30. 06. 2014.

My 1st Chain Postcard!

I have heard of chain postcards a while ago, paticipated in one chain in a round robin group - it got stuck with a person in Romania who suddenly stopped all her postcrossing activities, and I haven't thought about it since. Then I got reminded by Leonardo and we formed a European group, 1st chain was completed in a month, mine took couple of weeks longer. I am happy to have given this orange (dutch, what else!) bike a ride, and big thanks go to Leonardo, Sara and Genek for making it happen! xD

21. 06. 2014.

Pensive Donkey

What is he thinking I wonder...or just resting with no worry on his mind. In any case he looks so cute, thank you Hanna for this great addition to my collection! xD

18. 06. 2014.

How To Call People Who Can Do This To Postcards?

I have been somewhat lazy with updates lately...The World Cup has its share of blame, as my usual late evening blogging hours have been usurped by football games. In anticipation of the crucial game (they are all crucial I suppose!)  Croatia vs Cameroon tonight, I will just briefly post about a sad mail day that happened to me on monday...As I live and work on an isolated island my mum gathers mail and sends it to me when possible, this time it was a week's worth and I was really excited cos I haven't gotten so much mail for a long while (I had a swapping spree on FB). Then I saw THIS:

Hence the question: Who Does This??!!

16. 06. 2014.

Galata Bridge, 19th Century Istanbul

I haven't included a postcard from Turkey for a while...I really like this vintage view, I can only imagine the life in 19th cent. Istanbul, it must have been a far more exotic place than in this modernised era! I think of the explorations, trading, Agatha christie's novels and Indiana Jones adventures...Thank you Marina and Nenad :)

15. 06. 2014.

Map Of The Summer Palace In Beijing, China

End of last year I got the opportunity to swap for this amazing shaped map card showing one of the 45 Unesco sites in China - just one glimpse at it and you can tell its an awesome place. I mean who can doubt the combination of historical buildings, lakes and grassy fields..?! Was tricky to scan...crookedness is the word here :) many many thanks to heng yao xD
The Summer Palace covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres, three-quarters of which is water.  Its a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces  first built in 1750 - later largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design.
Now a little secret is about to be revealed...i am hoping to see this place next winter. I have already mentioned the times I've fallen in love with China through postcards (esp unesco!) and the time has come to look into it and check if I can make it my next destination. China is so vast and wonderful in so many aspects, it'll be really hard to choose where to go! And I do have to choose, time and resources are limited...tough job being a jury here. Btw I have looked at all the 45 Unesco sites briefly - estimate is one could easily spend (at least) $600 on entrance fees..!

13. 06. 2014.

Oran, Algeria

Oran  is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country. It is my first city view card from Algeria, thanks to Riyad :)

09. 06. 2014.

UNESCO - Timgad, Algeria

Great addition to my collection last week - Timgad lies on the northern slopes of the Aurès mountains, 480 km south-east of Algiers and 110 km to the south of Constantine. This Roman military colony was created ex nihilo (out of nothing)  in 100 A.D. by Trajan, and is an excellent example of Roman town planning.
Thanks so much Riyad, I love getting your mail :)

05. 06. 2014.

UNESCO - Bahla Fort, Oman

The ruins of the immense fort, with its walls and towers of unbaked brick and its stone foundations, attests to the power of the Banu Nebhan (12-15th cent.) Bahla is an outstanding example of a fortified oasis settlement of the medieval Islamic period, exhibiting the water engineering skill of the early inhabitants for agricultural and domestic purposes.
First postcard from Oman and a Unesco site, you can imagine my satisfaction :) thank you Cresalde!

04. 06. 2014.

Women In Cuban Traditional Dress

Traditional Cuban attire for women, like other aspects of Cuban culture, has its roots in Spanish and African influences. Most of the traditional outfits worn by Cuban women focus on lightweight fabrics and bright colors.
I was lucky to find this postcard, and only one single copy of it, on a Habana square on my day of departure. Moving on before i get too nostalgic :)

03. 06. 2014.

Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island

New territory in my collection, the beautiful Christmas Island, named so because it was discovered on Christmas Day (in 1643 by captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary. The island's geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna, which is of significant interest to scientists and naturalists. 63% of its 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi) is an Australian national park.
Flying Fish Cove is its the main settlement, established in 1888. About a third of the territory's total population of 1600 lives there. The Christmas Island Tourism agency was so kind to send me this postcard via Facebook, with great vibrant local stamps :) They are having a break from sending but promised to continue in the future.

UNESCO - Historic Centre Of Florence, Italy

Firenze is the symbol of the Renaissance, a city that rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity can be seen in the work of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo.
The spiritual focus of the city is the Cathedral Piazza of Santa Maria del Fiore, begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

01. 06. 2014.

UNESCO - Palau De La Música Catalana In Barcelona, Spain

Palace of Catalan Music was designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (his other notable work Hospital de Sant Pau makes the second part of this dual Unesco site).  It was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth).
Not sure which one is more interesting and impressive, the intricate facade or the dynamic interior flow. In any case I have (or should I say 'we') managed to miss it on the school trip to Barcelona all those years ago. Such a shame!
This is also a post for this week's Sunday Stamps and the theme of music and musical instruments; the pandereta is one of 5 stamps issued in 2013 (percussion instruments), and rabel also one of 5 in string instruments issued in 2012. It seems that Spain has done a really good job presenting its instruments in the last few years!
Lots and lots of interesting and various stamps on the theme here: