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. - inhttps://www.malaysia.travel  
 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: https://romesite.com

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! - inhttps://www.papersisters.de

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.

Thursday, October 26, 2023


I've hundreds of cards from USA but I've less than 10 cards from Texas. 
Don't mess with Texas is a popular slogan but mail services definitely messed with this card, the bottom left corner is missing!!
Photos: Jonathan Mortenson
US-9730848, sent by Cameron.
On the back of the card: The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Rio) is a city park and network of walkaways along the banks of the San Antonio River. Lined by bars, shops, restaurants, nature, public artwork and the five historic missions, the River Walk is an important part of the ciy's urban fabric and a very popular tourist attraction. 

Santa Catarina - Brazil

 Santa Catarina is a Brazilian state in the south of the country. It's capital, Florianópolis, was one of the cities where WPD was celebrated with great joy by the Brazilian postcrossers. Luzia was one of them and she sent me this card with a few symbols of this state.


Santa Catarina culture was strongly influenced by European immigration to the region. The coast was populated by Azorean and Madeiran immigrants; the interior, by immigrants from continental Europe. The German and Italian languages are widely spoken in the interior of the state, and are even the official language of several municipalities in Santa Catarina.
Laelia purpurata is one of the official symbols of the State of Santa Catarina, in this case its Symbol Flower and the araponga was chosen as the state's symbol bird due to its metallic song that represents the working people. Deforestation and illegal capture threaten this species with extinction.

Sunday, October 22, 2023


I like trains, I like to travel by train and I like cards with trains but I like it more when trains are part of the landscape. This card is a good example of that. 
The card was sent from Russia in mid-August but for some reason it was missent to Korea!! Got to love this mail adventures.

Ilya Semenov
RU-9773713, sent by Svetlana.
The Sartakovsky Bridge is the only railway bridge across the Oka River near Nizhny Novgorod. It was built between 1956 - 1961. A CAHS4T electric locomotive with a passenger train is crossing it.


The Tadeusz Hołdys High-Mountain Meteorological Observatory is loctaed on Śnieżka, the highest summit of the Karkonosze and the whole Sudetes mountains, at an altitude of 1602 meters. 
Śnieżka is mountain on the border between the Czech Republic and Poland but the observatory is located in Poland.
Photo by Pawel Uchorczak
PL-1950075, sent by Krysztof.
The first measurements on this location has been conducted in the middle of XIX century in old wooden chapel and mountain hut, whereas the first significant enlargement has been made in 1900 when new buildings were constructed. The whole wooden complex survived WWII, but heavily deteriorated due to harsh climate conditions, have been finally replaced by a new and more resistant concrete structure (only the chapel has been carefully restored and is still open for tourists).
The current observatory building has been constructed between 1966 - 1974 according to the project of Witold Lipinski and Waldemar Wawrzyniak.
The whole building structure consists of three joined disks of iron cast, where each disk serves different function. The highest disk is used as a proper meteorological observatory. Middle disk is a technical facility and observatory employees rooms. Finally, the lowest disks serves fully commercial functions and includes restaurant, restrooms and tourist chill room.
The building, quite controversial in its times, as it does not correspond with the mountaineous surrounding is nowadays perveiced as a real icon of Polish post-war modern architecture. It is also a perfect example of a futuristic building of 1960's represented by a couple of other constructions in Sudeten Mountains build in the former Czechoslovakia such as Jested Tower in Liberec. - in:


 I've hundreds of cards of churches but only a few cards of other religions temples.

The Old Synagogue (German: Alte Synagoge) in Essen is one of the largest, best preserved and architecturally most impressive testimonies to Jewish culture in pre-war Germany.

Foto: Stadtbildstelle
DE-13389118, sent by Anne.
The Old Synagogue was opened in 1913 and, similar to other Jewish places of worship, was set ablaze in the so called "Reichspogromnacht" Night of Broken Glass in 1938. The interior suffered extensive damage. 
In 1959, the city of Essen acquired the former synagogue and renovation began. Over the course of the restoration many mosaics were painted over, the Torah shrine was destroyed and the dome which covered the main prayer hall, where once 1,400 people worshipped, was removed. 
Up until 1979 the sombre building was used for industrial design exhibits. A fire destroyed a part of the exhibition and the building was once again renovated. The original room structure was reconstructed but without the original details. From 1988 to 2008 the synagogue served as a memorial, political-historical documentation forum and cultural meeting place.
In July 2010, the Alte Synagoge opened as Germany’s first "Haus jüdischer Kultur" (house of Jewish culture). The old synagogue building houses five exhibition spaces, which offer insight into history and everyday life of Jewish communities from all around the world. This marks a new chapter in the chequered past of the building. - in: https://www.visitessen.de

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Marienplatz, Munich - Germany

Marienplatz is a central square in the city centre of Munich. It has been the city's main square since 1158. In the Middle Ages markets and tournaments were held in this city square.

 © Schöning GmbH & Co. KG 
 The picturesque square known as Marienplatz has been at the heart and soul of Munich since the city's foundation. While its current name owes its origins to the famous Marian Column located in the centre of the square, it was originally called Schrannenplatz, or Grain Market Square, as it was the main marketplace in the Middle Ages.

© Fotoverlag HUBER
Marienplatz has played host to important public events and festivities for as long as it has existed, and over the years it has managed to maintain its role as one of the most beloved areas of Munich. - in: https://www.introducingmunich.com

 © Fotoverlag HUBER
DE-13389122, sent by Thea.
Marienplatz today is surrounded by some of the city's most emblematic places of interest, namely Munich's Neues Rathaus. It hosts the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration. In 1874 the municipality had left the Old Town Hall for its new domicile.

© Fotoverlag HUBER
DE-1136861, sent by Veronika.
It was built between 1867 and 1908 by Georg von Hauberrisser in a Gothic Revival architecture style. - in: wikipedia
The crowning glory of the Neues Rathaus is its world-famous "glockenspiel", the fourth largest in Europe. Each day at 11 am, noon, and 5 pm, the nearly life-size figures of the clock give a performance for the crowds who gather on the Marienplatz to watch. Guests can view two presentations - a re-enactment of the 1568 wedding of Duke William V and Renate of Lorraine, complete with a jousting match; or a rendition of a dance called the Schäfferltanz, first performed to mark the end of the plague in 1517. At night, guests will see a night watchman blowing his horn and the guardian angel of Munich bestowing a blessing on the city. - in:

Beech marten

I like animals but animal cards were never my favorite kind of cards. I mean, that's the kind of card that I prefer to choose and buy myself. However, I've recently put on my postcrossing wishlist that I'd like to get marten cards. Why do I like these animals? It has to do with my name. In Portuguese the word for marten is marta, my name. I've always thought it was funny to share my name with an animal and look how cute these beech marten are.  

Photo:Wothe / alphapress
DE-13389115, sent by Thomas.
The beech marten (Martes foina), also known as the stone marten, house marten or white breasted marten, is a species of marten native to much of Europe and Central Asia, though it has established a feral population in North America.

 Foto: Arne Ader
 It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its wide distribution, its large population, and its presence in a number of protected areas. It is superficially similar to the pine marten, but differs from it by its smaller size and habitat preferences. While the pine marten is a forest specialist, the beech marten is a more generalist and adaptable species, occurring in a number of open and forest habitats. - in: wikipedia

Roman Forum - Italy

Two weeks ago I was in Italy and two weeks before my friend Anne has also been there. We haven't been to the same places though. She visited Rome, where this card is from, and I've been somewhere else. More about my trip when my cards finally arrive. 

The Forum was originally covered by a swamp. It was only in the late 7th century BCE that the valley was reclaimed and the Roman Forum began to take shape. It was destined to remain the centre of public life for over a millennium.
The various monuments were built through the centuries: first the buildings for political, religious and commercial activities, then during the 2nd century CE the civil basilicas, used for judicial activities. Already at the end of the republican age, the ancient Roman Forum had become insufficient to serve as the administrative and representative centre of the city.
Ed. CHROMASON * Ph Andrea Panegrossi, Paolo Cipolina
The various dynasties of emperors added only prestigious monuments: the Temple of Vespasian and Titus and that of Antoninus Pius and Faustina, dedicated to the memory of the deified emperors, and the monumental Arch of Septimius Severus, built at the western end of the Forum in 203 CE to celebrate the emperor’s victories over the Parthians.
The last great development was carried out by the emperor Maxentius in the early years of the 4th century CE, when the temple dedicated to the memory of his son Romulus and the imposing Basilica on the Velian Hill was erected. The last monument built in the Forum was the Column erected in 608 CE in honour of the Byzantine emperor Phocas.
After this date, part of the area was gradually buried under silt, turning to meadow and taking the name of the Campo Vaccino, but some monuments survived by being converted into churches. The Iulia Curia became the church of Sant’Adriano; part of the temple of Antonino and Faustina was transformed into the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, while the temple of Romulus became the church of the Santi Cosma and Damiano. The church of Santa Maria Nova was erected in the 9th century in one of the cells of the Temple of Venus and Roma. In the 16th century, the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami was constructed over the Mamertine Prison, the medieval name of the Tullianum, an ancient jail built by Ancus Marcius (640–616 BCE), where Catiline and Vercingetorix were imprisoned. According to an unproven medieval tradition, St. Peter was also held prisoner in it. Finally, in the 17th century, the church of Santi Luca e Martina was rebuilt on the ruins of the Secretarium Senatus. 
It was not until the unification of Italy that the first systematic excavation work was carried out in the area. - in: https://colosseo.it

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Maison Carrée - France

World Heritage fans had to wait a long time to get to know the new classified sites of 2022 and 2023. Last month we finally got to update our UNESCO lists with new 42 sites. France inscribed 3 sites. I was lucky to had 1 of them and Óscar kindly offer to send a postcard of the Maison Carrée of Nîmes, one of the best preserved Roman temple of the world. 
The Maison Carrée is a Roman hexastyle pseudo peripatetic Corinthian temple, built during the lifetime of Augustus between 10 BC and the very beginning of the 1st century AD, the temple consists of thirty nine-metre high columns, twenty of which are engaged and enclose the cella (the inner room), preceded by a pronaos (the space designating the vestibule or entrance) accessed by a 17-step staircase. The stone used for its construction is a beautiful limestone from the Lens wood. Raised on a podium with a frontal staircase, the Maison Carrée dominated its environment and was originally located on the Roman forum in the center of an esplanade surrounded by porticos now disappeared but whose precise statement we keep. 

Photo: Formica
The Maison Carrée de Nîmes is the only and oldest representative of the Augustan Corinthian order still in elevation, having preserved intact all its decor. With its exceptional frieze decorated with scrolls of acanthus leaves, it is also with the Pantheon in Rome, the best preserved temple in the Roman world making it one of the most important testimonies of the architecture and spread of imperial worship in the provinces of the Empire. 
The outstanding universal value of this property is based on the demonstration that the Maison Carrée  represents one of the oldest expressions, and best preserved of a Roman temple dedicated to imperial worship and that it is a monument of remarkable architectural quality which, by the historical circumstances of its creation, by the political importance of its consecration and the stylistic choices that presided over its construction, testifies to the values of lasting peace, harmony and prosperity that the Roman Empire promoted and sought to guarantee. in: https://lamaisoncarreedenimes.fr/

Sunday, October 8, 2023


I was hoing to get a lot of mail while I was traveling last week but no, when I got home I only had 1 letter and 2 cards waiting for me. One of them was this official from Spain with the most famous avenue in Madrid, Gran Vía.
Ediciones A. M. * Fotografía: Noel Benitez
ES-760970, sent Ana.
At over a hundred years old, Gran Vía, in the Sol / Gran Vía area, is one of the city’s main arteries and one of its most iconic avenues. Its construction, between 1910 and 1931, marked the beginning of the modernisation of the city, with the appearance of the country's first skyscrapers and the adoption of modern architectural trends originating in the United States. 
The project was intended to decongest the chaotic centre of the city, formed by a tangle of narrow streets, 22 of which were to disappear. It was carried out in three stages, starting at the point where Gran Vía meets Calle Alcalá. The first stage went as far as Red de San Luis, the second as far as Plaza del Callao and the third up to Plaza de España, each of them reflecting the new architectural styles of the years in which they were completed.
As the project had to respect three religious buildings (the Caballero de Gracia oratory, and the San José and San Francisco de Borja churches, the latter no longer in existence), the line taken by the avenue was less regular than originally planned. The result is a magnificent series of buildings, which include some of the city's best known landmarks: the Metrópolis, the Telefónica building, the Casino, the Capitol building and the Callao cinema. - in: https://www.esmadrid.com

Aveiro - Portugal

Paulo divides his life between Madeira and Aveiro. He had already sent me postcards from Madeira, last month he also sent one from Aveiro.
Arménio Almeida * Postais de Portugal
In Rua João Mendonça, by the Canal Central, there are three buildings with interesting Art Nouveau façades. Along this canal, which was once the city´s main trading artery, there now glide the brightly-coloured prows of the moliceiros, to the great delight of tourists. - in: https://www.visitportugal.com

São Miguel - Azores

Vitória loves the Azores, she has been to almost all the islands and some of them more than once, such as São Miguel. She came back from there a few weeks ago and almost at the same time I received her postcard, which I'm posting with the one she sent me in 2014.

On these cards Vitória matches 2 of my wishes, cows and old people.

Cows, there are a lot of cows on the island and they produce a lot of milk. The approximately 55,000 dairy cows on the 1,500 farms on the island produce around 387 million liters of milk. Of all the cows in São Miguel, approximately 97% are Holstein-Friesian cows.