Monday, November 29, 2021

Ogasawara Islands - Japan

The Ogasawara Islands are a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 1000 kilometers south and administratively part of Tokyo. The islands were added to UNESCO's list of World Natural Heritage sites in July 2011. 
Kenji sent me the 1st card and the 2nd is my received official card #1700.

 Photo by Katsuyuki Sugimori
The property numbers more than 30 islands clustered in three groups and covers surface area of 7,939 hectares. The islands offer a variety of landscapes and are home to a wealth of fauna, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species. Four-hundred and forty-one native plant taxa have been documented on the islands whose waters support numerous species of fish, cetaceans and corals. 
JP-1612009, sent by Yusake.
Ogasawara Islands' ecosystems reflect a range of evolutionary processes illustrated through its assemblage of plant species from both southeast and northwest Asia, alongside many endemic species. - in:

Kyoto Imperial Palace - Japan

Officials from Kyoto with the Imperial Palace. 

JP-1577610, sent by Mai.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. It is located in the spacious Kyoto Imperial Park, an attractive park in the center of the city.

JP-1278958, sent by Yoshimi.
The current Imperial Palace was reconstructed in 1855 after it had burnt down and moved around town repeatedly over the centuries. The complex is enclosed by long walls and consists of several gates, halls and gardens. - in:
JP-1611765, sent by Karin.
The Shishinden is the most important ceremonial building within the palace grounds. The enthronement ceremonies of Emperor Taisho and Emperor Showa took place here. The hall is 33 by 23 metres (108 by 75 ft) in size, and features a traditional architectural style, with a gabled and hipped roof. On either side of its main stairway were planted trees which would become very famous and sacred, a cherry (sakura) on the eastern, left side, and a tachibana orange tree on the right to the west. The garden of white gravel played an important role in the ceremony. - in: wikipedia


Getting an official card from India is almost a rarity. The last one was received in 2008 and this is only my 6th official from there.

Photo:Rahul Thachilath
IN-446112, sent by Skanda.
At the end of the Indo-Pak war of 1947, Turtuk came under the control of Pakistan. In 1999, the two countries once again had a major conflict around this area during the Kargil War and Turtuk was recaptured by Indian forces. 
Geographically, Turtuk lies in the Baltistan region and is one among four such villages in India, the other three being Tyakshi, Chalunkha and Thang. 
The residents of Turtuk and its adjoining villages speak Balti language alongside Ladakhi and Urdu.
The village is in the Shyok Valley. It used to be on the Silk Route with regular trade caravans passing by, shepherded by Baltis. 
Turtuk is famous for the availability of different varieties of fruits, especially apricots. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Erwang Temple - China

Erwang Temple is a historical site built to commemorate Li Bing and his son, who made remarkable contributions to the construction of world-famous Dujiangyan Irrigation System, a UNESCO site since 2000. Located on a mountain on the right bank of the Minjiang River, this temple is an integral part of Dujiangyan's cultural heritage.

The architecture of the temple is heavily influenced by the style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), with the whole temple complex environment designed to preserve a sense of beauty and quiet serenity. Engraved on the walls of the temple are many Chinese characters commemorating the experiences of learning to master water-control techniques, with those segments written by Li Bing among the most valuable. Further on in the Grand Hall are impressive statues of Li and his son, which are visited by locals regularly to convey their respects.
The local people here have held memorial ceremonies for Li and his son for 2,200 years. Burning a stick of incense is the most common way visitors show their admiration and respect for the two immortalized heroes, and hence, one encounters the striking smell of incense from the moment you step into the temple. More recently, the main organized activities at Erwang Temple include the Temple Fair, held from June 24th to June 26th, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, and the Releasing Water Festival on Tomb Sweeping Day. - in:

Lijiang Old Town - China

Lijiang Old Town, also called Dayan Old Town, is a well-preserved ancient town for Naxi ethnic group. Old Town of Lijiang was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, including Dayan Old Town, Shuhe Old Town and Baisha Old Town. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China, along with Langzhong Ancient Town in Sichuan, Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi and Shexian Ancient Town in Anhui Province.

Lijiang Old Town was first built in the late Song Dynasty and early Yuan Dynasty, with a history of more than 800 years. From the beginning to the reign of Yongzheng in Qing Dynasty, Lijiang Old Town was under the rule of Mu Family, local commanders during that time in Lijiang. 
The architecture in the whole town is a little different than most parts of China as it reflects the local Naxi style.
Lijiang Old Town features wide cobbled streets ambling over stone bridges and waterwheel-driven canals.
CN-3218462m sent by Qiq.
Wangu Tower is located on the top of Lion Hill and belongs to the back hill of Mu’s Residence. The tower itself is at 33-meter high and has five floors. Standing on the top the tower, you can have panoramic view of the whole Lijiang Old Town and rivers to the east, the new town of Lijiang to the west and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range to the north and Naxi villages and farmland to the south. - in:

Nanjing - China

Tonight I'll take you on a journey to China. The first stop is  Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most delightful destinations in China. 
The st of these cards is an official received in 2010 and the other two are from a swap with Tianhui in 2012.

CN-178546, sent by Peter.
Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions.
Nanjing is one of the most beautiful cities of mainland China with lush green parks, natural scenic lakes, small mountains, historical buildings & monuments, relics and much more, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The City Wall of Nanjing was designed by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368–1398) after he founded the Ming Dynasty(1368–1644) and established Nanjing as the capital 600 years ago. To consolidate his sovereignty and keep out invaders, he adopted the suggestions of advisor Zhu Sheng to build a higher city wall, to collect grains and to postpone the coronation. Then, he started to build the city wall. It took 21 years to complete, and used 200,000 laborers to move 7 million cubic metres of earth. The City Wall of Nanjing was among the largest city walls ever constructed in China, and today it remains in good condition and has been well preserved. - in: wikipedia

Photo by Liu Ning
Xuanwu Lake is a lake in the central-northeast part of Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, near Nanjing Railway Station and Ji Ming Temple. The Ming city wall borders the park to its south and east and there is a notable pagoda and the Zifeng Tower overlooking the lake.
The lake covers 444 hectares and is 15 kilometers in circumference. According to the local legend, a black dragon was seen in the lake and was believed by Chinese Taoists to be a god of water protection called Xuanwu which gave it its name. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Po Lin Monastery - Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery is the most important Buddhist monastery in Hong Kong. It is located in Ngong Ping, the highest part of Lantau Island.
 Photographer: Jacky Yeung
HK-757667, sent by Katie.
The monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from Jiangsu Province on the Chinese mainland and was initially known simply as "The Big Hut" (大茅蓬 Tai Mao Pung). It was renamed to its present name in 1924. The main temple houses three bronze statues of the Buddha – representing his past, present and future lives – as well as many Buddhist scriptures. - in: wikipedia
The monastery grounds include the temple, the monks' houses, a vegetarian restaurant and several shops to buy incense. Next to the shops you will find incense burners of different shapes and sizes where the faithful and tourists leave their newly purchased offerings.

Completed in December 1993, the Tian Tan Buddha is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. The enormous sculpture is made of 202 bronze pieces and sits upon on a three-storey platform.
An extension of the Po Lin Monastery, the Tian Tan Buddha symbolises the union of man and nature. The Buddha is sat atop a lotus flower and surrounded by six smaller statues of gods offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit and music as symbols of the gifts necessary for enlightenment.
To reach the statue, visitors have to climb 268 steps up to the top, where they'll be rewarded with magnificent views from this privileged vantage point on Lantau Island. - in:

FOTW Russia

New flag to my FOTW collection, sent by Khadizhat.

Russia has an area of 17.125.200 km², a population of 144.192.450 and its capital is Moscow.
* World Largest Country - 10.995 % of world's landmass;  Russia is bigger than Pluto;
* Lake Baikal, Siberia: the deepest lake in the world;
* Matryoshka Doll - set of wooden dolls od decreasing size place one inside another;
* Yuri Gagarin - the first human to journey into outer space, 12 April, 1961;
* Formation - 862, arrival of Rurik;
* Largest Territory - Russian Empire - 1721 - 1917.

Officials from Russia

All these cards are Russian but the 1st card is actually an official from Austria. 
AT-577665, sent by Kate.
Kate has been living in Vienna for the last 5 years but she wanted to show me a bit of her homeland. Novorossiysk is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is the largest port on the Black Sea and the largest Russian port. This card has nothing to do with the sea though. The building on the card is a library.

RU-8822361, sent by Daria.
The Church of the Saviour is a church in Tyumen. Built in a late 18th-century Siberian Baroque and early 20th-century neorussian style, the building is one of the oldest and most expressive churches in Siberia, which is under monument protection. - in: wikipedia

RU-8822889, sent by Anna.
Moscow is considered to have been founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1147. Dolgoruky was born around the turn of the 12th century and became the Prince of Rostov-Suzdal and then the Grand Prince of Kiev. This equestrian statue of him was unveiled in 1954. Like most statues of Yuri Dolgoruky, prominence is given to his arm as Dolgoruky means the Long-Armed, a name gained due to his policy of ruling Kiev from afar. The statue faces the Moscow Government building. - in:

Saturday, November 20, 2021

GB-14587138 & NL-5087617

I don't usually show official cards from different countries in the same post but in this case it kind of makes sense as they're both autumn related.

Kevan Brewer
GB-14587138, sent by Christine.
The New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England.
The New Forest became a national park in 2005 and was once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror and his noblemen, in the 12th century AD..
The New Forest pony is one of the best-known images of the National Park. All of the ponies found in the forest are wild in the sense they can roam freely but in fact they are owned by New Forest Commoners. The commoners have the right to graze their ponies and cattle on the open forest throughout the year. It is the animals’ grazing which helps to keep the New Forest’s landscape and rare species.
NL-5087617, sent by Neeltje.
Autumn or Herfst in Dutch is one of the most charming seasons in the Netherlands. Here you've some ideas to enjoy autumn in the country.
* Take a visit to the national parks, Hoge Veluwe National Park and Veluwezoom;
* Have a nice hot cup of mulled wine. This traditional German/Austrian drink is often served during the colder months. All over the Netherlands, you’ll find them sold at restaurants, markets, and stalls;
* See Dutch moorlands in full bloom.  From the beginning of September, the heather in the Dutch moorlands is in full bloom and big parts of The Netherlands are covered in a sloping blanket of 50 shades of purple and lilac;
* Apple (and pear) picking in plenty of orchards during autumn in The Netherlands;
* Try bokbier, a dark, seasonal beer that will be sold in The Netherlands between October and February. The beer has a caramel-like flavour;
* Take a walk or cycle through any forest you might find to enjoy the beautiful foliage.


In the last years I became really interrested in street art and that's something I always try to see every time I travel. I've never been to Berlin but When I finally decide to visit the German capital city, I definitely want to visit East Side Gallery, where this Sonic Malade by Greta Ida Csatlós can be seen.

DE-11063050, sent by Rumi.
At 1316 metres long, the open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence. Immediately after the wall came down, 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery, and it officially opened as an open air gallery on 28 September 1990. Just over a year later, it was given protected memorial status.
In more than a hundred paintings on what was the east side of the wall, the artists commented on the political changes in 1989/90. Some of the works at the East Side Gallery are particularly popular, such as Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss and Birgit Kinders’s Trabant breaking through the wall. They are not just a popular subject for postcards – you’re sure to want to photograph them yourself.
Out in the open air, the East Side Gallery is completely exposed to the weather, which means that there are regular efforts to restore it. In 1996, Kani Alavi founded East Side Gallery e. V., an artists’ initiative to preserve and restore the works. By 2000, a 300-metre stretch of the wall had already been restored and 33 pictures repainted, and in 2009 the whole East Side Gallery was restored. 87 artists took part and 100 paintings were restored. - in:

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Pilsum Lighthouse - Germany

Love the bright colors of this German lighthouse.

Einland Verlag * Uwe Steffens

FI-4050480, sent by Ulla.
Only eleven meters high, the Pilsum lighthouse is the smallest lighthouse in Germany. Built in 1889, it began operating two years later and helped ship traffic find its way. As early as 1915, its beacon went out during the First World War so that it could not be used by enemy ships for orientation. In 1919 it was finally taken out of service completely, as the fairway it had been erected to illuminate had been silenced up and the shipping route now ran elsewhere.

DE-957532, sent by Guido.
By 1972, the lighthouse had fallen into disrepair and even demolition was considered. Finally, however, it was decided to preserve the lighthouse and it was restored. With this renovation, the lighthouse was painted in the typical way it is today. - in:

Weilburg - Germany

Weilburg is, with just under 14,000 inhabitants, the third biggest city in Limburg-Weilburg district in Hesse, Germany. 

Foto: Dominik Grün
DE-9144685, sent by Rebekka.
Weilburg was for many years a residence town and governmental seat of the House of Nassau-Weilburg. Even today, the inner town is still characterized by buildings from that time. 
LOOK-foto / age fotostock
DE-11063052, sent by Eva.
The most important building is Schloss Weilburg, dating back to the 14th century. It was converted in the 16th and 18th centuries. The Renaissance parts, known as the Kernschloss (main or central palace) is counted among the best preserved Renaissance palaces in Hesse. After the Baroque expansion under Johann-Ernst of Nassau-Weilburg, it takes in almost half of the Old Town, and including the Protestant Schlosskirche from the early 18th century.

© Fotokunstverlag F. G. Zeitz KG, Königssee
DE-8230207, sent by Uta.
The Untere Orangerie was added from 1711 to 1713. It is rectangular and followed the model of the Versailles Orangerie. The roof terrace gives a view of the Lahn valley and the parterre garden in front. The Baroque parterre was re-landscaped in the 19th century but rebuilt from 1936 to 1939 according to the original Baroque plans. - in: wikipedia

Montedor and Areosa windmills - Portugal

These windmills were the reason why I traveled to Viana do Castelo last month. My idea was to visit the Montedor mills and then hike from there back to Viana. I had no idea that along the way I was going to see more mills. It was a great surprise!!

 Grupo MJF
The mills on the left side of the postcard are two of the three mills that make up the Montedor Windmills Museum. Petisco Windmill, on the top, dates back to 1855. Marinheiro (sailor) Windmill is only two years younger, dates back to 1857. This is the last windmill in the country still operating with wooden trapezoidal sails. 
 On the right side is one of Areosa's mills. These mills, located along the seafront of Viana do Castelo, in the parish of Areosa, were recovered but none of them has sails.