Monday, 29 February 2016

Namib Sand Sea

Steffi from Germany sent me this wonderful postcard, bought by her parents who visited this site and were amazed with the dunes!

Dune 45, Sossusvlei

Dune 45 is a star dune in the Sossusvlei area of the Namib Desert in Namibia. Its name comes from the fact that it is at the 45th kilometre of the road that connects the Sesriem gate and Sossusvlei. Standing over 170m, it is composed of 5-million-year-old sand that is detritus accumulated by the Orange River from the Kalahari Desert and then blown here.
Because it is near the road the dune is often photographed, particularly early and late in the day when one side of the dune is in shadow. It is often climbed by visitors to Sossusvlei. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Area de Conservación Guanacaste

This was my very first postcard from Costa Rica and it was sent by Marco.

Cabo Santa Elena, Santa Rosa National Park
Santa Rosa National Park, in Spanish the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, is a national park, in Guanacaste Province, northwestern Costa Rica. It was the first national park established in Costa Rica, created in 1971.
It is part of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage site, originally created to protect the scene of the Battle of Santa Rosa. It is also within the larger national Guanacaste Conservation Area.
Santa Rosa National Park was also created to protect the natural environment beyond the historical site.
Ten unique natural habitats are within in the park. They include savannasdeciduous forestmarshlands, and mangrove woodlands.
Fauna includes coyotespeccarieswhite-nosed coatisBaird's tapirssea turtles, and terrestrial turtles. The three species of monkey are Geoffroy's spider monkeymantled howler and white-headed capuchin. - in: wikipedia

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Cocos Island National Park

By the time I was doing this post I was ill. I had fever, my body was hurting and I was sneezing and coughing all the time. And I was absolutely sick of the Swiss winter and wishing to be in Costa Rica!

Islet Manuelita
This postcard was sent by Steffi

Cocos Island (SpanishIsla del Coco) is an island designated as a National Park off the shore of Costa Rica, that does not allow inhabitants other than Costa Rican Park Rangers. It constitutes the 11th of the 13 districts of Puntarenas Canton of the province of Puntarenas. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 550 km (342 mi) from the Pacific shore of Costa Rica. With an area of approximately 23.85 km2 (9.21 sq mi), about 8 km × 3 km (5 mi × 2 mi) and a perimeter of around 23.3 km (14.5 mi), this island is more or less rectangular in shape.
Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island is admired by scuba divers for its populations of hammerhead sharksraysdolphins and other large marine species. The extremely wet climate and oceanic character give Cocos an ecological character that is not shared with either the Galápagos Archipelago or any of the other islands (e.g., Malpelo or Coiba) in this region of the world. - in: wikipedia

Friday, 12 February 2016

Røros Mining Town and the Circumference

I have a cousin that lives in Norway. She gets married this year but unfortunately I can't go to the wedding... My cousins are the only friends that I still have from my childhood and that's why I would love to be present in this important moment of her life, but that's the way life is... Maybe I can visit her one day in Norway! This postcard wasn't sent by her but she already sent me lots of nice cards and I'm sure she'll send more!

 This postcard was sent by Cathrine

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; Femundshytta, a smelter with its associated area; and the Winter Transport Route. Completely rebuilt after its destruction by Swedish troops in 1679, Røros contains about 2000 wooden one- and two-storey houses and a smelting house. Many of these buildings have preserved their blackened wooden façades, giving the town a medieval appearance. Surrounded by a buffer zone, coincident with the area of privileges (the Circumference) granted to the mining enterprise by the Danish-Norwegian Crown (1646), the property illustrates the establishment and flourishing of a lasting culture based on copper mining in a remote region with a harsh climate. - in:

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Forth Bridge

Usually postcrossers are very kind but there are others that are really really really very kind! :) Like Suzanne, who couldn't decide which postcard to send me so she sent these two and she asked nothing in return! She says that hers great great grandfather worked on this bridge and that it is said that golden coins are placed somewhere on the bridge!

The Forth Bridge
The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 9 miles (14 kilometres) west of Edinburgh City Centre. It is considered an iconic structure and a symbol of Scotland, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designed by the English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker

The Forth Bridges
Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and it was opened on 4 March 1890 by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. The bridge spans the Forth between the villages of South Queensferry and North Queensferry and has a total length of 8,094 feet (2,467 m). It was the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world until 1917 when the Quebec Bridge in Canada was completed. It continues to be the world's second-longest single cantilever span.
The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure is owned by Network Rail Infrastructure Limited.
It is sometimes referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge, though this has never been its official name. - in: wikipedia

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Vizcaya Bridge

This is a very peculiar bridge! Basically is the  bridge that transports you  from one bank to the other in a gondola!

Vizcaya Bridge
This postcard arrived from Portugal, not far from the Spanish border, and it was sent by Ana

Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary, west of Bilbao. It was designed by the Basque architect Alberto de Palacio and completed in 1893. The 45-m-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century ironworking traditions with the then new lightweight technology of twisted steel ropes. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges in Europe, Africa and the America only a few of which survive. With its innovative use of lightweight twisted steel cables, it is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution. - in:

Monday, 8 February 2016

Churches of Moldavia

The first four postcards of this post are the result of my first swap with another postcrosser! They were all sent by Elena. The other 3 were sent by Anca and thanks to her I have now postcards showing all the eight churches!

Churches of Moldavia
 These eight churches of northern Moldavia, built from the late 15th century to the late 16th century, their external walls covered in fresco paintings, are masterpieces inspired by Byzantine art. They are authentic and particularly well preserved. Far from being mere wall decorations, the paintings form a systematic covering on all the facades and represent complete cycles of religious themes.Their exceptional composition, the elegance of the characters, and the harmony of the colors blend perfectly with the surrounding countryside. The interior and exterior walls of the Church of the Suceviţa Monastery are entirely decorated with mural paintings of the 16th century, and this church is the only one to show a representation of the ladder of St John Climacus. - in:

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin of the former Monastery of Humor
 Humor Monastery located in Mănăstirea Humorului, about 5 km north of the town of Gura Humorului, Romania. It is a monastery for nuns dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary, or Theotokos. It was constructed in 1530 by Voievod Petru Rareş and his chancellor Teodor Bubuiog. The monastery was built over the foundation of a previous monastery that dated from around 1415. The Humor monastery was closed in 1786 and was not reopened until 1990.. - in: wikipedia

Church of the Annunciation of the Monastery of Moldovita

 The Moldovița Monastery (Romanian: Mânăstirea Moldovița) is a Romanian Orthodox monastery situated in the commune of Vatra MoldovițeiSuceava County, Moldavia, Romania. The Monastery of Moldovița was built in 1532 by Petru Rareș, who was Stefan the Great's (in Romanian Ștefan cel Mare) illegitimate son. It was founded as a protective barrier against the Muslim Ottoman conquerors from the East. - in: wikipedia

Church of St George of the former Voronet Monastery

The Voroneț Monastery is a medieval monastery in the Romanian village of Voroneţ, now a part of the town Gura Humorului. It is one of the famous painted monasteries from southern Bukovina, in Suceava County. The monastery was constructed by Stephen the Great in 1488 over a period of 3 months and 3 weeks to commemorate the victory at Battle of Vaslui. Often known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East", the frescoes at Voroneț feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as "Voroneț blue." - in: wikipedia

Probota Monastery
 Probota Monastery (RomanianMănăstirea Probota) is a Romanian Orthodox monastery in Probota village, Dolhasca town, Suceava CountyRomania. Built in 1530, with Peter IV Rareș as ktitor, it is one of eight buildings that make up the churches of Moldavia UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is also listed as a historic monument by the country's Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. - in: wikipedia

Church of Saint George of Suceava

 Saint John the New Monastery (RomanianMănăstirea Sfântul Ioan cel Nou), dedicated to Saint John the New of Suceava, is a Romanian Orthodox monastery in SuceavaRomania. Built between 1514 and 1522, the monastery church is one of eight buildings that make up the churches of Moldavia UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is also listed as a historic monument by the country's Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. The church serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți. - in: wikipedia

Churches of  Moldavia
The 8 churches:
  • Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist of Arbore
  • Church of the Assumption of the Virgin of the former Monastery of Humor
  • Church of the Annunciation of the Monastery of Moldovita
  • Church of the Holy Rood of Patrauti
  • Church of St Nicholas and the Catholicon of the Monastery of Probota
  • Church of St George of Suceava
  • Church of St George of the former Voronet Monastery
  • Church of the Resurrection of Suceviţa Monastery

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

This wonderful postcard of this wonderful castle arrived with four wonderful stamps of four UNESCO sites from Poland, including the Malbork castle itself and it was sent by Ania

Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle is the most complete and elaborate example of the Gothic brick castle complex in the characteristic and unique style of the Teutonic Order, which evolved independently from the contemporary castles of western Europe and the Near East. The spectacular fortress represents the phenomenon of the monastic state in Prussia, founded in the 13th century and developed in the 14th century by the German communities of military monks who carried out crusades against the pagan Prussians on the south Baltic coast. The fortified monastery on the River Nogat represents the drama of Christianity in the late Middle Ages, stretched between extremes of sanctity and violence.
From the 19th century onwards Malbork Castle has been the subject of restoration that contributed in an exceptional way to the development of research and conservation theory and practice. At the same time many forgotten medieval art and craft techniques were rediscovered. Extensive conservation works were carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the severe damage that it incurred in the final stage of World War II, the castle was restored once again. - in:

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Kronborg Castle

This is for sure the most famous castle in Denmark, and I would love to visit it, as well as the rest of the country.

Kronborg Castle

This postcard was sent by Christina

Located on a strategically important site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør (Elsinore) is of immense symbolic value to the Danish people and played a key role in the history of northern Europe in the 16th-18th centuries. Work began on the construction of this outstanding Renaissance castle in 1574, and its defences were reinforced according to the canons of the period's military architecture in the late 17th century. It has remained intact to the present day. It is world-renowned as Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet. - in

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Mount Etna

After Hawaii and Russia we continue in the volcanoes chapter with the Etna, Italy

Mount Etna
This postcard arrived from Spain, sent by Patricia

Mount Etna is an iconic site encompassing 19,237 uninhabited hectares on the highest part of Mount Etna, on the eastern coast of Sicily. Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world. The eruptive history of the volcano can be traced back 500,000 years and at least 2,700 years of this activity has been documented. The almost continuous eruptive activity of Mount Etna continues to influence volcanology, geophysics and other Earth science disciplines. The volcano also supports important terrestrial ecosystems including endemic flora and fauna and its activity makes it a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes. The diverse and accessible range of volcanic features such as summit craters, cinder cones, lava flows and the Valle de Bove depression have made the site a prime destination for research and education. - in:

Volcanoes of Kamchatka

From the volcanoes of Hawaii to the volcanoes of Russia

Volcanoes of Kamchatka
This postcard was sent by Anna

This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle. - in:

Volcanoes of Kamchatka
This postcard was sent by Katya

The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4,750 m or 15,584 ft), the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, while the most striking is Kronotsky, whose perfect cone was said by celebrated volcanologists Robert and Barbara Decker to be a prime candidate for the world's most beautiful volcano. - in: wikipedia

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes can provide some amazing pictures, like this one, but I would't like to be around when an eruption happens!

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This postcard was sent by Julia

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive subaerial volcano. The park gives scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of vulcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna. - in: wikipedia