Thursday, May 30, 2013

São Paulo - BRAZIL

My first card from Brazil! It's a official card showing a nice night-view from São Paulo (Saint Paul) and it was sent by Rafaella, a new postcrossing user (according to her profile this was her first registered card)... Thanks a lot for the postcard and welcome to your new addiction Rafaella! This postcard took 15 days to arrive!

 
Downtown Night-View - São Paulo - BRAZIL

São Paulo is the capital of the state of São Paulo, Brazil's most populous state and the largest city in Brazil, the largest city proper in the southern hemisphere and Americas and the world's seventh largest city by population. It exerts strong regional influence in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment and a strong international influence. The name of the city honors Saint Paul of Tarsus.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Porto - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #755

This is another card sent by my sister from Porto (I can't get used to write Oporto, I'm sorry), this time a Vintage Card with an old photo of the typical river bank area (known as "Ribeira") and in the background the Dom Luis Bridge (built in the late 19th century according to a Eiffel design - yes, the same of the tower in Paris!). Thanks a lot Helena! Weel, since this is the second from Porto, the counting remains at 34, 928 sites to finish. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!
  
UNESCO #755 - Historic Centre of Oporto (Ribeira) - PORTUGAL
  
The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.
   
  

Petäjävesi Old Church - FINLAND - UNESCO #584

This card is my first received card from Finland; its an official card sent by manme from a UNESCO site (yeah... thanks a lot Mervi!), the Old Church of Petäjävesi - well, to be honest it's just a detail of the cloth that stands on the altar, but to me it still counts! With this one I raise my collection to the nice number of 34 sites, only 928 to the end (easy peasy). This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

UNESCO #584 - Petäjävesi Old Church (Altar Cloth Detail) - FINLAND

Petäjävesi Old Church, in central Finland, was built of logs between 1763 and 1765. This Lutheran country church is a typical example of an architectural tradition that is unique to eastern Scandinavia. It combines the Renaissance conception of a centrally planned church with older forms deriving from Gothic groin vaults.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Lighthouses of Connecticut - CT - USA

And after 11 days, I've finally got another official POSTCROSSING card! This one came from Connecticut USA (the second one from there) with some of the most famous lighthouses of that state. Thanks a lot Lori! This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

Lighthouses of Connecticut - USA

There are fourteen active lights in the state of Connecticut, two of which are maintained as private aids; six are standing but inactive, and one has been replaced by an automated skeleton tower. The earliest lighthouse in the state was erected in 1760, but that tower, the first New London Harbor Light, was replaced in 1801, and its successor is the oldest surviving light in Connecticut, as well as the tallest. The last lighthouse in the state, the Avery Point Light, was constructed in 1943 but was not lit until the following year.



Mount Lushan - CHINA - UNESCO #778

Today I had a wonderful surprise in my mailbox; some days ago I've received a package from Jane in China with 2 blank postcards, one amazingly beautiful origami and a written letter - she didn't understood when I've said I prefer the postcards written (that's why she wrote a letter) and some days later, to my astonishment, I had a 3rd card from the awesome Mount Lushan, this time written and stamped! Thank you a million, you didn't have to bother, I loved it... I'm going to send you a nice "thank you" postcard! Well, this is another repeated site so the counting still stands at 33 down, 929 to go.  This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
   
UNESCO #778 - Mount Lushan - CHINA
   
Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centres of Chinese civilization. Rising 1474 meters above sea level, it covers a total area of 282 square kilometers. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture. 
   

Srebarna Nature Reserve - BULGARIA - UNESCO #219

This beautiful card was sent by Tonichka (thank you very much Toni!), a bulgarian postcrosser in a UNESCO direct swap trade - as I've said last friday, I've received another Srebarna postcard from Tsveti in the meantime, but thankfully they aren't identical and this one is really beautiful - so the counting remains 33 down, 929 to go.  This postcard took 25 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #219 - Srebarna Nature Reserve - BULGARIA
 
The Srebarna Nature Reserve is a freshwater lake adjacent to the Danube and extending over 600 ha. It is the breeding ground of almost 100 species of birds, many of which are rare or endangered. Some 80 other bird species migrate and seek refuge there every winter. Among the most interesting bird species are the Dalmatian pelican, great egret, night heron, purple heron, glossy ibis and white spoonbill.

Castle of Pombal - PORTUGAL

I love castles and all the medieval related subjects since I was a young boy - for now I'm centered in the UNESCO collection, but soon I'll start gathering postcads with castles from around the world (mainly Europe of course)...  all over Portugal there are magnificent castles and this card shows one of my favorites in POMBAL sent from Pombal by my friend Zé that I've met in the POSTCROSSING official forum - thanks a lot! This postcard took 4 days to arrive!

Castle of Pombal - PORTUGAL

 The Pombal Castle was built by the Grand Master of the Knights Templar in the second half of the 12th century. Gualdim Pais (1118-1195) was in fact the founder of Pombal and was also responsible for the building or restoration of the castles of Almourol, Idanha, Ceres and Monsanto. The well preserved castle remains dominate the town; these include the keep, the mullioned window to the governor’s palace and parts of the parade ground military buildings. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Srebarna Nature Reserve - BULGARIA - UNESCO #219

his postcard has a funny story - when I arrange a swap with Tsevetana, I've sent her a ethnographic map of Portugal... she was so pleased that she sent me another UNESCO site from Bulgaria (thanks Tsveti, you're very sweet) - the funny thing is that they arrived the same day (today) and meanwhile I've arranged a swap with another bulgarian postcrosser for the Srebarna Nature Reserve - thankfully they're different! Well now, with this one I've got 33, only 929 to the end! This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

UNESCO #219 - Srebarna Nature Reserve - BULGARIA
 
The Srebarna Nature Reserve is a freshwater lake adjacent to the Danube and extending over 600 ha. It is the breeding ground of almost 100 species of birds, many of which are rare or endangered. Some 80 other bird species migrate and seek refuge there every winter. Among the most interesting bird species are the Dalmatian pelican, great egret, night heron, purple heron, glossy ibis and white spoonbill.



Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak - BULGARIA - UNESCO #44

This postcard was a direct swap, sent by a very nice Bulgarian postcrosser called Tsvetana, a ethnography enthusiast interested in knowing different cultures around the world. Many thanks for this card of another UNESCO site - 32 down, 930 to go! This postcard took 18 days to arrive!

UNESCO #44 - Thracian Tomb ok Kazanlak - BULGARIA

Discovered in 1944, this tomb dates from the Hellenistic period, around the end of the 4th century BC. It is located near Seutopolis, the capital city of the Thracian king Seutes III, and is part of a large Thracian necropolis. The tholos has a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing Thracian burial rituals and culture. These paintings are Bulgaria’s best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period.



The Belogradckik Rocks - BULGARIA - UNESCO TENTATIVE

This is my first postcard from Bulgaria, three beautiful pictures of the strange rock formations that, some say,will soon become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for now is on the Tentative List - thank you Karie for this card and for your words. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!

The Belogradchik Rock - BULGARIA - UNESCO TENTATIVE

 The rocks of Belogradchik are rock sculptures, situated west of the town of Belogradchik, in the fore hills of the western Balkan mountain range. They contain groups of rock figures resembling people, animals, fortresses, pyramids or different objects with imposing sizes - from a few meters to several dozens of meters



Canadian Rockies Mountain Park - CANADA - UNESCO #304


This postcard was a direct swap with Andrea from Canada and describes the place that she considers the most beautiful spot in the UNESCO site Canadian Rockies - thanks a lot! With this one, 31 done, 931 to go. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

UNESCO #304 - Canadian Rockies Mountain Park - CANADA

The contiguous national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, as well as the Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks, studded with mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves, form a striking mountain landscape. The Burgess Shale fossil site, well known for its fossil remains of soft-bodied marine animals, is also found there.



Historic Center of Guimarães - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #1031

The majestic city of Guimarães in the northern region of my country is sometimes called "The Craddle of Portugal" because it has here that, in 1110, was born our first king, D. Afonso Henriques, the founder of this great nation in 1143 - all the historic center is a UNESCO designated site, but the castle has a special importance. Thank you very much Eugénio for this double swap. With this one the counting rise to 30 sites in my collection - only 932 to go. This postcard took 2 days to arrive!

D. Afonso Henriques statue in Guimarães
UNESCO #1031 - Castle of Guimarães - PORTUGAL

The historic town of Guimarães is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. An exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich building typology exemplifies the specific development of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to 19th century through the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques.



Alto Douro Wine Region - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #1046

Who doesn't like a glass of Porto wine? CHEERS! In the banks or the river Douro is produced since immemorial times one of the best wines in the world - more than just an amazing spot for vineyards, the higher Douro region has  breathtaking landscapes and it's one of the prettiest road trips you can have in Portugal. This card arrived from Eugénio, another portuguese UNESCO collector and thanks to him, I now have 29 sites, only 933 to go!

UNESCO #1046 - Alto Douro Wine Region - PORTUGAL

Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.



Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River - PHILIPPINES - UNESCO #652

This the other card that Jan sent me from the Philippines... thank you very much, I'm really looking forward to visit your country, now that I searched some more about it (well, but first I must win the lottery, otherwise it's just a crazy dream!). Ok, with this one I've got 28 UNESCO sites, 934 to finish my collection. This postcard took 21 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #652 - Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River - PHILIPPINES

This park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. One of the river's distinguishing features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.



Tubbataha Reefs - PHILIPPINES - UNESCO #653

Today I found on my mailbox two amazing pictures of a real paradise -  Palawan in the Philippines! Thanks to Jan, I've got two more sites in my collection and a new dream destination to my hollidays - in this case, to see the Tubbataha Reefs I must do a diving course first! Ok, with this one, 27 sites, 935 to go! This postcard took 21 days to arrive!

UNESCO #653 - Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park - PHILIPPINES

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 ha, including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.


 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

University of Coimbra - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #1387

This nice Maxicard (I'm really falling in love with maxicards - they're amazing!) came from my friend Zé from the POSTCROSSING forum. More than just a addition to my collection, this is a special card, because the University of Coimbra is a very important place to me (my father and both my sisters studied there) that I often visit. The library is one of the most beautiful in the world. Thanks a lot Zé. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1387 - University of Coimbra - PORTUGAL  (Maxi-Card)

Situated on a hill overlooking the city, the University of Coimbra comprises a cluster of buildings dedicated to the production and dissemination of knowledge, which has grown and evolved over more than seven centuries, and which unquestionably constitutes its own noble and well-defined urban area within the city of Coimbra. On a par with the remarkable physical presence of the buildings themselves, which are in many cases quite exceptional, and its history, which make it one of Europe's most ancient universities, the University possesses traditions and cultural features, peculiar to the institution, which have endowed it with a unique identity as a symbol of learning, both at home and abroad.



Canal du Midi - FRANCE - UNESCO #770

This card arrived from my sweet friend Paula who remembered me while on a road trip in southern France - thanks a lot for this new site to my UNESCO collection... 26 down, 936 to go! This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

UNESCO #770 - Le Canal du Midi - FRANCE
 
This 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times. Built between 1667 and 1694, it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. The care that its creator, Pierre-Paul Riquet, took in the design and the way it blends with its surroundings turned a technical achievement into a work of art.



Fujian Tulou - CHINA - UNESCO #1113

I've made a direct swap with a Chinese UNESCO collector and Kay sent me the Zhengfu Earth Building, part of the Fujian Erth Buildings. This amazing structures are formed by compacting earth, mixed with stone, bamboo and wood to form walls and give home up to 80 families - to be honest, the picture doesn't make justice to the beauty of those buildings, try to Google it and you'll understand what I mean. Even so I love the card Kay, many thanks for the 25th UNESCO site - I'm almost there, only 937 to the end! This postcard took 36 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1113 - Zhengfu Earth Building - Fujian - CHINA

Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait. Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the Tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to 800 people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor. Housing a whole clan, the houses functioned as village units and were known as “a little kingdom for the family” or “bustling small city.” They feature tall fortified mud walls capped by tiled roofs with wide over-hanging eaves. The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.



Dubrovnik - CROATIA - UNESCO#95

 The last two postcards from my mother, sent when she was discovering the Mediterranean - this time the Croatian most famous town Dubrovnik. I've been in Croatia in 2011 and to be honest Dubrovnik is not my best memory from that amazing trip... crowded with lots of people, mainly from cruises and very expensive prices. But the rest of the country, my God, what a beautiful place. Well mum, thanks a lot for this two cards (a donkey... seriously?) that make my UNESCO collection grow to 24 sites (two dozens... yeah!) and only 938 remaining. This postcards took 19 days to arrive!

UNESCO #95 - Old City of Dubrovnik - CROATIA

UNESCO #95 - Old City of Dubrovnik - CROATIA

The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monastery of Svyatohirsk - UKRAINE

Another direct swap, another postcard from Ukraine - this time from Vera (thanks a lot, I love this card) and showing a old and enigmatic monastery... it's not a UNESCO site yet, not even a tentative, but I believe it will soon be part of the list, because its story is very interesting and worth reading. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
 
Orthodox Christian Monastery of Svyatohirsk - Donetsk - UKRAINE

Svyato-Uspenska Svyatohirska Lavra — Orthodox Christian Monastery (a lavra) dedicated to the Assumption of Mother of God, Donetsk province in eastern Ukraine. The monastery, which is a part of the state historical and architectural preserve in the town of Svyatohirsk, was established in the seventeenth century and has a system of caves and underground corridors in which the original monks supposedly lived.


 

Kerch embankment - Crimeia - UKRAINE

This is the third postcard Valya sent me, this time of the Kerch embankment, also at Crimea, Ukraine - thank you! This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

Waterfront of Kerch embankment - Crimeia - UKRAINE

Kerch is the main city on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, an important industrial, transport and tourist centre of Ukraine. It is considered one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine, founded 2600 years ago. The site of ancient Panticapaeum city on Mount Mithridat has been systematically excavated. Kerch takes part in UNESCO's "Silk Road" programme. Treasures and historical findings of Kerch adorn the collections of major museums around the world. Such as: the Hermitage, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Berlin Museum, the Moscow State Museum of fine arts and many others.




Sevastopol - Crimea- UKRAINE

Today I had a nice surprise in my mailbox, not one but three cards from Crimea in Ukraine. This two are from Sevastopol (I confess I only knew this name from old World War II books and movies), one showing the ruins of the castle Chembalo (Balaklava) and the other of the famous Eagle Column that commemorates Russian ships deliberately scuppered at the mouth of the harbour in 1854 to make it impossible for enemy ships to pass - thank you very much Valya, I really like them and I'm now very curious about Crimea, it seems a wonderful place for a summer trip.This postcards took 8 days to arrive!

Castle Chembalo - Sevastopol - UKRAINE
Eagle Column - Sevastopol - UKRAINE

Sevastopol is an important and historical port on the Black Sea. Founded in 1783 as the base of the Black Sea Navy of Russia, it was besieged by the British in the Crimean War. In the 20th century it was the home port of the Soviet Navy's Black Sea Fleet, and the city retains a significant Russian naval presence. The unique geographic location and navigation conditions of the city's harbours make Sevastopol a strategically important naval point. It is also a popular seaside resort and tourist destination, mainly for visitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Regensburg - GERMANY - UNESCO #1155

This was a direct swap with another postcrosser - the beautiful town of Regensburg, a UNESCO site I really want to visit, along with all the Bavaria region. What a nice postcard, it almost look like a painting... thank you very much Sonja for adding this to my UNESCO collection: 23 down, 939 to go. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #1155 - Old town of Regensburg - GERMANY

Located on the Danube River in Bavaria, this medieval town contains many buildings of exceptional quality that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the region from the 9th century. A notable number of historic structures span some two millennia and include ancient Roman, Romanesque and Gothic buildings. Regensburg’s 11th- to 13th-century architecture – including the market, city hall and cathedral – still defines the character of the town marked by tall buildings, dark and narrow lanes, and strong fortifications. The buildings include medieval patrician houses and towers, a large number of churches and monastic ensembles as well as the 12th-century Old Bridge. 



Monastery of Batalha - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #264

My mother (safely returned of her cruise) wrote me a very nice card from Batalha, one of the most beautiful gothic buildings I know and a place we used to visit a lot when I was a young boy (my father loved small weekend road trips - and I inherited his addiction). Thank you very much for remembering mom... this is my 22th UNESCO site postcard, 940 more and I'm done. This postcard took 4 days to arrive!

UNESCO #264 - Monastery of Batalha - PORTUGAL
 
The Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy's main building project for the next two centuries. Here a highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as demonstrated by its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister.



Mount Lushan - CHINA - UNESCO #778

Today I had a very special package from China... Jane send me two gorgeous cards of Mount Lushan, one of the Hanpo Pass in the winter and the other of the Flower Path in the spring - what an amazing place! In the envelope there was also a nice letter and a beautiful and perfect origami heart... thanks a lot Jane, you've made my day! So with this two cards I now have 21 UNESCO sites, only 941 remaining. This postcard took 34 days to arrive!

UNESCO #778 - Lushan National Park (Hanpo Pass) - CHINA
UNESCO #778 - Lushan National Park (Flower Path) - CHINA
Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centres of Chinese civilization. Rising 1474 meters above sea level, it covers a total area of 282 square kilometers. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Sertã - PORTUGAL

Last week I've sent to myself a postcard from the nice village of Sertã - I'm a teacher there since 2009 - it's a small town, but filled with history and a important center in that region since roman times... the bridge in the postcard is the main town symbol, "Ponte Velha" (Old Bridge) sometimes called "Ponte Romana" (Roman Bridge) but the fact is, it wasn't build by the romans, but by the spanish during occupation in the late 16th century. With 64m, it has been cleaned and arranged recently.  This postcard took 4 days to arrive!
 
"Ponte da Carvalha" or "Ponte Velha" - Sertã - PORTUGAL

The village of Sertã is located in central Portugal, in the district of Castelo Branco, province of Beira Interior (formerly Beira Baixa) - it's integrated in a rural region, with prevalence to the production of wood (mostly pine tree) and some industry. It has small population centers scattered throughout its area, surrounded by an extensive forest. The physiography of the region with mountains has allowed the use of wind energy, in the last years.



Gros Morne National Park - CANADA - UNESCO #419

Another UNESCO site from my new Canadian friend Jason... this time a beautiful vintage card from Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. The card shows the snow capped Gros Morne with Woody Point in the foreground - thank you very much Jason for my 20th UNESCO site postcard... only 942 to the end! This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

UNESCO #419 - Gros Morne National Park - CANADA

 Situated on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland, the park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth's mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.


 

Rideau Canal - CANADA - UNESCO #1221

 My first Canadian postcard, thanks to Jason, a postcrossing user that is also starting a UNESCO collection - let's see who finishes first! :) According to Jason, during 25~40 days each year you can skate the Rideau Canal in Ottawa... not me thank you, my previous experience on a ice skate was very painful, I guess I'll be at the bank drinking a cold one (maybe a Moosehead). Ok, 19 done, 943 to go! This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #1221 - Rideau Canal - Ottawa - CANADA
 
 The Rideau Canal, a monumental early 19th-century construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario, was built primarily for strategic military purposes at a time when Great Britain and the United States vied for control of the region. The site, one of the first canals to be designed specifically for steam-powered vessels, also features an ensemble of fortifications. It is the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of this European technology on a large scale. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact.



Corfu - GREECE - UNESCO #978

Another Greek card sent by my sweet mother when she went on a Mediterranean cruise - this time a UNESCO site, the old town on Corfu (a place I want to visit since the day I saw James Bond's 'For Your Eyes Only' more than 30 years ago). With this one I now have 18 UNESCO sites, only 944 missing. This postcard took 17 days to arrive!
  
UNESCO #978 - Old Town of Corfu - GREECE

 The Old Town of Corfu, on the Island of Corfu off the western coasts of Albania and Greece, is located in a strategic position at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, and has its roots in the 8th century BC. The three forts of the town, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century. The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period, partly of later construction, notably the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.



Mangualde Live Beach - PORTUGAL

I won this card on a competition in the POSTCROSSING Forum - thanks Sofia for this nice card of Mangualde Beach - a place I haven't visit yet (to be honest for me, beach is by the sea) but who knows, maybe this year! This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

Mangualde Live Beach - PORTUGAL

 Mangualde is a small municipality in the subregion of Dão-Lafões (historical Beira Interior), near Viseu in central region of Portugal, with a total population of 20.000 - The Mangualde Beach (also known as Live Beach) was the first artificial beach built in Europe and each year, thousand of people gather in there to enjoy the sun and forget the worries of the present, believing in a better tomorrow - opens June 1st, so grab your towel and go there!



The Democracy Monument - Bangkok - THAILAND

My first card from Thailand arrived today, sent by Mint (thanks!) - The Democracy Monument in Bangkok that she sees everyday on her way to school and reminds how her ancestors had to  struggle for a real democracy in Thailand... maybe we should build some places like this here in Europe responding some ignorant movements that contest democracy. This postcard took 16 days to arrive!

The Democracy Monument in Bangkok - THAILAND

The Democracy Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ประชาธิปไต) was started in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 revolution that ended the absolute monarchy and introduced Siam's first constitution. The design of the monument is full of symbolism. For example, the four wings are each 24 meters high, signifying the 24th of June date the new constitution was signed. The location of the monument, between the old Grand Palace and the Dusit Palace, is also significant. A copy of the original constitution is held in central pedestal.



Skopje - MACEDONIA

Another swap with Macedonia, this time a multiview postcards of Skopje the capital city - thanks Anita! This postcard took 10 days to arrive!
 
Skopje multiview - MACEDONIA

Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia; it's located in the Povardarie region, and it is the largest and most diverse city in the country. Skopje is located on the upper course of the Vardar River, and is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. It is a center for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of culture and sport.



Friday, May 17, 2013

Porto - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #755

My sister went to Tenerife this week on a professional trip... of course I've phoned her asking for some postcards from there (Shame on me... I'm worse than a small kid with a new toy). She's a sweet thing and send me the first from Porto (or Oporto) airport while waiting for the plane - another UNESCO site, yeah... 17 down, 945 to go! Thanks a lot Helena, a big kiss for you! This postcard took 2 days to arrive!

UNESCO #755 - Historic Centre of Oporto - PORTUGAL

The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vinyl LPs Records and turntable, 1970s - AUSTRALIA

My first aussie postcard - and what a card! Listening to vinyl record is one of my pleasures and I really loved this card, it's truly beautiful... Maxi-Cards are a wonderful thing, I only have two, but I'm already a fan - I'm going to create a label! Thank you very much Samantha. This postcard took 10 days to arrive! 
   
Vinyl LPs Records and turntable, 1970s - AUSTRALIA (Maxi-Card)

The vinyl LP and high quality analog tape recording lived harmoniously together from 1948 until 1983 when the first CD’s came to market. After a near death in the late XX century, the LP is alive again and doing well. Serious music fans, specially jazz lovers appreciate its warmer, sensual sound, the heavier pressings (180 grams) and the delicious tactile feel of vinyl. All around the world, the most famous DJs and RJs still rely on the good old vinyl for a perfect gig!



Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel - GERMANY - UNESCO #1413

This card is the first I have from the long list of sites that are candidates to become World Heritage Sites, normally designated Tentative - at this moment there are 1587 sites in the tentative list... I'm going to focus on the other list first, but every time I have the chance of getting one tentative site I won't say no - sooner or later there's a good chance of that place becoming a real World Heritage Site... the 2013 additions to the list will be revealed next month I think. Thank you very much Anke for this nice card from a place that seems to be really beautiful. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1413 - Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel - GERMANY

With its water gardens and its statue of Hercules, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (hillside park Wilhelmshöhe) in the west of the Hessian city of Kassel is an outstanding masterpiece of the self-dramatization of absolutist rulers. Its exceptional topographical setting on the slope of a hill in Habichtswald forest made it possible for generations of rulers and master builders to stage the seemingly impossible: water flowing down the hill in several different artistic forms without previously having been channeled up the slope using technical devices such as aqueducts or water raising machinery.



Elvas - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #1367

Today I had one of the joys that only another POSTCROSSING can understand... the feeling on opening the mailbox and find a official card, from a UNESCO place (16 down, 946 to go by the way) from my own country and from a user I know from the Forum - it's really something! You understand me, don't you Martinha? Thanks for this nice Elvas card, I'm going there next month, but sent by another person has another value.  This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1367 - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - PORTUGAL

The site, extensively fortified from the 17th to 19th centuries, represents the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Within its walls, the town contains barracks and other military buildings as well as churches and monasteries. While Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century ad, its fortification began when Portugal regained independence in 1640. The fortifications designed by Dutch Jesuit padre Cosmander represent the best surviving example of the Dutch school of fortifications anywhere. The site also contains the Amoreira aqueduct, built to enable the stronghold to withstand lengthy sieges.



Rhaetian Railway - SWITZERLAND - UNESCO #1276

My first trans-border UNESCO site postcard was sent by Oscar from Switzerland, showing the Bernina Express. The Rhaetian Railways (in the Albula/Bernina landscapes) is inscribed in the UNESCO list under Italy and Switzerland because this train joins the two countries in a trip I imagine should be unique - in 2010 I traveled by car on those narrow roads with impossible turns in the Alps and it was simply unforgettable (specially the Stelvio pass - what a ride!). With this one I now have 15 sites, only 947 remaining...   This postcard took 4 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1276 - Rhaetian Railway  - ITALY - SWITZERLAND
 
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Alberobello - ITALY - UNESCO #787

As I've said last monday, my mother went on a cruise... this postcard was sent from Bari, Italy on her first stop - ironically it arrived after the greek cards (guess the greek postal service in not one of the reasons of their crisis) and I'm still waiting for the Venice card she mailed before entering the ship... About the card, apparently it's a wonderful place and a UNESCO site (14 down, 948 to go) but I have to admit I've never heard of such place, until today... thanks mom! This postcard took 16 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO#787 - The Trulli of Alberobello - ITALY

The trulli , limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia, are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs.



Tower of Belém, Lisbon - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #263

Thanks to my new friend Zé, from POSTCROSSING Forum, I now have a card from portuguese most photographed (and for many the most beautiful) monument - the Tower of Belém, along with the Jerónimos Monastery and of course the "Pastel de Nata" make Belém a very special place to visit again and again. It's the lucky 13th site of my UNESCO collection, only 949 to the end! This postcard took 4 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #263 - Tower of Belém - PORTUGAL

Standing at the entrance to Lisbon harbour, the Monastery of the Hieronymites – construction of which began in 1502 – exemplifies Portuguese art at its best. The nearby Tower of Belém, was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's expedition, is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world.



Mont St Michel - FRANCE - UNESCO #80

The Mont St Michel - what a glorious place!... I've been there in 2008 in a road trip across Normandy and Brittany and spent two days exploring that magical little island - definitely one of the most beautiful sunsets in my life (in Europe, probably only bested by Stonehenge). I've sent to myself several postcards from there, but in this blog I only want to post the cards received after joining POSTCROSSING - many thanks for the swap Deborah, now I can add this to my UNESCO collection... 12 down, 950 remaining. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

UNESCO #80 - Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay - FRANCE

Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Arc Emporium, Putnam - CT - USA

This official postcard came from the Connecticut, US of America (my first received from the states!). Normally I don't appreciate advertising cards (except artistic vintage publicity), and I've decided not to post them on my blog but in this case I'll open an exception because it is a nonprofit organization that supports people with disabilities and that's a noble thing... thanks Maureen. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

The Arc Emporium - Connecticut - USA
 
The Arc Emporium is a thrift store and consignment shop located in the heart of the antique district in Putnam, on Main Street. It sells lightly used second hand men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories along with furniture, housewares, books, shoes, children’s toys, and jewelry. The clothing and other second hand donated items are checked thoroughly for quality assurance.