Friday, May 8, 2020

Nassau, Bahamas

Hello May, still in lock-down. Well they are gradually lifting restrictions here, trying to get back life to normal.. or to the new normal.

We still have curfews, though the hours are not as bad as they used to be and either way you dont really have where to go to at night... people are also slowly getting back to work and im not emotionally ready for that.  I wouldnt mind getting some change of scenery, but going back to being stuck in the office for 8 hours a day is not my ideal scenario cos I was really, really not made to work in an office with working hours. Though with some issues we've been having on the Project, it might just get cancelled as well and then there will be no office or anything, so when you think about it, working in an office is still better than not working at all, right?

So I guess it would be smart to make another post before maybe life goes back to crazy again, eh? 😎

First card comes from Glenn and one of his cool cruise trips (Well, Glenn always does some cool cruises actually). I hope he will be able to get back to that soon and of course, brighten up some mailboxes out there 😃
The card is a nice map of the Bahamas, and some brief information about Nassau, its capital. 
To spare you from zooming the picture in order to read the text in the top right corner, it says that Nassau lies on the island of New Providence, with its neighbouring island Paradise which can be accessible via Nassau's Habor bridges. 
Nassau has an attractive Habour, a colourful blend of old world and colonisation architecture.. The tropical beauty of the Bahamas have made Nassau a popular tourist destination

I just guess that 'habor' is a typo and should be 'harbour' 😏

two beautiful stamps accompanying this card, something typical Bahamish. They are from a set of four whales' stamps issued in 2017, commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation.

Thank you Glenn! Well I have enough of your cards to cover till your next trip 😇


Next is one of my favourite topics and that is bicycles!

And here are just a few of this series that Bryon has been sending over the years.

Btw, in case you haven't been convinced so far why it is good to ride your bike, here is another friendly reminder

Ten reasons now is a great time to start cycling

So maybe you are convinced, maybe not... but either way, lets see these beauties of cards now and who knows, maybe you fall in love with one of the models *wink wink*

The first bike card is one that arrived just shortly before the postal havoc (speaking of which, some of my cards sent during this crisis have finally started to arrive... yay!

Anyways, this is the Birdy 10th bike from the  Riese und Müller company in Germany (they do the designs).
The first Birdy was released in 1995, while the one we have here is from 2005. Weights 10.9kg, has a 36cm aluminum frame, 2 x 9 Derailleur Shimano 105 gears, Rim Side Pull Tektro RXS brakes and 20in wired tyres.

Im quite a basic type of bike girl, that is just too technical for my understanding haha 😅

And no, I dont think it looks comfortable at all so ill just skip it during some future visit to Germany 😁

three nice stamps on this one. The first one is a definitive from 2017, while the other two are from 2020, the first one is from the Love series, which the USPS seems to regularly issue, while the other one is from the Black Heritage series, portraying Gwen Ifill, 1955-2016, one of America's most esteemed journalists. Among the first African Americans to hold prominent positions in both broadcast and print journalism, she was a trailblazer in the profession.
The stamp art features a photo of Ifill taken in 2008 by photographer Robert Severi

The next bike is a convenient one for today since it says Bike Friday 😃 (which is the name of the US company)
Here we have the New World Tourist bike (boy that sounds so cool for a bike name, and so relatable to me - even though it doesnt look comfortable at all, that seat looks like your ass is gonna hurt weeks after riding it, but I may just fall for the name on this one haha).

And even though it is called New World Tourist, it was supposedly born in 1998 so not that new actually.
A little lighter than the one above (weighs 10kg), and has a 58cm varnished steel frame. The gears are 3 x 8 Derailleur Campagnolo (Rear I) and Hub Gear Sram (Rear II). Brakes are Rim V-Brake Avid, with 20 in. wired tyres.

Well, lets talk of something not so technical, like stamps, eh?
The two top stamps are from a set of 10, colourful celebration stamps, issued in 2016 (I should point out that this card was received in 2016, as can also be seen from the cancellation).

The bottom left stamp is from 1963, commemorating the 100th Anniversary 1st International Postal Conference. The one on the right is also a commemorative stamp, issued in 1957, for the 50th anniversary of the United States Air Force as a part of our National Defense System.

And one more from this bike series (there are plenty more actually, but I didnt wanna bore you do death you non-bike lovers, plus the last post of today would be the overwhelming-with-cards one (for a reason).
Anyways, out of all these three, this is definitely the most comfortable one, to the point that you may even fall asleep here.. but for sure feels the best for someone with back problems like me.

And you would be really flabbergasted to know that this French bike actually dates from 1939... yeah. even back then people preferred comfort over fancy!

Just that it weighs as both of the bikes above (or more precisely 20 kg).  Has an adjustable, varnished steel frame, 3 Derailleur simplex touriste (rear) gears, rim side pull  brakes with 22 in. wired (front) and 24 in. wired (rear) tyres. 

Few more 2016 stamps, as when the card dates back from as well. Talking about the two longish black and red stamps, issued for the World Stamp Show NY 2016. While the green guy on the left is Amadeo Giannini, who was an Italian-American banker who founded the Bank of Italy, which became Bank of America. (I just felt as if this came from some Spanish soap-opera...)
It was issued in 1973.

So, no more bikes for today, but expect them in the future of course, I for sure have more than enough to share (thanks to Bryon, among else 😉)

Kumano Nachi Shrine, Japan

Going a bit on the other side of the world, in the amazing Japan.

The card shows the Kumano Nachi Shrine, within the Yoshino-Kumano National Park, and the Nachi Falls in the background and is part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range of Japan.

On the subject of Japan - few days ago I watched this movie called Afterlife (from 1998) which will probably make you think about what's worth in your life, what you take for granted and make you realize (again), that the simplest of things make the most beautiful memories. 

In the movie, after they die, people have just one week to choose only a memory to keep for eternity. 
Do you think you could choose just one, only one single memory from your life and keep it with you forever?

On the left is one from a set of two overseas Greetings Stamps issued in 2018. showing Mount Fuji. The other one is a bit older, from 1989, issued for the Holland Festival '89, which is the oldest (1947) and largest performing arts festival in the Netherlands and takes place every June in Amsterdam (I guess it will be cancelled this year). Kinda strange for Japan to issue something about a festival in Holland... I couldnt find information whether some prominent Japanese performers maybe took part that year.... 

Hamburg, Germany

As I had previously mentioned, the last post of today would be a bit overwhelming with cards (but not with text, I promise! 😎)

The reason behind this Hamburg post is my cancelled trip to Hamburg, which was supposed to happen at the end of April, but of course, for well-known reasons, didn't happen.
So, just wanna take a glimpse on postcards of things I could have seen in real life, and well prepare myself for some Hamburg trip in the future 💓
Funny, all, except for one of these cards have been sent as officials...


How can you not love this view above? It shows the Binnenalster Lake, which is one of the two artificial lakes within the city, formed by the river Alster (the other being the Außenalster). In the background you can see some important sites like the Rathaus, several churches, the Alsterpavillon....

comes with a cute Peanuts stamp issued in a set of two in 2018


A view of the centre of the city, again with the Binnenalster, and the Rathaus as well as the Lombardsbrücke, or the Lombard Bridge, named after the Lombard pawn shop situated here in 1651.   

well, not the Lombard bridge, but another bridge is featured here on the stamp from 2013, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fehmarnsund Bridge, which connects the German island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea with the German mainland near Großenbrode  


A multiview of the city, which I guess covers all the essentials :)

The stamp is from a joint issue with Japan from 2011, showing UNESCO world Heritage sites and this stamp features the old town of Regensburg.

Here is that famous Rathaus I had already mentioned above (and the only card which is not an official one). Oh yeah, that's the town hall for those wondering...but when it comes to Germany, im just so used to their Rathaus word, that I never use any other....

the stamp was issued in 2014 showing the Stolzenfels am Rhein Castle.


aaaand, guess what.... the Rathaus again! 😆

and again we have the Fehmarnsund Bridge from 2013

From what I could find while looking through my collection, these seem to be all the Hamburg cards I have - I must admit it would be more but then that would have made my job tonight more difficult here, so Im perfectly fine with these 6 cards, and I can simply enrich my collection once I go there (and yours of course 😊


Well, it is just an aerial view of the city, with the port, no other particular information about this one. 

On the left is one of the famous flower definitives (this one is from the set of 3 issued in 2005). The other one is a machine stamp, which I was just told has some kind of rare fault, since the holes at the bottom (which i dont think you can see), usually are like half-holes, but the ones here are like three/quarters of a full circle... so haha, I have some kind of rare specimen in my collection... who would have thought, esp. with a machine stamp, which I must admit, I dont really like at all :)

So folks, that would be all for today! Hope you are still surviving your lock-down wherever you are!
And yeah, I know this aint a priority, but I hope borders and airports would open soon so I could give my itchy feet a nice trip  - this is not just about the borders but also the possibility of having to go into quarantine in case you wanna travel - I mean what is the point of going on a few days trip if you first need to spend two weeks in quarantine there? Where's the sense in that???

Have a nice weekend ahead... till next time! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Cairo, Egypt

Well well well... look who's here!
Well, some days ago I received this FB notification telling me I havent posted anything on my page in a while...felt like some kind of warning, even though the notification didnt refer to this blog in particular, but it felt like some kind of red alert... plus Bryon has been "nagging" me to do so I think it is enough signs that something had to be done, haha

Though I sort of assume that some people thought I'd be back earlier now with this lock down and staying at home and that naturally it calls for going back to your neglected hobbies... but sadly... or not so sadly, turns out that my life doesnt differ too much now compared to the normal times when we could all move freely. I really dont know what to make from it honestly, and if I should be worried or not... though I must admit that my general life style has kinda eased this whole process of staying at home, though on the other hand being forced to do so has added more to my existing anxiety.

I dont know about you, but I have shown ZERO extra productivity during this month that I've been working from home. There are all these blah blah blah articles telling you how now is the right time to get down to all your hobbies and pursue all those things you've always wanted to but never had the time and clean or redecorate your house and whatever not... I dont know who are these people who have accomplished this, but it is certainly not me... I can only say that I have some extra time to cook more (which inevitably is followed by 'eat more' as well). And some more time to read books or watch movies / tv shows. But that would be it... nothing life changing or eye opening or is literally the same as when I say to myself, oh, when I have a holiday and extra days off, I will do this, I will do that... and let me tell you, NOTHING of it gets done... NOTHING! So this shouldnt come as a surprise... just a pinch of disappointment. I even attempted some online courses, but found them so boring and unmotivating, so of course, just ditched them....

So how are YOU coping with all this? What is the situation where you live?
Right now we are into curfews after 4pm on weekdays and total curfew on weekends... useless measure if you are asking me. Thank God I live in a house and have a backyard so I can do all my work there (unless it is raining and cold like these past two days).
So I think that's how I've been able to keep myself sane, esp. since everything gets so quiet once the curfew is on, it is like resetting your mind (except when your idiotic neighbours wanna chat on skype with friends for hours and they have to do it from the comforts of their backyard as well, so that the entire neighbourhood can listen to their moronic and banal converstations... seriously, they managed to ruin my weekend, both days.. two failed attempts to read in my backyard... well it is not the first time that they've shown their manners...

So, lets not forget that this is actually a postcard blog before anything else, so it would make sense to show some cards to and I'll get back to being chatty in the following posts :p

The first card for today comes from Jean Pierre, showing the Citadel in Cairo, which is a medieval Islamic-era fortification, built by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

At the time of its construction, it was among the most impressive and ambitious military fortification projects of its time. It is now a preserved historic site, including mosques and museums.

In 1976, it was proclaimed by UNESCO as a part of the World Heritage Site Historic Cairo (Islamic Cairo) which was "the new centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century."

(made me realize that it's been two years since I've posted a UNESCO site.. though taking into account the frequency of my posts, this actually ain't that bad...)

Two stamps on the card, both issued in 2019 - the one on the left commemorates the 46th Anniversary of the Great October Victory (commemorating the day when combined Egyptian military forces launched a surprise attack on Israel and crossed into the Sinai Peninsula and regained much of their land lost in 1967 war.)
The other stamp commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948.

Thanks a lot to Jean Pierre for this lovely surprise in my mailbox!

Young Reader,

Next is a beautiful official card I received from Finland showing a young girl surrounded by books...a scenario I would love to find myself in, just that I would probably find some more comfortable reading position - hers doesnt feel comfortable at all! And maybe if I was her age, I wouldnt mind it, but nowadays my back would certainly protest!


Right now Im reading the adventures of Kurt Seyt and Murka, by Nermin Bezmen, which is a sequel of Kurt Seyt and Shura and as the titles suggest, talking about the love dramas of Seyt and these two women. 
Now the first book about Shura was so full of dynamics and unexpected turns of events, even though at times I felt a bit lost in the scenario, plus there was something irritating about the translation.
The book about Murka on the other kind might be ok with the translation, but also the whole story feels more flat and nothing feels exciting about it.. well at least not yet, but I somehow dont believe it will reach the level of the previous book.
it is said to be based on a true story and that these characters and their stories really existed.. but what's really interesting also is to read all these descriptions of places and events taking place during the early 20th century Russia and Turkey... 
I would recommend that you gave it a read, cos this wont be your typical sappy love story kinda book, but something more than that!

a nice winter greetings stamp from 2016. Too bad it wasnt cancelled but hey, still better than a pen scribble!

Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales

Dear Anu sent me this beautiful card from Wales, cos she realised I lacking cards from there!

This beautiful snowy scene reminds me that we had our first snow of the year on April 1st! Yep, real April Fools Day! Of course, being that it's spring and all, it didn't last, but it certainly added more to the overall craziness going around here.

Blaenau Ffestiniog is a historic mining town in Wales, with a population of 4,875 according to the 2011 census. However, was at one time the second largest town in North Wales.

After reaching 12,000 at the peak development of the slate industry, the population fell with the decline in the demand for its slate. Today the town relies heavily on tourists, who come for attractions that include the nearby Ffestiniog Railway and Llechwedd Slate Caverns.

Ok, I think I would definitely want to go here, being that there is a Railway (which is located within a national park, so it must be beautiful!)

And what can I say to such a lovely choice of stamps!
The train stamp is from the 2013 set showing the Classic Locomotives of Northern Ireland, while the other one is from a set of four Paintings from 1973, showing a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and his portrait of Nelly O'Brien. I tried really hard to see if what she is holding in her hands is a puppy or some toy or piece of clothing..

Thank you so much Anu for thinking of me as always! 🖤

Cats, Portugal

As my final post today (yeah, I can hear your disappointment), are these two cat cards I sent myself from my trip to Portugal this winter...

The first one is a 3D card, and yeah can give you quite a dizzy feeling, while the second one is just an ordinary card.
However, the funny thing is that once they arrived I actually realized it was the same kitties we were talking about, in the same basket and on the same white cloth, haha.  I think that the 3D really deteriorated my perception here
But there is no such thing as too many cat cards now, is there?

Btw, how is the situation with the postal services where you live?
Here, since the airport has been closed (for over a month now). sending of cards has been very limited, it is just like 10 countries to which I may send cards too, but Postcrossing has been great, having adjusted its algorithm accordingly, so I can still take part in it and sending cards to these particular countries only
Well, none of those cards have arrived so far, but taking into account that the first ones I sent just last Monday, and everything is going through surface mail now (incl. countries like Germany or Ukraine), I think it will take a while... but im really curious to see how long will all this actually take now compared to the regular conditions... well as long as cards dont get lost, i dont mind the waiting...
I barely receive any mail... like two weeks ago I received several official cards, all from Germany... and this single official card yesterday from Finland... other than that, my mailbox has been rather lonely... but we will make up to it once this whole nonsense is over...

haha, ok I think i used too many food stamps here, esp. that traditional sweet Cavacas de Resende, from 2019
In the firsr part you can also see something I thought was some kind of bread but seems that it is another kind of sweet pastry, called Bolo de Ança (Ança's Cake). It is from a set of 7 gastronomy stamps issued in 2018. And here we also have one adorable otter, from a set of 6 stamps from 2016, showing mammal predators (i would never consider the poor otter a predator!)

In the second part, besides the sweets, we also have one stamp from a set of 7, issued in 2019, showing Figures in Portuguese History and Culture and this man here is Fontes Pereira de Melo, who was a Portuguese statesman and engineer. He was a leading parliamentarian and political figure of his time. Among other posts held, he was six times Minister of Finance and Minister of Public Works.
I guess he had deserved his spot on a stamp.

So, yaaay, the silence has been broken... hopefully wont be the only post of the year, haha

Anyways, hope you are all safe and sane... feel free to drop me a line in the comments and share your thoughts and experiences... take care, and dont forget to wash your hands! :)