30. 04. 2013.

UNESCO - Masada, Israel

Masada is a rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in 73 A.D. It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, King of Judaea, (reigned 37 – 4 B.C.). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.
The stamp shows playing of a shofar, a traditional horn used for religious purposes - in this case the horn is of a Greater Kudu, a woodland antelope.
A great Unesco card from annesskina for the Vacation RR, many thanks! :))

Views Of Martinique

Martinique is an island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, an overseas region of France consisting of a single overseas department. It is directly north of St. Lucia and south of Dominica. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the Euro. Its official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais).
Le Morne-Rouge is one of its communes and a town overseen by an active volcano Mount Pelée.
A wonderful set of postcards showing many faces of Martinique, thanks to aAsh :)) He used the full set of stamps gfrom 2012 dedicated to Cubism.

Saint Vincent And The Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Its territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, which are a chain of smaller islands stretching south from Saint Vincent Island to Grenada.
How much bluer can the sea be?!  So happy to receive my first postcards from this country :))

UNESCO - Historic Centre Of Lima, Peru

The Historic Centre of Lima bears witness to the architecture and urban development of a Spanish colonial town of great political, economic, and cultural importance in Latin America. Although severely damaged by earthquakes, this 'City of the Kings' was, until the middle of the 18th century, the capital and most important city of the Spanish dominions in South America.
The Archbishop's Palace of Lima is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima and the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima. It is located on the Plaza Mayor, on the land that Francisco Pizarro allocated to be the residence of the head priest of Lima after the foundation of the city in 1535; the current building was opened in 1924 and is considered a prime example of neo-colonial architectural that developed in Lima during the early twentieth century.

Two years ago I have visited Lima and quite a few other Unesco sites in Peru, but didnt concentrate on this collection at the time...The 2nd time around I had the opportunity to rectify it to some extent at least :)

UNESCO - Historic District Of Old Québec, Canada

Québec was founded by the French explorer Champlain in the early 17th century. It is the only North American city to have preserved its ramparts, together with the numerous bastions, gates and defensive works which still surround Old Québec.
The city's most famous landmark is the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980. Prior to the building of the hotel, the site was occupied by the Chateau Haldimand, residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Quebec.
After a long while, my 1st Unesco WHS postcard from Canada! With the list of 16 sites it has been proven the toughest country to collect, who would have thought eh? Many many thanks Guy, for this lovely snowy view! :))

29. 04. 2013.

UNESCO - Amphitheatre Of El Jem; Dougga / Thugga, Tunisia

The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35,000 spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome. 

The town of Thugga flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but declined in the Islamic period. The impressive ruins that are visible today give some idea of the resources of a small Roman town on the fringes of the empire.

I am surprised that I havent posted cards from Tunisia before...especially as my dear postcrossing friend Judit sent me multiple cards from her second home country ;) Shukran Judit!

Year Of The Snake, Hong Kong

I haven't been able to swap much lately and I have missed on many great Year Of The Snake postcards for sure, but this beauty reached me from Hong Kong :) Thank you Yuen - always a pleasure :)

28. 04. 2013.

UNESCO - Macquarie Island, Australia

Macquarie Island is an oceanic island in the Southern Ocean, lying 1500 km south-east of Tasmania and approximately halfway between Australia and the Antarctic continent. The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets the Pacific plate. It is a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only place on earth where rocks from the earth’s mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level.
The island has its own PO and stamps but this maxi-card was sent from 'mainland' Australia, I gather it still counts for my collection of written & stamped cards from country of origin ;) It actually is a part of Australian Antarctic Territory which is written on the stamp. Thanks again Heather! This one was also hidden in a wrong post... 

UNESCO- Lines And Geoglyphs Of Nasca, Peru

Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nasca and the pampas of Jumana cover about 450 km2 . These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long. They are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions.
It must be quite an experience to fly over the Nazca lines, i hope it'll be 3rd time lucky and I'll be able to see them one day...The stamps show a curious creature called the bush dog (Speothos venaticus).

UNESCO - Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Look at just how handsome these sunbathing fellas are! The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is found only on the Galápagos Islands and has the unique ability to live and forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile. The species has the 'vulnerable' status as its threatened by predation by introduced species such as cats and dogs, which prey particularly upon its young. Ah Darwin described them as disgusting clumsy Lizards. Boo.

The Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii) was a subspecies of Galápagos tortoise native to Ecuador's Pinta Island. The fellow on the postcard was called Lonesome George and was the last known individual of the subspecies - he was born before 1912 and died in June 2012. Sadly, over the decades all attempts at mating Lonesome George had been unsuccessful...Its a sad story isnt it? :((

27. 04. 2013.

Ukiyo-e - Travellers Crossing The Oi River

Travellers Crossing The Oi River is another masterpiece by Hokusai, one of the ten prints added to the original 36 Views Of Mount Fuji. Thanks to Fumie :)

UNESCO - Historic Bridgetown And Its Garrison, Barbados

One more Unesco card that I have received a while ago while I wasn't yet collecting Unesco...so some re-posting needs to be done :)
This time the Historic Bridgetown, an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain's Atlantic colonial empire. The postcard shows the west wing of the Parliament Building, completed in 1872.

Thorny Devils Are Aussies

Awesome card, the thorny devil! I had to look it up and learned that this lizard only grows to be 20 cm long - sure looks bigger on this photo :) it is mainly found in the desert areas of central Austaralia and feeds on ants. Would make such a cool pet i think :D

Mucha - Champagne Ruinart

Its been a while...since my last Mucha post. The champagne posters are among my favourites, as is the Sarah Bernhardt series from the stamp :) I have received this a while ago by lucky tagging, and thanks to surenka :)

UNESCO - Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, Palestine

The inscribed property is situated 10 km south of Jerusalem on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus since the 2nd century. A church was first completed there in ad 339 and the edifice that replaced it after a fire in the 6th century retains elaborate floor mosaics from the original building. The site also includes Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan and Armenian convents and churches, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens and a pilgrimage route.
The Church of the Nativity is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. This is the Altar of the Nativity, beneath which is the star marking the spot where tradition says the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus.

There was a looong queue in the church/basilica to see the 'place' where Jesus was supposedly born. After some tiresome waiting we realised that we can sneak in from the other side where everyone else was coming out :) In any case the feeling was too touristy. Much nicer atmosphere in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem!

UNESCO - Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee, Israel

The Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and Western Galilee are inscribed for their profound spiritual meaning and the testimony they bear to the strong tradition of pilgrimage in the Bahá’i faith. The property includes the two most holy places in the Bahá’í religion associated with the founders, the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Acre and the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, together with their surrounding gardens, associated buildings and monuments.
The Shrine of the Báb is a structure in Haifa where the remains of the Báb, founder of Bábism and forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh in the Bahá'í Faith, have been buried. The dome is composed of 12,000 fish-scale tiles of 50 different shapes and sizes made in Portugal - the Shrine is enhanced by 19 garden terraces that stretch one kilometre from the base of Mount Carmel to its summit, and both the terraces and the Shrine are illuminated at night.
I have to admit the view of the gardens during both day and night was mesmerising :)

26. 04. 2013.

UNESCO - Petra, Jordan

Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra (established possibly as early as 312 BC) is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.
To this day, for me,  nothing has topped the experience of walking through al-Siq for a mile and then glimpsing the iconic Al Khazneh (The Treasury) for the 1st time. But the excitement didnt't cease there - walking through the 'city' revealed many surprises behind virtually every corner, and basically the whole day spent in Petra could be called a highlight <3>
With the direct Easyjet flights to Amman its easier now to reach this awesome place, I encourage you!

25. 04. 2013.

People Of Egypt

A wonderful portrait of a Nubian elder from Egypt. The Nubians are an ethnic group originally from northern Sudan and southern Egypt; in ancient times they were famous for their horsemanship, and skill and precision with the bow. There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, but the last one collapsed in 1504.

There is a great shop with egyptian souvenirs in the beautiful district of Zamalek, called Fair Trade Egypt. Not only does it have a plethora of hand-made items for sale, but also the part of the proceedings goes to the artists themselves and supports the traditional crafts. It is where I got this postcard showing craftswomen woving baskets in the Al Fayoum oasis. Sent sometime in November 2008!