Thursday, September 18, 2014

BELGIUM ~Greetings from ~

Great postcard  showing my countries most famous and delicious products...Thanks a lot Johan!!
Photo: Andrew Critchell
- Belgium produce over 220.000 tonnes of chocolate per year
  Pralines, were first made in the year 1912 by Belgian Jean Neuhaus,
- We have  over 800 kinds of beer  with most of them served in their own special pint
- Diamond industry in Antwerp
- Lace from Bruges, Gent and Brusssels
- Delicious mussels and frites (frites not from france but Belgium)
- Most famous fountain is tiny (61cm in height) Manneken Pis in Brussels

Stamp:
TBC-Post label!
Should have been my first stamp of the only Private Post in Belgium...unfortunately they put this label on the stamp (I think there is a stamp under this sticker... I couldn't remove it without damaging the postcard)...
They seem to use "blue postboxes" but I've never seen one in my neighbourhood...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brazil ~Lençóis Maranhenses National Park -Barreirinhas-Maranhão ~

...Looks like a view of another planet... the white sand dunes, the fresh water lagoons and the blue sky... a natural "wonder of the world" extending as far as the eye can see...Thanks a lot Silvia!!
Photo Esdras Rebouças
The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil. It is an area of low, flat, occasionally flooded land, overlaid with large, discrete sand dunes. It encompasses roughly 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi), and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation.

Lying just outside the Amazon basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rain water accumulates in the valleys in between sand dunes and forms clear blue and green lagoons

The park was created on June 2, 1981.

Stamps:
Professions - Self-Adhesive
(Issued 30-12-2005)
200th Anniversary of the Chinese Immigration to Brazil
(Issued 10-12-2012)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WALES ~Cardiff - Castle Coch ~

...Great view of the long ramp up to the main entrance of this beautiful  castle... its picturesque location and stunning architecture mean that it is often used as a film location (it is also the setting for some iconic Dr Who scenes)...Thanks a lot Emily!!
Castell Coch (Red Castle) is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built on the remains of a genuine 13th-century fortification. It is situated on a steep hillside high above the village of Tongwynlais, to the north of Cardiff in Wales. It was designed by William Burges, with an impressively medieval appearance, working portcullis and drawbridge, and with sumptuous interiors.

Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the ninth largest city in the United Kingdom.


Stamp:
Machin definitives -Queen Elizabeth II
(Issued 30-03-2010)

Friday, September 12, 2014

GUATEMALA ~ Antigua - UNESCO ~

 Fantastic view of the famous Antigua arch, one of the cities most known landmarks...nowadays Antigua is a quiet university town in the heart of Guatemala... Thanks Alé!

The Santa Catalina Arch, arch is what remains from a tunnel that linked the two buildings to its left and right. Originally constructed to allow cloistered nuns to travel from a convent to a school without stepping outdoors.

A carpet made from flowers, plants, pine needles, dyed sawdust and sand, typical of Semana Santa (Holy Week)  that line the routes of the processions with  designs of Spanish and Mayan traditional images.

Antigua Guatemala  is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches.  It was founded in the early 16th century, 1,500 m above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region.
Antigua  town is as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

 © Photo José M. González

Stamps:
Animals in danger of extinction.                  Baktun Maya Calender                                                                                      
(Issued 04-07-2014)                                            (Issued 17-12-2012)                                  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BELGIUM ~René Magritte - Blood will tell ~

Received two fantastic and unique Belgian special cancellations...a painting (with great matching stamp and signed by the designer) from one of our most famous artists and a view of the beautiful city Antwerp....
Many thanks Johan for "once again" (¬‿¬) this lovely surprise in my mailbox!!
 © C.H./Adagp, Paris 2013
The Belgian Rene Magritte (1898-1967) was one of the most well known and famous surrealist painters of all time. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.

This mysterious image of a mighty, leafy tree transformed into a cylindrical cupboard with a white ball and illuminated house reveals the lasting impact of the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico's pittura metafisica on Magritte's oeuvre.

Stamps:
From an Art booklet (self adhesive stamps) with 10 paintings of the artist Magritte.

Card signed by the designer Myriam Voz.
http://www.bpost.be/sites/default/files/pagina/philanews_2014_3_nl.pdf (page 13)

BELGIUM ~Antwerp - Market Place- Houses of Corporations- Brabo Fountain ~

View of the "Town Square" the heart of the old city and also with special stamp cancellation...during warm summer days most people choose this spot to enjoy a refreshing beer from one of the many terraces...Heel erg bedankt Johan - http://johanpostcards.blogspot.be/ - voor dit uniek filatelie item!!^^
©Verlag&Designs Simon Sauer
Antwerp is  the capital of the Antwerp province of Belgium located on the river Scheldt. The city has one of the largest seaports in Europe.In the middle of the 'Grote Markt' stands the Brabo fountain.

According to a legend, a terrible giant, called Druoon Antigoon, lived on the banks of the river Scheldt in ancient times. Whenever sailors on the Scheldt river refused to pay toll to the giant, he punished them by cutting off their hand. A Roman soldier, Silvius Brabo, managed to kill the giant. Brabo cut off the hand of the giant and threw the hand away in the river.
According to the legend, the name of the city : hand ( Engl.: hand) -werpen (Engl.: to throw).


Stamp:
Hand of statue Brabo.
With great special postmark!

Monday, September 8, 2014

SPAIN ~Minorca Island - Binibeca ~

View of one of the most beautiful villages on the coast of Minorca...it is s the least crowded of the Balearic Islands...Thanks Vall!!
Photo: Marc Pons
Binebeca Vell or Old Town was actually designed and built in the 1970 s by a famous Catalan architect but manages to look like a genuinely old fishing village with its quaint whitewashed houses and narrow alleys.

Minorca  is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. The island  is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, located to the northeast of Mallorca.

October 8, 1993 the island of Minorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Coming from Spain with "Swiss" stamps...weird^^
It's a private courier service, some souvenir shops offer Swiss Post stamps. There are special boxes in which postcards franked with those stamps have to be posted. Swiss post collect them and sent the postcards.

From a Minorca P.P. Sheet of 10 Post Paid labels Swiss Post International

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ROMANIA ~ Sapanta-The Merry Cemetry ~

..This is the most unusual and colorful cemetery I have ever seen...original, funny and sad at the same time...nothing like the cold tombstones here in Belgium!! Thanks a lot Mihnea!!
Photo: ©2S Design
The Merry Cemetery is a cemetery in the village of Sapanța, Maramureş county. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with naive paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The dominant color of the oak crosses is blue, called "sapanta blue".
The Merry Cemetery became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.


Stamp:
Flowers and antiques clocks stamps
 (Issued 21-06-2013)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

HUNGARY ~Budapest-Széchenyi Bridge from the Pest River Bank ~

This postcard was sent by my niece during her trip to Budapest...A great  night view of the oldest and most famous bridge of Budapest...an architectural masterpiece...Bedankt Dorien!!
©Eck Imre Gábor
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary, and was opened in 1849.

The Chain Bridge is 375 metres long, with its longest span at 202 metres which at the time was the second largest span in the world, the bridge is only 14.8 metres wide.



Stamps:
Furniture
(Issued 09-02-2001)
Solidarity between Generations
(Issued 17-05-2012)

Monday, September 1, 2014

USA ~Cumberland Island National Seashore ~

Beautiful scenery... unspoiled beaches...a place full of history and tons of wildlife...called by the Travel Channel as “America’s Most Beautiful Wilderness Beach.”!! Thanks a lot Jean-Claude!!!

©VisComm Publishing
From backside card:
Visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, shelling and exploring nearly 17 miles of undeveloped beach. Cumberland Island is accessible by passenger ferry from St. Marys.

Cumberland Island National Seashore preserves most of Cumberland Island in Camden County, Georgia, the largest of Georgia's Golden Isles. The seashore features beaches and dunes, marshes, and freshwater lakes. The national seashore also preserves and interprets many historic sites and structures.


Stamps:
American design-American clock
(Issued 24-01-2003)
Janis Joplin Forever stamp
(Issued 08-08-2014)



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CROATIA ~Puppy Love ~

...Cute, cuter, cutest...Golden Retrievers are the best...they are part of our family for many years...
Thanks a lot Agi and a big kiss back!! (>‿♥)  Agi's postcardblog

Stamps:
The Croatian Flora
(Issued 05-06-2002)


Our Mira when she was a "puppy"... almost a year ago now! ♥

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

POLAND ~Auschwitz-Birkenau - UNESCO ~

...I can only imagine the feeling you would get walking throughout this place....two of the most tragic sites in Europe... Thanks Magda!!
"THE ONE WHO DOES NOT REMEMBER HISTORY 
IS BOUND TO LIVE THROUGH IT AGAIN"
                                                           George Santayana quote at the Auschwitz Museum


From the back of card 1:
Initially, whole Jewish families were marched for some two kilometres on foot to the gas chambers.
From 1944, transports were brought straight to the crematoriums.

Stamps:
Signs of the Zodiac
(Issued 10-07-1996)
Polish cities-Sieradz
(Issued 29-07-2005)

From the back of card 2:
In Auschwitz-Birkenau 5 crematoriums with gas chambers were in operation. 6-7 kilograms of Cyclone B gas was enough tot kill about 1500 people within just over a dozen minutes.

It is estimated that around 1.6 million people were killed in the Auschwitz camps.
While Auschwitz was built for labor, Birkenau was built for extermination.

A Martyrdom Museum was set up here in 1947, and in 1979 Auschwitz-Birkenau was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites

Monday, August 25, 2014

ALGERIA ~ Tassili n'Ajjer - UNESCO~

... Card nr2 coming from Algeria...one of the world's most unique landscapes and greatest open-air museums of the world...Thanks once again Khaled!!


Stamps:
Flowers-Roses
(Issued 07-09-2004) and
50th Anniversary of the First Chinese Medical Team in Algeria
(Issued 16-04-2013)




Tassili n'Ajjer meaning "Plateau of the Rivers" is a mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara Desert. It is a vast plateau in south-east Algeria at the borders of Libya and Niger, covering an area of 72,000 km2.


Located in a strange lunar landscape of great geological interest, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world. More than 15,000 drawings and engravings record the climatic changes, the animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 6000 BC to the first centuries of the present era.
The geological formations are of outstanding scenic interest, with eroded sandstones forming ‘forests of rock’.





Thursday, August 21, 2014

ALGERIA ~Constantine - Sidi M’Cid bridge ~

Great Constantine city view also often referred as the "City of Bridges" ...Thanks a lot Khaled!



Stamps:
Flowers-Roses
(Issued 07-09-2004) and
Wood sculpture
(Issued 27-05-2014)



Constantine is the third largest and capital of Constantine Province in north-eastern Algerian on the banks of the Rhumel River, it owes its ts name to the Roman Emperor Constantine.When it was founded 2,000 years ago on  a plateau surrounded by deep ravines it  was a great place to build, because the city could be easily defended. Since then, Constantine has outgrown the plateau and spilled over into the adjoining areas.

Of the many high bridges that cross the Rhumel River gorge, the highest and most spectacular of all is the Sidi M’Cid suspension bridge. Opened in 1912 and designed by French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin, this  bridge was the highest bridge in the world for 17 years before Colorado’s Royal Gorge bridge opened in 1929. In 2000 the Sidi M’Cid bridge was given a major renovation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

POLAND ~ Chojnik Castle-Karkonosze National Park ~

One of the landmarks of the area...must be a real challenge to walk all the way to the top^^...Thanks Ola!


With nice Europe stamp:
Fragment of Polish instrument:
The white wedding Goat.
(Issued 2014-05-05)
©Agencja "Oferta", 2009

Castle Chojnik is located  above the town of Sobieszów in southwestern Poland within the Karkonosze National Park, overlooking the Jelenia Góra valley. The castle  rise up on a granite top (627m above sea level) in the foothills of the Giant Mountains.
In 1675, the castle that has never been conquered burnt down completely after being struck by lightning and was not reconstructed.

In 1964 the Polish state restored the ruins and rebuilt the mountain hut.This 14th-century medieval castle houses a hotel and a restaurant.The Chojnik Castle is visited by more than 60 thousand people annually.


Monday, August 18, 2014

DENMARK~Zealand island-Stevns Cliff-UNESCO~

Beautiful and unique geology site ... 4 UNESCO postcards in a row...should finally start making a "list" with received and looking for^^...Thanks a lot Rita!!

Stamp:
The North by the Sea
(Issued 17-03-2014)


©Trojborgs Forlag - Photo:O.D.Luftfoto
Stevns Klint is a 15 km long white coastal cliff with in the middle of the white limestone traces of the best known global mass extinction in Earth's history. Between the white layers of chalk and limestone is a thin layer of black clay, which holds evidence that 65 million years ago Earth was hit by mass death that extinguished more than half of all species of plants and animals, including the dinosaurs.

Zealand is the largest and most populous island of Denmark, between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea, separated from Sweden by The Sound (Øresund) and from Funen (Fyn) island by the Great Belt.

On 23 June 2014, it was announced that Stevns Klint and the Wadden Sea had been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Denmark

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ICELAND ~Thingvellir National Park-Flosagja rift-UNESCO ~

...Spectacular scenery...the site where the great tectonic plates of Europe and North America meet!
Thanks a lot Patrik!

Stamp:
Fishing vessels- Breki VE 61 (built in 1976)
(Issued 08.05.2014)



Thingvellir National Park is located in southwestern Iceland. It  is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland.

It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.

Flosagja (Flosi's Gorge), gorge filled with water in the lava fields between the European and American tectonic plates. It extends for 800 meters and is all of 25 meters deep.

Thingvellir was accepted on the World Heritage list for its cultural values in 2004.



©Photo: Pórhallur Birgisson

Thursday, August 14, 2014

MACEDONIA ~Ohrid-St John Church-UNESCO ~

A lovely church with amazing views of the lake all around...crystal clear blue water... according to Ana the most tranquil place in Ohrid (outside the tourist season^^)Thanks a lot Ana!

With lots of nice and interesting stamps!
Architecture
(Issued 10-06-1998)
Rural architecture
(Issued 2002)
City views
(Issued 04-07-2012)
World Day of the Child
(Issued 06 -10-2003)

Photo: "Rex" Digital
Ohrid is a city on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia and the seventh largest city in the country. Ohrid is known for having once 365 churches, one for each day of the year and is referred to as the Macedonian Jerusalem.

Ohrid and Lake Ohrid became a UNESCO site in 1980 it is the deepest lake in the Balkans (940 feet), with a mean depth of 508 feet. It covers an area of 138 square miles and is 18.9 miles long by 9.2 miles wide. It straddles the border between Macedonia and Albania.

The Church of St. John the Theologian is located on a cliff overlooking Kaneo Beach on Lake Ohrid. It is part of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RUSSIA ~Solovetsky Island-Monastery-UNESCO~

A stunning and beautiful nightview...now a peaceful looking site...but a place with a dark history...between 1926 and 1939 the monastery was turned into a special Soviet prison and labor camp, which served as a prototype for the Gulag system... also know as "Silovki" Gulag...
The back of the card is almost as beautiful as its front... Thanks a lot CharlesLing!!



Wonderful matching stamps:
World Cultural Heritage in Russia
Solovetsky Islands
(Issued 17-07-2009) and 
The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Aram Khachaturyan (composer) stamp.
(24-04-2003)
The Solovetsky Monastery is one of the most significant monastic institutions in Russia. The monastery is located on the large island of Solovetsky and  became one of the richest and best known monasteries in Russia.It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by tree monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery.

The Solovetsky archipelago comprises six islands in the western part of the White Sea, near the Arctic Circle. They have been inhabited since the 5th century B.C. and important traces of a human presence from as far back as the 5th millennium B.C. can be found there. The archipelago has been the site of fervent monastic activity since the 15th century, and there are several churches dating from the 16th to the 19th century.

The USSR recognized the beauty and importance of the islands and in 1974 were designated both a historical/architectural museum and a nature reserve. In 1992  it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Monday, August 11, 2014

PORTUGAL ~Multiview 24h ~

Portugal seems to be a very popular holiday destination among my friends this year^^......lots of really lovely views...Thanks Dieter and Eve!!

Stamp:
The National Team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
(Issued 16-06-2014)
Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east.The capital and largest city is Lisbon.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

IRELAND ~Dublin ~

Beautiful Dublin......for me a city on a river has always a special charm and beauty......and its so nice to get "surprise" postcards from traveling friends and family...(♥‿♥).Hééél erg Bedankt Johan!!See his  blog here.


With once again a recent released great stamp:
World War I “Recruiting Irish Soldiers for the Great War”
(Issued 24-07-2014)
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland and it lies in the province of Leinster on Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey.

Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are renowned and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ANGUILLA ~Little Bay Beach ~

This picture says it all^^...a little slice of heaven on earth...first wonderful postcard of one  more "paradise like" Caribbean islands... Thanks a million Pat!!


With nice stamp:
The Sea Captains featured  (Part 1)
Walter Griffith Hodge (1920-1989)
(Issued 25-11-2013)







Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is a tiny island set in warm waters of the Leeward Islands, east of Puerto Rico and just north of St. Martin.



Little Bay is one of the most famous beaches in Anguilla and one of the smallest. It is protected by a cove of high cliffs.






©KiMAGIC Photo

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PORTUGAL~Elvas-Amoreira Aqueduct-UNESCO~

...Beautiful postcard showing a fantastic historical construction...and a new UNESCO site with as extra bonus matching UNESCO stamps^^...Thanks Joao!!

Great stamps:
Unesco World Heritage Town of Elvas
(Issued 30-06-2014)
Elvas is the most fortified of any Portuguese town with massive solid walls encircling the main historic centre, while the town was guarded by three battle hardened castles. The town is situated on the far eastern side of Portugal close to the border with Spain.

Lying outside the city walls is the city's most famous sight, the towering Amoreira Aqueduct, 7km (4.5miles) in length that took over 100 years to complete.(from 1498 till 1622) With a total of 843 arches, and at places rising to over 30m (100ft), it still brings water to town.