Monday, 18 July 2016


In the 9th century AD, an ascetic group of hermit monks moved up to the ancient pinnacles; they were the first people to inhabit Metéora since the Neolithic Era. They lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some as high as 1800 ft (550m) above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors. Initially, the hermits led a life of solitude, meeting only on Sundays and special days to worship and pray in a chapel built at the foot of a rock known as Dhoupiani.

The exact date of the establishment of the monasteries is unknown. By the late 11th and early 12th centuries, a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi and was centered around the still-standing church of Theotokos (mother of God). By the end of the 12th century, an ascetic community had flocked to Metéora.

In 1344, Athanasios Koinovitis from Mount Athos brought a group of followers to Metéora. From 1356 to 1372, he founded the great Meteoron monastery on Broad Rock, which were perfect for the monks; they were safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. The only means of reaching it was by climbing a long ladder, which was drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.

At the end of the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire's 800-year reign over northern Greece was being increasingly threatened by Turkish raiders who wanted control over the fertile plain of Thessaly. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century. Six remain today.
Source: Wikipedia
Thanks to Arnold for the great card of Meterora!
Sent: 3 June 2016   Received: 23 June 2016  Travelled: 20 days


The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "highest point, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.
Source: Wikipedia

Thanks to Arnold who was in Greece recently for holidays!
Sent: 3 June 2016   Received: 23 June 2016   Travelled: 20 days

Coffee card

A colourful coffee card I got from the Coffee swap on Swap-bot.
Thank you Sarah!
Sent: 13 June 2016   Received: 23 June 2016   Travelled: 10 days

Cat lovers swap

Another cat comes to join the clan in my home, thanks to
Eakel  for the gorgeous cat!
Sent: 28 May 2016   Received: 23 June 2016   Travelled: 26 days

Sunset in Pacific Coast

Beautiful sunset view card of the Pacific Coast Highyway.
thanks to Mojolka via swap-bot.
Sent: 7 June 2016   Received: 22 June 2016   Travelled: 15 days

Reading book

Posting this card is rather apt as I took a wee break from blogging my postcards
to read a couple of books. Thanks to Irina via PostcardUnited for the amazing
decorations behind the card !
Sent: 7 June 2016   Received: 23 June 2016   Travelled: 16 days

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sleeping Koala

A fluffy koala caught sleeping at his tree!
Thanks to Jo via Postcrossing for the card!
Sent: 12 June 2016   Received: 22 June 2016   Travelled: 10 days

Tanah Lot, Bali

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot (literally "Tanah Lot temple"), a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and general exoticism.

Tanah Lot means "Land [sic: in the] Sea" in the Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock, for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. The main deity of the temple is Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, who is the sea god or sea power and these days, Nirartha is also worshipped here.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples was established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. In addition to Balinese mythology, the temple was significantly influenced by Hinduism.

At the base of the rocky island, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. The temple is purportedly protected by a giant snake, which was created from Nirartha's selendang (a type of sash) when he established the island.

In 1980, the temple's rock face was starting to crumble and the area around and inside the temple started to become dangerous. The Japanese government then provided a loan to the Indonesian government of Rp 800 billion (approximately US$130 million) to conserve the historic temple and other significant locations around Bali. As a result, over one third of Tanah Lot's "rock" is actually cleverly disguised artificial rock created during the Japanese-funded and supervised renovation and stabilization program.
Source: Wikipedia
A beautiful temple card card sent by an 
anonymous member from PostcardUnited,
 Received: 22 June 2016

Animals of Isle of Wight

Thanks to Tom for another lovely card showing the animals on Isle of Wight.
Sent: 11 June 2016   Received: 22 June 2016   Travelled: 11 days

Bembride Windmill

Bembridge Mill is a four-storey tower mill with a boat-shaped cap, which is winded by chain and wheel. It has four Common sails. The two pairs of millstones are driven underdrift.
Bembridge Mill was built c. 1700. It was painted by Turner in 1795. The mill was working by wind until 1913, having only been used for grinding animal feed after 1897. The mill was restored in 1935 and again in 1959, the latter restoration being funded by public subscription. In 1962 the mill was taken over by the National Trust. It has been restored and is open to the public.
Source: Wikipedia

Thanks to Tom for his holiday postcard and the special postmark of 
Bembridge Windmill :)
Sent: 11 June 2016   Received: 22 June 2016   Travelled: 11 days

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Great Wall

Foreign accounts of the Wall

None of the Europeans in Medieval China, such as Marco Polo, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, and William of Rubruck, mentioned the Great Wall.

The North African traveler Ibn Battuta heard about China's Great Wall—which he estimated at "sixty days' travel" from Zeitun (modern Quanzhou)—from local Muslim communities in Guangzhou around 1346 and spread its reputation west in his Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling. He associated it with the legend of the wall mentioned in the Qur'an which Dhul-Qarnayn (commonly associated with Alexander the Great) was said to have erected to protect people near the land of the rising sun from the savages of Gog and Magog.

Soon after Europeans reached Ming China by ship in the early 16th century, accounts of the Great Wall started to circulate in Europe, even though no European was to see it with his own eyes for another century. Possibly one of the earliest descriptions of the wall and of its significance for the defense of the country against the "Tartars" (i.e. Mongols), may be the one contained in João de Barros's 1563 Asia. Other early accounts in Western sources include those of Gaspar da Cruz, Bento de Goes, Matteo Ricci, and Bishop Juan González de Mendoza. In 1559, in his work "A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions," Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall. Perhaps the first recorded instance of a European actually entering China via the Great Wall came in 1605, when the Portuguese Jesuit brother Bento de Góis reached the northwestern Jiayu Pass from India. Early European accounts were mostly modest and empirical, closely mirroring contemporary Chinese understanding of the Wall, although later they slid into hyperbole, including the erroneous but ubiquitous claim that the Ming Walls were the same ones that were built by the First Emperor in the 3rd century bce.

When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall, such that in the 20th century, a persistent misconception exists about the Great Wall of China being visible from the Moon or even Mars.
Source: Wikipedia
Thanks to JiangYing for the swap!
Sent: 6 June 2016   Received: 21 June 2016   Travelled: 15 days

Mottistone Gardens

Mottistone is a village on the Isle of Wight, located in the popular tourist area the Back of the Wight. It is located 8 Miles southwest of Newport in the southwest of the island, and is home to the National Trust's Mottistone Manor.
The Island’s only megalithic monument, the Longstone is situated nearby. The name Mottistone (the Speaker’s or pleader’s stone) almost certainly derives from the Longstone. 
Source: Wikipedia

Thanks very much to Tom who sent this lovely card from his holiday
in Isle of Wight and for the special stamp of Mottistone Manor too!
Sent: 10 June 2016   Received: 21 June 2016   Travelled: 11 days

Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia

The Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia was the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia. It was also a home for two of Virginia's post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, until the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780, and with it the Governor's residence. The main house burned down in 1781, though the outbuildings survived for some time after.
The Governor's Palace was reconstructed in the 1930s on its original site. It is one of the two largest buildings at Colonial Williamsburg, the other being the Capitol.
Source: Wikipedia
Thanks to Amber via Postcrossing for the Governor's Palace card.
Sent: 4 June 2016    Received: 21 June 2016    Travelled: 17 days

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Alice in Wonderland

Love this card!
Thanks to Kate via Postcard United for this lovely
Alice in Wonderland card.
Sent: 4 June 2016    Received: 21 June 2016    Travelled: 15 days 2016

Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan

Thanks to Elaine for this rare glimpse of Lady Eowyn,
the Shieldmaiden of Rohan from the movie Lord of the Rings :)
Received: 21 June 2016

Dutch Postcrossing

Thanks to Laura via PostcardUnited for this fun card :)
Sent: 6 June 2016   Received: 21 June 2016   Travelled: 15 days

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic  is a sovereign state occupying the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometres (18,705 sq mi) and 10.4 million people, of which approximately three million live in metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century. It became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas; namely Santo Domingo, the oldest continuously inhabited city and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821. 
The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. The year-round golf courses are among the top attractions on the island. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to the region's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, as well as the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The island has an average temperature of 26 °C and great climatic and biological diversity. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in all of the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, an area declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport.
Source: Wikipedia

Thanks to Valery for the sunny card from Dominican Republic ^_^
Sent: 21 April 2016   Received: 20 June 2016  Travelled: 61 days

Crossing the Street

Sevent Avenue and West 116th Street, circa 1899 , Dover Publications

Thanks to Loida via swap-bot for the lovely vintage postcard view
Sent: 2 June 2016   Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 18 days


"Take the place that belongs to you. Be my friend!"

Thanks to Maria who sent this card as a token of friendship :)
Like all the elements of this card,a quote, an old black white photo, 
and a card with a book in it, thank you Maria and I hope one day to be 
able to meet you in St Petersburg :)
Sent: 30 May 2016   Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 21 days


A great surprise to received this unofficial "Greetings from Pandora" card
sent byPaulina via PostcardUnited, thank you!
Sent: 1 June 2016   Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 19 days

Keep Calm and Carry on the way

^_^ Another awesome Keep Calm card from Russia!
Thanks to Aliya via PostcardUnited for the card!
Sent: 30 May 2016    Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 21 days

Keep Calm and go to Russia

This awesome card comes from Russia with some nice stamps :)
Thanks to the anonymous sender from PostcardUnited.
 Sent: 3 June 2016   Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 17 days

Keep Calm and Follow a dream

Thanks to Constance via PostcardUnited for this
Keep Calm and Follow a Dream postcard :)
The card comes from the Keep Calm set published by PostcardFair (US).
Sent: 6 June 2016   Received: 20 June 2016   Travelled: 14 days

Hungarian Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building , which translates to House of the Country or House of the Nation), also known as the Parliament of Budapest for being located in that city, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the tallest building in Budapest.

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the river. An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor; the plans of two other competitors were later also realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, both of which face the Parliament Building. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904. (The architect of the building went blind before its completion.)
Source: Wikipedia

Thanks to Marc via Swapbot who sent this from the US.
The card is from a set of Unesco Postcards published by PostcardFair (US). 
Received: 20 June 2016

Bird postcard Swap

Thanks to Shirley via Swap-Bot for the Red Cardinal bird :)
Sent: 7 June 2016   Received:20 June 2016   Travelled: 13 days

Friday, 24 June 2016

Golden Jubilee of Independence - Guyana

Guyana has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Guyana, with 1,168 vertebrate species, 814 bird species, boasts one of the richest mammalian fauna assemblages of any comparably sized area in the world. The Guiana Shield region is little known and extremely rich biologically. Unlike other areas of South America, over 70% of the natural habitat remains pristine.
The rich natural history of British Guiana was described by early explorers Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles Waterton and later by naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell.
In February 2004, the Government of Guyana issued a title to more than 1 million acres (4,000 km2) of land in the Konashen Indigenous District declaring this land as the Konashen Community-Owned Conservation Area (COCA), to be managed by the Wai Wai. In doing so Guyana created the world's largest Community-Owned Conservation Area.
On land, large mammals, such as jaguars, tapirs, bush dogs, giant anteaters, and saki monkeys are still common. Over 400 species of birds have been reported from the region, and the reptile and amphibian faunas are similarly rich. The Konashen COCA forests are also home to countless species of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates, many of which are still undiscovered and unnamed.
Source: Wikipedia

Huge surprise when I saw this in my mail! An official PostcardUnited card
sent from the officials who opened an account to send celebratory postcards of 
the Golden Jubilee of Guyana's Independence. Here you can see
the matching stamp of the card with the Jaguar. ^_^
Sent: 20 May 2016   Received: 17 June 2016   Travelled: 28 days

Hamburg streetart

Thanks to Dimp via Postcrossing for the postcard. It's
a postcard of his own picture of Hamburg.
Sent: 5 June 2016   Received: 17 June 2016   Travelled: 12 days

Highest Postbox of Malaysia

Yippee! Another special postmarked card from Sabah, this time from the
top of Mt Kinabalu! Thanks very much to Anny for braving the long steep 
hike to Laban Rata and Pendant Hut :) On the stamps there's a special Mt Kinabalu
outline but it's a bit hidden by the flowers and not very clear, all the same very excited to
get this card!
Sent: 13 June 2016   Received: 14 June 2016   Travelled: 1 day

Kiyomidu-dera Temple


Kiyomizu-dera  is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.

The place is not to be confused with Kiyomizu-dera in Yasugi, Shimane, which is part of the 33-temple route of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage through western Japan, or the Kiyozumi-dera temple associated with the Buddhist priest Nichiren.

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 778, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

It was originally affiliated with the old and influential Hossō sect dating from Nara times.However, in 1965 it severed that affiliation, and its present custodians call themselves members of the "Kitahossō" sect.
Source : Wikipedia

Thanks to Akiko via Postcrossing for this lovely Temple card 
for my thematic collection!
Sent: 6 June 2016   Received: 16 June 2016   Travelled: 10 days