Welcome

Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Makarios Memorial

Makarios III died unexpectedly, of a heart attack, on August 3, 1977. It has recently emerged that, in order to confirm the cause of death, Makarios' heart had been removed during an autopsy. The heart has since been preserved in his former bedroom in the Archbishopric. He is buried in a tomb on the mountain of Throni, a site he personally chose. The tomb is near Kykkos Monastery, where he served as a novice in the 1920s and 1930s. Two kilometres uphill is Throni - the seat of Virgin Mary. Close to this holy monument is the site of the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III. Makarios was not only the first president of the Republic of Cyprus but also a leading member of Kykkos Brotherhood, and he personally chose the location of his tomb. It has a spectacular view over Cyprus and faces his birthplace - the village of Panagia (Virgin Mary). Since Makarios' death in 1977, Throni has become an additional place of pilgrimage for all visitors to Kykkos Monastery. To commemorate his life, an imposing bronze statue of Makarios was erected outside the Archbishop's palace in Nicosia; in 2008 the statue was moved to Kykkos monastery and replaced by a life-size marble statue of Makarios.

At his funeral, held at St. John's Cathedral outside the Archbishopric in Nicosia, 182 dignitaries from 52 countries attended whilst an estimated 250,000 mourners --about half the Greek Cypriot population of the island-- filed past the coffin. Merja gave me this nice maximum card showing guards at the monumement in honour of Archbishop Makarios III.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Colosseum

The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).

Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin. Maria sent me this card.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kataklysmos Festival

The card shows ca 19th century engraving depicting the Kataklysmos Festival in Larnaka in Cyprus. Kataklysmos, or the Flood Festival, takes place in Cyprus every year 50 days after Orthodox Easter. Larnaca organizes the biggest Festival of Flood in Cyprus and celebrates Kataklysmos for several days. The sea front promenade takes on the appearance of an open-air fair with scores of stalls selling toys and traditional food. Traditional culture takes pride of place with a competition for chatista or rhyming songs in the Cypriot dialect. Other performers include popular Greek and Cypriot singers and dance troupes. In line with the spirit of the celebrations, events include competitions in the water. Merja sent me this very interesting card.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Archaic Period (750 - 475BC)

The picture on the card depicts a coin with a ram symbol. It is in fact a Silver Coin of the Archaic Period in Cyprus, namely 750-480 BC. These coins were circulated during the reign of King Evelthon of Salamis (560-525). This was the first coin struck in Cyprus as per the Cyprus Museum. The production and use of silver coins spread outwards from Asia Minor during the sixth century BC, and was taken up late in the century on the island of Cyprus. The city of Salamis was probably producing a primitive form of coinage by around 525 BC. The design of a lying ram on the obverse (front) of these coins was established early and would become common on Salaminian coinage. Remarkably, the reverse sides of the earliest issues were completely flat with no design at all, not even a punch mark. In this respect they were unlike those of Greece and Asia Minor.

By the accession of the greatest king of Salamis, Evagoras (about 411-374/3 BC), however, coin design was fully developed. Evagoras, a staunch ally of the city of Athens in the late fifth and early fourth centuries BC, produced a substantial coinage, in part to pay for his unsuccessful attempt to bring the entire island under his sway. The issue of his coinage represented by this silverstater features the head of Herakles on the front, a lying goat on the reverse. The inscription, written in the Greek language, but in a non-Greek script peculiar to Cyprus, reads 'Of King Evagoras'. Thank you Merja for this nice card.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mountain Bike Racing

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) recognised the sport of mountain bike racing relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Purgatory, Colorado. The first mountain biking world cup series took place in 1991. Its nine-race circuit covered two continents—Europe and North America—and was sponsored by Grundig. In 1992, the Grundig-UCI world cup circuit expanded to ten races, and remained a trans-Atlantic series. Cross-country racing was the only world cup sport at this time, then in 1993 a six-event downhill world cup was introduced. In 1996, cross-country mountain biking events were added to the Olympic Games. NORBA refers to the Board of Trustees that represent the sport of mountain bike racing for USA Cycling. There are three USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars: Endurance, Gravity and Ultra-Endurance. USA Cycling runs the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. In 2006, cross-country mountain biking events became part of the World Deaf Cycling Championships for the first time in San Francisco, USA.[1] There are mountain bike racing types that are not recognized by the UCI, such as mountain bike orienteering, that are governed by the IOF.

Short track Cross-country – This card features these guys involved in Short Track Cross Country (XCC). A very short XC style event of about 800m in length but generally about 1 minute 30 seconds in winning time. A short, sharp exciting event to watch and participate in. Than you Alex for this nice card.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kuopio

Kuopio is a city and a municipality located in the region of Northern Savonia, Finland. A population of 96,830 makes it the ninth biggest city in the country. The city has a total area of 2,317.24 square kilometres (894.69 sq mi), of which 719.85 km2 (277.94 sq mi) is water and half forest. The population density is only 61 /km2(160 /sq mi), but the city's urban areas are populated very densely (urban area: 1 617.6 /km²), nationally second only to capital Helsinki (urban area: 1,690.0/km²). The population of the entire Kuopio region is 119,472.

The city is surrounded by lake Kallavesi, and several parts of it are built on islands. Kuopio's ample waterfronts and islands are also utilized in the Saaristokaupunki (lit. Archipelago city) -project, the biggest residential area currently being built in Finland. Saaristokaupunki will accommodate a total of 14,000 inhabitants in 2015. All houses will be situated no more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the nearest lakeshore.

Kuopio has always been a city of education. Some of the first schools offering education in Finnish (such as the School for the Blind in 1871, and the Trade School in 1887) were established in Kuopio. Currently the most important institutions are the University of Eastern Finland, the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Vocational College of Northern Savonia and the Kuopio department of the Sibelius Academy. Thank you Elina for this pretty card.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Season's Greetings



Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year

Windjammers

A windjammer is the ultimate type of large sailing ship with an iron or for the most part steel hull, built to carry cargo in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Windjammers were the grandest of merchant sailing ships, with between three and five large masts and square sails, giving them a characteristic profile. The windjammers were cargo ships designed for ultra-long voyages. They usually carried bulk cargo, such as lumber, guano, grain or ore from one continent to another, usually following the prevailing winds and circumnavigating the globe during their voyages. Several of these ships are still in existence — either as school ships, museum ships or restaurant ships.

Windjammers 0f the Future. Due to environmental concerns and rising fuel costs, there has recently been consideration of constructing windjammer-derived ships for commercial service. Many of these may not be "true" windjammers, as they will likely have multiple propulsion systems for non-ideal wind conditions. They may also include kites to catch even more wind. One proposal by B9 Energy would see modern cargo ships with sails plying European waters by 2012. Maria sent me this card wit a Dutch windjammer on it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Parc de la Ciutadella - Barcelona

Cristina sent me this lovely card that shows The Parc de la Ciutadella or "Ciutadella Park" is a park in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain. After its establishment during the mid 19 century, it was for decades the only green area in the city, and hitherto of the most popular. It is located at the north-eastern edge of the old town, and hosts within its 70 acres (280,000 m2) the city's substantial zoo (which was home to the famous albino gorilla Snowflake), the Parliament of Catalonia, a lake, some museums, and a fountain of considerable size designed by Josep Fontserè (with perhaps some attributions of the young student Antoni Gaudí, who at this time worked at Fontserès office). It is characterized by being a very busy place, crowded with tourists, and locals, who are usually going for a walk or taking their children to the special section for kids found near the upper margin of the park. This park is optimal for sports, like for example boating in the lake, cycling (both boat and bicycle can be hired), or jogging.

The main attraction has, from its establishment hitherto been the zoo. This was due to out of the 7,000 animals present the albino gorilla Snowflake, who has died in 2004. Near the zoo's entrance, the famous climbable gigantic stone mammoth is to be seen, just as the metallic cat in another perimeter of the park.
Another yet to be mentioned conspicuous characteristic is the park's paths' layout, one half being made up by sinuous and rather natural seeming trails, and the other by direct and refined ones. Along both, huge a variety of vegetation is assertively displayed, having small signposts at their front, serving as nametags.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dzongs of Bhutan

Dzong architecture is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the present and former Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas; Bhutan and Tibet. The architecture is massive in style with towering exterior walls surrounding a complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks' accommodation. The Dzong’s of Jakar, Trongsa, Paro and Punaka are shown on this card sent to me by Shashi.

The details of Paro and Trongsa may be read from my posts on 16th and 28th November 2011. Jakar is a town in the central-eastern region of Bhutan. It is the district capital (dzongkhag thromde) of Bumthang District and the location of Jakar Dzong, the regional dzong fortress. The name Jakar roughly translates as "white bird" in reference to its foundation myth, according to which a roosting white bird signaled the proper and auspicious location to found a monastery around 1549. According to the Jakar foundation myth, a roosting white bird signaled the proper and auspicious location to found a monastery around 1549. The settlement thus earned the monicker Jakar, meaning "white bird." Punakha is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and it takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district. Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness) or Punakha Dzong was constructed by Tuebi Zaow Balip under the great command of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637 and believed to have been completed in two years of time period. It is also the country's most beautiful Dzong.It is the winter residence of Bhutan's Central Monastic Body led by HH the Je Khenpo. The Dzong houses the most sacred relics of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa. In 1907, Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first King of Bhutan. Three years later, a treaty was signed at Punankha whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. In 1987, the dzong was partially destroyed by fire.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Round Tower of Vyborg

Vyborg, or Viipuri to the Finns, was once Finland's second-largest town and a thriving and cosmopolitan place. Vyborg was the largest community in the area of Karelia that was ceded to the Soviet Union after the Winter War, and though it was recaptured and briefly annexed once more by Finland in the next conflict, it returned to Soviet hands with the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, when Finland relinquished all claims on the place.

The Round Tower and the Rathaus Tower date from the mid-16th century. One of the bloodiest stories of Vyborg is related to the Round Tower. In 1599, in Sweden a serious struggle for the throne was in full swing between officially crowned ruler Sigismund and his uncle Duke Charles. Charles had great influence in the army and turned his claims for the throne into a real war. Sigismund was forced to flee to Poland, and Charles began to persecute his supporters. Just like in other Swedish castles, carnages occurred in Vyborg. Charles’ soldiers beheaded the most influential city-dwellers in public including town major Arvid Tavast. The heads of the executed were brought from the site of carnage to the Round Tower and put there on iron rods for all to see. This event that took place on 30 of September of 1599 is remembered as “the Vyborg massacre.”

Only in 1923, the Round Tower received a new life, as it became a historical restaurant and a place of meetings of a Technical Club – a union of Vyborg’s architects. In the WWII years, the building was almost not harmed. In 1940, in the “three-storied stone tower” a Museum of local lore was opened; it existed several months. In 1970s, restoration works were carried out in the tower, and a restaurant, which successfully works to this day, was opened there again. The so-called "Round Tower" is now a very nice and beautiful place. Upstairs they have an upper class restaurant, where you can for instance taste the famous Russian dish "the blinis" served with hacked onion, smetana (a creamy thick diary product) and caviar. Thank you Merja for this nice card.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joensuu - The Happening Place

Joensuu ("mouth of the river") is a city and municipality in North Karelia in eastern Finland. It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of North Karelia region. It was founded in 1848. The population of Joensuu is 73,373 (January 31, 2011). Joensuu is a lively student city with over 15,000 students enrolled at the University of Eastern Finland and a further 4,000 at the North Karelia Technical School. The largest employers are the municipal City of Joensuu, North Karelian Hospital District Federation of Municipalities, Abloy and Punamusta. The European Forest Institute, the University and many other institutes and export enterprises such as Abloy and John Deere Forestry give Joensuu an international flavour.

Each year during the three-day festival weekend some 100 bands from both Finland and abroad take to the Festival's five stages and numerous clubs. The variety of genres available is wide, from jazz to heavy metal and from reggae to the brightest stars of Finnish rock'n'roll scene. Ilosaarirock's supreme line-up, uniquely relaxed atmosphere and immaculate organising have all contributed to the fact that the festival has been sold out already in advance for an entire decade now. This pretty card was sent to me by Merja. So, come on all ye potential rock stars - Joensuu is a happening place. And, if you meet Merja there, say Hi to her on my behalf.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old Church at Petäjävesi

The Petäjävesi Old Church is a wooden church located in Petäjävesi, Finland. It was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built between 1763 and 1765. The clock tower that has been built in 1821 is connected to it. UNESCO considered it to be a representative Lutheran church of the Scandinavian tradition, mixing Renaissance with older Gothic architectural elements. The old church has retained its original appearance and its interior decoration exceptionally well. It is a popular church for weddings in the summer, and there is a church service on most Sundays. Merja sent me this picture postcard of this historical church.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport 1948

One of the immediate post-war cars that received notoriety for its speed was the T26 Grand Sport (GS). It was built for either racing or luxury and benefited directly from Talbot's successful T26 Course Grand Prix car. As such it was expensive, rare and helped Louis Rosier win the LeMans 24 Hour race.

The GS replaced the Record chassis which was named for its remarkable top speed. Having a 4.5-liter, inline-6 with aluminium cylinder heads and triple carburettor fuel feed from the T26 the Grand Prix cars, the GS was one of the world's most powerful production cars. It produced 190 bhp which was good for around 125 mph depending on the body that was fitted. Chassis details were similar to the Grand Prix cars, but it was longer and wider. It came it two wheelbase lengths -104 and 110 inches. All Talbots of the period used a body-on-frame design and had a strong enough chassis to receive a body from wherever the customer chose. Thus, no two cars were alike in the series of 36, and some became the most beautiful expressions of automotive art. Many of the great pre-war design houses like Saoutchik and Figoni & Falaschi were still around to body the T26 in their own way.

Two competition T26s, chassis 110055 and 90131, were prepared for LeMans and looked like underdogs with their pre-war technology compared to competition like Ferrari. However, 24-hour reliability helped the two cars, especially after the Ferraris dropped out, and they placed both first and second place. Louis Rosier raced the winning car for the whole duration except for two laps that his son Jean-Louis drove. In the 24 hours, Rosier personally changed a rocker arm while in the pits and suffered a black eye in the night when an owl went through the windscreen! For his victory, Louis Rosier was named the Champion of France. Tony Lago must have been pleased with the LeMans result as four years earlier he said ‘‘whenever one of my cars wins a race, I feel that I am paying a moral debt to the country which has permitted me to realize my life's dream.''

Unfortunately the Grand Sport was one of the last great cars made by Talbot-Lago. In 1958 the company was bought by Simca. This card was sent to me by Diana.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bei Carna, Connemara

Carna is a small area in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland, located on the country's west coast in the heart of the Gaeltacht and about 50 km west of Galway city. Carna may be a small area but it has a big enough influence on the surrounding areas in Connemara as it contains a Garda Síochána station, a Health Centre including a Rapid Response Ambulance and it also houses an Irish Coastguard lifeboat. Carna is located close to the village of Cill Chiarain and they share the peninsula locally called Iorras Aithneach. There is currently 178 people living in Carna Village but there are 1786 people living in the townlands around Carna and the Iorras Aithneach area. The population dramatically dropped from the previous average of 8000 before the Great Famine. There are a number of public buildings in Carna. There is a hotel in carna called Carna Bay Hotel, there is a nursing home located there and there is a pharmacy called Cogaslann Agatha located in the village centre. There are also 4 shops located in Carna and 3 pubs.

The National University of Ireland, Galway, has an Irish-language and educational centre (Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim) in Carna. It also operates a marine biology station Martin Ryan Institute in Maínis and an atmospheric research station at Mace Head, Carna, which is run by the university's experimental physics department. There is a water reservoir in Carna that provides West Connemara including Roundstone with fresh water. A bus is also based in Carna that brings passengers between Carna and Galway City picking up passengers along the N59.

Since Carna is in Conamara, it is an area that Catholics emigrated to during the Cromwell days, when the statement "to hell or to Connacht" was familiar to all Catholics. Carna is in a strong Gaeltacht region, so most of the people speak Irish at home. The population is almost totally (96 per cent - 2006) bilingual with English being the second language spoken. There is an Irish language college for second level students located in Carna and Cill Chiarain called Coláiste Sheosaimh. Claudia sent this pretty card, which looks like a painting to me.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Automobiles E. Bugatti was a French car manufacturer founded in 1909 in Molsheim, Alsace, as a manufacturer of high-performance automobiles by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti.

Bugattis were well known for the beauty of their designs (Ettore Bugatti was from a family of artists and considered himself to be both an artist and constructor) and for the large number of races they won. The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean in 1939 ensured there wasn't a successor to lead the factory. No more than about 8000 cars were made. The company struggled financially, and released one last model in the 1950s, before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960s. Today the name is owned by Volkswagen Group, who have revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars.

The Type 41 Royale was Ettore Bugatti's most luxurious and extreme car. It was designed for heads of state and massive chauffeur-driven bodies. Thus, it was the largest Bugatti both in length and engine displacement. It was also Bugatti's most exclusive model. Only six were ever manufactured and each had considerable presence due to their massive and distinct bodies. These typically had long, sweeping fenders that hugged 24-inch aluminium wheels.

Powering the Royale was a 12.7-liter, straight-8 engine that produced 300 bhp. This was enough power to haul a 7000 lb limousine or whatever body that was affixed to it. Bugatti had to use a nine-bearing crankshaft and a single modified carburettor. Initial production was slated for 25 units, but much less where made due to the depression. This exclusivity has made these cars the most desirable in the world. Even when new, a Royale with a roadster body by Weinberger was $43,000 USD. Each Royale received a standing elephant mascot for its radiator cap. Ettore’s younger brother, Rembrandt Bugatti who was one of the premier animal sculptors of the era, cast these from an original sculpture. Total production of the Type 41 is still up for debate since we have six original cars, 11 total bodies and a crashed prototype. Of the cars manufactured, only three went to actual owners while the rest where kept by the Bugatti family for some time. The project wasn't a complete loss as Bugatti eventually sold 25 Royale engines to power the French Autorail.

Coupé De Ville Napoleon. The first prototype, chassis 41100, was completed in 1927. It featured engineering traits from Bugatti's eight-cylinder Grand Prix cars including their cast aluminum wheels with built-in brake drums. This first car initially wore a Packard body, and two subsequent bodies before being nearly destroyed in an accident. It later became the famous Coupé De Ville Napoleon as designed by Ettore's son Jean Bugatti at the age of 21. At that time 41100 may have been wearing it's fifth body!

This extravagant limousine was fashioned specifically for Ettore himself. It had a split skylight and a wood-rimmed interior with plush upholstery. Every detail was thoroughly considered and a speedometer was even included for the passengers. Currently, the Coupé De Ville Napoleon is the most valuable car in the world. Ettore used the car up until his death in 1947. It eventually ended up with the Schlumpf brothers and still resides as a highlight in their Mulhouse Museum, which is now preserved by the government as the Musée National de l'Automobile de Mulhouse.

The Kellener-bodied Royale, 100141, still holds the world record for fetching $8 700 000 USD at Christie's Auction in 1983. When adjusted for inflation, this price would be over $16 million, a price that only other Royales or the first Rolls Royce Silver Ghost could eclipse. In 1985, Pebble Beach hosted a fantastic reunion that brought together all six of the surviving Royales. The Goodwood Festival of Speed again attempted this feat in 2007 but they failed to get the Berline de Voyage car out of the Blackhawk Collection. This nice card was given to me by Maria.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Viking Alphabet - Runic alphabet

Little is known about the origins of the Runic alphabet, which is traditionally known as futhark after the first six letters. In Old Norse the word rune means 'letter', 'text' or 'inscription'. The word also means 'mystery' or 'secret' in Old Germanic languages, and runes had an important role in ritual and magic. Here are some theories about the origins of runes:

  • The alphabet was probably created independently rather than evolving from another alphabet.
  • Runic writing was probably first used in southern Europe and was carried north by Germanic tribes.
  • The Runic alphabet is thought to have been modelled on the Latin and/or Etruscan alphabet.

The earliest known Runic inscriptions date from the 1st century AD, but the vast majority of Runic inscriptions date from the 11th century. Runic inscriptions have been found throughout Europe from the Balkans to Germany, Scandinavia and the British Isles. The Notable features are the direction of writing in early Runic inscriptions is variable. Later they settled down into a left to right pattern, and the Word divisions were not generally recognised in Runic writing, although one or more dots were occasionally used for this function. Elder Futhark is thought to be the oldest version of the Runic alphabet, and was used in the parts of Europe which were home to Germanic peoples, including Scandinavia. Other versions probably developed from it. The names of the letters are shown in Common Germanic, the reconstructed ancestor of all Germanic languages. This nice card was sent to me by Kristiny from Norway.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

L’Attaque de la Malle-Poste

L’Attaque de la Malle-Poste is a French adaptation of Rawhide a 1951 western film made by Twentieth Century-Fox. It was directed by Henry Hathaway and produced by Samuel G. Engel from a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The music score was by Sol Kaplan and the song "A Rollin' Stone" by Lionel Newman. The cinematography was by Milton R. Krasner. The film stars Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward with Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, Edgar Buchanan, Jack Elam and George Tobias.

The story in brief is about Tom Owens who travels west to learn more about the stagecoach business. Sam Todd is waiting at a remote way station to teach him the ropes. A woman named Vinnie Holt and her young niece Callie arrive on a coach that has been robbed. Owens and Todd are told that four escaped convicts named Zimmerman, Tevis, Yancy and Gratz intend to ambush the stage again when it returns east carrying a shipment of gold. Zimmerman pretends to be a lawman and Todd is killed. He and the other outlaws spare Owens' life because they need an official from the overland stage line to vouch that all is well when the gold shipment goes through.

Vinnie pretends to be Owens' wife. In an attempt to escape, they use a kitchen knife to open a hole in a wall, but it is only the smaller Callie who gets out. Tevis tries to force himself on Vinnie and when Zimmerman makes an effort to stop him, Tevis shoots him in the back. Gratz intervenes and is gunned down by Tevis as well. Tevis has the child, forcing Owens to cooperate with him. Owens' life is in grave danger but Vinnie is able to recover Gratz's rifle. She shoots Tevis with it. That leaves only Yancy, who discovers that the gang's plan has failed.

This card showing the French poster of this very riveting movie was given me by Maria.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Bore Star of the Silja Line

The history of Silja Line can be traced back to 1904 when two Finnish shipping companies, Finland Steamship Company (Finska Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget, FÅA for short) and Steamship Company Bore, started collaborating on Finland–Sweden traffic. The initial collaboration agreement was terminated in 1909, but re-established in 1910. After World War I in 1918 a new agreement was made that also included the Swedish Rederi AB Svea. Originally the collaboration agreement applied only on service between Turku and Stockholm, but was also applied to the Helsinki–Stockholm in 1928. As a precursor to the policies later adopted by Silja Line, each of the three companies ordered a near-identical ship for Helsinki–Stockholm service to coincide with the 1952 Summer Olympics, held in Helsinki. Eventually only Finland SS Co.'s SS Aallotar was ready in time for the olympics. At this time the city of Helsinki constructed the Olympia Terminal in Helsinki's South Harbour, that Silja Line's ships still use

Bore Star was built in 1975 by Dubigeon-Normandie SA, Nantes. She was one of three sisters built for Silja Line services, being owned by Silja Line consortium member Bore. During the winters of 1975/76 and 1976/77 she was chartered to Finnlines for cruises around the Canary Islands and African coast. These were marketed as the Finnpartner, although her official name was unchanged.

In 1980 Bore Star was sold to Silja Line consortium member Finska Ångfartygs Ab, and renamed Silja Star. She remaining with them until replaced by larger tonnage in 1986, when she was sold to Sea Containers for use as the cruise ferry Orient Express, on a service between Venice-Piraeus-Istanbul. She operated under charter as the cruise ship Club Sea in the winter of 1986-87 and then became Eurosun under charter and then sale to an Effjohn subsidiary in November 1989. She ran as Orient Express again during the summer of 1990 under charter, before transfer to another Effjohn subsidiary as Orient Sun for cruises out of Singapore. In 1992 she was sold to a further Effjohn company for use as the Wasa Queen between Sundsvall-Vasa and Umeå-Vasa.

In 2001 she was sold to India and became the MV AMET Majesty, India’s first cruise liner. The ship is also a training ship. The acronym AMET stands for “Academy of Maritime Education and Training.” AMET University is operating the ship as both a cruise ship for 1,150 passengers and a training ship for 90 nautical cadets and 120 engineering cadets. How this hybrid operation will function remains to be seen, but one has to admire the evident enthusiasm. The cruise marketing site promises a total royal treat on a seven star category cruise liner.” I have never seen a crusie ship rating higher than five stars, so seven stars sounds very impressive. Thank you Pia for this pretty card.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kathakali

Kathakali is a highly stylized classical Indian dance-drama noted for the attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country's present day state of Kerala during the 17th century and has developed over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming. Kathakali is originated from a precursor dance-drama form called Ramanattam and owes it share of techniques also to Krishnanattam. The word "attam" means enactment. In short, these two forerunning forms to Kathakali dealt with presentation of the stories of Hindu gods Rama and Krishna. Kottarakkarao complement Krishnanattam, which had its origin under the Zamorins of Kozhikode.

Ignoring the first phase when it was Ramanattam, Kathakali had its cradle in Vettattnad. Here Vettathu Thampuran, Kottayathu Thampuran and many dedicated artists like Chathu Panicker laid foundations for what is known as Kathakali now. Their efforts were concentrated on the rituals, classical details and scriptural perfection. The Kottaythu Thampuran composed four great works, ...viz. Kirmeeravadham, Bakavadham, Nivathakavacha Kalakeyavadham and Kalyanasaugandhikam. After this the most important changes in Kathakali were brought about through the effors of a single person namely, Kaplingad Narayanan Nambudiri (1739–1789). He was from the Northern Kerala, but after basic instructions in various faculties of the art in Vettathu Kalari he shifted to Travancore. In the capital and many other centres he found many willing to co-operate with him in bringing about the reformations. This lovely card was sent to me by Kasinath on 11.11.11.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Polish Folk Art


Wycinanki is the Polish folk art of paper cutouts. Pronounced vee-chee-non-key, it is known throughout the world as a beautiful paper cut art form. Wycinanki are handmade and have a very distinctive look. Multiple layers of colored paper are folded, cut and sometimes embossed to create wonderful patterns. The intricacy of the designs is created by repeating symmetrical patterns and folk motifs inspired by nature and geometric forms. Wycinanki cutouts come in many different sizes. Wycinanki became a popular folk craft in the mid 1800’s and was used by Polish peasants to decorate the walls and ceiling beams in countryside cottages. They were also given as gifts to family members and friends. A form of decoupage was used; the intricate designs were cut with scissors and glued to whitewashed walls and ceiling beams to create a happy cheerful appearance.

The colorful cutouts of flowers, circles, roosters and stars with a symmetrical arrangement reflect a high level of folk art artistry. Wycinanki cutouts are in a wide variety of colors and shapes including peacocks, roosters and other birds as well as rural scenes. They are also used for special occasions such as Christmas and Easter. Wycinanki remains a treasured form of Polish folk art.

This distinctive and lovely card was sent to me by Ada from Warsaw.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Notre Dame Cathedral





Notre Dame Cathedral is an impressive marvel of medieval architecture. Further to my post on 2.12.2011, here is another lovely view of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral sent to me by Maria.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Qu Yuan Memorial

Located in Zigui County in Hubei Province, the Qu Yuan Memorial in Zigui is a memorial of Chinese historical figures. It was opened to the public in 1981. Françoise sent me this pretty card.

There are two floors of exhibition halls -- the second floor displays more than 800 unearthed relics in the county, such as ancient daggers, spears and swords, the most precious of which is the sword of the Yue King Goujian of the Warring States Period (475-221BC); the first floor showcases cultural relics related to Qu Yuan, including the precious poetry Chu Ci (literally, poetry of the Chu Kingdom), 500 sets of books collected by Qu Yuan, and over 300 calligraphic works and paintings of various dynasties collected by him.

The memorial also houses the stone sculpture and bronze sculpture of Qu Yuan, the Jusong Pavilion (the pavilion used to praise tangerines), and the stele corridor. The stone sculpture of 103 centimetres tall was made in the 16thyear (1573) during the Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1644-1911) with the money donated by the common people in Guizhou, and is the earliest extant stone sculpture of Qu Yuan in China. The bronze sculpture stands in the centre of the memorial, its pedestal made of granites is 2.5 meters high and the body is 3.92 meters tall. In the tangerine grove 50 meters away from the Qu Yuan Tomb, there are 60 steles carved with 25 pieces of Qu Yuan's poetry Li Sao(Sorrow after Departure).

Friday, December 09, 2011

A small town in Cyprus







A serene and peaceful scene from a small town in Cyprus. I'd love to be there forever. Thank you Merja for this lovely card.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This Wall of China was built by Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China during the Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty during 221 B.C - 206 B.C., over 2,000 years ago.

The wall is 6,400 km long, which is around 4000 miles. It stretches from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west. It actually demarcates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The structure is one of the greatest structures built by man using a series of stone bricks, tiles, and lime from the hills. The steps that form the Great Wall of China are very abrupt and lofty in some areas. Climbing the Great Wall is not so easy. Mao Zedong said "You're not a real man if you haven't climbed the Great Wall". But over a period of time a promotional slogan 'real man stone' has been engraved on it. The Great Wall of China was built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other enemies. The earthen fortifications of this Great Wall have many gaps where weapons, smoke signals, and house troops were being stored. Here the barracks and administrative centers are located at regular intervals. This Great Wall had the ability to communicate well to the military forces and warning the garrisons of enemy movements.

There were many Signal Towers built upon hilltops for any visibility. The Wall has many famous scenic spots and nearly 10 million tourists visit every year from all over the country. It was made UNESCO’s world Heritage Site in 1987. In the period of Warring States, many extensive fortifications were constructed by the states of Qi, Yan and Zhao to defend their own borders. They were built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears and these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.

In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang conquered all opposing states and unified China and in order to prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he removed the wall sections that divided his empire along the former state borders. But to protect the empire against external intrusions by the Xiongnu or the Turks, he ordered to build a new wall connecting the remaining fortifications along the empire's new northern frontier. As procuring building materials was difficult, local resources like stones from mountains were used. Many of these walls were ruined during the period and Han, Sui, Northern and Jin dynasties repaired, rebuilt, and expanded the sections of the Great Wall.

The picture on the card is of the Great Wall at the very picturesque location of Heituoshan Jiankou, which is Northwest of Huairou. Françoise gave this lovely card to me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Treasures of Latvia





This picture postcard is one of 8 of the Postcard collection ”Latvian Treasures” which has opened a small peephole in the window of the indescribably rich collection of the Latvian museum. Collection of eight postcards are made, using materials from the museum exhibitions and storage and trying to show variety of culture and styles in the territory of Latvia. This card concentrates on Women’s jewelry of Latvia during the 6–13th centuries. Thank you Maija, who sent me this card from Riga.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Taoist Temple

Built in 1972, the Cebu Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision in Cebu City, Philippines. The temple was built by Cebu's substantial Chinese community. With an elevation of 300 meters above sea level, the temple is a towering, multi-tiered, multi-hued attraction accessible by three separate winding routes.

Unlike the neighboring Phu Sian Temple, the Taoist temple is open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike. A ritual among devotees is where one prays to the gods to grant one's wish. The ritual includes washing of hands, going inside the chapel barefoot and dropping two blocks of wood. If the blocks of wood are both face up then one could make a wish. If not then it is not yet the time for one's wish to be granted and one has to come to the temple some other time.

The temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze. Another ritual among Taoist devotees, which is done during Wednesdays and Sundays,[3]is the climbing of its 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures) to light joss sticks and have their fortune read by the monks.

Some guide books and travel agencies offer trips to the temple or as a side-trip in a tour around Cebu City. But it is more popular with grade school students. No student who grew up in Cebu City or the neighboring Mandaue City has not gone to the temple in any one of their field trips.

The entrance to the temple is a replica of the Great Wall of China. The temple includes a chapel, a library, a souvenir shop and a wishing well. The spacious balconies offer a scenic view of the downtown Cebu. This extremely pretty card was sent to me by Gina.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Presidency of the Council of the European Union


The stamp on this maxi card and the card itself were issued on 1.7.1999 to celebrate Finland assuming the Presidency of the European Union from the 1st of July to the 31st of December 1999. Ella sent me this significant maxi card.

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the responsibility for the functioning of the Council of the European Union that rotates between the member states of the European Union (EU) every six months. The presidency is not a single president but rather the task is undertaken by a national government. It is also not the "Presidency of the EU" (although it is sometimes called that), as there is no such thing: each EU institution has its own President. Three successive Council presidencies, known as presidency trios, cooperate for an 18-month period to provide additional continuity by sharing common political programmes. The current (2011–2012) trio consists of Poland (which took up the position 1 July 2011), Denmark (which will take over in January 2012) and Cyprus (will take over in July 2012).

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Saiga Tatarica


High-nose Antelope (Saiga Tatarica). High nose antelope Alias ​​saiga antelope big nose, is bovine, scientific name Saiga tatarica. Body length100 ~ 150 cm, shoulder height from 63 to 83 antelope cm, adult males weighing 37 ~ 60 kg, female 29 ~ 37 kg. Male with a horn, long 28 ~ 37 cm, the base about. are hundreds of large migration only.Activities during the day in winter and summer activities mainly in the twilight. The phenomenon of seasonal migration, moving south in winter the warmth of sunnyhillside area. Run very fast and have endurance, were nomads known as the “long-distance athlete.” Dominated by grass and shrub food. In autumn and early wintermating is not. Intense competition between male female phenomenon, but not for long. Pregnancy more than six months, each child 1-2 Aberdeen. China’s wild populations have become extinct, has been introduced back in Gansu and Xinjiangsemi-range, for the restoration of wild populations for experiments and research.Commonly referred to as valuable medicinal antelope horn, is from the high noseantelope. Junggar Basin of Xinjiang origin. Belong to the state level to protectanimals. This pretty maxicard was sent to me by Francoise from China.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hot Air Ballooning on The Great Tea Route
















For eventful tourism fans Kungur has something interesting. Its winds create perfect conditions for aeronautic sport. Now Kungur is considered to be one of the centers of air navigation in Russia. The annual international festival “Sky Fair of the Urals” is a branded event of Perm Krai. The festival program includes team competitions in hot air balloons, “Elephants’ dancing” show and opportunity to get off the ground for everyone. It begins with grand opening show on the “Trud” stadium that holds more than 1000 spectators. After what the air battles continue for 7 days and the city awakes. The fest traditionally ends with “Night lighting” of aerostats. Masha sent me this lovely card from Moscow, and with the pretty stamps affixed on it..

Friday, December 02, 2011

Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris), also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra (official chair) of the Archbishop of Paris, currently André Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury houses a reliquary with the purported Crown of Thorns.

Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe, and the naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The first period of construction from 1163 into 1240s coincided with the musical experiments of the Notre Dame school. The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc removed remaining decoration, returning the cathedral to an 'original' gothic state.

Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. Maria sent me this pretty card.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Unity of Chinese Ethnic Groups


Unity of Ethnic Groups - Marking the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (1949-1999). China is a multi-national country with 56 ethnic groups. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the State Postal Bureau issued a set of 56 piece commemorative stamps, "Unity of Ethnic Groups-Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China (1949-1999)". The maxi card displayed has one of these 56 stamps. The card was issued on 1.10.1999. For those interested in the Hui people, the paragraphs below may be of interest.

The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese-speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travellers.

In modern People's Republic of China, the term "Hui people" refers to one of the officially recognized 56 ethnic groups into which Chinese citizens are classified. Under this definition, the Hui people are defined to include all historically Muslim communities in People's Republic of China that are not included in China's other ethnic groups. Since China's Muslims speaking various Turkic, Mongolian, or Iranian languages are all included into those other groups (e.g.,Uyghurs, Dongxiang, or Tajiks) the "officially recognized" Hui ethnic group consists predominantly of Chinese speakers. In fact, the "Hui nationality" is unique among China's officially recognized ethnic minorities in that it does not have any particular non-Chinese language associated with it.

The Hui people are of varied ancestry, many of whom are direct descendants of Silk Road travellers. Their ancestors include Central Asian, Arabs, and Persian, who married Han Chinese. Several medieval dynasties, particularly the Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, and Mongol Yuan Dynasty encouraged immigration from predominantly-Muslim Persia and Central, with both dynasties welcoming traders from these regions and appointing Central Asian officials. In the subsequent centuries, they gradually mixed with Mongols and Han Chinese, and the Hui people were formed. On account of this mixing and long residence in China, the Hui have not retained Central Asian, Persian, or Arabic names, using instead names typical of their Han Chinese neighbours; however, certain names common among the Hui can be understood as Chinese renderings of common Muslim (i.e. Arabic), Persian, and Central Asian names. This pretty card was given to me by Françoise.