Thursday, May 30, 2013

Niagara Falls

This card came from my lovely swap buddie Marie and as always she included a special stamp, that happens to be one of my favorite stamps and a special postmark that has my birthday date!

In 2008 I went on a trip around Canada and Niagara falls were the last part of my tour, I took the Maid of the Mist boat, a helicopter ride over the falls, had lunch at Skylon tower, so many good memories are coming to my mind right now!

Niagara Falls, Ontario, along with with its sister city Niagara Falls, New York, is the self-proclaimed "Honeymoon Capital of the World." For hundreds of years the grandeur of the Falls of the Niagara River have attracted many to this destination.
Mainly a tourist destination, the main attraction has always been Niagara Falls, which brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city. Now tourism plays a major part in the economy of the region. Increasingly, visitors seeking more natural settings are finding the Niagara River to be a great place to hike and visit downstream from the Falls where the majority of visitors go.

The Maid of the Mist is one of the biggest attractions, it's a boat that takes tourists to the foot of the falls, where you can better appreciate their thunder and spray. Runs April-October. Boats depart every 15 minutes and the ride is 30 minutes. 

Thank you very much Marie! 

007: From Russia with Love

Another James Bond card! I love this card because From Russia with love is my favorite 007 movie :D 

In this film 007 is on the search for a Russian decoding machine, known as Lektor. Bond needs to find this machine, before the evil SPECTRE organization discovers it first. Whilst being romantically linked with Russian girl, Tatiana Romanova, Bond sneaks his way around Istanbul, whilst each SPECTRE agent tries to pick him off, including the over powering Donald 'Red' Grant and ex-KGB agent Rosa 
Klebb who knows all the tricks in the books and even possesses an incredible poison tipped shoe!

This is actually a fan trailer but iI think is better than the official: 

Salamat Cristina! 

Lake Sils

Lake Sils, Switzerland lies on a high plateau at an altitude of 1800 m, immediately by the watershed of the Maloja pass, the crossing into the Bergell valley. An idyllic hiking and cycling route circumnavigates the lake.

During the summer months, Europe’s highest passenger boat service operates on Lake Sils: the modern motor vessel "Segl-Maria" ploughs across the lake from Sils Maria to Maloja on the south-western lakeshore and back again in 40 minutes, four times a day. During this scenic cruise, it stops at the Chastè peninsula, Plaun da Lej and Isola.
In summer, the Upper Engadine is regarded as a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Mountain trout, greyling and char abound in the numerous lakes, as well as in Lake Sils. The fishery is open from the start of May to mid September.
The renowned German philosopher Nietzsche spent considerable time at Lake Sils. Today, his former dwelling house is a museum in which original documents and letters can be viewed. One of the most beloved winter walks in the Upper Engadine leads from Sils-Maria over the Chastè peninsula up to Maloja, and then back again to Sils-Maria. 

Danke Joanna! 

Vanity Fair

I received this card as a birthday surprise from Lannie! (: 

This card is from a collection on vintage Vanity Fair covers, here you have some info:
From modernist wonders to striking Jazz Age delights-a box of 100 postcards, each featuring a different and beautiful vintage cover from Vanity Fair magazine.
In 1913, publisher Condé Nast founded Vanity Fair, a magazine that would celebrate the culture, politics, lifestyles, and humor of the world's "smart set." The magazine discovered or lent invaluable support to such varied names as Dorothy Parker, e. e. cummings, Noël Coward, Gertrude Stein, P. G. Wodehouse, Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen, and Man Ray, and frequently reproduced works by the likes of Matisse and Picasso long before anyone in the mainstream press would dare. Edited by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, this elegant collection of postcards includes one hundred of these groundbreaking covers, representing more than twenty years of cosmopolitan Jazz Age design in one box.

This particular one is from March 1931 and designed by Fortunato Depero 

Salamat Lannie! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service is a japanese animation film from studio Ghibli written, directed and produced by Hayao Miyazaki in 1989, it is based in a novel by Eiko Kadono. 
It's basically the story of Kiki, a 13 year old witch that has to go live a year alone in another city as part of a tradition. She works in a bakery running the delivery service (you didn't see that coming huh?) and the main plot is her struggle during her adventure alone. 

As I do with the movie cards I get here's the english trailer:

谢谢 (xièxiè) Floria!

Hundred Islands

The Hundred Islands National Park is a national park in the Republic of the Philippines. The protected area is located in the city of Alaminos, in the province of Pangasinan in northern Philippines. The islands, totaling 124 at low tide and 123 at high tide, are scattered in Lingayen Gulf covering an area of 16.76 square kilometers. Only three of them have been developed for tourism: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. The Lucap wharf in Alaminos, the entrance to the National Park, is about 240 kilometers north of Manila.

Salamat Cristina!

Voronezh mystery building

Awesome stamps! 
I don't have a lot of information about this building because the back of the postcard is all in russian and the person didn't mention anything about it, all I know it's located in the city of Voronezh so if anyone reading this knows about it,  any info will be appreciated 

Spasibo Ksenia!


To kick off with the new image of the blog we have this really nice card from Siena along some great stamps!

Siena is a medieval city in the region of Tuscany, located in the north of Italy some 70 km (43 mi) south of Florence. It is probably best known for a colourful horse race, Il Palio, conducted twice each year in the summer.
Siena was a proud, wealthy, and warlike independent city-state during the Middle Ages, until its final defeat by Florence. Medieval Sienese art (painting, sculpture, architecture, etc.) is unique and of great historical importance. Sienese people are fiercely proud of their city and their neighborhood. The Palio, a horse race like nowhere else (between the 17 contrade of Siena, is run in The Campo of Siena on July 2 and August 16). All Sienese are affiliated with one of the contrade, to which a typical Sienese feels loyal with a strength perhaps surpassed only by their loyalty to their family, is all about neighborhood pride and rivalry, and also constitutes the unbroken continuation of a Medieval tradition.
That said, this is a city which depends and flourishes on tourism. Siena was a very poor little city for a few hundred years after its defeat, which is the main reason that its lovely Medieval buildings were never torn down and replaced with modern structures. In the 19th century, tourists started coming. Nowadays, it is a requirement that new buildings within the city walls be built to maintain the city's character and beauty - many are strikingly modern, yet fit in well.

Grazie Luciana! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Titanic memorabilia

This card also came as a surprise for my birthday and I really love it!

I've been obsessed with the Titanic (the real ship) since I was in 3rd grade so this card was a great surprise, it's from a collection of Titanic postcards and in this one we can see Captain Edward Smith (on the right) and Lord Pirrie the director of Harland & Wolff (the company that built the Titanic). 
This photo was taken in 1912 before the ship sailed.

Thank you so much Valerie! 

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the federal capital and center of government in the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and one of the most modern cities in the world.

With a population of just under 1.5 million, Abu Dhabi is the headquarters of numerous oil companies and embassies. With only 420,000 citizens in the entire emirate, each has an average net worth of $17 million. The city features large gardens and parks, green boulevards lining all the streets and roads, sophisticated high-rise buildings, international luxury hotel chains and opulent shopping malls.
The city began to change radically in 2004 after long-ruler Sheikh Zayed passed away and his son Sheikh Khalifa took over. In a bid to attract tourism and investment, land sales to foreigners were allowed and restrictions on alcohol were loosened.
Several massive projects are also under way. Yas Island hosts Abu Dhabi's Formula 1 track and the new Ferrari theme park, while the upcoming $28 billion cultural zone of Saadiyat Island and its centerpieces the Guggenheim and Louvre Museums are scheduled to open in 2013. It remains to be seen how well the strategy will work but the city is certainly experiencing a construction boom.

On the back of this card we can read: "This is a bird's eye view of Abu Dhabi's signature Corniche -a wide boulevard flanked by public parks, walkways, fountains and the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. You can walk the Corniche, hire a bicycle and ride along it, or cruise its waters by day in a chartered leisure craft." 

Shukran Ayn!

Matryoshka dolls

I really love this postcard, I think it's quite a clever shot! 
Since this is not a touristic card let's talk a little about the famous matryoshka dolls 

At one time or another, most of us have been fascinated with the colorfully painted matryoshka or nesting dolls. They come in a variety of sizes, characters and number of dolls nested one inside the other. How did the matryoshka come to be and why? First of all, the name, also spelled matriosha, was a popular name for girls. It is believed that it was derived from the Latin word, mater, which means mother or, more to the point, grandmother. A peasant mother of old Russia often tended to a large family. The largest doll is the grandmother with future generations of dolls tucked inside her. This symbolizes the hope and value of life and the family; the heart an soul of Russian people. While not known for certain, it is commonly agreed that this is the image which resulted in the matryoshka. Traditionally, a matryoshka was given to newborns to wish them a long and prosperous life.

You can read some more information on names and dates here:
Spasibo Lara! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I got this lovely postcard as a birthday surprise, Mimi wrote a wonderful and sweet birthday message and used those awesome flower stamps!
I really love this card (I think I say that with every card but oh well...) because my dream pet is a teacup pig however I don't see that happening anytime soon so in the meanwhile I have a bunch on this card! 

And let's accompany this with "Piggies" a song by one of my favorite bands, The Beatles:
Thank you very much Mimi!

Spanish flag

I really like this card and it's really cool to see some different spanish stamps, however for some reason they were not postmarked...
Since I already featured some info about Spain in another postcard, let's get into some vexillology (the study of flags).

The flag of Spain (colloquially known as "La Rojigualda"), as it is defined in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, consists of three horizontal stripes: red, yellow and red, the yellow stripe being twice the size of each red stripe. Traditionally, the middle stripe was defined by the more archaic term of gualda, and hence the popular name rojigualda (red-weld).
The origin of the current flag of Spain is the naval ensign of 1785, Pabellón de la Marina de Guerra under Charles III of Spain. It was chosen by Charles III himself among 12 different flags designed by Antonio Valdés y Bazán (all projected flags were presented in a drawing which is in the Naval Museum of Madrid). It was until 1843 that Queen Isabella II of Spain would make the flag official.
Throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, the color scheme of the flag remained intact, with the exception of the Second Republic period (1931–1939); the only changes centered on the coat of arms.

The Spanish coat of arms symbolizes the country, the old kingdoms of Spain, the Royal Crown, the Imperial Crown, the Constitutional monarchy, the Spanish national motto: Plus Ultra, and the Pillars of Hercules with the Spanish geographic situation.

Gracias Gabriela! 


This card is one of those that's very simple but really lovely! I really liked it and it features some of the basic tools for us snail-mailers: pens!
Plus that I need Spain stamp that I like very much

Gracias Ari!


The capital of Spain, located in the heart of the peninsula and right in the center of the Castillian plain 646 meters above sea level, has a population of over three million. A cosmopolitan city, a business center, headquarters for the Public Administration, Government, Spanish Parliament and the home of the Spanish Royal Family, Madrid also plays a major role in both the banking and industrial sectors. Most of its industry is located in the Southern fringe of the city, where important textile, food and metal working factories are clustered. Madrid is characterized by intense cultural and artistic activity and a very lively nightlife.

Gracias Ana!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Snail-mailers around the globe: The Netherlands

Here we have our snail-mailer for May, Wesley!
He's a really nice fellow postcrosser & blogger from The Netherlands. He's on the quest to get a card from every country in the world and so far his collection  is quite big and neat.

In what snail-mailing activities do you take part?
Only postcard swapping.

How did you became a snail-mailer? 
I never really had a large interest in snail-mail whatsoever before I landed into the world of Postcrossing. Receiving mail was just daily routine which only consisted out of bills for my parents and the occasional bills for me. That was it. In 2009 I came across the Postcrossing website and I loved the idea of receiving and sending a postcard from/to a random person somewhere in the world. Since I had never received any postcard before (my friends and relatives weren't active travellers and postcards senders), Postcrossing is definitely the project that transformed me into a snail-mailer. I can remember receiving my first postcard from Switzerland and showing it to everyone in the family. That was very special and exciting for me! I would have never thought a piece of paper could give me such an ecstasy. From then on I was immediately hooked on sending and receiving postcards.

For how long have you been doing this? 
Having started with Postcrossing in November 2009, I've doing this a little bit more than 3 years now. I did quit sending cards in the beginning of 2011 until October 2012 when I had to focus completely on studying. At the same time money issues played an important role which resulted in not being able to send postcards during that period. So basically you could say I have only been doing this for 2 years.

Can you show me 3 of your favorite postcards and make a little explanation on why you like them? 
This is an extremely difficult task as I love so many postcards and received so many so far!

 But of course my favorite card would be the first card that got me hooked.Sent from Switzerland, a beautiful card with a triptych showing some majestic mountains.

I really love this card because it shows a magnificent building, a sunset and when you look closely includes lightning as well. For me that’s just a fantastic scene. But what I like even more is that the sender wrote so much on the back on the card, in such a tiny handwriting, that I was pretty amazed how she did this. It’s something I appreciate a lot and I always try to write as much on my cards as well, since I know many people appreciate it.

Last but not least I chose this card as I love night views and this is definitely one of the best I have received so far. Also Hong Kong and its skyline is just mind blowing, making the view even more impressive.

How much does it cost to send a postcard in your country? 
To send a postcard (whatever size it is) will cost you  €0.54 domestically, €0.90  within Europe (including Russia) and €0.95 for a postcard outside Europe. It’s not too bad, but these prices are bound to increase every year, unfortunately.

Do you have any theme collections? If you do, why are you collecting them? 
Yes, I do collect particular postcards. I tend to focus on collecting city views especially, since these are the most common and most interesting ones to me. Besides those typical postcards I collect cards depicting birds (especially owls), USA state maps, French départements maps and airport related cards. Also I´m trying to receive a postcard from every country/territory in the world. Some collections are just because I thought it would be interesting, others like birds and airports are collections I consciously chose to collect as I love both topics. I’m a bird lover and I have a passion for aviation, which was a logical reason to decide to collect postcards of these topics.

If you are into pen-paling, from which countries do you have pen-pals from? 
I don’t have pen-pals, just postcard-pals from several countries.

Have you discovered any destination you'd like to travel to thanks to a postcard? 
Well, in fact I’d like to visit every country in the world, so every place is appealing to me.
But yes, I have discovered countries/places through postcards that caught a lot of attention and made me want to go there badly. For instance the Julian alps in Slovenia, the island of Réunion, the Amish counties in Pennsylvania (very intriguing although difficult to ‘see’) and some other places.

Please share a few facts about other countries you've learned thanks to postcards or letters:
I probably learned a lot of stuff because of all the information that was written on the postcards. Though I can’t recall anything particular right now that would be interesting to tell. Mostly I learned that some countries (despite the –in my opinion- good geographical skills I have) were located much differently than I expected. Those discoveries were kind of eye-openers.

A few fun/strange/surprising facts you'd like to share about your country? 
Would you guys be surprised that our country doesn't only exist out of tulip fields with windmills, not everyone smokes weed here and wearing clogs is only for old-fashioned farmers?
  • I’d say it would be interesting to know that we are considered the tallest population in the world. Average height for men is 1.84 m and for women this would be 1.70 m. I’m 1.85 m by the way.
  • We have the oldest running airline in the world, KLM which stands for KoninklijkeLuchtvaartMaatschappij (=Royal aviation company). They have been flying since 1919.
  • There are twice as many bicycles in the Netherlands than inhabitants. Almost everyone owns a bike here and we see it as a very important way of transportation. Therefore it is not crazy to find Dutchies riding on city bikes worth €2000+.Students on the other hand usually go to a second-hand store and buy an old rusty bike for €15 that will do fine for them. Lots of differences.

In your opinion, what is it that makes sending postcards and letters through snail-mail special?
I especially like the friends and other contacts I've found as a  result of sending postcards. Besides I really love sending cards as much as receiving them. Finding  a message in my inbox at the end of the day, reading someone really liked your postcard is a true joy. And of course the things you learn when receiving a postcard because the sender wrote some interesting information on it. Or I get curious myself about a place and decide to find some info about it on the internet. All those things together make it a special hobby!

Dank Wesley!