31. 05. 2014.

Map Of Slovenia II

Something I picked on my visit to Ljubljana this winter, and left to my friend to surprise me with some ludicrous writing :) And once again I've concluded I so wouldn't mind living there..!

Lighthouse Sketches, Netherlands

Beautiful illustrations of lighthouses of the northern coast in Holland, courtesy of my (still sailing ) friend :)

Saint Ursula

My friend sent me this painting, telling me that it reminded her of me - I can only wish to have such elegant poise! But I wouldn't wish the destiny of Saint Ursula...of beheading in a massacre during a pilgrimage of holy virgins to besieged Cologne (by Huns).
The painter is Spanish Caravaggio, a master of chiaroscuro Francisco de Zurbarán. Dank u Els ;)

30. 05. 2014.

UNESCO - Historic Centre Of Oporto, Portugal

The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. The rich and varied civil architecture of the historic centre expresses the cultural values of succeeding periods - Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical and modern.
One of the town's trademarks is the waterfront or Ribeira, where you can see and ride in the traditional rabelo boat - just as I did with my postcrossing friend Martinha, and accidentally she is the one who sent me the 1st postcard some years ago :) I fell in love with the town and its prospects and really REALLY hope to visit again.

29. 05. 2014.

UNESCO - Monastery Of The Hieronymites And Tower Of Belém In Lisbon

Standing at the entrance to Lisbon harbour, the Monastery of the Hieronymites – construction of which began in 1502 – exemplifies Portuguese art at its best. The nearby Tower of Belém, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's expedition, is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world.
Surprisingly that is all that is written on the official Unesco-web-site...Mosteiro dos Jerónimos has been a true and fascinating discovery for me - as i hadn't looked it up prior to visit, I didn't really know what to expect (seems to be the best way!) and I got a whole lot of oohs and aahs to last me a week :) I have seen the Tower of Belem on postcards but still very cool to actually visit it. And I have never seen THIS view on a postcard!
The impressive stamp that I've found in a friendly PO in Coimbra presents the Queluz National Palace in Sintra Municipality, in the Lisbon District - one of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe.
Its been two months and I am still suffering from withdrawal symptoms...didn't get enough of Portugal

28. 05. 2014.

Dhow In A Harbour, Qatar

This little but powerful country has been hiding from me for a long while...I have Selim to thank for this Qatar view with a traditional boat. Continuing with the sunset theme :)

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan  is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar; from the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
I was surprised to learn that this awesome site is only on UNESCO tentative list - the explanation lies in  restorations conducted in the 1990s by the military government, which drew widespread condemnation from art historians and preservationists worldwide. Critics are aghast that the restorations paid little attention to original architectural styles, and used modern materials.
Sadly, Croatia has some experience in breaching the UNESCO restoration guidelines...I will probably have an opportunity to say more about that some other time. I was really lucky to get my first w&s postcard from Myanmar via an RR, and thanks to azzi who has chosen a wonderful view :))

26. 05. 2014.

Fortaleza Del Cerro, Uruguay

Also known as Fortaleza General Artigas, it is a fortress situated in Montevideo overlooking its bay.  It was completed in 1839 and was the last Spanish fort built in Uruguay - its been housing a military museum since 1916 and has become a National Monument in 1931.
My second card from Uruguay, this time with Year of the Horse stamps, gracias Veronica :)

25. 05. 2014.

Children Of Fishermen, Madagascar

Sarodrano is a fishing village located in the southwestern Madagascar, which has also turned to tourism since the 90's and offers cottages as accommodation. This wonderful photo was taken there - many many thanks to Haya for my first postcard from Madagascar! (accidentally I got a 2nd one days after; what did I say about these coincidences? ;))

10. 05. 2014.

UNESCO - Qutb Minar And Its Monuments In Delhi, 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 - surrounded by funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques.
Looks magnificent in the sunset colours, thank you Sita - and for lovely stamps! :)

UNESCO - Abbey And Altenmünster Of Lorsch, Germany

The religious complex represented by the former Lorsch Abbey with its 1,200-year-old gatehouse, which is unique and in excellent condition, comprises a rare architectural document of the Carolingian era with impressively preserved sculpture and painting of that period. It gives architectural evidence of the awakening of the West to the spirit of the early and high Middle Ages under the first king and emperor, Charlemagne.
Lovely surprise from Brigitte, and in the year when a matching stamp is issued, yay! Danke :))

09. 05. 2014.

A Dutch Route

Here are the 3/5 of towns I've visited in Holland last November - Rotterdam, Gauda and Amsterdam.
Didn't really know what to expect of Rotterdam, in the end it was quite surprising to discover quirky architecture along the way, and that the Dutch have the shortest opening hours of any country I have yet been to :)
I've enjoyed tasting a Gauda menu in, well, Gauda :) But the cheese market depicted on the postcard had to be missed, as it is only manageable in the nice summer weather.
Lots to say about Amsterdam (not the least that I could easily see myself living in such a city), here the accent is on the imaginative river boats, someone's living space. Amazing postcard assortment (I even bought some magnets as there were sooo many to choose from) but they are not often seen on postcrossing.
Missing towns are Delft (beautiful! I wish I was there longer, definately going back) and Hague (wait...I thought I've sent one from there...pih)

Food Map Of Portugal

I have sent a yummy map to remind me of some of the tastiest experiences in Portugal (bacalhau/cod, francesinha, pasteis de nata, though much more left to try) - then i realised it can be seen as a Intangible Cultural Heritage postcard, as Mediterranean diet has been added to the list in 2013. Wish Croatia had some nice food postcards..!

Animals Of Puszta, Hungary

I've found donkeys in Hungary, yay! And not in a place I'd expect it, up the Gellert Hill. Its so soothing to view these rural scenes...I must have been a country girl in past lives :)


An interesting photograph (or instalation?) of a donkey found in a Brussels postcard shop, sweet :)

06. 05. 2014.

Mount Cook Lily, New Zealand

Actually not a lily, but a Mountain Buttercup, this is a species endemic to New Zealand, where it occurs in the South Island and on Stewart Island at altitudes of 700–1500 m. This photo may possibly have been taken in the Mount Cook National Park area, which would make it an Unesco whs site, as I've just realised :)) Many thanks to Susan for this heart-warming view..!

Matsumoto Castle, Japan

Also known as the 'Crow Castle' due to its black exterior, Matsumoto-jō is situated in the Nagano Prefecture, and was the seat of the Matsumoto domain of the Edo period (from the 16th century). In 1872 it was sold at auction for redevelopment but the residents from Matsumoto started a campaign to save the building. It underwent "the great Meiji renovation" between 1903-1913.
What a lovely setting! Thank you usapon ;)

05. 05. 2014.

UNESCO - Churches Of Chiloé, Chile

The Chiloé Archipelago consists of several islands lying off the coast of Chile, widely known for its distinctive folklore, mythology, cuisine and unique architecture. The perfect example of the latter are these beautiful, colourful wooden churches which 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.
There are about 70 churches built in similar way, sixteen of them excelling as an outstanding examples of the successful fusion of European and indigenous cultural traditions. Just lovely, gracias Hernan :)

UNESCO - Pilgrimage Church Of St John Of Nepomuk At Zelená Hora, Czech Republic

The Pilgrimage Church of St John Nepomuk at Želena Hora, Ždár nad Sázavou, is a masterpiece of an architectural style that spanned the transition between the Gothic and Baroque traditions. Constructed at the beginning of the 18th century on a star-shaped plan, it is the most unusual work by the great architect Jan Blazej Santini.
This is one of the most fascinating architectural complexes I have seen! Only on a postcard mind you, needless to say I would love to visit the place one day. Great card and stamps, thanks to Liba :))

UNESCO - Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City, UK

Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire and became the major port for the mass movement of people; it was a pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems and port management.
In 2012, the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the proposed construction of Liverpool Waters project. It is one of only two endangered World Heritage Sites in Europe (the second endangered site are Medieval Monuments in Kosovo).
There are so many buildings and statues included as whs! The ones you can see here are The Liver Building and  The Port of Liverpool Building continuing to Albert Dock, as well as Walker Art Gallery situated in a so-called 'cultural quarter'. Cheers amigo :)