Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scenic Georgia

Sender: jenhart75

Text on card: "Greetings from Scenic Georgia. View the breathtaking scenic beauty from the top of Amicalola Falls. Reached by GA Highways 183 and 52, about 16 miles northwest of Dawsonville. One of Georgia's "Seven Natural Wonders". The falls drops a total of 729 feet through a series of cascades. The park offers a 57-room lodge, restaurant and concession stand, camping and picnicking areas and is near the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail."

I was curious about the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and found out that it is a marked hiking trail approx. 3,510 km long of which the majority of the trail is wilderness. The trail is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including 2,000 distinct rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species. Wow. Double wow.

Before this, Georgia to me, is where Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone With the Wind was written! And that song by Ray Charles!

♪♫"Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through 
(the whole day through)
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind 
(Georgia on my mind)"

Mystic Seaport

Sender: Tumblecat
Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut

Tumblecat writes that Mystic Seaport is a living history museum where people who work there act like it is the 1850's (no cars!). 

I read further that Mystic Seaport is an authentic 19th-century seafaring village featuring more than 30 old trade shops and businesses, which are not replicas but actual historic buildings. There is also a shipyard, where real ships are being built or antique ones being restored and a preserved whaling ship.

I wish I can visit this indoor/outdoor museum to feel what it's like stepping back in time in America!

I love Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch!
Quote: "If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

And Tito Puente..the King of Latin Music..

Monday, June 27, 2011

Australian Football

Sender: Merrill

This is an Aussie Rules (AFL) Football, officially known as the Australian Football. I did not realise that Australia has its own home-grown football and plays football with an oval ball on an oval shaped playing field. Postcrossing teaches me something new each time!

Merrill comes from Melbourne but supports the Sydney Swans team instead, which team colours are red and white.

Art Gallery Advert

Sender: Lin

Lin wrote that she is an artist and the card is of her oil painting exhibition with some other artists. I wonder which Lin she is.

Isn't it super cool to be an artist, able to express yourself through work and have your works exhibited to the public? I wish I am one. But the only things I can draw well are stick figures!

Finnish Windows

Sender: kaheli

Can you tell if the windows pictured are not from your country? Maybe, by the design. And sometimes by the tint and shades of the building or the picture itself.

In our place, windows are fully grilled (we are obsessed with this) and not half grilled, like the windows in the card. The minute lovely new houses are completed, the owners will pay contractors to grill them up before moving in. Most of the time the wrought iron grills are horrendous, spoiling the look of the house. Those with money to splash can have more elegant ones adding to the beauty of the house.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Obscure Angel?!!

Sender: Pink

I joined the Weird / Odd / Strange RR, and I got my first card for the yucky / gross cards group within it, from Japan! Pink wrote that the title of the card is "Obscure Angel". When I first saw it my mind spun so, as I have never been exposed to this type of contemporary art. Our postie was perhaps trying to be discreet when he delivered this card. It was folded & tied with a rubber-band so that no one can see the picture straightaway. You can still see the crease in the scanned version here. LOL! :D

I found out that the picture was by Kizimecca. 
Kizimecca (b. 1967) is a Japanese artist living in Tokyo. He is a self trained oil painting artist since the age of 16. Some say that his work is meant to be sort of a statement to the society. You can google to see more of his contemporary works of art but open your minds up before you do...

I agree with Pink's views on her card..!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sender: julia_jerry

Julia wrote that she sent the bunny rabbit since this year is the year of the Rabbit (3 Feb 2011 - 22 Jan 2012).

Rabbit Years are fourth in the cycle, following Tiger Years, and recur every twelfth year. [Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar]

From Wikipedia:- A Chinese legend explains the sequence in which the animals were assigned. Supposedly, the 12 animals fought over the precedence of the animals in the cycle of years in the calendar, so the Chinese gods held a contest to determine the order. All the animals lined up on the bank of a river and were given the task of getting to the opposite shore. Their order in the calendar would be set by the order in which the animals managed to reach the other side. The cat wondered how he would get across if he was afraid of water. At the same time, the ox wondered how he would cross with his poor eyesight. The calculating rat suggested that he and the cat jump onto the ox's back and guide him across. The ox was steady and hard-working so that he did not notice a commotion on his back. In the meanwhile, the rat sneaked up behind the unsuspecting cat and shoved him into the water. Just as the ox came ashore, the rat jumped off and finished the race first. The lazy pig came to the far shore in twelfth place. And so the rat got the first year named after him, the ox got the second year, and the pig ended up as the last year in the cycle. The cat finished too late to win any place in the calendar, and vowed to be the enemy of the rat forevermore.

The Assumption Cathedral

Sender: Prott

Text on card: The Assumption Cathedral, Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, Kiev, Ukraine, in spring night.

"Lavra" is Greek for a big and venerated monastery. "Pechersk" is derived from Old Russian word meaning a cave.

The Assumption Cathedral of the 1,000-year-old Monastery of Caves, is known for the unusual grandeur and beauty of its inner and outer decoration. It is one of the most sacred sites of Orthodox Christianity and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

It looks as if it is crowned by gold domes...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

'I' is for 'Ireland'

Sender: Alienne

Text on card: Stone Bridge on the Ring of Beara, County Cork. 

Alienne hopes that I will like the lonesome stretch of land in Ireland. I do! I do! I do like it very much, Alienne! I wish to explore the place in this card but I guess I would have to be wrapped up warmly in 20 layers or more as I am sure it is colder than it looks. Actually for a long time I was near enough to hop on a ferry to Ireland. But I never did and I regret that until today.

The Beara Peninsula is a walker's paradise, ideal for long walks with ever-changing views.  There are mountains, valleys, scenic lakes, rugged coastline, woodlands, marshes, fens and species-rich limestone grasslands. Linking all this together is the Beara Way walking trail, also a cycling route - just my cup of tea - (and the Ring of Beara for those who wish to drive). 

Beara is situated in County Cork, which is Ireland's largest county with a history that goes back for hundreds of years and there are traces of civilisation that date back to the Stone Age.

Down thy valleys, Ireland, Ireland,
Down thy valleys green and sad,
Still thy spirit wanders wailing,
Wanders wailing, wanders mad.

Long ago that anguish took thee,
Ireland, Ireland, green and fair,
Spoilers strong in darkness took thee,
Broke thy heart and left thee there.

Down thy valleys, Ireland, Ireland,
Still thy spirit wanders mad;
All too late they love that wronged thee,
Ireland, Ireland, green and sad. 

Neuschwanstein Castle

Sender: SarahKristin

SarahKristin sent this beautiful and fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle. What a magnificent view of the castle and its surrounding landscape! 

I read on the net that Neuschwanstein Castle (1869-1886), in Bavaria, is one of the most visited castles in Germany. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria who was a great admirer of Richard Wagner, the world-renowned composer. The castle was built in his honour and many rooms in the castle's interior were inspired by Wagner's characters. Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” after “the Swan Knight”, one of Wagner’s characters.

The castle was also believed to have inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

TQ SarahKristin!!


Sender: TG250607

TG250607 will often go here for a walk or some shopping as she lives not very far away from this area. I want to go too, it's so quaint!

Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is a town in the district of Ahrweiler, consisting of two parts: Bad Neuenahr in the east and Ahrweiler in the west. It is surrounded by mountains. Bad Neuenahr is famous around the world for its natural mineral water and spas. It has three "alkaline thermal" springs. Ahrweiler is known for its medieval streets, red wine, orchards and vineyards.

Well, I wonder if some tourists over-indulged in the wine, and then detoxicate at the spa!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sender: ninine19
Text on card: Roscoff, stormy day

Roscoff is a small fishing village/resort on the coast of Britanny in north-western France. It has a deep port where ferry services are available to and fro Plymouth in United Kingdom and Cork in Ireland. Things to see include its rich architectural heritage, beautiful natural landscapes, the fishing boats at the harbour and seaweed harvesters. One can also take a boat ride across to the Isle de Batz.

For a person like me who is easily seasick, travelling via ferry or boat on a stormy day in Roscoff (like the picture)....would be...a real challenge!

Marie Curie, the woman behind enormous changes in the science of chemistry.
"Behind every great man is an even greater woman!"

The Bay Tree

Sender: Kawekaweau
Text on card: The Bay Tree

What an emotive picture. I showed it to my family members and everybody agreed that it is a lovely setting but feels rather sad & lonely. What do you think?

The Green Bay Tree by Charles Mackay
Where is the place of their first fond meeting,
Where, oh where, is that green bay tree,
Under whose cover
The maid and her lover
Plighted their troth and their constancy?"
O the winter nights were bleak and dreary,
The storms of summer were fierce and free;
Its trunk is shattered,
Its branches are scattered,
O! withered and dead is that green bay tree!
Where are the lovers who courted its shadow,
Where, oh where, may those fond ones be?
The troth which they plighted,
How is it requited--
Say, have they forgotten that green bay tree?"
The lover was fickle, and would not remember;
He met with another more fair than she;
For her--broken-hearted,
Her peace hath departed,
The maiden doth fade like the green bay tree!

Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth.
For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, 
and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
- Francis Bacon

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

St Philip's Episcopal Church

Sender: Ragnarok7
St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 142, Church Street, Charleston, SC

Text on card: Established in 1680 making it the oldest congregation in South Carolina and the oldest Anglican congregation south of Virginia, St Philip's original structure was located at the corner of Meeting and Broad Streets. Relocated here in the early 1700s, the current church designed by architect Joseph Hyde was constructed between 1835 and 1838 after being completely burned. Bells installed in the steeple in 1976 replaced the original chime of eleven bells which were contributed to the Confederacy in 1851.

Ragnarok7 wrote that there are many churches, synagogues and mosques in her city that it is nicknamed "The Holy City"! That nickname was also mentioned in Wikipedia.

Part of the Christmas stamp was torn in the card's journey.

A Cave Dwelling

Sender: dhyliu
Text on card: Cave Dwellings in North China

This card was sent by dhyliu in the Daily Life/Culture RR. It fits the topic to a T. My entire family went ga-ga to see the picture and it was passed around. None of us knew that such cave dwellings still exist in modern times.

Cave dwellings are common in certain areas of northern China where they serve as homes for more than 40 million people. They can be carved out of the side of a cliff, often south-facing, and the facades are sometimes faced with bricks or stone. Or they can be built where there are no hills, by creating sunken courtyards (pit dwellings). After digging a courtyard that is usually about 10 meters deep, rooms are dug off the main courtyard.

The cross section of a cave dwelling is similar to that of a cave: a rectangle in the lower part connected to a semi-circle in the upper part. The width at the floor is from 3 to 4 meters, and the highest point in the ceiling is around 3 meters or higher. Its depth can be 5 meters or more. Windows and doors are installed at the opening. The inner side wall is usually plastered with lime to make it white. A platform called kang is built to be used as a bed. A fireplace is built beside the kang and the smoke and hot gas go through the built-in channels inside the kang to heat it before exiting to outdoor through a chimney. 

A farmer's cave dwelling:-
-is quiet
-warm in winter, cool in summer
-does not damage the environment or use up farmland
-costs less than building a brick and cement house 

Cool! Many thanks to dhyliu!

Shasta Lake

Sender: Escamilla
Text on card: The Sacramento Arm of Shasta Lake at Lakehea

Escamilla grew up near Shasta Lake. She wrote that in reality the water level of the lake is usually much lower than pictured.

Shasta Dam was constructed between 1935 and 1945, across the Sacramento River and the  man-made Shasta Lake was created and formed in 1984 as a result thereof. Its within an easy drive of San Francisco, Sacramento and Portland for a weekend getaway or vacation. The most popular activity is boating but visitors can also indulge in water-skiing, fishing, tour the dam itself or the caverns up the mountains.

A Silktown in New Jersey

Sender: Tumblecat

Oscar F. Bluemner (1867-1938), "An Expression Of A Silktown In New Jersey" (c. 1915)
oil on canvas, 30.25" x 40", New Jersey State Museum

Oscar F. Bluemner, was a very prominent early American Mordenist and focused primarily on industrial building structures in his art. He was an architect in Chicago and New York before pursuing a career as an artist. He is best remembered for his geometric, expressive colour infused landscapes that combined nature with industry.

Silktown, wrote Tumblecat, may be Paterson (a New Jersey mill town) that had a 200-page poem written about it by William Carlos Williams, an American poet.

Sultanahmet Mosque

Sender: SihirliFlut

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultanahmet Mosque (better known as the "Blue Mosque") was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. Construction began in 1609 but was only completed after the sultan's death in 1617.

One of the most notable features of the Blue Mosque is its six minarets and the beautifully-arranged cascade of domes spilling down from the great central dome. The mosque is considered to be the last example of Ottoman classical architecture.

Whidbey Island

Sender: hootnoodle

In the Alphabet RR, hootnoodle sent 'I' for 'Island', Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Island is one of nine islands located in Island County, Washington, in the United States. It was once inhabited by members of some Native American tribes. Currently it is popular with tourists because of its beaches, parks, museums, farms, whale-watching, birding, hiking, biking, kayaking, culture, heritage and more.

Love the stamps but postie tore part of the manatees.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gulong Yu, Xiamen

Sender: barbra0527

What a lovely view of rooftops!

Gulong Yu (Island), Xiamen, was historically a foreign enclave for European settlers, where 13 countries including Great Britain, France and Japan established consulates, churches, and hospitals. Thus the architectural styles of old buildings reflect many European influences. Currently, with residents being primarily Chinese, there is an interesting mix of European and Chinese influences. The island is popular with tourists for this special mix of building designs and for having China's only piano museum.

The only way to reach Gulong Yu is by ferry across the bay from Xiamen. Caveat: cars and bicycles are not allowed!

'H' is for 'Hotel'

Sender: Ragnarok7

I received this Penguin book cover postcard in the Alphabet RR, depicting 'H' for 'Hotel'.

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 – 1962) was an Austrian/American author and illustrator and writer of children books. In this book he described his life as a restaurateur, in a hotel some claimed was based on The Ritz. But I know him best for his Madeline books, about a feisty French girl in a Parisian boarding school ran by nuns. It was turned into a cartoon series, and the series was shown on our local TV-children's channel many years ago. Because of Madeline, our local kids learnt some basic French like, "Au revoir!" and "Bonjour!" 

From Madeline, "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ..." Loved the rhymes!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blackened Catfish

Sender: TeamBearCat

TBC sent a spicy catfish recipe for the Colour RR. We have catfish too but we fry them whole, heads & all (minus innards), with tumeric and/or red chillies.  

Stamp: Winslow Homer - was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America. The painting in one of the stamps above is called "Boys in a Pasture".

An Invitation

Sender: StarrySky

We played the 'I' alphabet in the Alphabet RR and StarrySky sent 'I' for 'Invitation' to tea!

Alas, the distance is too far: about 6,000 miles / 10,000 km. If only I can teleport myself in a jiffy to Germany, because I'd really love to have tea there.   :) 

Burj Al Arab

Sender: Angela

The card is of Dubai’s number one landmark, the Burj Al-Arab, the world's tallest hotel at 321 meters /1,053 feetIts design is influenced by the sail of a "dhow", an Arabian sailing ship. Built on its own artificial island, the hotel can be reached by causeway (in one of its courtesy white Rolls Royces) or by helicopter, straight to its heliport at its top floor. There are 202 luxurious bedroom suites in Al-Burj, varying in price from approximately $1,000 to $27,000 per night. Casual visitors are not admitted.

The view in the card reminds me of the slow water-taxi trip I took from the Souk Madinat in Madinat Jumeirah Resort, along the man-made waterways up to the spot overlooking Al-Burj and back to the Souk. It was a relaxing ride after hours of "measuring" the Souk, the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates. Dubai has immense malls and with their low temperatures air-conditioning, it's hard to remember that Dubai is a hot country. Until I was taken to the desert for an unforgettable roller coaster drive skimming over the sand dunes.

Angela wrote about skiing in Ski Dubai. Well, I was taken there but I lasted only 10 minutes, to the amusement of my friends. Don't they know that the soles of my feet have been stamped, "Made for Warmer Temperatures"? :D

Roses and Roses

Sender: Ulla

What pretty roses! Putting me in a poetic mood. Alas! I am no I'm sharing George Eliot's...

Roses by George Eliot
"You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!"