Monday, July 22, 2013

Le Morne - MAURITIUS - UNESCO #1259

My first postcard from Mauritius! I have a thing for islands and L'Ile Maurice seems really amazing, unfortunately it's not a cheap destination - I'll keep dreaming while looking at the postcard!  Thank you very much Michaela (I really hope that you enjoyed your honeymoon) for this amazing card - my 100th UNESCO site... only 881 to go. This postcard took 17 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1259 - Le Morne Landscape - MAURITIUS
 
Le Morne Cultural Landscape, a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain’s isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne.


  

Golden Temple of Dambulla - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #561

This beautiful card is the 9th Du sent me from Sri Lanka and the second from the magnificent temple of Dambulla, now with a picture of the interior of the Rock Temple, where the oldest statues are (2nd Century B.C.). Du, I don't have enough words to thank you for taking time of  your vacations to buy and write me all this postcards... what exotic country are you visiting next? This postcard took 25 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #561 - Dambulla Rock Temple - SRI LANKA
 
The rock of Dambulla is the centre of a Buddhist cave-temple complex established in the 3rd century BC and occupied continuously until today. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2 ) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues.
 
 
 

Galle Fort - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #451

With this cards I've completed the Sri Lanka UNESCO World Heritage Sites - and this one is very special for me, because the Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese 500 years ago... we were a great nation back then, ruled the commerce and the seas (some say we were the creators of globalization) and it's ironic, thinking the weak economic moment our country lives (with a bankruptcy warning from the IMF)... well better times will come! Thank you very much Du - this is my 99th site (one more to the hundred milestone), only only 892 to the end. This postcard took 21 days to arrive!

UNESCO #451 - Galle Fortification - SRI LANKA
 
Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions.



Ancient City of Sigiriya - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #202

Today I've received three more amazing cards from Du who went on vacations on Sri Lanka. This one, was the site Du enjoyed the most - according to him, when standing on the top of the rock, staring at that breathtaking view he totally understood why the king built the palace there. Thank you very much Du. Now I have 98 sites, only 893 to finish my collection. This postcard took 25 days to arrive!

UNESCO #202 - Sigiriya Lion's Rock and Frescoes - SRI LANKA
 
Sigiriya is a unique witness to the civilization of Ceylon. The ruins of the capital built by the parricidal King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370 m high (the 'Lion's Rock', which dominates the jungle from all sides). A series of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a gigantic lion constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site.


 

Oujda - MOROCCO

The last postcard Fernanda sent from Morocco arrived today, mailed on Oujda Airport while waiting for the plane. Again, thank you very much for remembering, I'm going to try to arrange some more elephants for your collection.This postcard took 16 days to arrive!
 
Place du 16 Août, Oujda - MOROCCO
 
Oujda is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of 450,000. It is located about 15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Oriental Region of Morocco.


 

Church of San Agustín, Paoay - PHILIPPINES - UNESCO #677

Another card from the Philippines showing one of the famous Baroque Churches, this time Church of San Agustín in Paoay the most outstanding example in the Philippines of 'Earthquake Baroque'. Fourteen buttresses are ranged along the lines of a giant volute supporting a smaller one and surmounted by pyramidal finials. Simply amazing - thank you very much Jan, I have already a card corresponding to this site, so the counting remains, but my collection became richer - I'll try to get cards from the other two. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!

UNESCO #677 - Church of San Agustín, Paoay - PHILIPPINES
 
The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is a serial inscription consisting of four Roman Catholic churches constructed between the 16thand the18th centuries in the Spanish period of the Philippines. They are located in separate areas of the Philippine archipelago, two at the northern island of Luzon, one at the heart of Intramuros, Manila, and the other in the central Visayas island of Iloilo. This group of churches established a style of building and design that was adapted to the physical conditions in the Philippines and had an important influence on later church architecture in the region. 
  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza, Yucatan - MEXICO - UNESCO #483

My first card from Mexico arrived today! My mother went there last month to a week of sun and tequilla and mailed me a couple of postcards. I've been in Yucatan in 2009 and to be honest, globally I preferred Tulum near the sea over Chichen-Itza (it's hard to believe that Tulum isn't on the list) but of course the Kukulkan pyramid is an unforgettable site. Thanks mum, once again you've made my UNESCO collection grow - 97 down, 894 to go. This postcard took 29 days to arrive!

UNESCO #438 - Kukulkan, Chichen-Itza, Yucatan - MEXICO
 
The Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatán.


 

Another Lovely Cat, Algarve - PORTUGAL

This card was sent to my wife Eva (as I said before, a cat lover - cats are really something, it's easy to understand why they're sacred in some cultures!) by my two sweet friends Alberto and Sandra on their motorcycle road trip in Algarve some weeks ago... Thank you very much guys - this is my 200th postcard since I've started  (in three months, not bad!). This postcard took 33 days to arrive!
 
European Shorthair Cat, Algarve - PORTUGAL
 
The European shorthair (or Celtic shorthair) is a breed of short-haired cat originating in Sweden. It is a recently recognised breed, established to preserve the naturally occurring cats that have lived in European villages and cities for ages. Because the breed has been developed from ordinary domestic cats, which have very different temperaments, the character of the European Shorthair is impossible to summarise. Members of this breed may be very affectionate but there are others that prefer to be out mousing.
 

2013 Calendar, Lisbon - PORTUGAL

This postcard has a funny history - in the POSTCROSSING Forum we were discussing the Portuguese Annual Meeting (the one that took place in Aveiro, last weekend) and I mixed June with July (potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto) - he promised me a calendar so I won't get confused again. Thanks a lot Zé, I laughed real loud when I saw this on my mailbox! This postcard took 22 days to arrive!

12 Lisbon Views on a 2013 Calendar - PORTUGAL
  
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. Periods in a calendar (such as years and months) are usually synchronized with the cycle of the sun or the moon. The English word calendar is derived from the Latin word calendae, which was the Latin name of the first day of every month.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - CHINA - UNESCO #1213

This fantastic card came all the way from China with a photo of three nice looking Giant Pandas - they're so cute - "living la vida loca" in the Sichuan Sanctuary. I've never saw a Panda (besides photos and TV of course) and I think it's great to preserve this type of sanctuaries to the wildlife that otherwise would soon be extinct (in Portugal we're trying to do something alike with the Lynx). Thank you very much danyan for another great swap - I now have 96 UNESCO sites, only 895 to go. This postcard took 27 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1213 - Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - CHINA
 
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, home to more than 30% of the world's pandas which are classed as highly endangered, covers 924,500 ha with seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. The sanctuaries constitute the largest remaining contiguous habitat of the giant panda, a relict from the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era. It is also the species' most important site for captive breeding. 



Serrão Camping Park - PORTUGAL

And one more card from my good friends Alberto, written on his camping holidays in the Southwest Coast of Portugal (UNESCO tentative), this time showing the campsite where they go every year with their girlfriends and a truck filled with beer! Thanks a lot Betinho, Marco, Sandra e Ni (The Super-Charroco Team!). This postcard took 11 days to arrive!

Serrão Camping Park, Southwest Coast - PORTUGAL
 
Campsite of Serrão is situated in the Vicentina Coast. Is placed near wonderfull beaches like Amoreira beach and Arrifana beach, therefore the conditions for whose that enjoy good waters and for those that like the watersports are excellent.  The Campsite is situated in an area classifed as protected countryside, where you can be in close contact with nature, in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, offering moments of discovery and adventure in natural scenes.

 
 

Aveiro - PORTUGAL

Another card from my friends of the POSTCROSSING Forum, this time a picture of Aveiro (my hometown) where the meeting took place. Thank you very much Ninocas for remembering me and many thanks to Edite, Vitória, Rita, José, Paula, Sofia Catarina, Duarte and Miguel for signing it. This postcard took 4 days to arrive! 
 
Sunset in Aveiro (Canal Central) - PORTUGAL
 
Situated in the Baixo Vouga sub-region between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountainous surroundings of its neighboring districts, Aveiro’s rich landscape is characterized by its sandy coast, beautiful estuary, gardens and parks.  Commonly nicknamed the ‘Portuguese Venice’, the enchanting capital city of Aveiro is crossed by a shimmering canal and is considered one of the most charming destinations in the country for its brightly patterned "Moliceiro" boats, array of pastel-tinted Art Nouveau buildings and its calm urban atmosphere.
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans-UKRAINE-UNESCO#1330

Another  great card from Ukraine, now with the bonus of a matching stamp (one of this days I think I'll start scanning the stamps of my postcards to - some of them are just amazing!). This architectural ensemble (I must confess that I've never heard of it) seems quite impressive and now they're part of a University; must be wonderful to have classes in this king of buildings. Thank you very much Sergii for this great swap - let's do the maths, with this 4 cards I now have 95 sites, only 896 to finish my collection! This postcard took 15 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #1330 - Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans-
 
The Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans represents an outstanding example of 19th-century historicist architecture and is dominated by the domed, cruciform Seminary Church with a garden and park. The complex expresses architectural and cultural influences from the Byzantine period onward and embodies the powerful presence of the Orthodox Church during Habsburg rule, reflecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire policy of religious tolerance.


 

The Struve Geodetic Arc - UKRAINE - UNESCO #1187

Another card from Ukraine, now with one of the worst nightmares for UNESCO WHS collections in Europe - the Struve Geodetic Arc was a major scientific breakthrough in the early 19th century, but for a postcard collector it's very hard to get all the 10 postcards from 10 different countries and be able to strike this site from the list... well one down, nine to go! Thanks you very much Serggi. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #1187 - The Struve Geodetic Arc - UKRAINE
  
The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. 
 
 
 

Historic Center of L'viv - UKRAINE - UNESCO #865

This second card from Ukraine shows a the old Bernardine's Cathedral and Cloister (XVII century) and a statue of the Virgin Mary (by Y. Gauttmann) in the marvelous city of L'viv, denominated "The Sleeping Beauty of the East" by the german magazine 'Der Spiegel' and, according to Sergii one of the most visited cities in Ukraine, and the one with best restaurants. Thank you Sergii. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!

UNESCO #865 - Bernardine's Cathedral, L'viv - UKRAINE
 
The city of L'viv, founded in the late Middle Ages, was a flourishing administrative, religious and commercial centre for several centuries. The medieval urban topography has been preserved virtually intact (in particular, there is evidence of the different ethnic communities who lived there), along with many fine Baroque and later buildings.



Ruins of Tauric Chersonese, Crimeia - UKRAINE - UNESCO #1411

Waiting in my mailbox today were four amazing postcards of UNESCO sites in Ukraine that I swapped with another collector from Kyev. This one if from a recently added site, the Ruins of the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese in Crimeia. Thank you very much Sergii. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1411 - Ruins of Chersonese, Crimeia - UKRAINE
 
Tauric Chersonese and its chora are the remains of an ancient city, founded in the 5th century BCE as a colonial settlement of the Dorian Greeks, located on the Heraclean Peninsula in south-west Crimea. It features several public building complexes and residential neighbourhoods, as well as early Christian monuments alongside remains from Stone and Bronze Age settlements; Roman and medieval tower fortifications and water supply systems; and exceptionally well-preserved examples of vineyard planting and dividing walls.


 

PORTUGAL Map

What a nice surprise! My new friends of the POSTCROSSING Forum sent me a postcard from a meetup that took place in Aveiro (unfortunately I couldn't attend it). This is a Portuguese Map-Card with photos of some of our most famous places. Thank you very much Miguel for remembering me and many thanks to ZéPombal, Edite, Vitória, Rita, José, Paula, Sofia Catarina and Ninocas for signing it. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!

Portugal Map and Photos
  
Portugal is the most amazing place in the world!... 
I'm really a lucky guy, I live in the most beautiful country on Earth. :)

 
 

Saïdia - MOROCCO

Today I got two more cards from my mothers friend that went on a holiday trip to the Moroccan beach of Saidia. According to her message, it's a beautiful place with gorgeous beaches and very simple and friendly people. Thank you very much Fernanda. This postcard took 11 days to arrive!

Saïdia Beach (Multi-View), Berkane - MOROCCO

Saïdia Beach, Berkane - MOROCCO
  
Saïdia, known as the "Blue Pearl", is a beach in Berkane. It is located in the province Berkane, near the Mediterranean Sea and at the Moroccan-Algierian border. Its 14 km coastline is one of the longest beaches of Morocco and is characterized by its golden sand and Mediterranean climate, making it a popular international tourist destination. It hosts numerous resorts and attractions, including private beach resorts, shopping malls, golf courses, and other sports centers.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sacred City of Anuradhapura - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #200

The sixth postcard I've received from Sri Lanka shows the sacred city (and for many centuries lost in the jungle) of Anuradhapura and the lake Basawakkulama on a magical late afternoon descending sun. I can't find words to thank you Du for taking some time from your vacations to write me all those cards, hopefully the final two will arrive soon. Well let's do the math... with this 6 amazing cards I now have 91 UNESCO sites in my collection, only 890 finish. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #200 - Lake Basawakkulaqma, Anuradhapura - SRI LANKA
 
This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again.


Ancient City of Polonnaruwa - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #201

One more card from Sri Lanka with another Buddha representation, this time in Gal-Vihara on the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. According to the sender, there are monks everywhere and all the foreign visitors must take off their shoes to walk in the city as a sign of respect. Another amazing card - thanks Du! This postcard took 17 days to arrive!

UNESCO #201 - Polonnaruwa - SRI LANKA
 
Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It comprises, besides the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I. Polonnaruwa bears witness to several civilizations, notably that of the conquering Cholas, disciples of Brahminism, and that of the Sinhalese sovereigns during the 12th and 13th centuries.



Golden Temple of Dambulla - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #561

Another beautiful postcard from the remote island of Sri Lanka, this time showing one of the many giant statues of Buddha in Dambulla, among many others, in metal or stone, made in different styles in the last 2200 years. Thanks a million Du, my collection is much richer thanks to you. This postcard took 15 days to arrive!

UNESCO #561 - Golden Temple, Dambulla - SRI LANKA
 
The rock of Dambulla is the centre of a Buddhist cave-temple complex established in the 3rd century BC and occupied continuously until today. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2 ) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues.


 

Sacred City of Kandy - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #450

Another Sri Lanka card, this time with the Buddha Tooth Stupa on the sacred city of Kandy, a place where millions of pilgrims go to adore the illuminated tooth. I have to be honest, I didn't knew that in Buddhism human relics were worshiped to. Thanks again Du, the cards you sent me are just amazing, I'm very happy with our swap. This postcard took 16 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #450 - Dalada Maligawa, Kandy - SRI LANKA
 
This sacred Buddhist site, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a famous pilgrimage site.



Bakers Waterfall, Horton Plains Park - SRI LANKA - UNESCO # 1203

The second card shows the amazing Bakers Waterfall, situated in Horton Plains National Park on a tributary of the Belihul Oya and part of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka (added to the UNESCO list in 2010). Thanks Du for this beautiful card. This postcard took 16 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1203 - Central Highlands - SRI LANKA
 
Sri Lanka's highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island. The property comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. These montane forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea-level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.



Sinharaja Forest Reserve - SRI LANKA - UNESCO #405

Today I've received my first cards from Sri Lanka! A major swap with a postcrosser that went there on vacations - he sent me 8 from all the UNESCO sites, I got 6 today, hopefully the other 2 will arrive soon. Sri Lanka is a country I wish to visit since I was a teenager and used to see Arthur C. Clarke doing the TV show from there. This first card shows the Sinharaja Rain Forest, in the south. Thank you very much Du! This postcard took 15 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #405 - Sinharaja Forest Reserve - SRI LANKA
 
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is situated in the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka, and was declared a biosphere reserve in 1978. This narrow strip of undulating terrain consists of a series of ridges and valleys. Of Sri Lanka's 830 endemic species, 217 trees and woody climbers are found in the lowland wet zone. Its name, literally meaning lion (sinha ) king (raja ), perhaps refers to the original 'king-sized or royal forest of the Sinhalese', a people of the legendary 'lion-race' of Sri Lanka, or to the home of a legendary lion of Sri Lanka.
 
 
 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fez - MOROCCO - UNESCO #170

 My first card from Morocco! One of my mother best friends went on a holiday trip to Saidia and my sweet mother gave her my address and asked for her to send me some postcards. Thank you very much Fernanda for your attention and care - I love this card from Fez and because it is a UNESCO site, it raises my collection to 85 down, 896 to go.This postcard took 9 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #170 - Medina of Fez - MOROCCO
  
Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre.
 
 
 

Grapes from Alto Douro Wine Region - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #1046

This card shows the treasure that grows on the banks of the Douro river - the grapes for producing Porto wine, delicious to eat and marvelous to drink specially if they came from a vintage production year. The Douro was the first world region with controlled name of origin production (since 1756). Thanks a lot Sofia for this card. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #1046 - Douro Grapes - 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.
 

ALBERTA Map - CANADA

Another Map-Card from Canada, this time with the province of Alberta main cities and symbols. Slowly, my collection of Map-Cards is growing, I'll have to make a list one of this days. Thank you very much Hilary for this card and for your message (no, I didn't knew that the world largest sausage and pysanka egg are in Alberta). This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

ALBERTA map and symbols - CANADA
 
Alberta is located in western Canada, bounded by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south. Alberta is one of three Canadian provinces and territories to border only a single U.S. state and is also one of only two provinces that are landlocked. Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, is located near the geographic centre of the province and is the primary supply and service hub for Canada's oil sands and other northern resource industries.



Laurisilva of Madeira - PORTUGAL - UNESCO #934

Today I've got the last two cards my good friend Alberto sent me from Madeira Island on the last days of June (they probably came swimming instead of flying). Both show some amazing pictures of the unique Laurisilva forest - the waterfall in the first one is called "Véu da Noiva" (Bride's Veil). Thanks a lot Betinho, I asked for one and you sent me four! This postcard took 20 days to arrive!

UNESCO #934 - Laurisilva, Madeira - PORTUGAL

UNESCO #934 - Laurisilva of Madeira (Levadas) - PORTUGAL


The Laurisilva of Madeira is an outstanding relict of a previously widespread laurel forest type. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest and is believed to be 90% primary forest. It contains a unique suite of plants and animals, including many endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon.  


 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bread - RUSSIA

An official POSTCROSSING card... hooray! I've signed almost three months now, to be honest I thought that by now the pace of official cards coming and going would be higher. This one came from Russia, written in a mixture of portuguese and spanish by Daria and showing a vintage picture of a smiling baker showing his bread with proud. Thanks a lot Daria! This postcard took 44 days to arrive!

BREAD (Photo by Andrey Knyazev, 1970) - RUSSIA

Bread is a staple food prepared by baking a dough of flour and water. It is popular around the world and is one of the world's oldest foods. The virtually infinite combinations of different flours, and differing proportions of ingredients, has resulted in the wide variety of types, shapes, sizes, and textures available around the world. It may be leavened (aerated) by a number of different processes ranging from the use of naturally occurring microbes to high-pressure artificial aeration during preparation and/or baking, or may be left unleavened.



Rice Terraces of Ifugao, Luzon - PHILIPPINES - UNESCO #722

The second card from Phillipines has a wonderful picture of the rice terraces of Ifugao, in the region of Banaue, on the north hills of the island of Luzon. That must be a breathtaking view. Thank you very much Agatha for this amazing swap, now I have 84 UNESCO sites in my collection, only 897 till the end. This postcard took 17 days to arrive!

UNESCO #722 - Rice Terraces on the Philippines Cordilleras
 
The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is an outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago in the pre-colonial Philippines. The terraces are located in the remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range on the northern island of Luzon, Philippine archipelago. The fruit of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.



Ming-ao Church, Iloilo - PHILIPPINES - UNESCO #677

Today I've got two more postcards showing UNESCO sites in the Philippines. The first one is from one of the four famous Baroque Churches in that country; the Ming-ao, officially known as Santo Tomas de Villanueva in the province of Iloilo, a prime example of the Baroque-Rococo style and another mark of the European heritage in the far East. Thank you Agatha, with this one I have 83 sites, only 898 to finish. This postcard took 17 days to arrive!
 
UNESCO #677 - Miag-ao Church, Province of Iloilo - PHILIPPINES
 
The Baroque Churches of the Philippines is a serial inscription consisting of four Roman Catholic churches constructed between the 16thand the18th centuries in the Spanish period of the Philippines. They are located in separate areas of the Philippine archipelago, two at the northern island of Luzon, one at the heart of Intramuros, Manila, and the other in the central Visayas island of Iloilo. This group of churches established a style of building and design that was adapted to the physical conditions in the Philippines and had an important influence on later church architecture in the region. 



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mudejar Architecture of Aragon, Zaragoza - SPAIN - UNESCO #378

This card shows four towers in the city of Zaragoza that show very well the Mudejar architectural influences that remained in the region long after the conquer of southern Spain from the moors. Thank you very much Pillar for this nice postcard and your explanations in the lines you wrote. With this one my UNESCO collection rises to 82 sites, only 899 to go (finally less than 900). This postcard took 6 days to arrive!

UNESCO #378 - Torres Mudejares (Mudejar Towers), Zaragoza - SPAIN
 
The Mudejar art of Aragon symbolizes pacific coexistence between the Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures, exchanging knowledge and experiences. Within this special historical context Mudejar art came into being in Teruel, as in Toledo, Zaragoza and many other cities. These art forms drew their substance from both the Western tradition and the Eastern Islamic tradition. The material culture has survived in space and time thanks to the historical processes of conquest and colonization of new lands.



Ainsa, Huesca - SPAIN

Ainsa is a small village located near the Pyrénées and the gateway to the UNESCO site "Mont Perdu" (I wonder if can include it in the UNESCO collection?... better not). Thanks a lot Pillar for the postcard and the interesting message you wrote. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!

Ainsa (Plaza Mayor), Huesca - SPAIN
 
The historic quarter of the village of Ainsa, declared a Historic-Artistic site, is formed by a group of houses that are packed together in the most harmonious and uniform of ways, among which the slender tower of the collegiate church stands out, as well as the enormous premises of the castle, almost as big as the rest of the town. The walls that surrounded the town centuries ago remain almost intact today, the town itself being filled with monuments that bring us back to the Middle Ages.



THE NETHERLANDS Map

Another awesome Map-Card for my collection, this time from the Netherlands and showing the main sites and monuments of that gorgeous country... I didn't knew there were seals in the north! Thanks a lot Marije. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

The Netherlands (Map-Card)
 
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in North-West Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders the North Sea, Belgium and Germany. It is a parliamentary democracy organized as a unitary state. The country capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as "Holland", although North and South Holland are actually only two of its provinces.



Nördlingen - GERMANY

The second card from the Romantic Road arrived today. This aerial view of the old city of Nördlingen reminds me of the illustrations on a Asterix book, a little town enclosed by defensive walls... looks really beautiful! Thanks a lot Christine for the swap and this beautiful card. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

Nördlingen - GERMANY
 
Nördlingen is one of the most attractive of the towns in the central part of the Romantic Road, located near a Roman settlement (an important point on the Via Claudia Augusta route from Italy). The town walls and fortifications had been built in the 14th century and Nördlingen was the site of a battle between Catholic and Protestant forces in the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century. Nördlingen eventually lost its independence and became part of Bavaria at the start of the 19th century and is now the administrative centre of the Donau-Ries area.



ALGARVE Map - PORTUGAL

The second card that my sister sent me is a very nice Map-Card showing the most important places in Algarve the top tourist destination in my country - because of the beaches in spring and summer and the renowned golf courses all year around. Thanks a lot Susana, this is a nice adding to my recent map-card collection. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!

Algarve (Map-Card) - PORTUGAL
 
The Algarve (from Arabic Al-Gharb, meaning "The West") is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal. The region coincides with the Faro District, and has as its administrative centre the city of Faro. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, fruit, oranges, carob beans, figs and almonds, is also economically important in the region. The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and one of the most popular in Europe. Almost 10 million people visit the Algarve every year.



Camilo's Beach, Lagos - PORTUGAL

My sister went to Algarve with my nephew for a few days of sun and beach - of course I asked for some postcards and they arrive today. This one shows Praia do Camilo, considered the 2nd most beautiful beach in Algarve. Thanks a lot Susana and specially Francisca that wrote me a delicious message. This postcard took 6 days to arrive!

Praia do Camilo, Lagos - ALGARVE - PORTUGAL
 
Praia do Camilo or “Camilo’s Beach” is situated on the beautiful coast between Praia da Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade. A tunnel connects the two rocky bays; the beach can be accessed from a large parking area by a wide stairway. Several support infrastructures apart from the beach restaurant and car park are also to be found. 



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow - RUSSIA - UNESCO #545

Another card from Russia and another Kremlin postcard! This one was a direct swap I made before receiving the other two and it shows the Red Square in a nice panoramic photo and from a different angle - I really like St Basil's, it's awesome! Thank you very much Julia, I love your card. This postcard took 34 days to arrive!

UNESCO #545 - Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow - RUSSIA
 
Inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin (built between the 14th and 17th centuries by outstanding Russian and foreign architects) was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious centre. At the foot of its ramparts, on Red Square, St Basil's Basilica is one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments.
 

Southwest Coast, Algarve - PORTUGAL - UNESCO TENTATIVE

The Southwest Coast of Portugal is my favorite region for camping - it's a beautiful and very peaceful natural park (UNESCO natural WHS tentative), perfect to recharge the batteries after a year of hardwork... it's exactly what my good friends Marco, Ni, Alberto and Sandra are doing since the beginning of this month... camping and not doing anything (as they say in the cards but using words I can't translate and write here). Thanks a lot guys - I wish I could be there with you! This postcards took 5 days to arrive! 

Odeceixe, Southwest Coast - PORTUGAL - UNESCO TENTATIVE

Aljezur, Southwest Coast - PORTUGAL - UNESCO TENTATIVE
 
Owing to its geographical position, its landscape diversity and limited human occupation, the Southwest Coast, an interfacial zone between the land and the sea, has developed its own specific features and a variety of habitats which are responsible for the wealth of its flora and fauna. It is one of the last and most important stretches of wild coastline in the South of Europe, with great extensions remaining almost unaltered by human activities and building, and benefiting from an extremely low demographic density.



St Gall - SWITZERLAND - UNESCO #268

This is the second card Ruedi sent me -  the baroque Cathedral of St Gall. I really like this picture because it shows the cathedral filled with snow and we can even spot a Christmas tree (the most wonderful time of the year. Thanks a lot for this double swap that raised my UNESCO collection to 81 places, only 900 (yeah!) to finish. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!

UNESCO #268 - St Gall - SWITZERLAND
 
The Convent of St Gall, a perfect example of a great Carolingian monastery, was, from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805, one of the most important in Europe. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains precious manuscripts such as the earliest-known architectural plan drawn on parchment. From 1755 to 1768, the conventual area was rebuilt in Baroque style. The cathedral and the library are the main features of this remarkable architectural complex, reflecting 12 centuries of continuous activity.



Three Castles, Bellinzona - SWITZERLAND - UNESCO # 884

Today I received two UNESCO cards from Switzerland. This one is a very nice multiview postcard because it shows all the four places of this site, the trhree castles and the defensive wall and ramparts of the market town of Bellinzona. Thank you very much Ruedi, I have now 80 places, only 901 to finish. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!

UNESCO #884 - Three Castles and Walls of Bellinzona - SWITZERLAND
 
The Bellinzona site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other fortifications.