Saturday, June 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 41: Historic sites / buildings

Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

I didn't know anything about European Capital of Culture until I visited Malta 2 months ago. It was quite well advertised around Valletta, Malta's capital. In fact, I first saw the information on this postcard! My partner, being European himself, explained to me that every year, European Union has a different city, designated as the main venue to highlight European culture. This aims to boost focus and attention into European culture, as much as there's always big discussions about politics and economics. 


Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the city of the Knights of St. John and has been described as "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen". It's built to a grid pattern on a narrow peninsula, offering wonderful urban views and historical sites at almost every corner. Among its major attractions are the Church of St. John, the Manoel Theatre, and the Grand Master's Palace.

For historic sites / buildings,
~maria





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Gardens or Forests


Left to right --

50th Anniversary of the Jardim Botanico Madeira
Issued in 2010 (Portugal)

Eero Järnefelt 150 Years Commemorative Stamp, Forest Landscape 
Issued in 2013 (Finland)

Nuuksio National Park
Issued in 2013 (Finland)



Singapore, my second home is a garden city. One of the most admirable features of this garden city is the lush greeneries lining the roadsides. Left to right --

Saga, Adenanthera pavonina
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Angsana, Pterocarpus indicus
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Rain tree, Samanea saman
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

For Sunday Stamps: gardens or forests

~maria

Friday, June 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 41: Flags, with a flag(s)

FI-1422572, Sent from Vihti, Finland
Sent: 10 May 2012, Traveled 8,964 km in 25 days

Finland is the latest addition to the list of countries I've visited so far. I went there during the third weekend of April to meet my pen friend from Kuopio. It was a lovely meeting and I learned that Finland is celebrating its 100 Years of Independence this year. This card arrived with a matching stamp for the flag on the postcard. 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Boras, Sweden
Sent: 5 March 2017, Traveled 9,926 km

The trip to Finland was a side trip that I made as a part of my business trip to Gothenburg, Sweden. Less than a month prior to my trip, I received this card from Monica of Beyond the Lone Islands. Thanks to Monica's message at the back, I was able to properly select the clothes needed for the cold & wet northern European weather. It was so much colder in Gothenburg as compared to the April weather I remember from my first visit in 2015. And oh, my side visit to Helsinki gave me my first ever hail storm and wet snow fall experience! I finally saw snow! Some of you might remember that I was ranting about it in one of my posts after missing it from my Japan trip back in November 2016.

Thanks to these two cards, I learned that all Nordic countries except Greenland have adopted the Nordic Cross flag

Postcrossing Private Swap, Sent from Victoria, Australia, 
Sent on 13 September 2011, Traveled 6,185 km in 9 days

This postcard has appeared here in my blog 5 years ago. I noticed it in my scanned postcards folder while looking for postcards for our theme and decided to narrow down my search to flags with cross/crosses on it. There's a long article in wiki about this flag and it's quite an interesting read for those who are interested in their national and political history. 


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km

As I'm sure most or all of us know, the Union Jack emblem exist on the National Flag of Australia, the country being a member of the Commonwealth. On the London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom card above, we have the widespread Union Jack, the flag of UK as a bright and beautiful backdrop. The Union Jack is a union of three historical crosses: Saint Andrew's, Saint Patrick's, and Saint George's.

The similarities of the Nordic country flags to that of the Union Jack has made me very curious. My research has landed me into a well-written article in Quora. Apparently, the Nordic cross gave rise to the flags of the British Isles, among which are the historical crosses that currently comprise the Union Jack. 

I learned so much while researching about the postcards I've chosen for the theme this weekend! Yay!

~maria






Friday, June 2, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 40: Country map(s)

My interest with Ireland started when I saw a very entertaining animated film with a leprechaun when I was a little girl. I always thought Ireland is Ireland ...

IE-33070, sent from Dublin, Ireland
Sent 13 March 2012, Traveled 10,959 km in 13 days

... But when I traveled to Scotland back in 2012, I learned that Ireland has two parts: one being the Republic of Ireland, and another being North Ireland, part of United Kingdom.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km


That was my very first out of Asian continent trip. I visited a relative in Edinburgh after attending a conference in Glasgow and he asked me whether I plan to see Ireland as well. I was very surprised as I thought, "How can I go there when I only have UK visa and no Schengen visa." Then, I was educated on the two Irelands ... Ah, the things I couldn't have learned if not for actually making a trip to somewhere!

What are some of the memorable unexpected learnings from your travel(s) abroad?

Happy weekend,
~maria



Friday, May 26, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 39: Traditional street scene


Speaking of traditional street scenes, I think nothing can be more traditional than this postcard of "bayanihan". Strictly speaking, it isn't a street, but since in the province where I grew up, cleared up pathways throughout grasslands were what we considered streets for passage of people and carriages pulled by either water buffalo, horse, or cow. Since traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts during earlier days, it's quite common to see men from the community gathering and helping a house owner who wants to move the property. These men weren't paid a cent but they're served a sumptuous meal and local alcoholic beverages after the heavy task.


A horse-pulled carriage or kalesa. Nowadays, this kind of transportation is more of a touristy thing in many historical places of interest in the Philippines. This is one of the earlier forms of transportation, I reckon not just in my country but in many other countries as well.


Now onto more modern street scene, on the above postcard is our version in the Philippines of a tricycle or trishaw. This transportation is normally overloaded with passengers as there isn't a lot of tricycles to transport people from villages to the town. This overloading happens mostly during when there are festivities in the town center.

For traditional street scenes. Happy weekend everyone!

~maria