Thursday, 30 December 2010

Winnipeg, Canada

One more card for today. I really love all the blueness in this card, it creates such a lovely atmosphere!

Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than sixty percent of Manitoba's population. Winnipeg is the seventh-largest municipality in Canada, with a population of 633,451 in the Canada 2006 Census.

The name "Winnipeg" comes from the Cree for "muddy waters". The Winnipeg area was a trading centre for Aboriginal peoples prior to the arrival of Europeans. The first fort was built there in 1738 by French traders. A settlement was later founded by the Selkirk settlers in 1812, the nucleus of which was incorporated as the City of Winnipeg in 1873. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Winnipeg was one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The University of Manitoba, founded during this period, was the first university in Western Canada.

Winnipeg has a diversified economy, with sectors in finance, manufacturing, food and beverage production, culture, retail and tourism. Winnipeg is a major transportation hub, served by Richardson International Airport. The city has railway connections to the United States and Eastern and Western Canada through three Class I rail carriers.

Winnipeg's cultural organizations and festivals include the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Le Cercle Molière, Festival du Voyageur and Folklorama. Professional sports organizations based in the city include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, and the Manitoba Moose.

Kimberley, Western Australia

I've done a few swaps with Heather in Western Australia before, and am always more than happy to swap with her as she has some truly amazing postcards. Views in Western Australia look gorgeous, and this one is no exception.

The Kimberley is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located in the northern part of Western Australia, bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, and on the east by the Northern Territory. The Kimberley is an area of 423,517 square kilometres, which is about three times the size of England!

The Kimberley consists of the ancient, steep-sided mountain ranges of northwestern Australia cut through with sandstone and limestone gorges and steep ridges from which the extreme monsoonal climate has removed much of the soil. The southern end of the Kimberley beyond the Dampier Peninsula is flatter with dry tropical grassland and is used for cattle ranching. In parts of the Kimberley such as the valleys of the Ord and Fitzroy Rivers in the south the soils are relatively usable cracking clays, whilst elsewhere they are lateritic Orthents. Although none of the mountains reach even 1,000 metres, there is so much steep land as to make much of the region very difficult to traverse, especially during the wet season when even sealed roads are often flooded. The coast is typically steep cliffs in the north but flatter in the south, all subject to high tides.

On this card you can see the Gibb River Road crossing the Pentecost River.

Such pretty stamps on the card, too! I always love seeing different Australian stamps. These were all issued earlier this year. The one on the left commemorates the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop, while the stamp in the middle is from a set of two stamps "Christmas Island Christmas 2010". The stamp on the right is from a set of 4 stamps depicting Australian Kingfishers, this one here being the Red-backed Kingfisher.

Romney Sheep, New Zealand

I'm quite fond of sheep postcards and have a precious little collection. I'm always looking for more, and New Zealand is an excellent source. :) Thank you so much for the swap, Phebe!

Info from the back of the card:

Romney Stud Sheep, New Zealand
These Romney sires are part of the central flock of the New Zealand Romney Depevelopment Group located on the magnificent rolling pastures of Wairunga Station in Hawke's Bay. This scene is typical of the sheep and pasture country which produces so much of New Zealand's famous lamb and wool. New Zealand's sheep population is of the order of 56 million.

The stamp is from a set of 2 Christmas stamps issued earlier this year, showing old New Zealand Christmas stamps. Brilliant! There's another, similar set of 5 stamps, too. Such a neat idea!

Bosnia and Herzegovina

A very nice card my penpal Snjezana sent me some time ago. She sent me a bunch of slightly different Bosnian cards, this one is possibly my favourite.

I thought this would be a good spot to post this card, as the previous one also showed a cottage in countryside. Well, here's another one. I don't know anything about the exact location of this place, but it looks very nice. So calm and peaceful.

The stamp on the left is from a set of 5 definitives representing domestic animals, issued in 2007. The other one I'm not sure of.

Tammsaare Farm Museum, Estonia

I received this beautiful Estonian postcard from Janek in the 'UK & Ireland x other countries RR' recently, one of my favourite RRs on the Postcrossing forum. :)

Here you can see Tammsaare Farm Museum. Tammsaare is a village in Lasva Parish, Võru County in southeastern Estonia. It has a population of 26 and an area of 1.2 km².

Tammsaare is also the name of one of the most important Estonian authors. A.H. Tammsaare was an Estonian writer whose pentalogy Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus; 1926–1933) is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature and "The Estonian Novel".

Very nice stamps, too. :) The one on the left was issued in 1996 and shows the Vaindloo lighthouse. The other stamp is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2005 with the theme 'Angels'.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Golden Mosques of Iraq

One more card for today. This one is from a swap with Milad in Iraq. I honestly never thought I'd ever get a written and stamped postcard from Iraq, but now I have two.

This card shows Golden Mosques in Iraq. It doesn't say anywhere on the card what the names of these mosques are, but it looks like one of them *might* be the Al-Askari Mosque in Sāmarrā. In any case, they look pretty impressive!

The stamp was issued in 2008 with the theme 'Diplomatic Relations with China'.

Beijing Olympics 2008

This is a thank you card I received from China a while ago. Thank you so much for this cute card, Xiaoerduojiang! :)

I absolutely adore the mascots for the Beijing Olympics 2008. Sooo cute! ^_^ ...unlike the ones for London 2012. I've written about those before so I'm not going to rant more here... I'm just saying that I still really, REALLY don't like them, they are horrible and ugly. :(

Pretty, pretty Chinese stamps! The one on the left is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 1995, depicting Hong Kong. The stamp next to it was issued in 2004 to commemorate the Year of the Rooster. I'm not sure of the year of issue of the last stamp as it looks like there have been several different issues of Olympics stamps in China over different years.

Amis people, Taiwan

This is one of my favourite received official cards in the last few months. Not only because it's a very nice card, but also because the sender, Tina, really put effort into it. She sent the card in an envelope because she had written SO much on the card, and even included an extra note. It's all super cute and decorated with pretty stickers, AND she used several gorgeous stamps on the envelope, as well as a pretty rubber stamped tea pot. It's all very, very sweet - such a treat! :)


The Amis are an indigenous people of Taiwan. They speak Amis, an Austronesian language and are one of the thirteen officially recognized peoples of Taiwanese aborigines. The traditional territory of the Amis include the long, narrow valley between the Central Mountains and the Coastal Mountains, the Pacific coastal plain eastern to the Coastal Mountains, and the Hengchun Peninsula.

In the year 2000 the Ami numbered 148,992. This was approximately 37.5% of Taiwan's total indigenous population, making them the largest tribal group. The Amis are primarily fishermen due to their coastal location. They are traditionally matrilineal. Traditional Amis villages were relatively large for indigenous groups, typically between 500 and 1,000. In today's Taiwan, the Amis also comprise the majority of "urban aboriginals" and have developed many "urban tribes" all around the island.

..and here are the stamps. So many and so pretty! I wish I could create envelopes like this, too.. *sigh* Anyway. The stamp on top left is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2009, with the theme Kinmen panorama. The stamp underneath it is from a set of 3 definitives issued in 1999, showing Fruits. The bird stamp in the middle is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2008, representing birds. This one is the Bronzed Drongo. The two stamps next to it are from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2009 with the theme 'Children', and the stamp underneath those is from a set of 4 flower stamps issued earlier this year.

Harz Railway, Germany

I received this beautiful train card as an official card not long ago.


The Harz Railway (German: Harzquerbahn) was formerly the main line of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways and runs from Wernigerode to Nordhausen. But the tourist potential of the Brocken is so great that the Brocken Railway is effectively the main line today. The Harz Railway joins up with the Selke Valley Railway to Quedlinburg at Eisfelde Talmüle where all trains are organised to make good connections.

The stamp on the right (that is upside down) was issued this year and was designed by the singer Udo Lindenberg and is themed on his song "Andrea Doria". The flower stamp is from a sheet of 10 stamps with 3 designs issued in 2007.

Irish Doors

One thing I don't like about holidays is that you don't get mail on those days, and Christmas means an extra special break. I was also quite frustrated yesterday when I realised it was still Bank Holiday. I wanted to go to the post office, but of course it wasn't open so I had to go again today and wait for ages in the queue. Hopefully I won't have to go again soon.. I've stocked up on stamps and hopefully those will last me for a while.

And no, the above doesn't have anything to do with this card, I just felt like rambling. :P I've received some amazing postcards from Brian in Ireland before and this one is no exception.

In fact, this is a pretty perfect postcard. I mean you have pretty, colourful doors, a bicycle, a postman and cute animals. Adorable!

The stamp is from a set of 3 Christmas stamps issued earlier this year.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Alice Springs, Australia

This has to be one of the remotest places I have a postcard from. Alice Springs seems like a pretty weird place to live in as it's so far away from anywhere else. I don't think I could live in a place like that, but it does seem like a place that would be interesting to visit.

Alice Springs is the second largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Alice Springs is situated in the geographic centre of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory. The site is known as Mparntwe to its traditional inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years. Alice Springs has a population of 27,481 people, which makes up 12 percent of the territory's population. Alice averages 576 metres above sea level.

There are six suburbs altogether in Alice Springs which are close to the Alice Springs town centre. Alice Springs is mostly residential.

The town of Alice Springs straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The region where Alice Springs is located is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, and is an arid environment consisting of several different deserts. In Alice Springs, temperatures can vary by up to 28 °C and rainfall can vary quite dramatically from year to year. In summer, the average maximum temperature is 36.6 °C, whereas in winter the average minimum temperature can be 7.5 °C.

This card shows some of the things to do in Alice Springs. They are:
Henley On Todd (top left)
Outback Ballooning (top right)
Camels at Sunset (bottom left)
Camel Cup (bottom right)

A unique sporting event, held annually, is the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, also known as the Todd River Race. It is a sand river race with bottomless boats and it remains the only dry river regatta in the world.

The annual Camel Cup is held in July at Blatherskite Park, part of the Central Australian Show Society grounds. It is a full day event featuring a series of races using camels instead of horses.

The stamp was issued in 2009 in a set of 4 stamps, representing Australian Bush Babies.

Caminito, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Postcards from Argentina are pretty rare in my collection; I think I only have a couple from there. It's a shame, as it looks like a very beautiful country. I had seen pictures of Caminito before and always loved the bold, vibrant colours. Now I have a postcard of it!

Caminito ("little walkway" or "little path" in Spanish) is a short street in La Boca, a neighbourhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa.

The stamp is from a set of 4 issued earlier this year, regarding the World Cup Football.

Hebrew alphabet

This very nice Hebrew alphabet card came from a swap a while ago. I love all the little details here!

Debora, who sent me this card, tells me that Hebrew in its modern form is spoken by most people in Israel while Classical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world for over two thousand years.

The stamp was issued earlier this year, with the theme 'Festivals'. (I have no idea which festival, though..)

Did You Know? Voodoo

A very cool postcard I received from the lovely Helen in the USA some time ago. I really like these Did You Know? cards - I love reading about random things like this!

Louisiana Voodoo, also known as New Orleans Voodoo, describes a set of underground religious practices which originated from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions which developed within the French, Spanish, and Creole speaking African American population of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is one of many incarnations of African-based religions rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun. They became syncretized with the Catholicism and Francophone culture of south Louisiana as a result of the slave trade. Louisiana Voodoo is often confused with—but is not completely separable from—Haitian Vodou and southern Hoodoo. It differs from Vodou in its emphasis upon Gris-gris, voodoo queens, use of Hoodoo occult paraphernalia, and Li Grand Zombi (snake deity). It was through Louisiana Voodoo that such terms as gris-gris (a Wolof term) and voodoo dolls were introduced into the American lexicon.

Some very nice US stamps again, too. The one on the right is from a set of 5 stamps issued earlier this year, showind 'Sunday Funnies'. This one here is Calvin & Hobbes (which used to be one of my favourite comics when I was younger). The stamp in the middle is from a Hawaiian Rain Forest souvenir sheet of 10 44–cent commemorative stamps, also issued this year. The small stamp is a definitive stamp from 2003, showing the American Clock.

Valletta, Malta

...and here's another card from a swap with Leena in Malta. It's been SO nice to swap with her, I'm hoping we'll get another chance some time next year. :)

Leena tells me that there are still a lot of these little shoops in Valletta. Apparently the shopkeepers manage to cram insane amounts of stuff in. I'd love to visit a shop like that! The wooden balconies are very beautiful, too, I really think I would take tons of photos if I ever got to visit Malta. :D

The stamp is from a set of 4 stamps issued earlier this year, depicting some of the Islands' natural treasures. This one here shows the Azure Window in Gozo.

The Maltese Islands

Another Christmas is over... Mine was alright, got to sleep a lot and ate lots of chocolate. :D Christmas in England always feels a bit weird and not quite right, but it wasn't that bad. I do think I might be getting old, though, as Christmas doesn't feel all that 'magical' anymore. *sigh* I had some very nice presents, too, including an ice cream maker which I hope to try out soon (as soon as there'll be some room in the freezer for the bowl, that is). Yum yum! I got some postcards as well, I'll be posting about some of those soon as there were lots of great ones there. I don't care if some others thought it's a bit sad to get postcards for Christmas. :P

Anyway, this card is sort of Christmas-related. Not the card itself, but it's got a special Maltese Christmas cancellation.

Isn't that a pretty little police station in the bottom left corner?! Ours are nothing like that, although we do get those red telephone boxes over here. :p Leena, who sent me this card, said I would probably really love wandering around these little Maltese villages, taking tons of photos. I think she's VERY right. Maybe one day...

And here's the special cancellation. The stamp is from a set of 3 Christmas stamps issued this November. They are all Old Master paintings depicting the Madonna and Child, this one here being the painting 'Madonna di Maggio' by Pierre Guillemin (early 1700s) and is found at St George Basilica in Gozo.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


This card is sort of related to the previous one of Turkey. Stamp-wise, that is. This one has Europa stamps on, too! Sini, a Finnish postcrosser, was on holiday in Moldova, and she sent me a message asking whether I'd be interested in a swap with these stamps. So kind of her!

I don't know much about the card itself, except that it shows Moldovan National Costume.

Sini used both stamps in Moldova's issue of this year's Europa stamps. This Guguta (or Gugu?) character looks really cute! ^_^

Nemrut, Turkey

I'd been exchanging postcards with Gokce in Turkey for a while, but then suddenly they stopped. I can only imagine that either one of her or mine got lost. I hate it when that happens. :S Anyway, I sent her another card some time ago and this time she received it, and I got this one from her soon after. :)

The card shows Nemrut Dağ, a Unesco site in south east of Turkey. The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

I had totally forgotten that Turkey is still considered a European country when it coms to stamps. *facepalm* I'm very happy as this means another new addition to my small collection of this year's Europa stamps - the theme this year is children's books. This stamp is from a set of two.

Sichuan Opera, China

A card from Taiwan's neighbour, China.. this one also arrived quite a while ago. It shows characters from Sichuan Opera.

Sichuan opera is a type of Chinese opera originating in China's Sichuan province around 1700. Today's Sichuan opera is a relatively recent synthesis of 5 historic melodic styles. Regionally Chengdu remains to be the main home of Sichuan opera, while other influential locales include Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hubei and Taiwan.

Overall the art form is well known for its singing, which is less constrained than that of the more popular Beijing opera form. Sichuan opera is more like a play than other forms of Chinese opera, and the acting is highly polished.The music accompanying Sichuan opera utilizes a small gong and an instrument called a Muqin, which is similar to the Erhu.

The traditional formula is quite systematic with a combination of stunts like face-changing, tihuiyan, sword-hiding, fire-spitting and beard-changing with the plot and different characters.

Depending on the style, face paint is also limited compared to other related forms. Jing characters do not appear, and the only painted face characters are those with a small white patch in the middle of the face, which indicates a slightly evil character. The face paint colors are traditionally limited to black, red, white and grey.

The stamp on the left is from a set of 3 stamps issued in 1998 depicting King Yandi mausoleum. The other stamp is from a miniature sheet of two stamps issued in 2009 with the theme 'New Year lottery' (whatever that means).

Taiwanese Lighthouse

Another lighthouse postcard, this time from Taiwan.

I can't read Chinese so I don't know if the name of this lighthouse is actually written on the card, it probably is.. Maybe I should ask Miranda for help... I usually prefer single view cards but this one is REALLY nice, both pictures are very beautiful and I love the colours. The pink of the sunset in the top picture, and the wild sea and flowers in the bottom one. I think there's something quite dreamy about this card, I really like the atmosphere here, particularly in the lighthouse picture.

The card came in an envelope with a few other cards, here's the stamp from the envelope. It's from a set of two Winnie the Pooh miniature sheets issued in 2006. Both miniature sheets have two stamps, this is one of the four stamps.

Lighthouses of Michigan, USA

About time to post about this card, it's been waiting for quite some time now. It's from a swap and believe or not, the card wasn't actually the main point of the swap, the cancellation was.It's a very nice card, though, I can't get enough of lighthouse postcards!

There are over 100 lighthouses on the shores of Michigan! That's pretty impressive I'd say. Not sure of the names of the ones on this card...

A very common US stamp... with the special cancellation. Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 6 in 2010).

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Hi, I'm Anu and I'm a fangirl. I'm a wee bit obsessed about Supernatural, a brilliant tv series about two brothers hunting supernatural evil (or just evil :P). Funny, pretty, thought-provoking and entertaining, I've been hooked since a friend recommended it to me in spring 2006. I'm sad enough to be interested in a lot of stuff related to the series, including Lawrence, a town in Kansas where the two brothers are from in the series. It doesn't seem like a very popular tourist destination, though, so it's taken me this long to get any postcards from there. I was so happy when this autumn a kind postcrosser sent me a message, telling me they were going to visit Lawrence and would I be interested in some postcards from there? Of course I would! *dorky squee*

Lawrence is the 6th largest city in the U.S. State of Kansas. Located 41 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri, it is situated along the banks of the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. In 2009, the city had an estimated population of 92,048. Lawrence is a college town and is the home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.

More relevant to 'Supernatural', Lawrence and its surroundings have a couple of urban legends that are notable, e.g. the Stull Cemetery, which some say might just be a gate to hell. The graveyard has a church that has been abandoned since 1922 - it is said that rain won't fall over the roofless remains of the church, and an upside-down hanging crucifix will turn upside down when someone nears. The Stull Cemetery was set to be the location for Armageddon in the final episode of season 5 of 'Supernatural'. There's more info about the Stull Cemetery here. In Lawrence itself there's a haunted hotel called The Eldridge Hotel - apparently, the fifth floor is haunted best.

As for this postcard (which is totally unrelated to all those cool myths :p)... There's some info on the back of the card:

Depot Redux is a community effort to restore the Santa Fe Station in Lawrence, KS and help get passenger rail back to the future. The depot is located at 413 E. 7th St.

You can read more about the project here.

Zagreb, Croatia

A card from Nives! Thank you dear, it's gorgeous, thank you for sending me a card from my favourites! :)

I was trying to find out what the places/buildings on the card are called, but had no luck... any help would be appreciated!

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I received this card from my penpal Snjezana a while ago. A slightly different view of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

Blagaj is a kasaba (village-town) some 12 km southeast of Mostar, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Blagaj is situated at the famous source of the Buna river and a historical tekke (tekija or Dervish monastery) which is a part of the "Townscape ensemble of the town of Blagaj - Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina". The Blagaj Tekija was built around 1520, with the elements of Ottoman architecture and Mediterranean style is currently a national monument which attracts tourists. Snjezana also tells me that Blagaj is a pilgrimage for Muslims.

I couldn't find any info about the stamp at the top... The stamp at the bottom was issued in 2006 in a set of 6 definitives representing vegetables, this one here being potato.

Kyiv, Ukraine

The last few days have been a bit crazy here. Too much snow for England to cope. Everything seems to be stuck and yesterday I had to walk back home from Wolverhampton after volunteering as buses were being completely useless and non-existant. It's been a little better today, I'm just glad I'm not trying to travel anywhere for Christmas as nothing seems to be working! Mmmmm, and I'll be on holiday now until 4th January, hurrah! I'm hoping to get up to date with this blog during the holidays, ideally I would like to post about all the cards that have been in a pile for a while now. We'll see.

I received this gorgeous card from a swap last month. It's such a beautiful view and I love the mist and mysterious atmosphere. It's a misty view of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, a monastery complex consisting of numerous monuments and grottoes.

The Lavra boasts very ancient origins and rapidly became the seat of a community governed by the abbot St Theodosius. With the support of the Princes of Kiev, the monastery immediately began to prosper. Devastated by the Mongols and the Tatars, Lavra was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century and afterward. A print shop was founded in 1615, mainly issuing devotional literature and history. The Lavra played a highly important intellectual role: these were times of great prosperity, when pilgrims flocked to the site, and the grounds were filled with numerous Baroque monuments. The Clock Tower and the Refectory Church are two of the main landmarks in a monastic landscape totally transformed by the construction or the renovation of numerous churches. Declared a 'Historical and Cultural Reserve' in 1926, the Lavra was very severely damaged in 1941 when its oldest edifice, the Dormition Cathedral, was almost fully destroyed.

Today the major elements of the very old historic heritage are Trinity Church, whose 12th-century structure is hidden by the extremely rich Baroque decor, and especially the catacombs, which include the Near Caves and the Far Caves, whose entrances are respectively at All Saints' Church and at the Church of the Conception of St Anna. Over the years the monks' cells became a necropolis where hundreds of their mummified bodies have been preserved.

Most of the monuments of the Lavra had new cultural functions in 1926: the Metropolitan's residence is now the State Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art, the printshop houses the Book and Bookbinding Museum, the Refectory Church is a museum of Christianity, and the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross is the museum of the history of the catacombs. [source]

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Bookshop, Germany

One more official for today. This is another card from a forum member, this time 'elbe' was kind enough to surprise me with one of my favourite cards ever.


This could well be my most favourited received card, too, or at least one of the most favourited ones. So far 38 people have marked it as a favourite! Well, it used to be on my wishlist for ages, too, it's SUCH a beautiful card! For one thing, it's book related and that's always a good thing, plus it also has a bicycle on it, and the atmosphere in the shop looks super cosy. I love the warm colours of the shop contrasting with the blue of the shop front, too. Very nice!

Alishan Forest Railway, Taiwan

There are some truly gorgeous sceneries in Taiwan and this one is no exception. Just look at the blossiming trees and a pretty old train running by a tiny river (?).


The Alishan Forest Railway is an 86 km network of 762 mm (narrow gauge) railways running up to and throughout the popular mountain resort of Alishan in Chiayi County, Taiwan.

The narrow gauge lines were originally constructed by the Japanese Colonial Government in 1912 to facilitate the logging of cypress and Taiwania wood, however today the line caters mostly to tourists. Passenger carriages were first added to the trains in 1918. The first motive power was a Shay locomotive purchased second hand from the Kiso Forest Railway in Japan. Eventually the railway acquired 20 Shay locomotives.

Unlike the national rail system administered by the Taiwan Railway Administration, the Alishan railway is managed by the Forestry Bureau. The system is currently operated using diesel locomotives, although there are occasional special public runs using the old steam powered Shay locomotives.

Such a nice, clear cancellation on the card! The stamp is from a set of 4 flower stamps issued in 2009.

Lisboa, Portugal

I thought I would've posted more cards from Portugal here, but no, this is only the third (or second, as the first one doesn't show a view from Portugal). I should really do something about that as I have so many very beautiful postcards from Portugal. This one is SO nice, too. A pretty old window, a cat, gorgeous tiles, great colours.. what's not to love?!


The picture here is from Lisbon's Campo de Ourique district. The building has a typical facade with "azulejos" (glazed tiles). I tried to find more information about Campo de Ourique, and a lot of travel websites seem to describe it as a very beautiful and popular area in Lisbon with lots of old shops, cafes, a market, and generally a great atmosphere. This is what one website says:

For many centuries there was just a fortress on this hill, only much later, from 1880 until the coup that established the Republic in 1910, did this area develop into a self-contained residential area. Today, Campo de Ourique is one of Lisbon’s favourite residential districts. From small shops to designer boutiques there is a wide variety to choose from. Stroll through the tree lined High Street, Ferreira Borges, and take your time to feel its flair, do some window shopping and just allow yourself a break at one of the cult cafes “O Gigante” or “A Tentadora” and enjoy your bica (Portuguese expresso coffee). At the heart of this charming borough stands a covered market place rather interesting for its architecture. An agreeable place to sit down and fell the atmosphere of this area is the “Teófilo Braga” small park, where locals meet for a chat, a game of cards or just slowly sipping at their bicas. Other places of interest are: the former house of the poet Fernando Pessoa, the historical cemetery of Prazeres with elaborate sculptured family vaults, the Basilica da Estrela, a cathedral with an imposing baroque interior in a neo-classical building, just across, the beautiful Garden of Estrela, and last but not least, on the other side of this park, the English cemetery with church, where the novelist Henry Fielding (“Tom Jones”) is buried.

Sounds like a lovely area to me!

The stamp is from a set of 7 stamps issued earlier this year, depicting Rock in Portugal.