Saturday, February 27, 2010

Germany - Porta Westfalica


From: Julia - Postcrossing - Just because :) 
Built: Not sure
Subject:  The name “Porta Westfalica” is Latin and means “gate to Westphalia”. Coming from the north, the gorge is the entry to the region of Westphalia. Despite the Latin name the term was not coined in Roman times, but by scholars of the 19th century.  The town Porta Westfalica was established in 1973 by merging fifteen villages surrounding the gorge. The centre of the modern town is the former village of Hausberge, which was first mentioned in 1096.
The monument is for Kaiser Wilhelm I also known as Wilhelm the Great (22 March 1797–9 March 1888) of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia (2 January 1861–9 March 1888) and the first German Emperor (18 January 1871–9 March 1888).
Stamps:  On the right, is of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin
The strawberry stamp is another one that Julia sent me to "scratch-n-stiff". Smells great! :)
I love the colors of the postcard too! :)  Thanks Julia!

France - Paris - Eiffel Tower


From: Robert - Interpals - Just because :)
Built: 1887 – 1889
Subject: The Eiffel Tower  (French: Tour Eiffel, [tuʀ ɛfɛl]) is a 19th century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris, is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair. The tower stands at 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. It was the tallest structure in the world from its completion until 1930, when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building in New York City.
The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend either on stairs or lifts to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by lift. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.
Stamp: 2010 Vancouver Olymipcs

Malaysia - Labuan


From: Charlie Dale - Postcrossing - Aerial view tag
Where: Labuan, Malaysia  
Subject: Labuan is strategically located within international shipping and air routes and lies only 1,000 kilometers to Singapore, one of the busiest seaports in the world. 
Stamp: White-rumped Shama. They are native to South and Southeast Asia, but have been introduced to Kaua'i, Hawai'i, in early 1931 from Malaysia (by Alexander Isenberger), and to O'ahu in 1940 (by the Hui Manu Society). Their popularity as a cage bird has led to many escaped birds establishing themselves. In Asia, their habitat is dense undergrowth especially in bamboo forests. In Hawaii, they are common in valley forests or on the ridges of the southern Ko'olaus, and tend to nest in undergrowth or low trees of lowland broadleaf forests.

Netherlands - Heino Church


From: Lucie - Postcrossing - UL-294550
Built: 1867
Subject: This church is called "Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk". 
Stamp: The stamp is of a sport played in Brazil called Capoeira. It combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance. It was created in Brazil by slaves brought from Africa, especially from present day Angola, sometime after the sixteenth century.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ukraine - Cave City - Çufut Qale


From: Marianna from Ukraine  - UA-20888
Built: 1437
Subject:  This structure is the Mausoleum of Dzhanike-Khanym, daughter of Tokhtamysh. Build in 1437.  Çufut Qale, sometimes spelled as Chufut Kale is a historic fortress in Crimea, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea.  Its name is Crimean Tatar and Turkish for "Jewish Fortress".  Çufut Qale was historically a center for the Crimean Karaite community. In the Middle Ages the fortress was known as Qırq Yer (Place of Forty) and as Karaites to which sect the greater part of its inhabitants belong, Sela' ha-Yehudim (The Rock of the Jews).  
Stamp: I am not sure

USA - South Carolina - Chapel

Another thanks to Teresa & Lori for this beautiful postcard of Fred W. Symmes Memorial Chapel in South Carolina.  Fred W. Symmes Chapel (also known as "Pretty Place" because of its amazing view) is one of the many buildings that make up YMCA Camp Greenville. It was given by Mr. Fred W. Symmes for the enjoyment of the boys (and now girls) who camp here each summer and is the spiritual center of the camp. The current chapel was constructed in 1941 with several additions and improvements made in subsequent years. Camp Greenville has been in existence since 1912 and covers 1600 acres.  I would love to go there for a Sunday sunrise service someday :)

USA - South Carolina - Map


Thanks to Teresa & Lori for this colorful postcard showing the counties of South Carolina.  South Carolina is a southern U.S. state that borders Georgia to the south and North Carolina to the north. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution. The colony was originally named in honor of King Charles I, as Carolus is Latin for Charles. South Carolina was the first state to vote to secede from the Union and was the founding state of the Confederate States of America. Its capital is Columbia.  Read more about it on wiki:  South Carolina

USA - South Carolina - Campbell's Covered Bridge


Thanks to Teresa & Lori for this postcard of Campbell's Covered Bridge located in Greenville County,  South Carolina,  near the small town of Gowensville.  It is the last remaining covered bridge in South Carolina. The bridge was built in 1909 by Charles Irwin Willis (1878–1966). It was named after grist mill owner Alexander Lafayette Campbell (1836–1920) who built and maintained the Campbell corn mill in the town for many years. I love old bridges and barns.  Thanks :) 

Germany - Westerheversand Lighthouse


Gudnen & Fenjan from Germany sent me this pc of Westerheversand lighthouse. It is situated on the German North Sea coast in the northern part of the peninsula of Eiderstedt.  Many ships were stranded in this dangerous area, so in the beginning of this century it was decided to build a lighthouse at this site.  Work on the lighthouse began in 1906. Since the tower was to be built in the sands outside the diked area, a hill as protection against high floods was created. Then it was tightened by letting horses stamp the area.  One hundred twenty seven wooden piles were driven into the ground as a base for the tower. The lighthouse itself is constructed of hundreds of pre-manufactured plates of cast iron. The light was finally lit for the first time in 1908. The light has a total of nine white, red and green sectors to lead vessels through these difficult and dangerous waters, with a range of 21 nautical miles.  The two keepers houses were used until 1978 when the station was automated. Today the quarters are used by the Wattenmeer National Park and a university.  The Westereversand Lighthouse is believed to be the most photographed German Lighthouse and its image can be found on advertisements and book covers throughout the nation.

Stamps: The one on the right says Tier des Jahres 2010 "Animal of the Year"  Dachs "Badger"  

Friday, February 19, 2010

France - Le Mont Saint-Michel


Julia from Germany sent me this awesome postcard of Le Mont Saint Michel. (English: Saint Michael's Mount). A place I would love to visit someday.  I have to admit I goofed when I signed up for the TAG on Postcrossing.  I did not read it closely and was thinking I was sending someone from "Another Country" a postcard.   But the TAG is to send someone a postcard of a different country then my own.  So I owe Julia another postcard. Hummm... I should have a Canadian postcard somewhere. *smirk*  Anyway.. you could image my confusion when I looked at the image and thought... 'Julia is in Germany... but this photo looks just like that one castle/convent near Normandy.... France.'  A light finally did come on eventually :)  I had looked up this location on Wiki a few weeks ago when another penpal (Robert) had a nice photo of himself horseback riding with Saint Michel in the background.  So at first I thought it was from him. 

Mont Saint Michel  is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometer off the country's north coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41.

In prehistoric times the bay was land. As sea levels rose erosion shaped the coastal landscape over millions of years. Several blocks of granite or granulite emerged in the bay, having resisted the wear and tear of the ocean better than the surrounding rocks. These included Lillemer, the Mont-Dol, Tombelaine (the island just to the north), and Mont Tombe, later called Mont-Saint-Michel.

William de Volpiano, the Italian architect who had built the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy, was chosen as building contractor by Richard II of Normandy in the 11th century. He designed the Romanesque church of the abbey, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount. Many underground crypts and chapels had to be built to compensate for this weight; these formed the basis for the supportive upward structure that can be seen today. Today Mont-Saint-Michel is seen as a Gothic-style church.

There is so much more info on this:) Mont Saint Michel

One stamps is of Bernhard Grzimek a renowned zoo director, zoologist, book author, editor, and animal conservationist in postwar West-Germany.

The apple stamps is written in German but Julia wrote "Rub & Smell" and sure enough it smells like fruity :)  Thanks!

Russia - St. Petersburg - Smolny Convent


Alyona from Russia sent me this great postcard of The Cathedral of the Smolny Convent. I love images of churches and I received three in the mail today! :)  Smolny is located in Saint PetersburgRussia.  Construction on the complex begun as a Russian Orthodox monastery for nuns. It was built to house Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, after she was disallowed succession to the throne, when she opted instead to become a nun. However, as soon as her Imperial predecessor, Ivan VI, was overthrown during a coup d'état carried out by the royal guards in 1741, Elizabeth decided against entering monastic life and accepted the offer of the Russian throne. However, work on the convent continued with royal patronage. The Cathedral is the centerpiece of the convent, built by Rastrelli between 1748 and 1764. Read more about it here: Smolny Convent

Stamps: The left one says "Republic of Dagestan. The dagger in sheath". The right one says: "Republic of Dagestan. Head ornament. End of 19 century".  Republic of Dagestan is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia.  Check out Wiki for more history on the Dagestan culture and history. :) 

USA - NC - Morning Star Lutheran Chapel


Peter from North Carolina sent me this postcard of Morning Star Lutheran Chapel.   A historic building (not sure of the date) located in Matthews, N.C. USA.   He took the photos himself. :) Thanks! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Netherlands - Winter in Holland


Marijke from The Netherlands sent me this snowy image called "Winter in Holland".  The colors in the image are great.  It does not say where these windmills are but they look old and a very fitting site for Holland. :)  Very lovely. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chile - Atacama Desert


Hernan from Santiago, Chile sent me this very lovely card of the Atacama Desert.  Look at all those awesome flowers that cover the desert like a carpet. Hernan says it is a natural phenomenon that doesn't happen every year. He mentions that the Atacama Desert is the driest in the world. 

From Wiki: The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains. The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world.[1][2][3] The rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current, keep this over 20 million-year-old desert[4] 50 times drier than California's Death Valley.[citation needed] The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2)[5] in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows.

I love the stamps too :)  The bottom stamp is from 2001, and of the Antártica Chilena Province. The top two: Lustrabotas means shoe clears and Palomita means "little doves"  Read Hernan's comment. He explains what they are. :) Thanks again!

Russia - Moscow - The Kremlin at Night

Here is the 3rd, very beautiful card from Maxim in Moscow. :)   All 9 photos are of The Moscow Kremlin.  It is also sometimes referred to as simply "The Kremlin".  It is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (to the west). It is the best known of kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of Russia.

The name The Kremlin is often used as a metonym to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars), in the same way the name Whitehall refers to the British government, or White House refers to the executive branch of the government of the United States. It is still used in reference to the government of the Russian Federation. "Kremlinology" referred to the study of Soviet policies.

To read more about its history, size, and dates click here :) The Moscow Kremlin

Russia - The Novodevichy Convent


Here is a second card from Maxim in Moscow. I absolutely love it!  I love the snow, churches, old buildings :) The Novodevichy Convent , also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery, is probably the best-known cloister of Moscow. Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from an ancient maidens' convent in the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili III in commemoration of the conquest of Smolensk in 1514. It was built as a fortress at a curve of the Moskva River and became an important part of the southern defensive belt of the capital, which had already included a number of other monasteries.

Read more facts about it on Wiki. :)  The Novodevichy Convent 

Russia - The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Maxim sent me three very vibrant cards from his city of Moscow.  I just love them :) Thanks! 

This is the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour located in Moscow, Russia. The church is on the bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks west of the Kremlin. It is the tallest Eastern Orthodox church.  

When Napoleon retreated from Moscow, Tsar Alexander I signed a manifest, 25 December 1812, declaring his intention to build a Cathedral in honor of Christ the Saviour "to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her" and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people.

Read more about it on Wiki :)   Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

New Zealand - Old Barns & Woolsheds


Adriennegarry sent me this PC of old barns and woolsheds of New Zealand. :) I take many photos of rustic barns here in Skagit Valley.  New Zealand had a Wool Boom in 1951, making it one of the greatest economic booms in the history of New Zealand, and the direct result of US policy in the 1950–53 Korean War.  

The Matariki stamp. Released June 24th 2009 is the second in its annual Matariki stamp series, honoring the Hei-tiki as an icon of Maori art. The Hei-tiki  is an ornamental neck pendant of the Maori. Hei-tiki are usually made of greenstone and worn around the neck. They are often referred to as tiki, a term that actually refers to large human figures carved in wood, and, also, the small wooden carvings used to mark sacred places.  

Monday, February 15, 2010

Germany - Cattle in Village


Gina from Germany sent me this postcard of cattle in a German Village. The buildings remind me of Leavenworth here in Washington State.   I love the two stamps she used. One is of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.  Thanks :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

UK - Wales - Risca


Sam sent me this card of his hometown of Risca.  Located in South Wales.   Risca lies at the south-eastern edge of the South Wales Coalfield, and a coal mine used to operate in the town with terraced housing nearby for workers.  It has a rural aspect, and is surrounded to the east and west by several extensively wooded hills including Mynydd Machen (1,188ft/362m) and Twmbarlwm (1,375ft/419m) which attract tourists for the hillwalking and mountain bikers to Cwmcarn Forest Drive.  Thanks Sam! :)

Croatia - Cakovec


Tomislar sent me this card of his home town of Cakovec. It is located in North Croatia near the border of Hungary and Slovenia. The Cakovec Castle was built in the 13th century by Count Dimitrius Csáky, after whom the city of Cakovec is named.  It was owned by the Zrinski family between the 16th and the 18th century and is known today as the "Old Town of the Zrinskis" (Stari grad Zrinskih) and considered as the landmark of the city.  Love the stamps with the Rijeka clock tower :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

UK - England - Suffolk Windmills


This postcard of windmills came from Dorothy in England. They are windmills in the Suffolk area. Starting in the top left Herringfleet Windmill (1820), Thorpeness Windmill (1803), Buttrum's Mill, Woodbridge Windmill (1836), Saxtead Windmill (1810), Holton Windmill (1749 Mill, 1835 Windmill) Thanks again Dorothy! :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Zealand - Hokianga Harbour


 Hokianga Harbour is located on the west coast in the north of the North Island of  New Zealand. The image on the right is the harbor with Opononi sand dunes.  The image on the left is of the great kauri tree "Tane Mahuta" in the Waipoua Forest.  Its Maori name means "Lord of the Forest".   The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the North Auckland Peninsula (Northland Peninsula). It is the largest kauri tree standing today.  Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1250 and 2500 years old.  Trunk girth 13.77 m (45.18 ft), Trunk height 17.68 m (58 ft), Total height 51.2 m (167.98 ft), Trunk volume 244.5 m³, Total volume including the crown 516.7 m³.
Thanks Adrienne!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Norway - Alesund


Janet in Norway sent me this city scape view of Alesund. She mentions that the whole town burnt down in 1904 and was rebuilt in 3-4 years of stone, brick and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) the architectural style of the time. Before the fire most of the buildings were made of wood.  From this image and others I have found it looks like most of the city is surrounded by water.  This is another nice image of the city at sunset.  Thanks again Janet for the lovely card :) 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Romania - Sinaia - Castelul Peles


Adriana and Marius from Romania sent me this very nice card.  I LOVE snow, castles, autumn colors, and mountains, so this is a VERY fitting card. :)  I love the detailed architecture. 
(From Wiki) Today a historical monument, Peles Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle placed in an idyllic setting in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914; its inauguration was held in 1883. 
Thanks again to both of you  :)

Finland - Joulupukki - Sinterklaas - Santa Claus


Lina from Finland sent me this postcard via a direct swap on Postcrossing.  I sent her one with Sasquatch in the woods.  She sent me one with Joulupukki in the woods. Here in the USA we know him as Santa Claus.  When my young daughter saw the card in the mail she yelled out "Sinterklaas!"  They had learned all about him him school this year.  They even put carrots in their shoes out in the hall and waited to see if he would stop by and give them treats..... He did :)  I love the Aurora Borealis stamp too :)  Thanks Lina!

China - The Nine, Dragon Wall


Haomin from Beijing, China sent me this interesting card and did a great job explaining in writing the meaning of the wall. The wall is sculpted in 7 colors of glazed tile.  Screen walls were common in traditional architecture for giving privacy to an entrance as well as serving a symbol of rank. The number 9 and the dragon are both symbolic in Chinese culture.  
I love the scenic stamps too. :) Thanks again!

Japan - Hawk?


Yui from Japan sent me this lovely postcard.  I have messaged her asking what the front text says.  I am sure it is the type of bird.  Nice colorful stamps and she also put a sticker :)