Friday, December 22, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - November '23

These are the last cards of this RR this year. All the 44 cards that I've sent were received and I've received all the cards I was supposed to get. It couldn't have been better! 
Last month the cards came from England, Russia, Germany and USA.

Chester Cathedral is a must-see for every visitor to the city of Chester.  This incredible structure, founded in 1092 as a Benedictine Abbey, was subsequently rebuilt around 1250 and took 275 years to transform the building into the stunning Gothic-style building we see today.
Chester Cathedral has the most complete set of monastic buildings in the country, which includes a Georgian square and series of streets, the remains of Roman barracks on the Dean’s field and the largest open green spaces within the walls, which is loved by both locals and visitors alike. - in:
The card was sent by Rachel.  

Natalyia sent this card from Russia but the card is from Miskhor, a town in Southern Coast of Crimea. 
Miskhor's brightest architectural attraction - Dulber Palace that is now one of many buildings of the namesake sanatorium - stands out against the background of Crimean Mountains' fabulous views. Finished with colorful mosaics, Beautiful (that is 'dulber' in Crimean Tatar) Palace was built in Mauritanian style in the late 19th century for Russian Prince Petr Nikolaevich, uncle of the Imperator Nikolai II. After the revolution of 1917, the palace was turned into real fortress, where members of House of Romanov hid from Bolsheviks for some time. But in 1922, one of the first Soviet health resorts was opened here. - in:
 I'm not exactly a tea lover but I drink tea almost everyday during the cold months. This card was sent by Nadine, a former coffee lover!
Prior to the mid-17th century, this mysterious exotic drink was completely unknown to Europeans. Although tea had first been introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century, it was not until the first decades of the 1600s that the Portuguese and the Dutch began to import both black and green tea into Europe from their trading bases in Macao. The drink quickly became established in the Netherlands and Portugal and in 1657 the first consignments of tea reached London. - in:

Photo: Konstantino Hatzisarros

I saw this card and immediately knew that it had been sent by Nan. 
A graffity by Chico somewhere in New York.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - October '23

Cards sent from China, Germany, Switzerland and Japan.

Shaoxing, in eastern China, is one of the country's historical and cultural cities.
The area is rich in relics of the past, with innumerable burial sites and with many other sites connected with famous figures from the city’s past. It also has a museum devoted to the writer Lu Xun (1881–1936), who was a native of the city. Baicao Garden is a vegetable garden behind Lu Xun's former residence. 
The card was sent by Mandy.
 LOOK-foto: Heinz Wohner
Not my 1st card of this lighthouse on Sylt, the largest of Germany’s North Frisian islands. List-Ost is one of the five lighthouses on the island. 
Card sent by Nicole.
New Happy Postcrossing card sent by Grace. 
The negative temperatures of the last few days certainly make many people miss summer but that's not my case. I love the cold, love winter and I definitely don't miss summer. I like the card, I just don't like the season that much.
 Full Colour Black
Banksy Squares Vs. Rat sent by Tomoko.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Yazd - Iran

I was so happy when I saw this card in my mailbox, not only because it is from a new UNESCO site but also because the building on the card, Amir Chakhmaq complex, is really beautiful. I was so happy that almost forgot that I was supposed to get a second card, that unfortunately got lost. Both card were sent by Ehsan. 

Yazd, an ancient city in the heart of Iran, is a place where history, culture, and architecture seamlessly blend to create a mesmerizing experience for travelers. Often referred to as the “City of Windcatchers” or the “City of Zoroastrians,” Yazd is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Situated midway between Isfahan and the historic city of Kerman, this oasis city stands surrounded by the vast deserts of Iran, creating a stark yet beautiful landscape. With a history spanning over 5,000 years, Yazd has been a center of trade, culture, and religion for millennia.
Amidst the immense desert, Yazd retains its sterling of old in religion, traditions and architecture. It is recognized by UNESCO as holding one of the oldest architecture all over the world. The word Yazd means, sacred and worship, which gives us the idea of being a sacred city in the past.

Photo by Mohsen Daschti

Although more often described as the entrance to a now non-existent bazaar, the chief function of Amir-Chakhmagh structure known as a Tekyeh, and the square before it, was to host Ta’ziyeh – a cycle of passion plays commemorating the martyrdom of the third Imam of Shiites, Imam Hossein, which take place once a year during the mourning month of Moharram. The site dating from fifteenth century, is named after its builder, Amir Jalal Al-Din Chakhmagh,  governor of Yazd. - in:

Wat Pho - Thailand

One more temple from Bangkok. Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. 
The cards were sent by Charlie and Nina.
It is home to more Buddha images than any other Bangkok temple and it shelters the largest Buddha in Thailand. 
Wat Pho was built as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with work beginning in 1788. It was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III (1824-51), and restored again in 1982.

Copyright, Art Media (Thailand) Co., Ltda

Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Even prior to the temple's founding, the site was a center of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions. 
During the Rama III restoration plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple, while in 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established." - in:

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Jiufen - Taiwan

Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island.
Photo by: yuyen
JP-1994687, sent by Yoko.
During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.

TW-2932929, sent by Maruko Wei.
From the beginning of the 1990s, Jiufen experienced a tourist boom that has shaped the town into an attraction easily accessible from Taipei City as a nice day trip (around 2 hours away roundtrip by public transit). Today, the town is filled with both retro Chinese and Japanese style cafés, tea houses, and souvenir shops, as well as fantastic views of the ocean. - in:

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


This is another postcard whose ID does not match the location of the image. The ID is German but this lighthouse is located at the southernmost tip of Norway.

DE-13603468, sent by Claudia.
Lindesnes Lighthouse is Norway's oldest dating back to 1656 but the present lighthouse was built in 1915. 
The lighthouse has been designated a national lighthouse museum, and hosts various exhibitions relating to the development and history of lighthouses, maritime culture, etc. The mountainhall below the lighthouse houses a cinema, exhibitions and a café. The complex also comprises a museumshop, a restaurant and a gallery. You can see the remains of a German WW2 fort, and there are marked paths in the area. - in:


 The ID of this card may be Dutch but the church is English. Buckland in the Moor is a village in the Teignbridge district of Devon, England.

Photography: John Pallent

NL-5613395, sent by Henk.
St Peter's church dates to the late 15th or early 16th century.
The church is famous for its unusual clock face. The clock does not have numbers to indicate the hours, but letters which spell out the words 'My Dear Mother'.

Sunday, December 3, 2023


When people think of Dutch culture, they invariably conjure images of majestic windmills, sunlit canals, the works of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, fields of tulips, millions of bicycles and, of course, Delft Blue pottery.
Though Delft Blue pottery had its heyday between 1640 and 1740, the Dutch began making pottery of the tin-glazed variety as early as 1570. Though it’s often confused with porcelain, Delftware is actually made from a blend of three different clays, one from Delft, one from Tournai and one from the Rhineland.

NL-5613392, sent by Adriana.
Interestingly, it was actually the Chinese that inspired the creation of Delftware as we know it today. The story goes that back in the 17th century, The Dutch East India Company imported millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain. The Dutch fell in love with the artform and had a deep admiration for the workmanship and attention to detail in each piece.
The steady flow of porcelain from China came to an abrupt halt in 1620 following the death of the Wanli Emperor. Opportunistic Dutch potters seized this opportunity and began to work in earnest to create a cheaper local alternative. The Chinese artworks were dutifully re-created alongside religious motifs and typical Dutch scenes of windmills, fishing boats, hunting expeditions and seascapes.
A lesser-known fact about Delft Blue pottery is that not all of it is blue. In the 1700s, many factories experimented with a number of colours and even gilding. Delftware ranges from vases to sets of jugs and plates and to more tiles than you could shake a stick at (roughly 800 million!).
Sadly, Delft Blue’s popularity started to decline in the 1700s due to the renewed availability of Chinese porcelain and the rise of the English Wedgwood and European porcelain industries. By 1840, only one of the 32 earthenware factories established in Delft remained – De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, or “Royal Delft”, which has produced Delftware uninterrupted for 365 years. - in:

Saturday, November 25, 2023


When I saw this card I thought I already had it. No, I didn't have it, I had two other versions of it. This is the 5th version and there's already a 7th version.
DE-13592178, sent by Amarena.
On this 5th edition of "Happy Postcrossing from Germany", we are introduced to the Holstentor Gate in Lübeck; one of the Bauhaus buildings in Dessau; the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany; the Zollverein coal mine in Essen and much more!


 Look how beautiful this is. Towns covered in snow look prettier. 
Gelnhausen is a town in Hesse, Germany, founded by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1170.

DE-13389121, sent by Astrid.
In the center of and towering over Gelnhausen’s old town is the Marienkirche, or St. Mary’s Church. Built between 1170 and 1250, it shows both Romanesque (like the six-storey west tower) and Gothic architecture (the octagonal crossing tower and the east towers) elements. 
It was once, as the name might suggest, a Catholic church, but since the Reformation it’s been Protestant. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

San Marino

When my friend Susana and I decided to go to Bologna, we immediately started to see what other places we could visit nearby. As soon as we realized that San Marino wasn't that far away, we added this small country to our list of places to visit. 
It was a two-hour journey from Bologna to San Marino, first by train to Rimini and then by bus from Rimini to San Marino. Was it worth it? Yes it was. It would have been worth just for this view but there were more things to see.
If you google San Marino, most of the images that will appear will be of this tower. There are three towers there but this is the most famous. This is the most famous but they are all very important, so important that they are even on the country's flag and coat of arms.  
The Guaita Tower is the oldest of the three, it was built in the 11th century. To get this view you have to go and climb the second tower, the Cesta. These two towers can be visited, however it is not possible to enter the third, Montale.

Bologna - Italy

 The 1st time I've been to Bologna I hardly saw postcards and the only ones that I saw were not that special. This last visit I didn't see many either but those that I saw were absolutely beautiful. I bought a few and decided to mail this one with the Finistrella di Via Piella, famous window on the Canale delle Moline.
This corner of the city is known as "little Venice". Looking out among the buildings, you can see one of the few stretches of running water, which was not covered with asphalt between the beginning of the twentieth century and the postwar period. Canale delle Moline is the extension of Canale di Reno. For the most part of its route the channel is locked between the houses and for this reason in the past it has long been hidden from view. Now it is possible to see it through small windows in via Oberdan, via Malcontenti in addition to via Piella. - in:

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Santa Croce - Florence

 Last month I've been to Italy for the 6th time and I finally visited Florence. I had many cards to choose from but I decided to send myself this one of the Santa Croce Basilica, the largest Franciscan church in Florence, situated in one of the most fascinating squares of the city.

Photo: Luciano Mugnaini 
The original structure dates back to 1212, when Saint Francis of Assisi visited the city. The current construction began in 1294 or 1295 following a project by Arnolfo Di Cambio, and ended in 1443 with the Gothic facade.
Impressive dimension and great mastepieces inside, as the cenotaph of Dante, the beautiful Annunciation by Donatello and the Crucifix by Cimabue, made Santa Croce become the grave of famous people like Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli (author of The Prince), the composer Rossini, the poet Ugo Foscolo and the tomb of Vittorio Alfieri made by Canova. It's worth visiting also the numerous chapels, the Bardi Chapel, the Pazzi Chapel, designed by Brunelleschi, the Baroncelli Chapel and many others, all painted by Giotto. - in:

Ivrea - Italy

Ivrea is a town in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. The city has its share of historical landmarks but it was industry that put it on the UNESCO list. Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century was added to this list in 2021. 

Founded in 1908 by Camillo Olivetti, the Industrial City of Ivrea is an industrial and socio-cultural project of the 20th century.

The Olivetti Company manufactured typewriters, mechanical calculators and desktop computers. Ivrea represents a model of the modern industrial city and a response to the challenges posed by rapid industrial change. It is therefore able to exhibit a response and a contribution to 20th century theories of urbanism and industrialisation. Ivrea’s urban form and buildings were designed by some of the best-known Italian architects and town-planners of the period from the 1930s to the 1960s, under the direction of Adriano Olivetti. 
The city is comprised of buildings for manufacturing, administration, social services and residential uses, reflecting the ideas of the Movimento Comunità (Community Movement) which was founded in Ivrea in 1947 based on Adriano Olivetti’s 1945 book l’Ordine politico delle Comunità (The Political Order of Communities). The industrial city of Ivrea therefore represents a significant example of 20th century theories of urban development and architecture in response to industrial and social transformations, including the transition from mechanical to digital industries. - in:
The building on the card is the Olivetti Study and Research Centre, which originally hosted training courses for Olivetti mechanical designers, a fundamental item of this company’s industrial and social policies. The architectural design was by architect Eduardo Vittoria (1951-1954). 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Empreita de Palma - Portugal

It happened before, it happened again. Tiago was the winner of the month, October, and I was the false winner. He sent me a perfect postcard that didn't deserve to be treated this way. It got an ugly scratch right in the lady's face.

“Empreita de palma” is a traditional basket weaving craft that makes use of the palm, the foliage of the dwarf palm tree, the only native palm tree of the Algarve region.
Using ancestral techniques, this raw material is transformed into objects and products used in daily life. As a productive art it offers unique advantages, namely economic, educational, ecological and social. - in:

Azores - Portugal

The green wonder of the Atlantic, Europe's Secret Paradise! These are expressions that we can easily associate with the Azores islands. The Azores are islands of a unique beauty, an authentic paradise on earth, especially for those who love nature and active vacations, thanks to the numerous trekking routes and marine activities. 
Divided into three groups, the Azores are made up of 9 volcanic islands. I've been to three of them, Terceira, São Miguel and Faial. This card was sent from Faial by Fernando.
The Azores islanads are a Portuguese archipelago is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the Macaronesia region, which also includes Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Northwest Africa.

To the East, on the island of Santa Maria, the beaches of warm white sand are inviting, and the vineyards covering the slopes like an amphitheatre resemble giant staircases. São Miguel, the largest island, is seductive with its Sete Cidades and Fogo Lagoons. The power that emanates from the earth is felt in the geysers, hot thermal waters and volcanic lakes, as well as in the tasty "Cozido das Furnas" slowly cooked inside the earth.
In the Central Group, the islands of Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial and Graciosa are set harmoniously in the deep blue sea, where whales and dolphins can be spotted, to the delight of visitors. On Terceira, the World Heritage town of Angra do Heroísmo, as well as its festivals, is steeped in history. Faial is the cool blue of the hydrangeas, the marina painted colourfully by yachtsmen from all over the world and the extinct Capelinhos volcano, which resembles a lunar landscape. In front is Pico, a mountain that emerges from the sea, with vineyards planted in black lava fields, a unique culture that also has World Heritage status. On São Jorge, the highlights are the Fajãs and the cheese, a unique specialty with an unmistakable flavour. Graciosa, graceful in both name and appearance, is an island of green fields covered with vineyards that contrast with its peculiar windmills.
In the Western group, on the island of Flores, the beauty of the natural waterfalls and lakes carved out by volcanoes is dazzling. The tiny island of Corvo has a broad, beautiful crater at its centre, and attracts many species of birds coming from both Europe and America. - in:

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * September '23

 Just one more post with MFS RR cards.

Annerie loves to read, I also love to read but I must confess that I haven't read much this year. The last book I read was "The Last Bookshop in London." and I truly loved it. Historical novels are definitely my favorite.
Photo: Andrew Critchell
I think this is the 1st card Tani has ever sent me. She chose a nice one with the beautiful guild houses and Brabo Fountain in Antwerpen's Grote Markt. 
The houses once belonged to powerful organisations, such as the guilds and craftsmen.
The fountain in the middle of the market is perhaps one of the most photographed spots in the city. This work by sculptor Jef Lambeaux refers to the city's most famous legend, starring the giant Antigone and the Roman hero Brabo. You can see Brabo throwing the giant's hand, which he has just chopped off, into the Scheldt. According to some, this 'hand throwing' is at the root of the name Antwerp. - in:

When visiting Southern Bavaria, Ettal Abbey shouln't be missed. This working monastery was founded in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria. The original Gothic structure was a modest affair, and was rebuilt due to damage during the Reformation. 
When the abbey was destroyed by fire in 1744, the impressive complex that exists today was constructed in the Baroque style with Rococo elements. 
Like other Bavarian religious institutions, it was secularised during the Napoleonic era. The Benedictine order took control of the buildings once more at the start of the 20th century. 
The current basilica buildings can be visited and the abbey is also well-known for its beer production and for a variety of herbal liqueurs that it produces.
The card was sent by Marei.

Kuva: Hannu Hautala
I love this card!! Isa found it among my Finnish favorites.
 This beauty is a great grey owl, one of the largest owls in the world, and the largest to live in the northern hemisphere. 
They breed in North America from as far east as Quebec to the Pacific coast and Alaska, and from Finland and Estonia across northern Asia. They are permanent residents, although northerly populations may move south and southeast when food is scarce. In Europe they are found breeding in Norway and Sweden and more numerously through Finland and Russia. Even though the species occurs in Europe, the first great grey owl recognized by science was found in Canada in the late 18th century. - in: wikipedia