Defence Line of Amsterdam, a 135-kilometre-long ring of fortifications around the city. With its classical town centre still encompassed by two elaborate star-shaped moats and stone walls, it’s one of the most remarkable examples of a fortified town in Europe, and a perfectly preserved piece of Dutch defensive history. - in:

What a great view of the St. Nicholas-Epiphany Naval Cathedral Complex in St. Petersburg. Great card sent by Anna.
St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral of the Epiphany in St. Petersburg is an outstanding monument of Russian architecture of the middle of the XVIII century, which history is inextricably linked with the history and traditions of the Russian fleet. 
St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral was built as a "marine regimental church" in 1753-1762 on the sea regimental yard on the site of a wooden church. It was designed by the architect S. Chevakinsky in the style of Elizabethan Baroque. The cathedral can accomodate about 5000 people at a time. A detached four-tier bell tower, completed with a high spire was built in 1755-1758. - in

Foto: Florian Monheim
Another great view and picture. 
Hildesheim Cathedral, officially the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in the city centre of Hildesheim, Germany. cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1985, together with the nearby St. Michael's Church.
The cathedral church was built between 1010 and 1020 in the Romanesque style. It follows a symmetrical plan with two apses, that is characteristic of Ottonian Romanesque architecture in Old Saxony. 
The cathedral's treasures include world-famous artworks, bronze works from the time of Bishop Bernward, Bernward Doors and Bernward Column, as well as two of the four notable Romanesque wheel chandeliers: the Hezilo chandelier and the Azelin chandelier.
After renovations and extensions in the 11th, 12th and 14th centuries, the cathedral was completely destroyed during an air raid on 22 March 1945 and rebuilt from 1950 to 1960. - in: wikipedia
Card sent by Dagmar.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - October '20

Lets continue with MFS RR cards. This time I'm only showing 3 because I already had the card of the Herrenchiemsee Palace that Marei sent me.
I like windmills, I like rural life but I also like to know where exactly the images on the card are from. The card was printed in Russia, was sent from Finland, by Minna, but windmills always take me to the Netherlands. 

Photo by Steve Yost
On the back of the card: "St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Museum of Coastal History was built in 1872. The lighthouse keeper's cottage currently houses artifacts and exhibits of coastal Georgia history.
From the top of the 129 steps of St. Simons Lighthouse, visitors can view a spectacular panoramic seascape."
Card sent by Darcie.

Foto: R. Budyytyté, L. Jankauskas
With this card sent by Ieva, I've learnt that the Lithuanian word for castle is pilis. I've been to one of this, Kaunas Castle. This castle in the 2nd largest Lithuanian city was originally built during the mid-14th century, in the Gothic style.
Raudonė Castle is a residential castle of the 19th century in Raudonė. Today it is used as a public school.
Panemunė Castle, on the right bank of the river Nemunas, was built for the owner Eperias (Eperiess) by the Dutch architect Peter Nonhaardt, who served at the royal palace in Vilnius. Construction was completed in 1609-1610. 
Raudondvaris manor is the monument of the beginning of the 17th century of Renaissance architecture in Lithuania. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - September '20

 For some reason I skipped the August group but in September I joined again. The cards came from Russia, Netherlands, France and Finland.

Yulia sent this card in September but it took months to get here.
The five-domed memorial church in honor of the Great Martyr George the Victorious in Samara stands near the Eternal Flame on Glory Square. It was built in 2000 in the Russian-Byzantine style in honor of the 2000th anniversary of Christianity and the 55th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War. Outside, the building is covered with Ural marble and natural white stone, and inside its walls are decorated with frescoes. - in

Windmills in Kinderdjik are a must visit in the Netherlands. 
Card sent by Mirjam.

Xiao is from China but sent me a french card. 
The Potager du Roi (fr: Kitchen Garden of the King), near the Palace of Versailles, produced fresh vegetables and fruits for the table of the court of Louis XIV. It was created between 1678 and 1683 by Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, the director of the royal fruit and vegetable gardens. Today it is run by the École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage , the high state school in France for the training of landscape architects. It is listed by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Remarkable Gardens of France. - in: wikipedia

© concept by
Finland has an area of 33.424 km², a population of 5.486.125 and its capital is Helsinki.
* Biggest number of islands: 179.888 Finnish islands to explore;
* Freedom to roam: you can sleep, swim, sail, fish or forage anywhere you like;
* House of Santa Claus: Artic Circle, Rovaniemi, Lapland;
* Sauna: is the most used Finnish word outside of the mother country;
* Autonomy: 29 March 1809 (within Russia);
* Independence: 6 December 1917 (from the Russian SFSR).
New Flag of the World sent by Maija.

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - July' 20

Months after posting for the last time cards from this monthly RR, now I'll post in a row the cards I got from the last 4 months I participated last year.

© concept by

Netherlands has an area of 41.543 km², a population of 17.026.805 and its capital is Amsterdam.
* Aalsmeer Flower Auction: the largest building by footprint in the world, covering 518.000 m²;
* Flower Merchants Paradise: approximately 20 miliion flowers are sold daily;
* Country of Tulips: 1594 is considered the date of the tulip's first flowering in the Netherlands;
* Eco Thinking: Every Dutch owns a bike and there are twice as many bikes as there are cars;
* The Oldest Human: Neanderthal traces were found near Maastricht, from 250.000 y. a.;
* Independence: 26 July 1581 (from Spanish Empire).
New Flag of the World sent by Annerie.

© concept by

China has an area of 9.596.691 km², a population of 1.376.049.000 and its capital is Beijing.
* The Forbidden City, 720.000 m² - the Chinese Imperial Palace, located in Beijing, consists of 800 building with 8886 rooms;
* The Terracota Warriors - burried sculptures depicting armies of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, as a form of funerary art, 210-209 B. C.;
* The Great Wall of China - ancient chinese fortification which stretches over a formidable 6350 km;
* The Giant Panda: China's most famous endangered and endemic species;
* Formation: arounf 2070 B. B. - first pre-emperial dynasty of China established;
* 221 B. B. - first unification of Imperial China under the Qin dynasty;
* 1 Jan. 1912 - Republic established;
* 1 Oct. 1949 . People's Republic proclaimed.
New Flag of the World sent by Chrissy.

The Nijubashi Bridge in Tokyo, connects the Imperial Palace front Plaza called the Kokyo Gaien and the Imperial Place over a deep moat. It was once a wooden bridge with two levels which is why it was named Nijubashi or "double-bridge".
The wooden bridge was replaced with a steel bridge in 1964. It is best viewed from the large plaza called the Kokyo Gaien. Two bridges make up the entrance of the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called the Meganebashi or the Eyeglass Bridge and the other is the two-level steel Nijubashi Bridge.
The Nijubashi Bridge is not always opened to the public. It is used only when state guests visit the Imperial Palace or when Royal ceremonies are held. On two days in a year, the bridge is open for all members of the public and for visitors. On the 2nd of January when the people of Japan are allowed to visit the palace and greet the imperial family for the New Year and on the 23rd of December to greet the emperor on his birthday, the Nijubashi Bridge is open to all. Today, it is one of the most photographed structures in Japan. - in:
Card sent by Tomoko.

Even though Nelia sent this card from Ukraine, this church is one of the polish wooden tserkvas classified as UNESCO WHS in 2013. 
The gothic, wooden church of St. Michael's Archangel in Smolnik dates from the 18th century.