Monday, February 20, 2023


 The Calvary of Saint-Thégonnec is one of the seven Calvaries known as “Monumentals” in Brittany.
FR-1587358, sent by Sophie.
These calvaries, commonly called monumental calvaries, are works found only in Brittany. Built between 1450 and 1610, they testify to the prosperity of a territory combined with the religious fervor of the population. They usually consist of a massive stone on which scenes from the Childhood and the Passion of Christ are represented. The Calvary of Saint-Thégonnec dates from 1610.

Sunday, February 19, 2023


Once a small fishing village, El Cotillo is now a quiet place to enjoy relaxing holidays on the northwest coast of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
Fotografía: A. Murillo
NL-5415048, sent by Gaucha.
Tostón Lighthouse is located about 5km's north of El Cotillo. 
The current lighthouse is the third in a succession of lights that have operated at the site on the promontory of Punta Tostón.
The original lighthouse was opened in 1897, and consisted of a 7 m high plain masonry tower on one corner of the single storey keeper's house. In the 1950s a new 15-metre concrete tower was constructed, which was also superseded by a taller tower in the 1980s.
The original keeper's house has been renovated and reused as a museum with a small café. Visitors to the museum which contains an exhibition describing the traditional fishing of the island, can also climb to the top of the 1950s concrete tower. - in:

PT RR - Favorite Surprise Group * February 23

February cards didn't take long to arrive and they all arrived on the same day.
Foto: Luís Alves
Just like in January, this month, Tiago sent me again a postcard with an elderly woman. These postcards he has been sending me do not specifically identify the location of the photos but they are all from South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park.

 Foto: Osvaldo Santos
 There are a lot of places that I haven't visited yet in my country and Soajo is one of them. This village is known of it's espigueiros - granite granaries. 
These granaries are supported on granite slabs from the Peneda mountains. They were built off the ground to protect food crops from rats and other rodents, and were used by the whole community.
The oldest espigueiros date back to 1782, and the whole cluster was constructed between the 18th and 19th centuries. Of the 24 that remain today, some are still used today to store grain, especially corn. - in:
The card was sent by Eric.
I've never been to Soajo to see the granaries but I've been to Rome to see the Trevi Fountain.  
The legend says that if you throw one coin to the fointain you will return to Rome; if you throw two coins, you will fall in love with an attractive Italian and if you throw three coins, you will marry the person you met. There's a right way to do this. You should throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder.  
Every day thousands of coins are thrown into the fountain. Thy are so many that in a single day 3,000€ can be collected from the fountain. This money is given to a catholic charity association. 
Pedro has never been to Rome but he sent me this card.

PT RR - Favorite Surprise Group * February 23

 The first 6 cards of this RR in Portuguese are already here. Lets start with January's cards.
Foto: Osvaldo Santos
I visited Vila Nova de Cerveira in June of 2021 and I really enjoyed it. Although small, this town in Minho region has a lot to see, both in terms of buildings and landscape. Castle and forts, manor houses and typical houses, viewpoints and riverside walks. For those who haven't been there yet, Eric and I, highly recommend a visit.

Tiago must be one of the biggest contributors to my elderlies collection and he said that there's even more where this postcard came from.
Foto: João Martins * © 1995 I. P. M. Arquivo Nacional de Fotografia / Edições 19 de Abril
I have already bought and sent this card a few times but I have never kept one for myself. I have it now thanks to Nidia. 
This photo is from a scene from the 1964 film "Fado Corrido". It is a film by Jorge Brum do Canto, based on the short story "Agora: Fado Corrido" from the book "Gaivotas em Terra" by David Mourão-Ferreira. It combines fados by Amália and solos by Carlos Paredes. The story of love, jealousy and fatalities, develops around a love triangle made up of a nobleman, a fado singer, and the boy for whom she leaves the nobleman.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - January 23

I really like this RR and I'll continue joining it this year. Last month I've received cards from Finland, Japan, Greece and Netherlands.

Photo/Valokuva: Minna Kääriäinen, Minor Postcards

 A lighthouse in the Aland islands, sent by Heli.
In the Åland, you can find Sälskär lighthouse on the northern part of Hammarland on a small islet. It was built in 1868 and was the first lighthouse in Finland to be automated in 1949. It is made of bricks and the foundation is granite. The total height from the sea level is 44,5 m. Measured from the ground, it stands around 30 meters tall. - in:

In January I've sent a card to Yuka and she sent me one too. 
Not so long ago I dedicated a post to Shirakawa-go, widely known as one of the most scenic places in Japan. It is surrounded by pine tree covered mountains, and it is located along the picturesque Shokawa River. Besides the beautiful scenery, the unique Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses are the center of attraction. There are approximately 180 thatched farmhouses, sheds, and barns, and most of them were built about 200-300 years ago. - in:

All these cards are nice but this one made me super happy. Vicky sent me this beautiful card of the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian on the Greek island of Patmos, one of my missing UNESCO sites from Greece.
The small island of Patmos, part of the Dodecanese complex in the central Aegean, is known, above all, as the location where John the Apostle received his visions and recorded them in the Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament. An impressive monastic complex, dedicated to him, was founded there in the early 11th century.
The monastery stands on the site where Saint John is believed to have written his Gospel, including the Book of Revelation (also known as the Apocalypse); it is also located near the grotto where the apostle is said to have received his Revelation, hence called the Cave of the Apocalypse. Both the Monastery and the Cave, along with the rest of the historic centre of the island’s Chora (main town) have been declared a joint World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 as an "exceptional example of a traditional Greek Orthodox pilgrimage centre of outstanding architectural interest". - in:

Just one day before getting this card sent by Annerie, I've received the exact same card as an official from Germany. Coincidences!!
When it comes to New Year's traditions, we Portuguese, like to have a lot of food on the table, and it commonly includes a range of meat and seafood dishes.  To toast at midnight, sparkling wine (espumante) tends to be the preferred drink of choice.
When the clock strikes midnight, you are supposed to eat 12 raisins and, as you put each grape inside your mouth, whisper to yourself a wish for the new year. If you are a superstitious person, you wear blue underwear on this night, and make sure you also keep a bill in your pocket if one of your wishes involves a desire for more material wealth. After midnight, in some localities, folks go out (or at least out to their balconies) and hit on pots and pans to make noise and commemorate the new year. The loud noise is also supposed to be a way to scare off the evils and bad energy from the previous year. - in:

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR * April 22

I mentioned before that last year I joined this monthly RR 10 times and only the months of April and July remained incomplete. In April two cards got lost but Marianne and Radana have resent them a few days ago.
Swiss army knife, the Alps, clocks and Grace, who sent me this missing HP card, are all things that I associate with Switzerland.
 © concept by
Austria has an area of 83.879 km², a population of 8.662.588 and its capital is Vienna.
* World's Largest Emerald - 2860 carats, displayed in the Imperial Tresuary of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna;  
* One of the oldest national flag in the world - since 1191, Duke Leopold V, Third Crusade;
* Schönbrunn Palace - the summer palace of the Habsburgs, has no less than 1440 rooms;
* Vienna's central cemitery - has over 2.5 mil. tombs;
* One of Europe's Great Powers - 1804-1867, Austrian Empire; 1867-1918, Austro-Hungarian Empire;
* Habsburg Monarchy - 1521-1918, motto "Let justice be done, though the world perish."

 Foto: Ivan Rillich
Střekov castle is perched atop a cliff above the river Elbe, near the city of Ústí nad Labem. Built in the 14th century to protect the waterway and collect duties on transported goods, the castle is renowned for its impressive views. It has enchanted a variety of visiting artists, most notably Goethe, Richard Wagner, and Karel Hynek Mácha. - in:
 Damxung, with an average elevation of 4,300 meters, means "The chosen one ranch" in Tibetan. It’s backed by the Mt. Nyainqentanglha, adjacent to Namtso Lake. The glacial snow water from the mountain nourishes 700,000 hectares of pure natural pastures. The semi-wild yaks drink from glaciers and salt lakes, and they feed on rare and Tibetan herbs such as cordyceps, enoki mushrooms, and ginseng fruits. - in:

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


 I've hundreds of cards from USA but only a few of them are from North Carolina.
Photo by Bill Cobb
US-9077085, sent by Terri.
Raleigh is the capital city of the state of North Carolina. It is the second-most populous city in North Carolina, after Charlotte and the 41st-most populous city in the U.S.
Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city.
The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County. - in: wikipedia

Monday, February 6, 2023

Table Mountain - South Africa

Table Mountain is the most famous mountain and landmark of South Africa and also the country’s most photographed attraction. The mountain gained natural park status in 1998 and in 2004 the Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Art Publishers
The Khoi and San people named the mountain Hoerikwaggo or Mountain in the Sea.
The mountain was sacred for the Khoi and San people as they believed their god (Tsui or Goab) lived there.
The first European to see the Cape was Bartolomeu Dias in 1448. In 1497, Vasco da Gama spotted it as well. The first recorded climb of the mountain was done by the Portuguese navigator, Admiral Antonio de Saldanha in 1503. It was de Saldanha who gave the mountain its name, naming it Taboa da caba, meaning table of the cape.

Images: Shi Zhao, Miquitos
ZA-151540, sent by JVR Family.
In 1652 the Khoi and the San people were robbed of their land when the Cape was colonized by the Dutch led by Jan van Riebeeck. They quickly established Cape Town, built houses and brought slaves.
Since then, many people from all around the world have climbed the mountain. Starting with 1929 the cable car opened and since then reaching the summit was made easier than ever.
More than 22 million people have used the cable car which was renovated and reopened in 1997. - in:


White Island is New Zealand's most active cone volcano. It is situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. The island covers an area of approximately 325 ha (800 acres),[2] which is just the peak of a much larger submarine volcano. 
Photo: Tony Stone / Kim Westerskov
DE-12648399, sent by Andrea.
The island was a popular tourist destination, known for its volcanic activity but on 9 December 2019 it explosively erupted and twenty-two people of the 47 that were on the island at the time have died, either in the explosion or from injuries sustained, including two whose bodies were never found and were later declared dead. A further 25 people suffered injuries, with the majority needing intensive care for severe burns. - in: wikipedia
As a result of the eruption event, there are currently no on-land tours of the island in operation. 

Saturday, February 4, 2023


I've already received a few officials cards this year but this was the 1st that I received and registered in 2023. What a surprise, it isn't from Germany, not from USA and not even from Russia, the top 3 countries when it comes to my received and also sent cards in 2022. This one is from Kazakhstan and it is my first official from this country. 
Last year I've received a total of 123 cards and sent 120. Besides Germany, Russia and USA, I've received cards from 25 other countries and sent to 24 others.

KZ-61515, sent by Anton.
An exquisite blue-domed mosque plated with white marble, Imangali Mosque has been a landmark of downtown Atyrau since its construction in 2001. The central mosque of the city, this elegant white structure with elaborate blue-tile ornaments can accommodate several hundred worshippers. Flanked by two slim 26 m (85 ft) tall minarets, its main 23 m (75 ft) tall dome covers the main hall and features a huge balcony with 600 seats. The central entrance arch is designed with typical Kazakh blue tile decorations, with calligraphy decorating both the exterior and interior.- in:

Friday, February 3, 2023

Røros - Norway

This colorful charming timber town was founded in 1646 and has since developed as both a mining and agricultural community. Included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites as early as 1980. The town centre boasts a rare collection of large and well-preserved wooden buildings, made all the more real and authentic by the fact that the people of today live and work in them. - in:
The 1st of these cards was sent in 2011 by Rita and the 2nd last December by Eric, who worked in this village a few years ago. 

Røros Mining Town and the Circumference is linked to the copper mines, established in the 17th century and exploited for 333 years until 1977. The site comprises the Town and its industrial-rural cultural landscapes; Femundshytta, a smelter with its associated area; and the Winter Transport Route. Completely rebuilt after its destruction by Swedish troops in 1679, Røros contains about 2000 wooden one- and two-storey houses and a smelting house. Many of these buildings have preserved their blackened wooden façades, giving the town a medieval appearance. Surrounded by a buffer zone, coincident with the area of privileges (the Circumference) granted to the mining enterprise by the Danish-Norwegian Crown (1646), the property illustrates the establishment and flourishing of a lasting culture based on copper mining in a remote region with a harsh climate. - in:
Røros church - also called "The pride of the mining town" - was built in the golden age of the Røros Copper Company. The building was finished in 1784 and is one of the largest churches in Norway, with 1600 seats. 
The structure on the right side of the card is the Hyttklokka, a bell was used to notify workers at the smelthytta(smelter hut) when work started and finished. The bell was probably also used as an alarm, to warn of fires, for example. If you take a photo of Hyttklokka with the church in the background, you will have captured the classic Røros setting. - in:

Utrecht - Netherlands

I've been to the Netherlands for the second time in 2018. The first time I visited the country I stayed in Rotterdam and that second time I chose Utrecht, where I had a guided tour of the city with my friend Tessa. 
Fotografie: Merijn van der Vliet
NL-5415046, sent by Patricia.
One of the things we did was to visit the cathedral and its tower. As suggested in the last postcard, we went up the tower but did even more, we went down under the tower. We did the Dom Under visit, which presents us with 2000 years of Utrecht history. With the help of interactive flashlights, we discovered the archaeological finds, which date back to the Roman Castellum 'Trajectum', the Roman fortress that protected the northern border of the Roman Empire. I had already climbed many church towers, but it was the first time I walked through a cathedral foundations.

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, and many regard it as the cozier alternative to Amsterdam. The city boasts beautiful canals and parks, lively restaurants and cafés, fascinating museums and remarkable historical buildings. Its city center alone is absolutely worth a visit.

The Dom Tower of Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, at 112.5 metres (368 feet) in height,and the Gothic-style tower is the symbol of the city. The tower was part of the Cathdreal of Saint Martin, also known as Dom Church, and was built between 1321 and 1382 to a design by John of Hainaut. The cathedral was never fully completed due to lack of money. Since the unfinished nave collapsed in 1674 the Dom tower became a free standing tower." - in: wikipedia

 © Donker Utrecht
NL-2234352, sent by Maryn.
This is an unsual view of the Dom Tower in Utrecht. 
Climbing the Dom Tower is a wonderful opportunity to explore the city of Utrecht in an entirely different way! Via 465 steps (there is no lift), a guide will take you to the top of the highest church tower in the Netherlands. Halfway there, you will get a view of the historic bells with a total weight of no less than 32,000 kg. One floor higher is the magnificent 17th-century Hemony carillon. The tower galleries at 70 and 95 metres provide a spectacular view of the city and province of Utrecht. - in: