26. 05. 2013.

Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati


The Republic of Kiribati is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 and the island nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres.
Tarawa is an atoll whose southern part is the capital and  home to teh half of the country's total population.
Gorgeous views, thanks Bitia! :))

The Grand Mosque In Makkah, Saudi Arabia

As the birthplace of Muhammad and a site of the Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Makkah or Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims.
This is a broad view of Masjid Al-Haram, the "Grand Mosque'', the largest mosque in the world surrounding one of Islam's holiest places, the Kaaba. The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres, including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to 4 million worshipers during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world. Unlike many other mosques which are segregated, men and women worship at Masjid Al-Haram together.
Thank you J.S. ;))

Jame Mosque Of Qazvin, Iran


This time I brought from home a full box of older postcards to scan, and luckily I didnt do it by memory as I realised many cards that I thought I blogged I actually didnt..! Which resulted in finding three new countries here but which I've received literally years ago.
Such is this view of the Jame Mosque of Qazvin, a grand congregational mosque one of the oldest in Iran. Many thanks to Yasi :)

24. 05. 2013.

European Furry Cuties


Here are a European Polecat and a dreamy fox to wish you good night :))

The Tomb Of Lord Of Sipán, Peru

The Lord of Sipán tomb is a Moche culture site in Peru, found intact and untouched by thieves. It is located in the northern part of Peru close to the coast, 35 km east of town of Chiclayo.
Because of his high rank, the ruler was buried with six people; three women (possibly his wife & concubines but they had died some time prior to him), two males (probably warriors) and a child. On the roof of the burial chamber was a third guard with a male sitting in a niche overlooking the burial chamber. Among the animals found were a dog and two llamas.

It was really interesting to visit The Royal Tombs Museum of Sipán with the replica of the tomb and real jewelery, embroidered costumes, ceremonial clothes... :)

Sneaky Kotovasiya


Super-cute card, a lottery win from dear Ana, great surprise hvala! :))

23. 05. 2013.

Budva, Montenegro

Budva is a lovely little town in coastal Montenegro - the coastal area around Budva, called the Budvanska rivijera, is the centre of Montenegro's tourism, and is well known for its sandy beaches, diverse nightlife, and examples of Mediterranean architecture. Budva is 3500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic sea coast.
This on the photo is the Old Town, much of which is of Venetian design. I've only seen it by night but it was oh so romantic :)


I was mesmerised when I 1st saw this view of Waihīlau Falls, situated in the remote Waimanu Valley on the northeast coast of Hawaiʻi island. Maybe you need to look twice to spot the helicopter! They are the thirteenth highest in the world at 790 m in height. Just love it, thanks Trisha! :))

Mount Kirishima, Japan

Kirishima-Yaku National Park is situated on Kyūshū island in Japan - this is a view of the 1700-m-high active volcano Mount Kirishima. Many thanks to Megumi for the nice view and lovely stamps :)

22. 05. 2013.

UNESCO - Sacri Monti of Piedmont And Lombardy, Italy


Sacro Monte di Ghiffa is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the comune of Ghiffa, overlooking the Lake Maggiore. It is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy. The postcard shows the Crowning of Mary Chapel on the left and the St. John the Baptist Chapel and Sanctuary in the background.
This is one of those cases when it just feels wrong to cross a Unesco site off the list, because I have only one of the nine included sites..! Maybe one day I will extend my list to include all the 'sub-sites' but for now I will leave it as it is, as I have many more of the 'ordinary' ones to collect...
Thank you Gosia :)

21. 05. 2013.

Yasuni-Itt Postcards


Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, about 250 km from Quito, was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It is within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people. It is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on Earth.
Yasuni-ITT Initiative is a proposal by the government of Ecuador to refrain indefinitely from exploiting the oil reserves of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil field within the Yasuni National Park, in exchange for 50% of the value of the reserves. The rationale is to conserve biodiversity, protect indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation, and avoid CO2 emissions.
These are some of the pre-paid postcard issued to support the ITT initiative, showing examples of that unique biodiversity. The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) I already have in my collection and on the blog :) A newcomer to my lizard collection is the Tropical Thornytail Iguana or Amazon Thornytail Iguana (Uracentron flaviceps) an elusive species of medium sized arboreal lizard found in the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Rainforest. Cute :)

Some Cute Donkeys


Lately I am concentrating more on my Unesco collection, but its also hard to find new donkey postcards...So many thanks to Suzanka from Czech Republic and Desiree from Ireland :))

20. 05. 2013.

Yellow Seahorse, Hong Kong

This wonderful seahorse card was sent by dear fellow-postcrosser Yuen, and am also thrilled with the zodiac signs stamps, which have the reigning planets as attachments! Thanks so much Yuen, this is such a great postal item :))
For info I will quote what is written at the back:
'Yellow Seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) is a common resident of Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. Females may be yellow in colour while males may be grey/brown. Both sexes display spots on the body. The species is commonly found entangled in coral communities and sargassum beds. It can change body colour according to the environment and it relies on its camouflage for defence.'

Views Of The Azores



I was home this last week and got some great mail - here sent by my friend who sailed to the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, and located about 1500 km west of Lisbon and about 1900 km southeast of Newfoundland.
The view cards show:
*Montanha do Pico, a stratovolcano which is the tallest mountain in Portugal. Thank you wikipedia for making me realise that Pico Island vineyards are on the Unesco list - or rather that its the part of the Azores :) though this wouldnt qualify...so close!
*Poço da Alagoinha on Flores Island (and phoa this wasnt so easy to find) also known as Lagoa dos Patos, a permanent puddle under a waterfall. So lush!
*Sperm-whale at the south coast of São Miguel Island.
*Hot springs (caldeiras) on São Miguel
Love the variety of postcards and stamps, and there is more to show...
Sent from Horta on Faial island, a primary stop for yachts crossing the Atlantic.

12. 05. 2013.

UNESCO - Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru

The Chimu Kingdom, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming autonomous units.

Chan Chan is an archaeological site in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, five km west of Trujillo - it is the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America. It is severely threatened by storms from El Niño, which cause heavy rains and flooding on the Peruvian coast. I have been to this site twice, love the intricate designs like shown on the postcard :)

UNESCO - Dazu Rock Carvings, China


The steep hillsides of the Dazu area contain an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century. They are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
The thing with the amazing Chinese Unesco sites is, one usually needs two of more postcards from different perspectives to fully appreciate their grandeur. This is a larger view of the rock carvings, and I am sure a close-up of the carved details would be just as amazing :) Thank you Susan!

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand


Another surprise card which waited for me over the winter is this amazing view of the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels, situated at the north of the South Island of New Zealand.
I always love new Zealand views, they are gorgeous without a miss - thank you yet again Heather :)) Love the stamps too, and of course the 'Middle-earth' cancellation xD

Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

Here is a very familiar view of the Town Hall at Munich Marienplatz, with imposing Frauenkirche in the background. I have been there so many times but it was Andy who added its view to my postcard collection - a surprise card, thank you :))

11. 05. 2013.

UNESCO - Göreme NP And The Rock Sites Of Cappadocia

In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there.

And this one is Uçhisar Castle / Landlord's Castle situated in the Nevşehir Province.
I have received two other views of this Unesco site, but not sent from Turkey; so I grabbed the opportunity when I was in Istanbul, though sadly I havent had the chance to visit this surreal site (yet). I need one more shot to get a cancellation! heh.

UNESCO - Medieval City Of Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος)  is the principal city on the island of Rhodes, an island in the Dodecanese, Greece. It has been famous since antiquity as the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.

Gorgeous view sent by Milde, and with a great variety of stamps - a treasure, thanks so much! :))