Friday, September 27, 2013

Space Shuttle and Mir in orbit - USA

Space, the final frontier!... Is there anyone who never wished in travelling into space? Like every children, I had the dream of becoming na astronaut and used to sit in front of the TV watching in delight to the Space Shuttle launchings. This fantastic photo shows Atlantis connected to the Space Station Mir and was taken by a Russian cosmonaut fom the crew of a Soyuz spacecraft... simply amazing. This awesome postcard was sent by Luis that lives in Houston, Texas, only 5 minutes from the Space Center - Thank you so much! This postcard took 13 days to arrive!
Space Shuttle Atlantis connected to Mir Space Station - OUTER SPACE
Mir was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, owned at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit.
 The Space Shuttle Atlantis was a orbiter belonging to NASA, the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States. Atlantis was the fourth operational (and the next-to-the-last) Space Shuttle to be constructed,  it was delivered in April 1985.


Shirakami - JAPAN - UNESCO #663

Summer passed, the Autumn arrived and the Winter is coming... in terms of weather I love this time of the year, specially since I've moved from Aveiro (on the coast) to Fundão (in the highlands, surrounded by forest), the changing colors of the trees, the first rain showers and the magical orange sunsets - Autumn is great! And it must be simply beautiful in the Shirakami Region, judging by this photo and the othes I saw today on the web. Thank you very much for this card Michelle, it's beautiful and because it is a UNESCO site, my collection grows to 164, only 817 to finish. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!
UNESCO #633 - Beech Forest near tot of Mt Shirakami - JAPAN
Situated in the mountains of northern Honshu, this trackless site includes the last virgin remains of the cool-temperate forest of Siebold's beech trees that once covered the hills and mountain slopes of northern Japan. More than 500 plant species have been identified from Shirakami. The black bear, the serow and 87 species of birds can be found in this forest.

"Portrait of Catherine and Mary Radzivill" - BELARUS

This official card was sent by Julija, a postcrosser from Belarus and it shows a portrait of two women, Catherine and Mary Radzivill,  that I bet must had some social importance in the XVII century, but incredibly I coudn't found any information on the web about them or even the Painter, J. Shretter - it's funny, the only pages about this painting available are those made by postcrossers complaining about the lack of information. But don't get me wrong, Julija, I like your postcard very much, thanks a lot - I love painting reproductions. This postcard took 21 days to arrive!
"Portrait of Catherine and Mary Radzivill", 1646
The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus – the largest collection of the Belarusian and foreign art within the country – is located in the centre of Minsk. It has more than 27000 works of art comprising two main representative collections: the one of national art and the other of monuments of art of the countries and nations of the world.

Yangling Mausoleum, Shaanxi - CHINA

When I first look into this card, I thought it was a picture of the figures in the mausoleum of the first Qin emperro, but unlike those famous terra cotta statues, those are smaller and instead of only representing warriors, they try to recriate all the society of that era, with civilians, women and children and even objects and utensils. This is not a UNESCO site (or even tentative), but it's a very interesting postcard from a place I've never heard before. Thanks you very much Ruby. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!
Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dinasty - CHINA
Emperor Jing, named Liu Qi (188-141), was the fourth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. The Yangling Mausoleum (Hanyangling) is located at Zhangjiawan Village, Shaanxi Province. It is a joint tomb of Liu Qi, a notable emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24AD), and his empress, Empress Wang. During excavations, archeologists found thousands of articles include the painted pottery figures, weapons and utensils, which fully represent the army life in the Han Dynasty.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp - POLAND - UNESCO #31

When we hear the word Auschwitz we almost immediately shiver, because it's impossible to remain distant of the barbarities that took place here and that newer generation seem to forgot (or at least give less importance). The world cannot ever forget what happened in the Nazi concentration camps (and of course in the soviet Gulag, the Japanese training centres, and in lots of places where the basic human rights are completly forgotten, still today and by countries we wouldn't think it was possible, like the United States with Guantanamo or Israel with the walls and camps in The Gaza Strip and the West Bank). I've never been to one of the major concentration and extermination WWII camps, but a visit to Struthof, the former Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace, this summer really unsettled me, I cannot imagine the feeling of entering in Auschwitz. I think this is one of the most important UNESCO sites in the world and everybody should visit it and think a little. Thank you very much Jolanta for this card. My collection grew to 163, only 818 more and I'm done. This postcard took 13 days to arrive!
UNESCO #31 - Auschwitz-Birkenau (Nazi Concentration Camp)- POLAND
 The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of humanity's cruelty to its fellow human beings in the 20th century.

St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna - AUSTRIA - UNESCO #1033

Vienna is one of the most beautiful capital cities of UE I've visited (and one of the most expensive to) filled with amazing monuments and a indescribable romantic environment. The Stephansdom dominates the city center and in a coffee nearby I remember eating the most delicious chocolate cake of my life. This card was sent by Tara, the wife of my good Canadian friend Jason, that went there on a tour for her Master's program. Thank you very much for reminding me. With this card (my first from Austria!) I reach 162 in my collection, only 819 to the end. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!
UNESCO #1033 - St.Stephens, Vienna - AUSTRIA
Vienna developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks. The church of St Stephen became reference for an independent bishopric in 1469 and an archbishopric in 1718.

Nemrut Dağ - TURKEY - UNESCO #448

When I've arranged this direct swap I simply forgot I already have a card from this UNESCO site, but it really doesn't matter to me, since it's a different picture of this exquisite place. Thank you very much Onder for another great addition to my collection. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
UNESCO #448 - Nemrut Dağ, Adiyaman - TURKEY
The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

Lake Wanaka - NEW ZEALAND

Today I've got my first oficial card from New Zealand and what a beautiful photography it is. The sender said in the message written in the back that this is her favourite  lake in New Zealand and I really understand why, the view must be breathtaking! Thank you very much for this card Lee and for the amazing stamps you've chosen. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!
Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka - NEW ZEALAND
Lake Wanaka lies at the heart of the Otago Lakes in the lower South Island of New Zealand. The township is situated in a glacier carved basin on the shores of the lake and is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. Covering an area of 192 km2 it is New Zealand's fourth largest lake, and estimated to be more than 300 m deep.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth - GERMANY - UNESCO #1379

Look at this amazing opera house... if the acoustic are half as good as the looks, watching to a opera show here must be an unforgettable experience! This is the first time I read something about Bayreuth opera house (and about the town itself, I confess), but now I'm really looking forward to go there one day. Thank you very much Daniela, this card is beautiful (and I'm really glad you've chosen a Bayreuth stamp). As for my collection, 161 down, 820 to go. This postcard took 2 days to arrive!
UNESCO #1379 - Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth - GERMANY
A masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture, built between 1745 and 1750, the Opera House is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its auditorium retains its original materials, i.e. wood and canvas. Commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine, wife of Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg–Bayreuth, it was designed by the renowned theater architect Giuseppe Galli Bibiena. As a court opera house in a public space, it foreshadowed the large public theaters of the 19th century. 


Brasilia - BRAZIL - UNESCO #445

It's not strange for a country to change its capital city, there are several examples of that along nations history, but to build from scratch a new capital city in a (until that moment) desert place that's something really extraordinary, specially if you think of the dimension of this city (more than two and a half million people live there) and the fact that lots of revolutionary architecture features were used in its construction (the revolutionary Niemeyer buildings or the fact tha seen from the sky it looks like a big bird). It must be a really amazing place. Thank you very much Jamila for this two beautiful cards. My collection rises to 160, only 821 to finish. This postcards took 13 days to arrive!

UNESCO #445 - Brasilia Cathedral - BRAZIL

UNESCO #445 - Sunset at "Praça dos 3 Poderes", Brasilia - BRAZIL
Brasilia, a capital created ex nihilo in the centre of the country in 1956, was a landmark in the history of town planning. Urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer intended that every element – from the layout of the residential and administrative districts (often compared to the shape of a bird in flight) to the symmetry of the buildings themselves – should be in harmony with the city’s overall design. The official buildings, in particular, are innovative and imaginative.


Sé Velha, Coimbra - PORTUGAL

This card shows one of the oldest Portuguese churches (certainly the most well-preserved) built in the XII century by order of our first king. It's a very beautiful and peaceful place and I wonder why didn't UNESCO classified it when they add the University to the WHS list. Thank you very much Eduardo for sending me this card. This postcards took 6 days to arrive!

Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), Coimbra - PORTUGAL
The Old Cathedral of Coimbra (Sé Velha de Coimbra) is one of the most important Romanesque Roman Catholic buildings in Portugal. Construction of the "Sé Velha" began some time after the Battle of Ourique (1139), when Count Afonso Henriques declared himself King of Portugal and chose Coimbra as capital. The first Count of Coimbra, the Mozarab Sisnando Davides, is buried in the cathedral.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Old City of JERUSALEM - UNESCO #148

The city of Jerusalem is a place in almost permanent war (according to Wikipedia, during its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times and nowadays two nations claim it as capital city) but it's also probably one of the most fascinating places in the whole planet and its history is in a way the history of occidental world. In the UNESCO list since 1981 (proposed by Jordan) Jerusalem is another place I have in the top places of my "bucket list" since I was a young boy. Thank you very much Marina for this two beautiful postcards, they're really amazing and my collection is now richer - 159 down, 822 to go. This postcards took 2 days to arrive!

UNESCO #148 - Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem

UNESCO #148 - The Western Wall in Jerusalem
As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs. It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham's sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ's tomb.


Episcopal City of Albi - FRANCE - UNESCO #1337

This is the second card that Joana and Marta sent me from France. In the southeastern France there are several cities that fulfill your imagination, specially if you like the medieval times. Last year I've made a great road trip across that region, but unfortunately I didn't pass by Albi. Thank you very much ladies for remembering me. This is my 158th UNESCO site, only 823 to the end. This postcards took just 1 day to arrive!

UNESCO #1337 - Episcopal City of Albi - FRANCE
On the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the old city of Albi reflects the culmination of a medieval architectural and urban ensemble. Built in a unique southern French Gothic style from local brick in characteristic red and orange colours, the lofty fortified Cathedral dominates the city, demonstrating the power regained by the Roman Catholic clergy. The Episcopal City of Albi forms a coherent and homogeneous ensemble of monuments and quarters that has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.


Carcassonne - FRANCE - UNESCO #345

After the first day in weeks without postcards, today I found four amazing cards in my mailbox. The first two were sent by two sweet friends from the POSTCROSSING forum that are traveling in southern France. I've visited Carcassonne last year and entering that fortified city is really like entering in a fairy tale or a epic Hollywood movie, because the walls are just like those we are used to see in books and films. Thank you very much Joana and Marta. This postcards took just 1 day to arrive!
UNESCO #345 - Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne - FRANCE
Since the pre-Roman period, a fortified settlement has existed on the hill where Carcassonne now stands. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic cathedral. Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gunung Mulu National Park - MALAYSIA - UNESCO #1013

This postcard shows the amazing pinnacle formation that is found at Mulu National Park, famous for the massive caves - according to the sender, several ate big enough for housing Boeing 747 planes! Thank you very much Mattew, this is my 3rd UNESCO from Malaysia and the 156th of my collection (825 more and I'm done). This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

UNESCO #1013 - Gunung Mulu National Park - MALAYSIA
Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. At least 295 km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The Sarawak Chamber, 600 m by 415 m and 80 m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world.


Stupa - JAPAN

When we heard or read the word stupa we immediately think of India, but they exist in dozens of countries, everywhere Buddhism is a important religion there is a stupa. This official card came  from Japan and unfortunately I don't have any information about the location on this stupa (on the backside of the card everything is in Japanese), but even so it'a a beautiful card and I thank you Maki for choosing it for me. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!

The Stupa for Iruka's Head - JAPAN
A stupa (literally meaning "heap") is a mound-like or semi-hemispherical structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the ashes of Buddhist monks, used by Buddhists as a place of meditation. Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist earthen burial mounds, in which ascetics were buried in a seated position.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Berlin - GERMANY

Another official card from Germany (clearly the country I exchange more official postcards with), this time my first from Berlin (on of the few European capitals I didn't visit yet), where some say there is the best weekend nightlife in the Europe. In this interesting card we can see the behind the letters the famous Brandenburg Gate - thank you very much Enno. This postcard took 10 days to arrive!

Nightview of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin - GERMANY
Berlin is the capital city of and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.3 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city and is the seventh biggest urban area in the European Union.  Around one third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, museums, and celebrities and is host to many sporting events. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks, and an extremely high quality of living. 

Cristo Rei, Almada - PORTUGAL

No, this card didn't came from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but from Lisbon, Portugal... yes, we do also have a giant statue of Jesus Christ and I must thank Joana for sending me this very beautiful vintage card (from early 80s) of a place that I didn't have the opportunity to visit yet. I really like the look of vintage cards (mainly because of the highly saturated colors), one of this days I'll make a new label just for them. Thanks again Joana for the 2 cards I've received today. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!

The "Cristo Rei" Statue, Almada - PORTUGAL
The "Cristo Rei" (Christ the King) statue is a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon in the central part of Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), after the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited that monument. The giant statue in cement was erected to symbolize the gratitude the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II and was inaugurated on 17 May 1959.

Alentejo - PORTUGAL

My sweet Alentejo, probably the portuguese region I like the most, it't a wonderfull place for a road trip all year around, but specially in spring (when the fields still have some green and lots of little flowers). This postcard was sent by a postcrosser that lives near Lisbon but also loves this beautiful region. Thank you very much Joana. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!
Alentejo - PORTUGAL
Alentejo is a south-central region of Portugal. The origin of its name, "Além-Tejo", literally translates to "Beyond the Tagus" or "Across the Tagus". The region is separated from the rest of Portugal by the Tagus river (north), and extends to the south where it borders the Algarve. Alentejo is a mainly rural region known for its plain landscapes, gastronomy  and polyphonic singing groups, comparable to those found on Sardinia and Corsica.

"Rural Landscape" - RUSSIA

This official card has a curious digital picture composition made by the artist Sandra Cunningham. I must confess I didn't knew her work and after exploring her gallery I found lots of interesting photos and pictures, some of them (like the one on this card) I'm going to shown to my students in my Multimedia classes about digital illustration. Thanks a lot Sofya! This postcard took 12 days to arrive!
"Rural Landscapes" by Sandra Cunningham (Canada) - RUSSIA
Sandra Cunningham is a photographer from in Quebec, Canada. Her work cover a wide range of subjects such as lifestyle, food and seasonal images with a fresh, clean look. Her photography work has been featured in numerous magazines and leading card companies and is currently represented non-exclusively by over 17 stock agencies throughout the world..


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Volcanoes of Kamchatka - RUSSIA - UNESCO #765

This card shows one of the natural wonders of Russia, the Volcanoes of Kamchatka and more than just a beautiful photo, it has for me a greater value because it was mailed right in Kamchatka by Alexander's wife who was born there and visits her birthplace once a year... thanks you very much to both of you, this is a wonderful contribution to my slowly growing UNESCO collection - I now have 155 sites, only 826 to finish it. This postcard took 17 days to arrive!
UNESCO #765 - Volcanoes of Kamchatka - RUSSIA
This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle.

Altena Castle - GERMANY

I love medieval times, probably since I was a little toddler and I saw for the first time the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone"... I know now that it was a awfull period without any of the romantic glow that appears in books and movies, but there's something about that times that still inspire me and that's why I like to go to medieval festivals - there are lots of them in Portugal. In Germany, on the little town of Altena they throw one every summer and for the look on this card, it must be great - Thanks a lot Birgit for sharing this with me. This postcard took 3 days to arrive!  
Medieval Festival at the Altena Castle - GERMANY
Altena is a town in the district of Märkischer Kreis, situated on the Lenne river valley, in the northern stretches of the Sauerland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town's castle is the origin for the later Dukes of Berg. The town's biggest attraction is the castle: Burg Altena. After being un-used for centuries it was in ruins, although part of the buildings was used as a hospital. A complete restoration was undertaken in 1909 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Prussian incorporation of the county of Mark into Prussia (Brandenburg).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dinagat Island - PHILIPPINES

Another day with only one card received, and this one really made me dream with a lottery ticket that would give me the chance of leave work for a while and chill on this amazing beach or another one among the 7107 islands that form Philippines. Thank you very much Jan for showing me a little of your paradise. This postcard took 9 days to arrive!
Dinagat Island, Surigao Province - PHILIPPINES
The Dinagat Islands (Kapuluang Dinagat) is a group of islands constituting a province in the Philippines, located on the south side of Leyte Gulf. Leyte Island is to its west, across Surigao Strait, and Mindanao is to its south. Its main island, Dinagat, is about 60 kilometres from north to south.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Canadian Rockies Mountain Park - CANADA - UNESCO #304

Today in my mailbox only one lonely card was expecting me... but to a postcrosser each card is a gift and even when the mailbox isn't full, it's always a wonderful feeling to have something waiting for me. This time another great card from my friend Jason from Canada (the person I've sent one of my first official cards and since then a regular provider) with a wonderful picture of the Canadian Rockies, a UNESCO site I already have, but it's a nice add-on to my collection. Thanks a lot man! This postcard took 6 days to arrive!
UNESCO #304 - The Canadian Rockies - 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.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Archaeological Site of Troy - TURKEY - UNESCO #849

My third new UNESCO site of the day came from Onder in Turkey with one of those mythical places every little boy dreams after reading the Iliad... Troy! There's not much left but we can only imagine what a glorious town it was back on those days - because of Helen (women... always women) a massive war took place and the beautiful city was destroyed after some mercenaries got out of a horse's belly (shame on you Brad Pitt). Thanks a lot Onder, this is a wonderful card and for my collection, it's now 154 down, 827 to go! This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
UNESCO #849 - Archaeological Site of Troy, Çanakkale - TURKEY
Troy, with its 4,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. Moreover, the siege of Troy by Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece in the 13th or 12th century B.C., immortalized by Homer in the Iliad, has inspired great creative artists throughout the world ever since.

Church of The Ressurection of Christ - St.Petersbourg - RUSSIA - UNESCO #540

Another official card from Russia sent by Olga that lives in Moscow, but picked a card from a city I would really love to visit, St. Petersburg, that has several monuments inscribed in the UNESCO list like the beautiful Church of The Ressurection of Christ (Our Saviour-on-the-Split-Blood) built in late XIX century. Thank you very much Olga, I really love your card and it makes my collection rises to 154 sites, only 827 till the end (almost there). This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
UNESCO #540 - Saint Petersburg - RUSSIA
The 'Venice of the North', with its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges, is the result of a vast urban project begun in 1703 under Peter the Great. Later known as Leningrad (in the former USSR), the city is closely associated with the October Revolution. Its architectural heritage reconciles the very different Baroque and pure neoclassical styles, as can be seen in the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage.

The Nijo Castle, Kyoto - JAPAN - UNESCO #688

This card shows the beautiful Nijo Castle (built by Ieyasu Tokugawa), a UNESCO WHS as one of the historic monuments of ancient Kyoto and it was sent by Yuka, a university student from Nagoya, Japan,  that also collects UNESCO cards - thank you very much Yuka for sending me my 153th site, ony 828 until the end. This postcard took 7 days to arrive! 

UNESCO #688 - Nijo Castle, Lyoto - JAPAN
Built in A.D. 794 on the model of the capitals of ancient China, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from its foundation until the middle of the 19th century. As the centre of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture, particularly religious architecture, and the art of Japanese gardens, which has influenced landscape gardening the world over.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Swallow's Nest Castle, Crimea - UKRAINE

It's always a wonderful feeling when you get a official card from someone you know (and I bet that sending it would be great to) - it's the second time it happens to me, in this case it was Valya, my sweet ukranian friend that sent me another wonderful card from Crimea. She says that the Swallow's Nest is one of the most popular visitor attractions of the Crimea's southern coastline. It looks really amazing - I definitely must visit Crimea one of this days. Tanks a lot Valya, I love your card. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

The "Swallow's Nest" Castle in Miskhor, Crimea - UKRAINE
The Swallow's Nest is a decorative castle located between Yalta and Alupka on the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine. It was built between 1911 and 1912 in Gaspra, on top of the 40-metre  high Aurora Cliff, to a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood.The castle overlooks the Cape of Ai-Todor on the Black Sea coast and is located near the remains of the Roman castrum of Charax.

Sukhothai - THAILAND - UNESCO #574

This official POSTCROSSING card came all the way from Thailand and it's really beautiful - the smiling face of the Buddha that we see thanks to the intelegent angle chosen by the photographer (Jatuporn Rutnin) and the wonderful end of day light make this one of my favorite cards. Thank you very much Weena for picking such a beautiful card from a UNESCO site for me - I now have 152, only 829 to finish. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
UNESCO #574 - Phra Atchana, Wat Sri Chum, Sukhothai - THAILAND
Sukhothai was the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries. It has a number of fine monuments, illustrating the beginnings of Thai architecture. The great civilization which evolved in the Kingdom of Sukhothai absorbed numerous influences and ancient local traditions; the rapid assimilation of all these elements forged what is known as the 'Sukhothai style'.

Wooden Church of Chiloe - CHILE - UNESCO #971

The second card Hernan sent me from Chile shows Tenaun Church in "Isla Grande de Chiloe" (big island of Chiloe archipelago). He went there back in 2002 and he says that each village, city or town has its beautiful wooden church painted in a unique color (for instance Caguach is Red, Vilupulli is Pink). Thank you very much Hernan for this amazing swap. Now I have 151 UNESCO sites, only 830 to go. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!

UNESCO #971 - Tenaun Church, Chiloe - CHILE
The Churches of Chiloé represent a unique example in Latin America of an outstanding form of ecclesiastical wooden architecture. They represent a tradition initiated by the Jesuit Peripatetic Mission in the 17th and 18th centuries, continued and enriched by the Franciscans during the 19th century and still prevailing today. These churches embody the intangible richness of the Chiloé Archipelago, and bear witness to a successful fusion of indigenous and European culture, the full integration of its architecture in the landscape and environment, as well as to the spiritual values of the communities.


Rapa Nui - CHILE - UNESCO #715

Today I've received my first postcards from Chile, a double swap with another UNESCO collector. This one is for me very special, showing the AHU KO-TE-RIKU , the protector of Eastern Island (another of my dream destinations since I first read about it many years ago). Thank you very much Hernan, this card is just amazing and thank you for choosing stamps about Rapa Nui. This postcard took 14 days to arrive!
UNESCO #715 - AHU KO-TE-RIKU, Rapa Nui National Park - CHILE
Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island, bears witness to a unique cultural phenomenon. A society of Polynesian origin that settled there c. A.D. 300 established a powerful, imaginative and original tradition of monumental sculpture and architecture, free from any external influence. From the 10th to the 16th century this society built shrines and erected enormous stone figures known as moai , which created an unrivalled cultural landscape that continues to fascinate people throughout the world.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

airberlin - GERMANY

I think I've already wrote here that I'm not fan of Ad-Cards, but since this is a official card, I'l post it anyway... It came from Monika in Germany that used this free card and wrote a "wonderful" message only with the postcard ID and the words "Happy Postcrossing"!... Thank you Monika, we obviously have different views on how this hobby works, but the important thing is that we both enjoy doing it... This postcard took 7 days to arrive!

Boeing 737-800, airberlin Airline - GERMANY

Taj Mahal - INDIA - UNESCO #252

And finally I have the famous Taj Mahal in my collection! This is one of the first sites that came to our mind when we think in India and visit it it's on my bucket list since I was a toddler... Thank you very much Sai for this amazing swap. With this 3 fantastic postcards I now have 149 sites in my collection, only 832 to go. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

UNESCO #252 - Taj Mahal - INDIA
The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that encompasses nearly 17 hectares, in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD. The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.


Qutb Minar - INDIA - UNESCO #233

This wonderful postcard is the second one I got from India today - also with three astonishing stamps - showing the impressive Qutb Minar, built more than 800 years ago reaching an incredible height of 73m. Thanks again Sai, the colours of this card are breathtakingly beautiful. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
UNESCO #233 - Qutb Minar - INDIA
Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.

Fatehpur Sikri - INDIA - UNESCO #255

Sai is a UNESCO postcards collector from India and we arranged a triple swap. The cards he sent arrived today. This one shows the Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, a place he visited and found amazing (it doesn't seem hard to believe). Thank you very much Sai, for the card and the amazing stamps you've chosen. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.



This official card came from Roterdam, the Netherlands and it was sent by a very young postcrosser. Thank you very much Jonathan, this is a card with a very beautiful photo (by Rosemary Calvert), but it came without the ID number... thanks to the postcrossing support team I was able to register it, but you must not forget to write the codes on your cards... HAPPY POSTCROSSING! This postcard took 10 days to arrive (and 2 more to register)!

Eye of the flower (photo by Rosemary Calvert) - NETHERLANDS


Multiview Card - FINLAND

Another official card from Finland showing several pictures of that beautiful country (unfortunately I haven't had the chance to visit it yet), sent from the city of Mikkeli by Seija (a Finnish Postcrosser who loves belly-dance) - thank you very much. This postcard took 7 days to arrive!
Greetings from FINLAND (Multiview)
The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east, while Estonia lies to the south across the Gulf of Finland. 5.4 million people live in Finland (end of 2012), with the majority concentrated in its southern regions. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nemrut Dağ - TURKEY - UNESCO #448

This amazing card came from Turkey and it shows a exquisite UNESCO site, Nemrut in the Adiyaman Province. I didn't knew anything about this site until today, thank you very much Nihan (I hope you can visit this place really soon like you wish) for this wonderful postcard, the 146th in my collection, only 835 to the end (I'm almost there!). This postcard took 8 days to arrive!

UNESCO #448 - Nemrut Dağ, Adiyaman - TURKEY
The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.


Karlstad - SWEDEN

Today I've got my first official card from Sweden. It came from the peculiar city of Karlstad, built over the Klarälven river and, like some cities in Netherlands with lots of water channels replacing roads. Thank you very much Weronica, you live in a very beautiful place (but I bet it's very cold in the winter). This postcard took 4 days to arrive!

Karlstad water channels - SWEDEN
Karlstad is the capital city of Värmland County in Sweden. The city with 62.000 inhabitants is built on the river delta where Sweden's longest river, Klarälven, runs into Sweden's largest lake, Vänern. It has the second largest lake port in the country after Västerås. Karlstad is often associated with sunshine and the symbol for Karlstad is a smiling sun and it's reputed to be one of the sunniest towns in Sweden.


The Bourges Cathedral - FRANCE - UNESCO #635

France has a impressive number of majestic Gothic cathedrals each one with something special to discover. This postcard came from Bourges, almost in the geographical center of that wonderful country. Thank you very much Elisa, for this nice contribution to my UNESCO collection - I now have 145, only 836 to finish. This postcard took 5 days to arrive!

UNESCO #635 - La Cathédtrale St. Étienne, Bourges - FRANCE
The Cathedral of St Etienne of Bourges, built between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, is one of the great masterpieces of Gothic art and is admired for its proportions and the unity of its design. The tympanum, sculptures and stained-glass windows are particularly striking. Apart from the beauty of the architecture, it attests to the power of Christianity in medieval France.


All the 9 UNESCO sites in BULGARIA

My good friend Tsvetana sent me this beautiful card with all the 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria. In a way I've completed that country! I will not cross from my list the missing sites though, because I think that each site deserves its card. So the counting remains... thanks a lot Tsveti, I really loved this card. This postcard took 8 days to arrive!
The 9 Bulgarian Wonders protected by UNESCO
There are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria. The first four properties were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1979, and the last in 1985. Bulgaria currently has fourteen additional properties on the Tentative List.