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

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - July '23

Lets continue with this marathon of monthly surprise cards. In July they were from the Netherlands, Italy, Russia and Cuba but most of them were sent from somewhere else. The Dutch card was sent from Germany, the Italian from Finland and the Cuban also from Germany.

If you ever visited Amsterdam you probably noticed that the houses along the canals are narrow, tall and a bit skewed. Why is that? Back in the 15th century the the land planning laws were strict. Planning required that facades be built of lightweight materials with large windows to reduce weight.  Most of the older buildings have been built on wooden poles, which over time have become less sturdy. Combined with the wet conditions of the soil, the houses are simply sinking over time. Most of the houses are attached to each other, so it looks like they sort of lean on each other and keep their balance together. 
Taxes were charged according to the width of the frontage which explains why most Amsterdam houses are narrow. So the wider facade, the more tax you pay. Despite that the houses are actually rather deep.
Card sent by Helen.

Mina found me a volcano card. 
Even though Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, it is considered to be a safe volcano - most eruptions do not endanger those visiting or living in the area. Often, the biggest inconvenience is the ash that carpets surrounding towns during eruptions. 
If you’re thinking of booking a holiday to Catania and eastern Sicily, you can visit the volcano even during an eruption. There are plenty of hiking routes that steer well clear of the summit and craters where explosions take place. Visiting during an eruption is a thrilling experience and some guides organise tours at night especially to marvel at the fiery light show. - in:

Nadezhda sent me autumn on a card. When I saw it I thought it was from Manteigas, a town in my region where there's a beautiful beech forest that at this time of the year looks pretty much like this. But no, this card is from Russia, don't know exactly where from though.

Cuba Imagen
A Cuban card sent from Germany by Grace, an Italian lady living in Switzerland!! 
Grace has never been to Cuba but her Cuban sister-in-law is her supplier of Cuban cards. 
The Museo de la Revolución (Revolution Museum) of Havana is hosted in the old Presidential Palace, built between 1913 and 1920, and used by several presidents of Cuba, the last of them Fulgencio Batista. 
This monumental construction in Centro Habana houses one of the most interesting museums in all Cuba. The museum exhibits several collections of photographs, flags, documents, weapons, and other objects related to the revolutionary fighting against Batista, and the history of Cuba, in chronological order, from the pre-Columbian culture in Cuba (on the top floor), to the current society. In here stand out the exhibitions about the assault of Moncada in 1953, and about the life of Che Guevara, in the bottom rooms.
In the entrance of the museum there is a fragment of the former wall of the city, as well as a SAU-100 tank used by Castro during the invasion of Cochinos Bay in 1961. - in:

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - June '23

 It also took a few more months to get all the June's cards. One of them had to be resent.
Amami-Ōshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, northern part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island is a Japanese UNESCO site added to the WHS list in 2021. I already had a card of the Okinawa Island and now Tomoko sent me this one with Amami-Ōshima and Tokunoshima Islands.
The islands have been separated from the continent and other landmasses for millions of years, and therefore harbor a significant number of endemic and rare animals and plants, including the Iriomote leopard cat, the Amami rabbit and the Okinawa rail.
Amami Oshima attracts with its beautiful beaches dotted along its coastline with white sand and clear, warm waters, as well as for its mangrove forest and several unique animals and plants.
Located south of Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima is visited for its relatively uncrowded beaches and its style of bullfighting, as well as the annual Tokunoshima Triathlon. - in:
This is not my 1st card of this castle in Malaysia but this card, sent by Jessie, shows a much better view of the castle. 
Kellie’s Castle is perched on top of a hill in Batu Gajah, Perak. Built in 1915 by Scottish planter, William Kellie-Smith,  who arrived in Malaysia in 1890. Smith married his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes, and brought her to Malaysiaa in 1903, and they were blessed with a daughter named Helen and a son, Anthony. 
Workers were brought in from India to build the opulent mansion, and bricks and marbles were imported from the country as well. However, things began to take a tragic turn when Smith died of pneumonia in 1926, during a short trip to Lisbon, Portugal. Following his sudden death, the construction of the castle was suspended. Agnes eventually sold the castle to a British company, Harrisons and Crosfield. It was then abandoned and became a historical site years later. - in  
 Immagine de Giancarlo Gasponi
I've recently realized how slow Italian mail service can be. The cards that I've sent from Italy in the beginning of this month, took about 3 weeks to arrive to their destinations in Europe but for Susanna things were a bit worse. Some of the cards she sent in June got lost and she resent a few, including this one. I only noticed a few days after getting the card that she used a matching stamp. 
The ‘Spanish steps’ in Rome, built in Rococo style between 1723 and 1726, are the steps that lead from the Piazza di Spagna square to the French monastery church Trinita dei Monti (built between 1502–1587). There are 135 steps and three different terraces, referring to the Holy Trinity (the Trinità). The top of the stairs near the Egyptian obelisk offers a beautiful view. - in:
In June Lara visited the small country of Liechtenstein and sent this card that was still missing in my HP collection.
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a micro state in Europe, just covering 160 square kilometers. It is the smallest country in the world with two borders - in the East with Austria, in the West with Switzerland. Situated between the Rhine and the Alps, it is with its capital Vaduz well worth a visit! - in

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - April '23

I really thought the 4th and last card of this April group was never going to show up but after 6 months it finally arrived in my mailbox.
Photo: Aevar Johannesson
Back in 2015 Nan visited Iceland hoping to see an erupting volcano but sadly the eruptions stopped 2 weeks before her trip. I'd definitely love to see an eruption too. 
Mount Hekla is the most famous and active volcano in Iceland,with more than 20 eruptions since 874. It erupted four times in the 20th century, the last time in 2000. Hekla has erupted more often than any other volcano in Iceland. Some eruptions have been so powerful and violent that the volcanic ash reached as far as mainland Europe.
The eruption on the card is from 1970.

 Photo: Taneli Eskola 2022
Blue, yellow and green, beautiful combination of colors and a new windmill for my collection. Located in the Lepaa gardens, Tyrväntö, this mills dates from the beginning of the 18th century. 
The card was sent by Mari.

Street art in Chong Qing, China, sent by Cyan.

This was the card I waited 6 months for. That's not exactly my kind of card though. Yvonne says that these are the God of Moon in different cultures.

World Postcard Day

This year the choice of the official postcard for World Postcard Day was surrounded by some controversy. The design of the winning postcard was based on a stock image, not an original artwork, which disrespect the rules of the contest.
As a result, that postcard was disqualified and the design that received the second highest number of votes was then chosen. How beautiful is this?!!
Winner of the WPD contest 2023 - Lisa Saputra (Indonesia)
The talented author of the winning design is Lisa Saputra, an indie children’s book illustrator from Indonesia. 
The card was sent by Marie from Canada.