29. 09. 2014.

Prišnjak Island And Lighthouse, Croatia

Before I leave for a week (but will try to sneak in a post or two) here is something that reminds me of my trips home from work - we pass this lighthouse every time, its right 'behind the corner' from my hometown Murter and when I see it I know we are almost there :) I had one postcard and one matching stamp left - for some reason there are no postcards of it to be found anymore :/
Have a great week ahead everyone!

UNESCO - Røros Mining Town, Norway

Who would link this gorgeous little town with mining? Røros Mining Town and the Circumference is linked to the copper mines, established in the 17th century and exploited for 333 years until 1977. The site comprises the Town and its industrial-rural cultural landscapes - it contains about 2000 wooden one- and two-storey houses, many of which have preserved their blackened wooden façades, giving the town a medieval appearance.
Thank you so much Trond, it looks like one of those places you want to transfer to immediately..!

UNESCO - Bronze Age Burial Site Of Sammallahdenmäki, Finland

This Bronze Age burial site features more than 30 granite burial cairns, providing a unique insight into the funerary practices and social and religious structures of northern Europe more than three millennia ago.
Very nice to get such a card via tags, thank you Anja, and for the Europa stamp! :)

UNESCO - University Of Coimbra, Portugal

The University was founded/ratified in 1290, but it moved to/from Coimbra/Lisbon for centuries, until it moved definately to Coimbra during the reign of Joăo III in 1537, which is also the year it occupied the beautiful building on the photo, the Royal Palace Of Alcáçova. Obrigado Cristina :)
I have decided to re-post after receiving the panoramic card of the library from my own trip :) It actually looks much bigger here than in real life, but its equally stunning. I liked the story about bats living inside the library eating the bugs that normally destroy the books. Quite a symbiosis :) The stamps are of two of the Coimbra's cathedrals, old and new.

28. 09. 2014.

UNESCO - Historic City Of Meknes, Morocco



Meknes is a city in northern Morocco 60 kilometres  west from Fes - it was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Marrakech. The sultan turned it into a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today.
It was very relaxing exploring this lovely place even though I had a severe cold. I've noticed that I missed posting the gates here on my blog :)

Elk, Fauna Of Belarus

To this day this remains to be the nicest mail I've ever received from Belarus - from the series of native fauna (all beautiful photos) comes this Eurasian elk (Alces alces) in autumn woods, completed with more of the fauna on stamps. Thank you dear Kate :)
I have been waiting for the opportunity to show these on Viridian's Sunday Stamps - last week was the perfect opportunity as the theme was mammals, but as I couldn't post them then I am using this chance with the  anything you wish theme. The stamps were issued back in 2007 in a set of 4 as definitives (and yet I've never received them on a postcard prior to this one, perhaps the value is meant for national usage only). The beauties/cuties here are as follows:
European polecat (Mustela putorius), Forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula)
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)
In the middle not a stamp but a nice addition nevertheless, possibly of Red Deer.
A special cancellation being another bonus! xD
P.S. As I have learnt just now Belarus Post has a very nice and comprehensive web-site and philately corner, which helped me discern that the stamps are indeed meant for postcards (A) and letters (B) within Belarus.
More various themes here:

Cuban Revolutionaries

26. 09. 2014.

Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan

I recently had a 'blind' swap on official PC and received this card showing something that is really hard to google! The info I found in the end is this:
A new sight called Syr Ana (Mother of Syr Land) was opened in Kyzylorda, southern city of Kazakhstan, on the City Day. It is called to honor and promote the image of mothers and is shaped in the form of saukele, a Kazakh national female wedding headdress. Its height is 39 meters, there is a viewing platform on the top with a 107-steped spiral stairway leading to it.
There were two stamps but the infamous stamp-snatcher in Croatian Post acted here as well. Thanks goes to Julia :)

UNESCO - Rideau Canal, Canada

The monumental early 19th-century construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario, it is the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of this European technology on a large scale. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact.
This snowy view courtesy of Jason, thank you :)

25. 09. 2014.

UNESCO - Hué Monuments, Vietnam

Huế is the capital city of Thừa Thiên–Huế Province, Vietnam - between 1802 and 1945, it was the imperial capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty and well known for its historic monuments from that period.
These is the Citadel gate leading to the Royal Palace or a forbidden city where only the emperors, concubines, and those close enough to them were granted access; the punishment for trespassing was death. Today, little of the forbidden city remains, though reconstruction efforts are in progress to maintain it as a historic tourist attraction.
Many thanks to Andrew and Elizabeth and their entertaining story complementing the picture :)
Edit: accidentally some time later I discovered that the stamp is also Unesco - from the  Intangible Cultural Heritage List, showing Ca trù (song with clappers), an ancient genre of chamber music featuring female vocalists, with origins in northern Vietnam.[1] For much of its history, it was associated with a geisha-like form of entertainment, which combined entertaining wealthy people as well as performing religious songs for the royal court.

24. 09. 2014.

UNESCO - Wooden Churches Of Maramureș, Romania

Another great surprise - well for a surprise group in vacation RR ;) Many thanks to Violeta for this splendid view, and look, autumn colours sneaked in again..!
In the Maramureș region of northern Transylvania there is a group of almost one hundred Orthodox churches, and occasionally Greek-Catholic ones, of different architectural solutions from different periods and areas. Eight were listed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1999, for their religious architecture and timber construction traditions.
One of them is this jewel in Bârsana - Church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. Here are a few interesting facts: it was built in 1720; of thick beams of oak on a foundation of massive blocks of stone; the name bârsan means a shepherd who keeps sheep with thick long wool; it was used for monastic purposes until 1791, when the monastery was abolished.
I have little hope to collect all eight churches heh.

UNESCO - Vlkolínec, Slovakia

A very nice surprise from dear Tina who went on a trip to Slovakia recently, hvala mucho ;)
Vlkolínec is a picturesque village in Slovakia, one of ten Slovak villages that have been given the status of a folk architecture reservations. This status was granted because the village is an untouched and complex example of folk countryside architecture of the region of the Northern Carpathians.

UNESCO - Canal Du Midi, France

Another autumn card, love the warm colours of the foliage :) The Canal du Midi is a 241 km long canal in Southern France -  it was considered at the time to be one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century.
The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean and along with the 193 km (120 mi) long Canal de Garonne forms the Canal des Deux Mers joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Merci Sébastien :)

23. 09. 2014.

Yarra Valley, Australia

Prepaid postcard showing the Yarra Valley, an Australian wine region located east of Melbourne, Victoria. It was my last day trip all those eons ago when I visited, we went up a hill to a restaurant with a stunning view. Ah memories...
As it is the 1st day of autumn I have initiated swaps for postcards with such views - autumn warm colours, harvests, wine-making...while at home my dad is waiting for a shipment of grapes to make his own batch of merlot :)

Funkey Donkey

Another great donkey postcard from Hanna, danke!
(I will refrain from obvious references :))

Scott Base, Anctarctica, New Zealand

And how much do I love this card?! Such a splendid view of the Scott Base, a research facility located on Ross Island in Antarctica and operated by New Zealand, with Mt. Erebus in the background  (with 3794 metres the second highest volcano in Antarctica).
What also made me really happy is the Ross Dependency stamp issued in 2013, this is info on wikipedia but since the cancellation doesn't say its posted from Christchurch I guess the info on its usability is wrong..? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamps_and_postal_history_of_the_Ross_Dependency
In any case many many thanks to Amy!

22. 09. 2014.

Iberian Emerald Lizard

Ohoh what a wonderful surprise in my mailbox! The Iberian emerald lizard or Schreiber's green lizard is found in Portugal and Spain - its natural habitats are temperate forests and shrublands, Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rivers, and pastureland. It is threatened by habitat loss :(
This particular fella represents the Mondego river valley in the Portuguese municipality of Guarda, Marta's home - thank you so much/muito obtigado amiga! And for the excellent stamp :)

18. 09. 2014.

Grand Teton National Park, USA

I am sorting some stuff out this weekend and am leaving the blog with this great image in my head, one of my favourites EVER. The reflection of a Shiras Bull Moose in the crystal waters of Grand Teton National Park...thanks so much Kate :)
P.s. what is happening with this blog lately..?! I have so many visits, I am not used to it :)

17. 09. 2014.

UNESCO - Petäjävesi Old Church, Finland


I have re-discovered a whole another folder with older postcards to include in my blog (I seem to be making it a habit), including this wonderful snow view of the Petäjävesi Church - situated in central Finland, it was built of logs between 1763 and 1765.  This Lutheran country church is a typical example of an architectural tradition that is unique to eastern Scandinavia. It combines the Renaissance conception of a centrally planned church with older forms deriving from Gothic groin vaults.
Thanks goes to Sini who also used a matching stamp :))

16. 09. 2014.

The Cat Boat, Amsterdam

When I was in Amsterdam last November I made it a must-do to visit the Cat Boat situated on one of the numerous canals - at first it looked like there are about half a dozen cats but slowly realised they are hidden in all the nooks and crannies :) Its a unique sanctuary, and you can help out either by donation or buying little things there like postcards and badges. You can even buy them online, here is a link which you can explore and learn more: Poezenboot Amsterdam.
It seems apt to post this on the day that we've found home for our kittens. To explain: I live and work on an island with one tomcat and two female cats, one of which is very tame and the other quite feral (mostly because people are not nice to her). The tame one called Gigi keeps having kittens but the guys here refuse to get the male neutered :/ Gigi had five kittens last month, and we have been trying (two women here) to find them a home. Today was lucky! Here they are ready to travel to land :)
                                                          GOOD LUCK CUTIES!!