30. 04. 2014.

Bhong Mosque, Pakistan

Another new country in my collection - actually it is not the first time that, after a long wait, i receive two postcards from a missing country about the same time, as it happened with Pakistan last winter. Cannot complain eh :)
The postcard shows  the Bhong Masjid in Southern Punjab, designed and constructed over a period of nearly 50 years (1932–1982) and winning the Aga Khan Award For Architecture in 1986. The mosque's design is a mix of Islamic styles, using rare and traditional materials such as ivory, teak, and onyx.
Many thanks to Hasnain and his use of diverse stamps :))

Ihuru Angsana, Maldives

This little island is part of the North Malé Atoll and is mere 200 metres long and wide - with a small jetty receiving visitors i.e. guests staying in the bungalows hidden between the palm trees. Paradise! I need to finally start playing the lottery :P
The beautiful Hawksbill Sea Turtle on the stamp is sadly critically endangered...
Many MANY thanks to Kun Hu and a friend ;))

Absolute Feelings Of Budapest

UNESCO - Urban Historic Centre Of Cienfuegos, Cuba

The colonial town of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 in the Spanish territory (southern coast) but was initially settled by immigrants of French origin - developed in the neoclassical style, it later became more eclectic but retained a harmonious overall townscape.
The postcard shows the Arch Of Triumph as the entrance to Parque José Martí  in the town's centre, with the Ferrer Palace in the background. I will remember Cienfiegos as the place we have discovered the greatness of something as simple as a flan, the best dessert, yum!

27. 04. 2014.

Shaolin Buddhist

The first glance at this postcard was horizontal...and it managed to confuse me (thats not very difficult, mind you :)) and my friend 'helped' by drawing a little person on it, ttt :) let me turn it so you can see it properly!

24. 04. 2014.

Basilica Of Saint Anthony Of Padua, Italy

To fill up the void of the days off, an oldie showing an aerial view of the grand basilica in Padua.
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto region, northern Italy - and its Pontifical Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world. The construction of the Basilica probably began around 1232, just one year after the death of St. Anthony, and was completed in 1310. I visited on a school trip some...18 years ago, ouch. Difficult to even remember! :)

20. 04. 2014.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Beautiful portrait of the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader and former prime minister (1945–1955) and president (1945–1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).
Also beautiful Year Of The Horse stamps, I love orange/pink combination of colours :) Thanks so much Mu Chu!
The stamps are my contribution to this weeks Sunday Stamps theme zodiac. I wish to bite my elbow, I have a gorgeous astrological cover at home that would have been perfect for today! Its a toughie having life devided between two addresses ;) You can check other entries:

UNESCO - Begijnhof In Bruges (Flemish Béguinages), Belgium

The Béguines were women who dedicated their lives to God without retiring from the world. In the 13th century they founded the béguinages , enclosed communities designed to meet their spiritual and material needs.
This is the beguine (begijnhof) in Bruges, originally dating from the 13th century - meanwhile  the last begijn has passed away, and today residents of the pretty, whitewashed garden complex include a convent of Benedictine nuns.
Such a wonderful peaceful place...I have also visited one of the Ghent beguines Our-Lady Ter Hooyen but unfortunately there were heavy repairs going on at the time of my visit...Still, great experiences!
Aaaaaaaaand...this is my 1000th post, wow its sounds a LOT. But I guess I had time to invest in the last...how many years? 3 years and 9 months, yep :) Let's keep it goin'!

UNESCO - Semmering Railway, Austria

The Semmering Railway was built between 1848 and 1854, spreading over 41 km through high mountains with its tunnels, viaducts and other works that have ensured the continuous use of the line up to the present day; it is one of the greatest feats of civil engineering from this pioneering phase of railway building.
Would be great to take a ride in one of these, thank you Nina :)

Khaleesi With The Pet Dragon

The season 4 of the megapopular Game Of Thrones has started some weeks ago, but I haven't seen any new episodes yet...one of the questions is, will Khaleesi take the throne? I would be supportive if I didn't think that she is lacking the charisma of a great warrior...maybe something will change as time progresses :) Thank you Helga for my first GOT card..!

19. 04. 2014.

The Pagoda Forest In Shaolin, China

My amazement with China hasn't subsided in the months past, especially because of more great postcards that I've received - like this view of the Pagoda Forest at Shaolin Temple in Henan province. There are impressive 228 stone or brick pagodas built from 791 AD during the Tang Dynasty through the Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and Qing Dynasty. Thank you Cynthia, and the stamps are great too!

Red-Crowned Crane, Japan

This beautiful graceful bird is red-crowned or Japanese crane, known as a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity. It is among the rarest cranes in the world, with the estimated total population of only 2750 in the wild. A resident population is found in eastern Hokkaidō in Japan, where this postcards was sent from - with a matching stamp, thanks Chami :))

Year Of The Snake Maxi-Cards, Vietnam

We have stepped into the Year Of The Horse a while ago, but still not late to show off these beauties that speak to my inner lover of all things colourful (beside showing snakes!), and the big thanks goes to Jo :))

Scene From Algarve

I had my eye on this one for a while...it seems I had to go to Portugal to get it :) The photograph was taken in Serra do Caldeirão in the country's south, in 1990. The stamp featuring a donkey (!) celebrates Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro who is considered the first Portuguese comics creator.


18. 04. 2014.

UNESCO - Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels), Belgium

The four major town houses - Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, and Maison & Atelier Horta - located in Brussels and designed by the architect Victor Horta, one of the earliest initiators of Art Nouveau, are some of the most remarkable pioneering works of architecture of the end of the 19th century. The stylistic revolution represented by these works is characterised by their open plan, the diffusion of light, and the brilliant joining of the curved lines of decoration with the structure of the building.
It was quite interesting, the story of the Horta houses when I was in Brussels last month...i made a street tour, seeing all houses from the outside, and hoping to see the last - the Maison & Atelier which is a museum - from the inside, and I relied on it for postcards (there were absolutely none on any of the tourist stands). Alas when I got there, I was an hour early - never thought any museum would open at 2pm! But I had a meeting with a friend in town...who also loves postcards, and while walking she suddenly pulled me into an awesome shop where I found these cards; and whats more, they had exactly two sets of the great dog stamps, one for me and one for my friend - now that is what I call a brilliant postcard day! :))

17. 04. 2014.

UNESCO - Xinjiang Tianshan, China

Tian Shan is  a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia; in China being in the northwesternmost autonomous region Xinjiang.  Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons.
You may not recognise at first (well I didn't, but maybe its not a norm!) but this is a view of a lake - Tianchi or Heaven Lake of Tian Shan which lies on the north side of the Bogda Shan range of the Tianshan Mountains, about 45 kilometres east of Ürümqi.
Love it love it love it, thank you Jarod Xia! :)

16. 04. 2014.

Map Of Venezuela

Many thanks to Luis for sending me this wonderful map card...I hope things are going for the better in this country full of beauty...:))

Vancouver, Canada

Gorgeous view of Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia (Canadian West-Coast province) whose one of the many nicknames is Vansterdam :) Courtesy of Bryon, many thanks!

Strážov Mountains, Slovakia

Strážov Mountains are one of the largest mountain ranges in the Fatra-Tatra Area of Slovakia in the country's north. The postcard shows the Kostolecká tiesňava (Kostolcka narrow). Loving the panoramic view...and the 2012 Europa stamp, thank you Lubeno :))

15. 04. 2014.

UNESCO - Changdeokgung Palace Complex, South Korea

Built in The 15th century, the Changdeokgung Palace Complex is an exceptional example of Far Eastern palace architecture and design, blending harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. It occupies a 57.9 ha site in Jongno-gu, in northern Seoul at the foot of Ungbong Peak of Mount Baegaksan - here you can see only a fraction of it (the Nakseonjae complex, built in 1847 as a library and living quarters for King Heonjong), but it gives you an idea just how beautiful this place must be..!
Many thanks to Harleen Park, and the most wonderful stamps! :))

UNESCO - Maya Site Of Copan, Honduras

Copán was one of the most important cities of the Mayan civilisation, whose great Classical period lasted from AD 300-900. The archaeological remains reveal the three main stages of development, during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today, before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.
1st postcard shows one side of a ballcourt - such structures were used in Mesoamerica for over 2700 years to play the Mesoamerican ballgame, particularly the hip-ball version of the ballgame; but also for other functions.
The first sculpture on the 2nd postcard seems to be one of two simian sculptures on Temple 11, possibly representing Howler Monkey Gods; the other sculpture represents a bat.

Many thanks to Cesar for these great Unesco postcards showing two aspects of the site, and for using such wonderful stamps! These postcards have arrived regularly and fairly quickly :))