16. 06. 2019.

Pusheen



If you are a regular on social media you'll know this cutie :) Pusheen, a domestic shorthair, was born in 2010 and started her life as a comic strip on the 'Everyday Cute' web-site; then she transitioned to Facebook, and the rest is history.
Thanks Rachel!

10. 05. 2019.

UNESCO - Fanjingshan, China



Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province in southwest China, Fanjingshan ranges in altitude between 500 - 2570 metres above sea level, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species that originated in the Tertiary period.
Also Fanjingshan is considered a sacred mountain of Chinese Buddhism, ranking just behind The Four Sacred Mountains. During the Ming Dynasty 48 Buddhist temples were built on the mountain, many of which have since been destroyed; the ones that remain are now significant pilgrimage sites. This postcard shows the New Golden Summit, or the Red Clouds Golden Summit.
Again thanks to Tianyi :)

UNESCO - Mount Sanqingshan National Park, China



Mount Sanqingshan National Park, located in the west of the Huyaiyu mountain range in the northeast of Jiangxi Province, has been inscribed for its exceptional scenic quality, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes.
Which could this one be, perhaps an eagle sitting on a branch..? 
Thank you Tyanyi :)

07. 05. 2019.

Jbeil / Byblos, Lebanon



The coastal town of Byblos is located on a cliff of sandstone 40 km north of Beirut. Continuously inhabited since Neolithic times, it bears outstanding witness to the beginnings of the Phoenician civilization. This postcard shows the harbour ruins.
I started this post thinking it was UNESCO, but I have researched some maps and couldn't find this, or a more specific name for it. However, I am still thrilled to receive a postcard from Lebanon, my 2nd overall and 1st through a swap, thanks to Hadi :)

06. 05. 2019.

UNESCO - Royal Exhibition Building In Melbourne, Australia



The Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens were designed by Joseph Reed for the great international exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 in Melbourne. The building combines elements from the Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance styles. This site is a surviving manifestation of the international exhibition movement which blossomed in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries.
I cannot believe that I lived in Melbourne for three months and didn't visit this place, how frustrating. Moreover I was there in 2004, the year it was designated a whs site. All this prompted me to think of all the places I've visited in Australia and make a list - and then onwards to all the other places visited. Its a great task! I figured it would be a good list to use in future swaps, to get postcards of all the places I travelled to so far.

05. 05. 2019.

UNESCO - Purnululu National Park, Australia



Purnululu National Park is located in the state of Western Australia, containing the deeply dissected Bungle Bungle Range, composed of Devonian-age quartz sandstone eroded over a period of 20 million years into a series of beehive-shaped towers or cones, whose steeply sloping surfaces are disctinctly marked by regular horizontal bands of dark-grey cyanobacterial crust. The spectacularly incised landscape of these sculpted rocks rises 250 meters above the surrounding semi-arid savannah grasslands.
Amazing view, thanks to Helen :)

04. 05. 2019.

Land Of Contrasts, South Africa



I have received this great card at the end of last year, it was like: wait, I don't remember swapping with anyone from South Africa....and then I read the date, March 2016. A nice surprise when you forget about a card and then it suddenly arrives..! A year and a half is a mighty long time. Great stamps too, thank you Santie and George :)

02. 05. 2019.

I Love Stamps



Including this one of a Common Cuckoo from Belarus, thanks to Yana :)
Actually I have started collecting stamps way before postcards, not sure about the age but def before my teens. Perhaps because they were more accessible to me...not in the 'right' philatelic way of course (I am still not a proper philatelist, and I suspect I'll never be!) but as my dad was working in Germany we'd sometimes visit, and I was able to buy  unassorted lots - oh the joy of going through it all discovering what I've gotten..! I still have 6-7 stamp albums on my shelf and love going through them from time to time. Of course these days I leave the stamps intact on postcards and covers...but as I was little I used to maul the letters I received, shame...Anyhoo, it's all very well, stuff that brought or bring joy :))

22. 04. 2019.

Bergische Kaffeetafel



Bergisches Land is a low mountain range region within the state of North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany, east of Rhine river and south of Ruhr. This coffee table is traditional for the area since the 18th century. Looks yum doesn't it? Rye bread with black corinth raisins, milk rice, honey, butter, quark, waffles, cinnamon, pretzel, zwieback, marmelade, sausages and ham...and and...wow and I thought English breakfast is rich! Thank you Michele :)

Time For Breakfast



A nice continental breakfast coming all the way from Singapore, thank you Kay Jin :)

21. 04. 2019.

Åland Pancake



Continuing in the food mode...this is the last postcard I received via private swap, thank you Nina :) This pancake looks like a king of all pancakes! I found a recipe online, courtesy of finland.fi.

Recipe: Åland Pancake

This deliciously filling local snack and dessert is popular in homes and cafés throughout the Åland Islands – especially with cycling tourists keen to recharge their calorie count. (Thanks to Pettas Organic Home Bakery for advice on the recipe.)
2 dl (4/5 cup) semolina (some islanders use the same amount of pudding rice instead of semolina)
1 dl (2/5 cup) wheat flour
1 litre (4 1/4 cups) whole milk
2 or 3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 dl (2/5 cup) sugar
2 tsp cardamom
Serves 4 to 6 people
Heat the semolina in the milk for a few minutes to a porridge consistency, and let it cool down. Mix eggs, sugar, salt and cardamom separately, then stir this mixture and the flour into the semolina.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish greased with butter, and scatter a few small knobs of butter over the top of the pancake. Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit), until the surface of the pancake is golden brown.
Serve hot or cold topped with whipped cream and stewed prunes or jam (popular jams in Åland are made of local apples, strawberries, rhubarb or buckthorn berries).

Official - Olives And Feta Cheese



Today is Easter but I don't have any Easter cards, eggs, chicks or bunnies to show...The next best thing (or actually the best thing haha) is food, as this is also the day when people will (hopefully) feast and enjoy both food and each other's company. 
Olives and cheese are one of my favourite combinations - add some crackers and it is the only meal I need..! Plus some red wine of course :) Thank you Anouk for this card :)
Happy and blessed Easter!

20. 04. 2019.

Swans In The Reeds At Dawn



This is an oil painting by Caspar David Friedrich, perhaps the most important German artist of his generation; the year is anything from 1819 to 1932 (different sources different data, even for the title of the painting). You can find it in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and is actually rather small, 33x44 cm.
As I love visiting museums I was surprised on quite a few occassions with the actual size of the paintings, be it awesomely large (Rubens) or small (Mona Lisa). Thank you Gesa for this beautiful atmospheric image :)

Swan From Finland



Swan is Finland's national bird...The stamp is not as graceful though lol. It is an illustration for a car company from 1907, it seems to be a 'modern' take on a Kalevala folk story - the snatching of Kyllikki. Thanks goes to Sari :)

19. 04. 2019.

Mountain Hike



Something's on my mind...can you guess what? :) Last year was the first in 20 years that I haven't been across the national border. The horror...Not a good year, but this one should rectify that..! (fingers crossed)

18. 04. 2019.

St Jean At St Barths



St Jean is one of the best known beaches on St Barths; Gustav III Airport is only about a mile away, so this sight is quite common for the locals. Its been 7 years since I posted about St Barths here for the first and only time; back then I wished for a local cancellation instead of the general La-Poste one, and my wish came true - thank you Denise :)

Fountains Of Bellagio, Las Vegas, USA



Las Vegas has become such a popular city, but I still fail to recognise its lure. If anything, it looks like a nightmare for an introvert lol. Still, it does raise the interest as an architectural feat. As I read the name 'Bellagio' it rang a bell...not sure why, it's like I've heard it in a song...can't figure it out. The Bellagio resort offers 3950 rooms, a line of superb restaurants, even a gallery and a conservatory. The fountains depicted here are also quite famous, their display is coreographed to various pieces of music, from Elvis Presley to Tiesto. Thank you Rachel :)

17. 04. 2019.

Dress Me Up!



I always wanted to be a fashion designer (even though I am not that fashionable myself heh). My mum has always been good at sewing, there were editions of Burda (German magazine with sewing patterns) lying around and I started drawing designs at the age of 9 or 10 (I remember having a notebook full of sketches, but unfortunately my mum is also a 'terminator' - she throws away stuff easily, and I hardly own anything of sentimental value from the pre- and early-school era because I wasn't quick enough to hide stuff from her). Anyways...I had a very nostalgic flashback when I saw this postcard in a shop in Germany - this is also the kind of stuff I used to do, because during my childhood in Yugoslavia magazines for kids used to have this 'cut-out fashion'; you'd first cut out a paper 'mannequin' and then all these different clothes that you'd 'dress' her with. Soon enough I started to make my own models and clothes. I do wish I managed to keep at least some of it!
I wonder if anyone else remembers or has done this..?

Rainbow Boa



And a new snake card! Epicrates cenchria cenchria is a boa species native to Central and South America, known for its attractive iridescent sheen caused by structural coloration, which makes it a popular pet. I can't tell if this is the right way to show the card lol, where's its head at? With lovely animal stamps, thanks to Natalia :)

World Travel - Taiwan



One of the card series that I've mentioned recently :) I like receiving one example of any popular series, and this one is quite nice. It's been made even nicer with the colourful back and special postmark - thank you Jennifer :)

16. 04. 2019.

Sargantana De Menorca



Lilford's wall lizard is a species of lizard of the Lacertidae family endemic to the Balearic Islands. It is also endangered due to its habitat loss :( A lovely addition to my collection, gracias Elena :)

A Few Words

As I have returned to my old job and consequently to blogging, here is an update on my postcrossing activities...For sure the most important news is, Croatian Post decided to up the postage prices, and that without prior announcement. Actually I got this news unofficially about a week ahead, sent an inquiry to their official e-mail address, to which they responded 'we have no such knowledge'. This made me believe that the info I received was just a rumour, and it was a huge relief - but no, wrong! And I wouldn't be writing this if the increase in price was minimal...it was in fact as follows:
Postage for all countries will be the same, 8.60 kunas.  It used to be 4.60 for Europe, which means the price in that segment has risen by 87%. Whoa. For outside Europe the rise is 50%; in this light the rise for letters which is 13% doesn't sound too bad, when in fact even that is too much esp considering our standard of living.

Last year I swapped only sporadically but sadly it may be even more of a case this year. I have a pile of postcards waiting to be sent, I'd like to find them a new home as their shoe box has become all too familiar and they must feel at least a bit bored. If anyone wants a card please feel free to pick one from my album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daldon77/albums . I don't think I am picky when it comes to themes, I do foremostly collect UNESCO (whs, intangible, biospheres, anything), donkeys and reptiles, but then there are landscapes, architecture, history, people, animals, food, drinks...in a nutshell I like seeing and learning new things from the cards I receive. It makes me sad and more than a bit angry that Croatian Post made a huge step in discouraging postcrossers...We all learn about the world from these little images from across the world.

Official - Eguisheim, France



Eguisheim is a medieval village in France's Alsace wine region. The narrow, concentric streets of its old town are lined with many preserved half-timbered houses. The stamp shows another Alsatian town of Kayserberg. Both are situated close to Colmar, known for its Christmas market. Wine region, quaint houses, markets...We all know what needs to be done :) Many thanks to Stephane.
P.S. This post lead to me booking a room for November in Strasbourg, wheee...!

Official - Snacks From Switzerland



This postcard looks like a cut-out as some letters are missing. However one thing is for sure, the Swiss have always had excellent bread. Pretty stamps too :)

Official - Frankfurt, Germany



I've always thought of Frankfurt as one of the 'citiest cities', with nothing but skyscrapers and rectangular buildings (a bit of exaggeration of course), but here it looks attractive and pretty diverse. Danke Andrea :)

09. 03. 2019.

Inverness, Scotland



Inverness is also known as the 'capital of the Highlands'; it is situated on Scotland's northeast coast, where the river Ness meets the Moray Firth. Its old town features the 19th-cent. Inverness Cathedral, the 18th-cent. Old High Church, and an indoor Victorian Market (none visible here lol).
I've been going through the 100-walks list here on the blog again, and one of the places that caught my eye is the Cairngorms National Park, just south of Inverness. The ship I was working on docked in a nearby harbour of Invergordon once, and I was escorting on a whiskey tour (Glemnorangie) so had to skip the town, but hey there is always the next time :)