Monday, December 13, 2021

Ronda - Spain

Ronda is one of the spanish places on my must visit list. 
The city is one the oldest spanish cities and the 3rd most visited destination in southern Spain.

 © Ediciones A. M.
This town in the Málaga region sits on either side of the Tajo del Ronda, a narrow gorge more than 150 metres deep. Its old town has been declared Property of Cultural Interest. Celts, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs all inhabited these lands, which were reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs.

 The historic quarter, reminiscent of the Arab age and with a medieval layout is scattered to the south of the Guadalevín, while more modern Ronda, the part which sprang up after the 16th century, unfolds to the north of the course of this river.
FI-4051915, sent by Reili.
Several bridges unite the two halves of one of the most interesting towns on the route of the Whitewashed Villages, in the heart of the the Ronda hills, only a few kilometres from the Costa del Sol. - in:
 Fotografia: A. Murillo

Ronda's extensive walls, were begun by its Moorish rulers in the 13th century, renovated in the 16th by the Christians. The earlier walls were built to keep out, and parts are still being rebuilt in the 21st century. Originally, this feat of medieval engineering wrapped the entire city, and must have made it one of the most securely defended settlements of its time. Even today, with the outer walls fallen (especially to the south, near the Arab baths), only two paths, two gates and one bridge offer routes out of the fortress city. The southerly battlements are large enough to host outdoor summer concerts, and the most impressive section, the westerly puerta del Almocábar, was only reconstructed in its original form in the late 20th century. The Hispanicized name is taken from the Arabic al-Maqabir, cemetery, the function originally served by what today is a leafy square. - in:

© Ediciones A. M. Studio Editores S. L.
The Puente Nuevo is the newest and largest of three bridges that span the 120-metre (390 ft)-deep chasm that carries the Guadalevín River and divides the city of Ronda. 
The bridge was started in 1751 and took 42 years to build. Fifty workers were killed during its construction. There is a chamber beneath the central arch that was used for a variety of purposes, including as a prison. During the 1936-1939 civil war both sides allegedly used the prison as a torture chamber for captured opponents, killing some by throwing them from the windows to the rocks at the bottom of the El Tajo gorge. - in: wikipedia
That chamber is now an Interpretation Center about the bridgege and the different aspects of its environment: vegetation, geology, urbanism, history, etc.

Ameira do Tejo Castle - Portugal

I've visited Amieira do Tejo in 2013 and in this case my memory is not failling me and I still remember this visit. I even remember that the post office in from of the castle was selling cards for the incredible price of only 0.10€. That's something hard to forget. 
The 1st of these cards was sent by me and the other one was sent by Rui and Carla to wish me happy holidays.
Photo by Manuel Ribeiro
In 1232, owing to a regal charter issued by King Sancho II, the dominion of the Knights Hospitaler expanded their influence into the south; The construction of the castle in Amieira only developed a century after the Hospitalers had taken possession of the territory.
Its construction was the responsibility of Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, son of the Archbishop of Braga Gonçalo Pereira, prior of the Order of the Hospital. The castle of Amieira was constructed as part of the settlement's place in the new function of the Order: to assist the travelling pilgrims. 
Photo by Manuel Ribeiro
The fortress suffered various modifications over the centuries. During the reigns of King John II and King Manuel, there were remodelling to adapt the structure to the new military requirements. Simultaneously, it served as a prison, due to its excellent construction. Losing its military function, due to the change in the lines of defence over time, the castle fell in importance. In the 18th century, a great part of the historical structure was abandoned, and part of the fortress was adapted for civil residences. By this time, the prison tower was partially recuperated, but its military functionally was completed abandoned.
In the 19th century, the central courtyard was converted into a local cemetery, which continued to be used in this form until the 1940s. It has been listed as a National monument since 10 November 1922. - in: wikipedia

Vila Viçosa Castle - Portugal

I've been to Vila Viçosa a few years ago and visited its castle but for some reason, maybe the castle didn't impress me much, I only remember this gate. 
Unfortunately I didn't make it to the Christmas meeting held in the town last month, it would had been a great oportunity to create neu memories of this place. 
The card was sent by Vitória.

Unlike many fortifications across the country, located on top of steep slopes or high hills, having a relatively low-lying castle brings several advantages, both in terms of accessibility for everyone and its proximity to the historic centre. That's the case of this castle.
  Built in 1297 by order and desire of King Dinis, Vila Viçosa Castle is flanked by pine and olive trees, facilitating outdoor walks between the walls that were restored in the 1930s and 1950s. When walking there it is possible to appreciate its multiplicity of influences and styles, with Gothic, Manueline and Baroque elements.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Adufes from Idanha-a-Nova - Portugal

To wish me an happy birthday, Gracinha sent me this card with traditional music group from Idanha-a-Nova. They play adufe, one of the best known traditional Portuguese percussion instruments.

 Its peculiar format requires a percussion technique that relies more on tapping fingers and dry hand strokes, not requiring the use of drumsticks. Inside, there are seeds or floorboards that offer an extra richness of sand to the sound of this instrument. It is thought that this instrument was introduced by Arabs in the 11th and 12th centuries.
In traditional Portuguese music, the adufe is often used to accompany traditional songs from the interior of the country, more particularly in the Beira Interior region.
Mainly played by women, the adufe is an instrument that contains a mythology and iconography associated with the ideas of fertility and marriage (...). - in:

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * November '21

All the 4 MFS November cards reached my mailbox but I'm still missing one from the previous month, that's why I haven't post yet October's cards. 
November is an autumn month but almost all these cards bring some summer vibes.

Photo: Enrico Spanu
Elisabetta lives in Sardinia, an italian island known for the white sandy beaches. Porto Giunco is one of the most famous, beautiful beaches in the southwestern part of the island.

Photo by Larry Stover
Distinctive for its black and white diamond pattern, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse is the southernmost lighthouse that guards the Outer Banks, and is easily one of the most visited attractions on the refreshingly desolate Cape Lookout National Seashore.
The current lighthouse was built in the late 1850s, and is the second lighthouse to stand at this isolated spot along the National Seashore.
Though it officially went into operation in 1859, it wasn’t painted its distinctive diamond pattern until 1873, which distinguished it from other lighthouses along the Outer Banks. - in:
Card sent by Pixie. 
Czech Republic, where Ksenia sent this card from, is a landlocked country and I don't think there are any lighthouses there. Well, not sure about that but I do know that this lighthouse is definitely located somewhere else. It wasn't easy to find out exactly where but after browsing a few web pages I finally came to the conclusion that this is Pigeon Point Lighthouse in USA.
Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. - in:
Photo: Rodeo Oy
Founded in 1475, Olavinlinna Castle (St. Olaf’s Castle) was built by Swedes on a small rocky island on the biggest lake in Finland, lake Saimaa. Originally the castle had five towers, of which there are three remaining. In 1743 it was occupied by Russia, and the upper brownstone sections of the towers were extended under their rule. The castle has been restored numerous times since the end of the 19th century, and is now one of Finland’s most popular tourist attractions. Although many different events are held here, Olavinlinna Castle is most famous for hosting the world-renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival which takes place annually in July. It is open all year, and the entrance fee includes a guided tour. There are two museums on the grounds, the Orthodox museum which displays icons and religious artefacts from Finland and Russia, and the Castle museum which displays objects found in the Olavinlinna. - in:
Card sent by Leena.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021


Broadway is one of New York’s most famous avenues, known as the heart of the American theatre industry.
The avenue is also famous for being the only street that runs through Manhattan at an oblique angle. It runs from the City Hall to the Bronx.

US-7982154, sent by Virginia.
Broadway’s most important attraction is Times Square, which cuts 7th Avenue. Times Square’s surroundings provide the most important leisure and cultural offerings, with nearly 40 theatres.
Some of the Avenue’s most successful musicals include The Lion King, Wicked, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and Aladdin. - in: