Thursday, October 27, 2022

Moraine Lake - Canada

Wow, this is what I call a breathtaking scenery. That's because of views like these that I want to fly immediately to Canada and explore the canadian parks. 
Its waters are the most amazing colour, a vivid shade of turquoise that changes in intensity through the summer as the glaciers melt. Set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and rock piles, creating a scene so stunning it almost seems unreal. Sit lakeside and absorb the sights and pure mountain air, or explore further by canoeing and hiking. It’s an iconically jaw-dropping place that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
CA-75031, sent by Heather.
Glacier-fed, its brilliant blue-green colour is a result of light refracting off the rock flour (fine particles of rock) in the glacier run-off which flows into the lake. At an elevation of 1,885 metres (6,183 feet), the lake does not begin to melt until June. Water levels, and its vibrant colour, peak in late June. 
The access road to Moraine Lake is only open during summer months from June to October. Dates may vary and are dependent on weather conditions. - in:


 One day I'll visit Canada's National Parks. I'll start my tour in Banff, Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885 as Rocky Mountains Park.

 Banff National Park Poster by Cameron Stevens

CA-1254698, sent by Simon.
From Banff’s humble beginnings as a 26 square kilometre hot springs reserve, Banff National Park now consists of 6,641 square kilometres of unparalleled mountain scenery nestled in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies.
Each year, millions of visitors come to Banff to marvel at the emerald waters of Lake Louise, walk amongst the flower-filled heavens at Sunshine Meadows, and drive beneath the towering jagged peaks lining the Icefields Parkway. - in:


Perched atop 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light atop the 56-foot tower was first illuminated in 1894. Its automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.

Printed by Lantern Press - Seattle WA
US-8728888, sent by Simon.
A half-mile trail to the lighthouse begins in the parking area and passes the lightkeeper’s house on its way up to the lighthouse and viewpoint.
Built in 1893, the assistant lightkeeper's house is one of the last remaining on the Pacific Coast. Visitors can book a room with ocean views and imagine the life of a lightkeeper.
The lighthouse viewpoint is among the best on the coast for spotting whales during the winter and spring migration, as well as sea lions and many species of birds. Common murres lay their eggs on the rocks below the viewpoint railing. The park and surrounding ocean are part of Oregon’s largest marine reserve, the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. - in:

Monday, October 24, 2022

National Mall - USA

"The National Mall is the central point of most sightseeing visits to Washington, DC. The tree-lined open space between Constitution and Independence Avenues extends from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building.
US-1029250, sent by Twanda.
Ten of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution are located on the National Mall, offering a variety of exhibits ranging from art to space exploration. West Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin are adjacent to the National Mall and home to the national monuments and memorials. The National Mall is not just a great place to visit world class museums and national landmarks, but also a gathering place to picnic and attend outdoor festivals. Americans and visitors from all over the world have used the expansive lawn as a site for protests and rallies. The impressive architecture and natural beauty of the National Mall make it a unique place that celebrates and preserves USA's nation’s history and democracy." - in
Photograph by Architect of the Capitol 
US-2733239, sent by Jo.
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right. It is a working office building as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.
Construction of the U.S. Capitol began in 1793. In November 1800, the U.S. Congress met in the first completed portion, the north wing. In the 1850s, major extensions to the North and South ends of the Capitol were authorized because of the great westward expansion of our nation and the resultant growth of Congress. Since that time, the U.S. Capitol and its stately dome have become international symbols of our representative democracy. - in:
Photo © JHC
US-1847101, sent by Michael.
The Lincoln Memorial, an iconic landmark on the National Mall in Washington, DC, is a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln, who fought to preserve our nation during the Civil War, from 1861-1865. The Memorial has been the site of many famous speeches and events since its dedication in 1922, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
A beautiful structure with seven-foot diameter columns that stretch 44 feet high, architect Henry Bacon designed the Lincoln Memorial in a style similar to a Greek temple. The structure’s 36 columns represent the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. A 19-foot larger than life-size marble statue of Lincoln sits in the center of the memorial and the words of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address are inscribed on the walls. The Memorial is often less crowded at night and is most impressive when it is illuminated. - in:

Washington Cathedral - USA

Stained-glass windows, Gothic spires and flying buttresses make the Washington National Cathedral look ages old, but the grand church was actually constructed during the 20th century. Though overseen by the Episcopal Church, the house of worship welcomes people of all faiths to its impressive site on the highest point in DC. - in:

"The National Cathedral in Washington, DC is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Although it is the home of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the National Cathedral has no local congregation and is considered to be a house of worship honoring all faiths from around the world. The Cathedral is known as the Washington National Cathedral, though its actual name is the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. 
© Washington National Cathedral
US-8728897, sent by Mildred.
The National Cathedral is an impressive structure, English Gothic in style, with exquisite architectural sculpture, wood carving, gargoyles, mosaics, and more than 200 stained glass windows. The top of the Gloria in Excelsis Tower, the highest point in Washington, DC offers dramatic views of the city. Over the years, the National Cathedral has been the host to many national memorial services and celebrations. Services were held here to rejoice the end of World Wars I and II. The Cathedral was the setting for State funerals for two presidents, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, George W. Bush honored the victims of that day with a special prayer service here." - in:


Snow in Florida!! Contrary to some people's beliefs, it does snows in Florida. It is possible to see snow in far northern sections of the Peninsula and the Florida Panhandle, the NWS said. But for most of the Peninsula, especially Central and South Florida, it is a sporadic event. 
The picture on this card was taken in 1989 and it's title is "The Last White Christmas". 

 Photo by John Moran
US-8728887, sent by Barb.
A short walk just north of Lake City, it is possible to seee one of Florida’s fabulous but little known waterfalls. Falling Creek Falls is a spectacular root-beer-colored cascade, which plummets more than 10 feet over a deep lip of limestone and flows away over limestone boulders at the bottom of a ravine.
A well-built boardwalk winds through a floodplain forest of bald cypress, sweetgum, and magnolia,  offers easy access to this scenic view.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

La Amistad International Park - Costa Rica

La Amistad International Park was the 1st of the 4 Costa Rican sites to be added to the UNESCO list. It is called “La Amistad” (the friendship) because the park is shared with Panama. This is my 1st site from this country and it was sent by Aloy and Edu.

 La Amistad International Park is the largest national park in Costa Rica at 479,000 acres. It borders reach throughout Cordillera de Talamanca, a mountain range over 3800 meters of altitude. La Amistad is home to two-thirds of plant and animal species found in Costa Rica, tropical lowland rainforest, cloud forest, tropical upland rainforest and rainy paramo.

 Imagen de Nai Conservation - Fundación Costa Rica Wildlife
 This protected area is vital for Costa Rica biodiversity and conservation. The rugged terrain and intense jungle make it difficult for tourists to visit. You won’t find convenient amenities there. You will find an incredible amount of plant and animal species. All six tropical cats live there, as well as over 600 bird species, 300 species of reptiles and amphibians, monkeys, coatis and over 100 species of fish. - in:
The endangered Baird’s tapir is also found here. Baird's Tapirs, or Tapirus Bairdii, are large, herbivorous mammals whose prehensile snout and pointed ears lead them to resemble a unique mix between a pig and a pack mule. Despite this appearance, the Tapirs are more closely related to odd-toed ungulates like horses and rhinoceroses. While separate species of Tapir can be found in parts of South America and Southeast Asia, the Baird's Tapir is localized largely within Costa Rican borders.
Commonly referred to as Danta by the locals, these Tapir's are the largest of the species' breeds found within Central America, not to mention the largest wild land mammal in the region. - in:

Tiébélé - Burkina Faso

A card from Burkina Faso!! How great is this?! I was hoping that the blind purchase would be a nice one but I never thought I would get a card from Burkina Faso. Is fair to say that postcrossers recognize a good deal at 1st glimpse. 

This card is from Tiébélé, the village of the Kassena people, one of the oldest ethnic groups that had settled in the territory of Burkina Faso in the 15th century. They're  known for their amazing traditional cob homes which are built by the men and elaborately decorated by the women on the exterior with geometric patterns. The Kassena people build their houses entirely of local materials: earth, wood and straw.
Soil mixed with straw and cow dung is moistened to a state of plasticity, to shape almost vertical surfaces. Today this technique is replaced by the use of mud brick molding walls with foundations resting on large stone.

Tiébélé’s houses are over a foot thick and the homes are designed without windows except for a small opening or two to let just enough light in for the occupants to see.
After construction, the woman decorates the exterior of the wall using colored mud and white chalk. The motifs and symbols are either taken from everyday life, or from religion and belief.
The finished wall is then carefully polished with stones, each color polished separately so that the colors don’t blur together. Finally, the entire surface is coated with a clear transparent hard protective coating made by boiling pods of néré, the African locust bean tree.
The decorating is usually done just before the rainy season and protects the outside walls from the rain. - in

Oualata - Mauritania

Let's go back to the postcards bought in Bordeaux. 
It was because of the first of these postcards that I bought the 2 cards collection at the local flea market. It was a blind purchase because the packages were closed and it was only possible to see the first postcard. This one looked like an African postcard and I was right. This is a postcard from Mauritania. So, I have 3 postcards from this country now and they are all from Oualata, a village in the east of the country, in the middle of the Sahara. In 1996, together with Ouadane, Chinguetti and Tichitt, Oualata was classified as a World Heritage Site.  

Oualata is now an isolated town but was once an important caravan destination and an Islamic religious center.
Photo: Jean Christophe PLAT * Copyright: J. Ch. PLAT - 2006/2007
The town is known for its highly decorative vernacular architecture, especially its unique painted houses. The houses are painted by local women after the rainy season. The women give ornamentation to the walls, making use of all materials found in this region, mainly gypsum and clay. Doors in wood are highly decorated too. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


I've other cards from Macao but this is my 1st official Postcrossing card from there. Coincidentally, a few days ago I also got an address to send my first official there. 
The postcard is from Taipa island and shows the Taipa Houses-Museum.

MO-49770, sent by Althea.
Acclaimed as one of the top eight sites of Macao, the Taipa Houses represents the charming Portuguese architectural style in Taipa. The Portuguese residences along Avenida da Praia, together with the neighbouring Our Lady of Carmel Church and the garden, comprise a picturesque landscape in which the five green houses stand out as the most representative.
These five houses, built in 1921, once served as the residences of senior civil servants, also namely Macanese families; in 1992, they were acknowledged as a building complex of architectural value. Later, the government decided to revamp the houses completely as a museum site, opened to the public at the end of 1999 as the ‘Taipa Houses-Museum’.
In September 2016, the Macao SAR Government re-capitalised on these five buildings by transforming them into the ‘Macanese Living Museum’, ‘Exhibitions Gallery’, ‘Creative Casa’, ‘Nostalgic House’ and ‘House for Receptions’ from west to east, respectively. This project has converted the place into a combination of culture and creativity, with outdoor performances and leisure elements, making it a showcase of not only the culture of the Portuguese-speaking countries but of culture from all over the world. - in:


Thanks a lot Jenny for checking my favs and sending this FOTW. new to my collection.

© concept by
TW-3360203, sent by Jenny.
Taiwan has an area of 36.193 km², a population of 23.519.518 and its capital is Taipei.
* Taipei 101 - landmark of Taiwan. Skycrapper of 508 meters height, was the world highest building between 2004-2009;  
* Taroko Gorge - an extraordinary sub-tropical landscape of mountains, towering walls of marble and limestone, waterfalls, rocky cliffs riddled with tunnels and spanned by hanging bridges;  
* Ang Lee - Taiwanese born film director. Won a myriad oj major international awards, including 3 Academy Awards, 4 BAFTA Awards and 3 Gonden Globe Awards;
* Ilha Formosa - Beautiful island, name given by the Portuguese when they saw the island of Taiwan back in the 16th century;
* 3000 BC - arrival of the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigenes. Today the indiginous Taiwanese aborigenes are about 533.600 and divided into 16 recognized groups;
* 1683 - the island comes under administration of China's Qing dynasty;
* 1947 - Constitution of the Republic of China;
* 1949 - Republic of China relocated to Taiwan.

Ishak Pasha Palace - Turkey

A few days ago I traveled to Bordeaux, France and of course I bought some cards there. However, most of the cards I bought weren't french. On my 1st day in Bordeaux I was lucky to find a flea market and a particular stand with boxes and boxes of old cards. I bought a few old french cards, mostly of castles and churches but the real treasure were a collection of cards of the world with cards from different countries, some of them quite rare, such as Yemen, Qatar, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Ecuador, Guinea, etc. In the next days I'll share a few that I like the most. I'll start with this one from Turkey. 
This card deserves my attention not only because it depicts a beautiful palace but also because Ishak Pasha in on the UNESCO Tentative list. Some of the cards are from UNESCO sites but I already had all of them. Getting sites on the Tentative list is almost as good as getting sites that already are on the WHS list. 
The small city of Doğubeyazıt, situated on the Silk Route near the Iranian frontier, is home to one of the finest examples of Ottoman palace architecture. The palace is such a unique Ottoman piece of architecture because it borrows heavily from Anatolian, Persian and North Mesopotamian styles and traditions. It fuses all of them together in a mesmerizing fashion that is also influenced largely by Seljuk architecture.

It stands on a vast platform of 7,600 square meters (81,805 square feet), near the Iranian frontier of the Ottoman Empire, and as such its high elevation offers a unique strategic importance to the Empire.
The construction of the palace began in 1685 by Çolak Abdi Pasha. The completion of it took 99 years and was finally finished in 1784 by Ishak Pasha, a descendant of Çolak Abdi Pasha.
The palace was damaged by an earthquake in 1840 and for some time abandoned, but partly restored over the next 20 years. It was again damaged during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). The structure was later used by Russians and during World War I when it was damaged by gunfire.
Later, the palace was used as the administrative centre for the area, and later as a military fort until 1937. Additional damage was caused later when stone from the building was taken for use to build new homes. 
In 2000, the palace was added to the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Song Kul Lake - Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and now Kyrgyzstan. I've three other cards from this country but this is the 1st written and stamped from there.
It came with a bit of mystery, because I had no idea who sent it but Eric ended up saying that he was the responsible for this surprise. 

Song-Kul Lake is located in the north-west of the Naryn region of Kyrgyzstan. This is the second largest and one of the most beautiful alpine lakes to visit in Kyrgyzstan. Almost every guide book describes Song kul lake as a tourist highlight and a must visit on any Kyrgyzstan itinerary. Its the perfect Kyrgyz picture of mountains, yurts and horses and the perfect place to experience the life and culture of the Kyrgyz nomads.

Song kul lake is rather difficult to access which protects it from being overrun by tourists. The alpine lake lies in a remote valley above 3000 meters and is surrounded by high mountain pastures. The fertile marshlands make it a favourite destination for the nomadic Kyrgyz herdsmen to let their livestock graze in the green meadows.
The yurts that stand on the shores of Song kul lake are not only for the Kyrgyz nomads though. Although it is still an off the beaten path destination when backpacking Kyrgyzstan, tourism is increasing every year. The Kyrgyz nomads are happy to welcome visitors and most of the yurt camps are now solely set up for this purpose.
Because of the high altitude the tourist season is a short one. Winters are harsh and long and it can snow any time of the year, even in summer. Therefore most yurt camps will not open their tents before June. - in:

Silk Road - Kazakhstan

Unesco #1000 is getting closer and closer, only 4 to go. These last days I've received a couple of cards from new sites, which is pure joy in my mailbox. This one came all the way from Kazakhstan, it was the 3rd card sent by Adil. 

For centuries the Great Kazakh steppe accepted caravans of the Silk Road in oases of its cities and settlements.
On the territory of Kazakhstan the Silk Road started from the borders of China. Merchants of Celestial Empire carried silk, weapons, medicines, rice, exotic goods such as tusks across Kazakh steppes to the West, to Europe. Steppe governors offered their services of safety provision for trade caravans; in exchange they demanded a share of the goods or cash. That was how quitrents or taxes and customs duties emerged.
The main line of the Silk Road on the territory of Kazakhstan lay across the country’s south; from the border with China trade caravans moved through the cities of Sayram, Yassy, Otrar, Taraz and further to Central Asia, Persia, to the Caucasus and from there to Europe.
The reason that all those cities emerged is that the merchants traveling across the enormous Kazakh steppes made stops which turned into caravanserais and those in turn grew into settlements which further became cities.
The Silk Road across Semirechye and South Kazakhstan functioned until the 14th century when the civil strife and wars destroyed the city. - in:

 Photos: 2021 «Qazaqstan 30»

The ruins of Aktobe are a testimony to one of the largest medieval cities that existed in this branch of the Silk Road. 
Aktobe dates back to the 6th century, established at the time of the Turkic Khaganate. In later centuries, during the Karakhanid Khaganate it reached its peak, as demonstrated by a collection of 3000 Karakhanid coins found on site. In terms of structure, it represents a classic medieval city in Kazakhstan - high mud walls, shakharistan with citadel in the center and rabad, an agricultural suburban area. 
The citadel has not stayed the same since its construction in the 6th century. In the 8th century the castle was built on a new platform and expanded, especially the defensive constructions. Later on, the fortress walls were rebuilt and strengthened. Eventually, during the 11-12th centuries, more premises were built, including a yard. In the early 13th century, the structures of the citadel collapsed and life in Aktobe came to an end.
 Today, the site is well conserved, with some parts of the citadel and the dwellings reconstructed. Despite that, the development of roads and infrastructure threatens the settlement’s condition. Its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014 supports the efforts to keep protecting and exploring this unique monument and promoting its universal value. - in:

Friday, October 7, 2022

Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) - Tajikistan

I'm 6 cards away from my UNESCO goal for this year, 1000 sites. Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) is my site #994. This site was added to the list in 2013 and was the 2nd site classified in Tajikistan.
The card was sent from USA by Nancy.


Tajikistan National Park covers more than 2.5 million hectares in the east of the country, at the centre of the so-called “Pamir Knot”, a meeting point of the highest mountain ranges on the Eurasian continent. It consists of high plateaux in the east and, to the west, rugged peaks, some of them over 7,000 meters high, and features extreme seasonal variations of temperature. The longest valley glacier outside the Polar region is located among the 1,085 glaciers inventoried in the site, which also numbers 170 rivers and more than 400 lakes. Rich flora species of both the south-western and central Asian floristic regions grow in the Park which shelters nationally rare and threatened birds and mammals (Marco Polo Argali sheep, Snow Leopards and Siberian Ibex and more). Subject to frequent strong earthquakes, the Park is sparsely inhabited, and virtually unaffected by agriculture and permanent human settlements. It offers a unique opportunity for the study of plate tectonics and subduction phenomena. - in:

Trinity Sergius Lavra - Russia

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. Being situated in the town of Sergiev Posad about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow, it is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

RU-5140195, sent by Andrey.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, “the pearl” of the Russian church architecture, was founded in the first half of the 14th century (1337) by the monk Sergius of Radonezh, a great abbot of Russia and one of the most venerated orthodox saints. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established.
RU-9332808, sent by Elena.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style.
The Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra includes both buildings and constructions inside the wall and a complex of buildings near the monastery. It represents the key element of town-planning of Sergiev Posad. - in: