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)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

USA – White Pass and Yukon Route in Alaska

The White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&Y, WP&YR) (reporting mark WPY) is a Canadian and U.S. Class II narrow gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. An isolated system, it has no direct connection to any other railroad. Equipment, freight and passengers are ferried by ship through the Port of Skagway, and via road through a few of the stops along its route. The railroad is a subsidiary of Clublink and operated by the Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company (in Alaska), the British Columbia Yukon Railway Company (in British Columbia) and the British Yukon Railway Company, originally known as the British Yukon Mining, Trading and Transportation Company (in Yukon), which use the trade name White Pass and Yukon Route.

Also operational, a few times a year, is an original steam-powered rotary snowplow, an essential device in the line's commercial service days. (The rotaries were retired in 1964, along with the remaining steam engines that pushed them, and snow clearing was done by caterpillar tractor.) While it is not needed as the tourist season is only in the summer months, it is a spectacle in operation, and the White Pass runs the steam plow for railfan groups once or twice a winter, pushed by two diesel locomotives (in 2000 only, it was pushed by two steam locomotives, #73 and #40). This card was sent to me by Eugenia.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Poland - Gdansk

Gdańsk , also known as Danzig, its German name, is a city in Poland on the Baltic Sea. It is the capital of Pomerania. Gdańsk with nearby Sopot and Gdynia are often referred as Tri-city (pl: Trójmiasto). Gdańsk is considered the most beautiful city on Baltic Sea having rich and magnificent architecture. Its position on the Baltic has historically made Gdańsk one of the most important port cities in Northern Europe, and tragically also the scene of a rather disturbing past. World War II was ignited by a dispute over the control of the city. By the end of the war the city lay almost completely in ruins. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles as the city came under Polish rule and changed its name to Gdańsk. However, the impact of its former German ties is still evident. Although most of the old buildings were damaged or destroyed in WWII, they have been painstakingly restored or rebuilt. This lovely card was sent to me by Kasia.

In modern history, Gdańsk is known as the birthplace of Solidarity, the labor and democracy movement that helped to bring down the Communist government in Poland, and subsequently marked the beginning of the end of The cold war. The charismatic leader, Lech Walesa, who became Poland’s first post-Communist president, led the movement.

Do not be fooled by the fact that Gdańsk is famous for its shipyards, as it is a beautiful city with a charm of its own.

Friday, July 29, 2011

UK - Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Souter is an iconic cliff top beacon, offering a great family-friendly visit. When opened in 1871, it was a technological marvel, being the first lighthouse built to use electricity. Decommissioned in 1988, the machinery remains in working order today. To the north, The Leas has two and a half miles of beach, cliff and grassland with soaring seabirds and, to the south, Whitburn Coastal Park provides walks and family trails. This year the spectacular glass optic from nearby Coquet Island Lighthouse is on display in Souter's Engine Room – offering a unique chance to see inside and outside of this vital machinery. Maria sent me this card.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cyprus - Spaceship Giotto

The Giotto mission was designed to study Comet Halley, and also studied Comet Grigg-Skjellerup during its extended mission. The major objectives of the mission were to: (1) obtain colour photographs of the nucleus; (2) determine the elemental and isotopic composition of volatile components in the cometary coma, particularly parent molecules; (3) characterize the physical and chemical processes that occur in the cometary atmosphere and ionosphere; (4) determine the elemental and isotopic composition of dust particles; (5) measure the total gas-production rate and dust flux and size/mass distribution and derive the dust-to-gas ratio; and, (6) investigate the macroscopic systems of plasma flows resulting from the cometary-solar wind interaction. The European spaceship “Giotto” was launched from French Guiana on July 2nd 1985 and met with Halley’s Comet on March 14, 1986.

The 18c stamp depicts the European spaceship "Giotto" launched by an Ariane rocket fro the Kourou launching site in the French Guiana on July 2, 1985. Its objective was to study Halley's comet, which it met on March 14, 1986 at a distance of 375 miles. Giotto's sensory instruments sent back to Earth a lot of information about the comet. Merja sent me this FDC. Merja sent me this interesting maxim card.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Zealand - Akaroa Head Lighthouse

The original Akaroa lighthouse started operation on the precipitous headland of Akaroa Heads on 1 January 1880. One hundred years later, it was moved down to Akaroa Township, after being replaced in 1977 by an automated light. The foundations are all that remain of the lighthouse keeper's family homes, but the original stonework of the supply road down to Haylocks Bay remains along the cliff face, including an original stone culvert at the junction of the road and the small stream. Akaroa lighthouse moved to its current location in Akaroa township in 1980. Maria gave me this card.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

China – Eight Diagrams Teapot (Qing Dynasty)

Tai ji or T'ai chi as it is better known here, literally means 'supreme','ultimate' and is seen as the perpetual cycle of Ying and Yang. This symbol is found on the teapot lid. The eight diagrams known as 'bagua' in China is a philosphical Taosit concept represented with an octangonal diagram. Its Approx size is 18cm length, 11cm wide and 7cm high. Teapot capacity is approx. 320ml. The teapot shown on the card was popular amongst the intelligentia during the Qing Dynasty. Thank you Maria for this card.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Taiwan – Tourist's Map Card

David sent me this card which was issued by the National Youth Commission, with the aim of promoting tourism in Taiwan amongst the youth of the world. The map card of Taiwan highlights the important tourist centers in Taiwan.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finland – The Swan

Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six to seven species of swan in the genus Cygnus; in addition there is another species known as the Coscoroba Swan, although this species is no longer considered related to the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, though 'divorce' does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight.

In the Finnish epic Kalevala, a swan lives in the Tuoni river located in Tuonela, the underworld realm of the dead. According to the story, whoever killed a swan would perish as well. Jean Sibelius composed the Lemminkäinen Suite based on Kalevala, with the second piece entitled Swan of Tuonela (Tuonelan joutsen). Today, five flying swans are the symbol of the Nordic Countries and the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) is the national bird of Finland.

And everyone knows of Swan Lake a very famous ballet and its music is easily recognizable. This lovely card was sent to me by Ella.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Germany – SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse

There is no doubt that the Kaiser realised what great national symbols large ships would be for his empire. He returned to Germany with the intention of building German liners to show the world the capability of the German Empire. And what would be a better way to do this, than to capture the famous Blue Riband into German hands? But it would take them some years to do so.
In Germany, there were two major transatlantic shipping companies: The Hamburg-Amerika Line and the Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd). Neither of these lines had up until now shown any interest in operating large liners. But the steadily growing immigration traffic and the wishes of the Kaiser soon changed their minds.
Norddeutscher Lloyd was the company that took the first step. The Kaiser wanted Germany's ships to be the greatest ever, and he wanted German shipbuilders to build them. Norddeutscher Lloyd therefore approached the Vulcan Shipyards at Stettin. With them they placed the order for what would become the very first German superliner.
On May 4th 1897, the new ship was ready for its launch. The Kaiser himself was present, and the ship was named Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse after his grandfather. The new ship would set a new style for ocean liners. She was the largest and longest liner afloat. She would have been the biggest ever had it not been for the Great Eastern of 1860. The most striking feature of the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was her four funnels, the first ship ever to sport such a quartet that for the next decade would be the symbol of size and safety. To give her record-breaking speed, the ship was fitted with reciprocating engines capable of developing some 31,000 horsepower.
But the thing that was really ground-breaking was the fashion of her interior design. For the first time in history, one single designer was responsible for the decorating of an entire ship. On the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, as well as on her three subsequent sisters, the designer's name was Johannes Poppe. His style of interiors was of a new kind, and it would be reflected in many German liners to come. Favouring baroque revival, Poppe created an atmosphere that had no match in decoration. Public rooms were given high ceilings and rich ornate carvings. His taste for grandiosity seemed to know no limits, and it was almost as if he had tried to gild the whole ship. Nevertheless, the travelling public enjoyed the new Kaiser, and she quickly became a very popular ship.
As with the Kaiser's ideal Teutonic, the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse had been built with a possible war in mind. Should it ever be necessary, the ship could be fitted with guns to serve as an auxiliary cruiser.

Friday, July 22, 2011

France – Paddle Steamer SS Cobra

Cobra was built for G & J Burns daylight Royal Mail service from Gourock to Belfast. She was not found acceptable by Burns and was sold back to Fairfields, who renamed her St Tudno and registered in the name of their managing director Richard Barnwell. She was run for excursion work in North Wales, in competition with the ships of The Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Co Ltd. Evidently she was not profitable in this guise for she was sold again, in the same year, for use between Hamburg and Heligoland, where she regained her original name. She was comandeered by the French after the Great War and was sold to German breakers in 1922. In this splendid picture, she is shown in service at Nice, towards the end of her career. As can be seen, Cobra was a good looking steamer with a full length promenade deck and elegant lines. The picture below shows a lively scene of her whilst in service for the Hamburg-America line in 1909. Thank you Maria for this nice old ship card.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

France – Brittany Coast Lighthouse

Maria sent me this card with the picture of the lighthouse on the Brittany Coast in France.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finland - Ju 88

The Junkers Ju 88 was a World War II German Luftwaffe twin-engine, multi-role aircraft. Designed by Hugo Junkers' company in the mid-1930s, it suffered from a number of technical problems during the later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Affectionately known as "The Maid of all Work" (a feminine version of "jack of all trades"), the Ju 88 proved to be suited to almost any role. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it was used successfully as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter, and even as a flying bomb during the closing stages of conflict.

Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945, and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout the production, the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged, proof of the outstanding quality of the original design.

The picture is of a model of a Junkers Ju-88 A-4 (JK-254) that crashed during a bombing mission on 1st of July 1944 in Lake Pyhaselka in Rauvanlanti Liperi. Parts of this Bomber were found in 2008. The engine is on display at the Central Finland Aviation Museum. Merja sent me this card.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Åland – Volunteer Fire Brigade

The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking region of Finland. The islands collectively constitute the smallest region of Finland, with only 0.49% of its land area, and 0.50% of its population. Because of the autonomous status of the Åland Islands, the powers exercised at the provincial level by representatives of the central state administration in the rest of Finland are largely exercised by the Government of Åland in Åland.
The Volunteer Fire Brigade of Mariehamn (Åland) was founded in 1887. The province has 20 fire brigades, which comprise about 300 active firemen, 120 women and 150 juniors. These fire brigades possess 50 fire trucks, 40 pumps and about 20 km hose-pipes. This postcard celebrates the 100th Anniversary of this organisation, which was on 27.4.1987.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Italy – Trevi Fountain

The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district. The Trevi fountain is at the ending part of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed in 19 BC. It brings water all the way from the Salone Springs (approx 20km from Rome) and supplies the fountains in the historic center of Rome with water. In 1732, Pope Clement XII commissioned Nicola Salvi to create a large fountain at the Trevi Square. A previous undertaking to build the fountain after a design by Bernini was halted a century earlier after the death of Pope Urban VIII. The restive sea horse which is the masterpiece on this design. Construction of the monumental baroque fountain was finally completed in 1762. The Fountain. The central figure of the fountain, in front of a large niche, is Neptune, god of the sea. He is riding a chariot in the shape of a shell, pulled by two sea horses. Each sea horse is guided by a Triton. One of the horses is calm and obedient, the other one restive. They symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. On the left hand side of Neptune is a statue representing Abundance. The crowded square on the right represents Salubrity. Above the sculptures are bas-reliefs, one of them shows Agrippa, the general who built the aqueduct that carries water to the fountain.
And who can forget the song made immortal by Frank Sinatra, "Three coins in the Fountain, which one will the Fountain Bless ......................" Thank you Maria for this lovely card.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Netherlands – Terschelling Lighthouse

Terschelling is a municipality and an island in the northern Netherlands, one of the West Frisian Islands. Waddenislanders are known for their resourcefulness in using anything and everything that washes ashore. With few trees to use for timber, most of the farms and barns are built with masts recovered from shipwrecks. The islands are surrounded by shipwrecks, and even today many containers wash ashore that are blown off the decks of cargo ships in the North Sea. The main source of income on Terschelling is tourism. There is some agriculture, but a large part of the island has become a nature reserve.

The Dutch Wadden (or Frisian) islands are very popular as a holiday resort for over a century already, for the Dutch as well as for the people living in the neighboring countries. Of the five (inhabited) Wadden islands Terschelling is the second largest, after Texel. Why particularly this island is so popular with the tourists is because, Terschelling is endowed with the longest beach of all Wadden islands. On the north side of the island not less than 30 kilometers of splendid white sandy beach, in some places over one kilometer wide, are waiting to welcome the tourists. And on the south side there's the Wadden Sea, one of the most important nature reserves of northwest Europe. As a result of the island's elongated shape there's no place on Terschelling further from the sea than half an hour's walk. Terschelling has a favorable climate compared with the rest of the Netherlands. Its winters are milder and its summers cooler. Throughout the year it has twice as many hours of sunshine as the mainland, and significantly less rain. The island is an paradise for lovers of nature and peace. Yet there is also enough diversion and fun on Terschelling to make it a popular vacation place for young people. People interested in arts and cultural activities will have a great time at the yearly unique Oerol festival, about which more later on.

This card was sent to me by Anke, for whom Tershelling means a lot. She met her husband here, and they finally married in this very lighthouse. Very romantic indeed. Thank you Anke for this lovely card.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Belarus – Kobrin

Kobryn or Kobrin is a city in the Brest voblast of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn Raion. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet. The city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest.. It is at an altitude of 485 feet. It is a station on the Brest – Homiel railway line. As of 1995, the population was around 51,500. River transport is very common in Belarus. The picture on the card shows the river station at Kobrin City. This pretty card was sent to me by Alesia.

In prehistoric times it was inhabited by ancient Baltic Yotvingian tribe. After the Partition of Poland in 1795, the town was annexed by Imperial Russia. Occupied by Germany during the World War I, following the Polish-Bolshevik War it was handed to Poland under the terms of the Treaty of Riga and became a seat of a powiat within the Polesie Voivodship. During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 the town was the scene of heavy fighting between the Polish 60th Infantry Division of Colonel Adam Epler and the German XIX Panzer Corps of General Heinz Guderian. After three days of fighting the Poles withdrew southwards. Between 1939 and 1941 occupied by the Soviet Union, then until 1944 by Nazi Germany. During the latter period the majority of Jewish inhabitants were first amassed in a ghetto and then murdered by the Germans in their extermination camps. In 1945 the town was occupied once more by the USSR and attached to the Byelorussian SSR. Since 1991 it is a part of Belarus.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cyprus - FIFA World Cup 1998

The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final. France won their first title, becoming the seventh nation to win a World Cup, and the sixth (after Uruguay, Italy, England, West Germany and Argentina) to win the tournament on home soil. This was the first in which 32 teams competed at the finals. The official match ball was the Adidas Tricolore. Merja sent me this maxi card.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Åland – Lighthouses of the Åland Islands

Åland, also called the Åland Islands, is an archipelago lying off the southwestern corner of Finland and stretching across the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia from the Baltic Sea. There is one large island, Fasta Åland, about 80 smaller inhabited islands, and more than 6000 islets and skerries. The great majority of the residents (more than 90%) are Swedish by language and heritage. In fact, the islands were part of Sweden until 1809, when Sweden was forced to cede them to the Russian Empire along with Finland. When Finland became independent from Russia in 1917, the Ålanders petitioned to secede from Finland. Finland declined, and ultimately the Åland question was referred to the League of Nations. In 1921 the League decided that Åland should remain under Finnish sovereignty, but that the islands should be autonomous, self-governing, and demilitarized. Åland has its own parliament and national flag, issues its own postage stamps, and has a distinct ISO country code (ALA) and Internet top-level domain (.ax). However, from the Finnish perspective Åland is an autonomous province of Finland governed under international treaties by a special Act of Autonomy. The Finnish name for Åland is Ahvenanmaa. Lighthouses in Åland, as in the rest of Finland, are maintained by the Finnish Maritime Administration (Merenkulkulaitos). The Finnish word for a lighthouse is majakka (plural majakat); the Swedish word is fyr (plural fyren). Since Swedish is the language of the islands, the names of the lighthouses are generally in that language.

Four Maxicards from Aland Islands in Finland, Issued 6th June 2008 are featured here depicting the lighthouses of Marhallan, Gustaf Dalen, Kokarsoren and Bogskar. These cards are courtesy my Dear friend Merja.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birds on Stamps

Exotica... Upon hearing the word some immediately think of Amazon jungles, others see endless Sahara sands, and yet others imagine climbing in Nepal and Tibet. For many foreigners Belarus is an unknown land. And yet there is no need to go to the arctic shores or to Siberia in order to see thousands of birds, deer, or wild boars. You can see them all here, in Belarus. All that is needed is knowledge of places and enough patience to take good photographs.
Byelarus is home to an impressive number of species of birds that vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Belarus to raise their young, migrants who pass through Belarus with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a good part of the winter in Belarus to escape colder conditions up north. While many species of birds are relatively common as they are part of the ecosystems of the state, it is always a thrill to stumble upon a rare bird or vagrant, that does not really form part of any the Belarus ecosystems. Maybe it got lost during its travels between its summer and winter residence or it got displaced by bad weather.
Among the species of the birds of Byelarus you can find waterfowl and wading birds, a large suite of song birds, raptors, game birds, swifts and nighthawks, etc., many of which occupy several ecosystems simultaneously, as they fly to and from forests, meadows, shorelines of waters, cities and and urban green spaces. Maria sent these two lovely maxicards. Both the stamps issued were in commemoration of Bird of the Year. In 2010 it was the Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). In 2011 this unique honour went to the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cyprus - Mushrooms

These two maxicards are samples of the variety of mushrooms that abound on the Island. My friend Merja sent these two cards to me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea

Thank you Maria for this lovely picture postcard which reminds me of, this nostalgic song immortalized by Nat King Cole. It was also performed beautifully by Fats Domino and admirably presented by The Beatles amongst many others.

{Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea}
Oh, carry my loved one home safely to me
{She sailed at the dawning, all day I've been blue}
Red sails in the sunset, I'm trusting in you

Swift wings you must borrow
Make straight for the shore
We marry tomorrow
And she goes sailing no more

{Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea}
Oh, carry my loved one home safely to me

Swift wings you must borrow
Make straight for the shore
We marry tomorrow
And she goes sailing no more

{Red sails in the sunset}
Way out on the sea (ooh-wee-ooh, wee-ooh)
Oh, carry my loved one
{Home safely to me}

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finland – Vesikko

Vesikko was a submarine of the Finnish Navy in World War II. It was designed by Dutch Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw den Haag (I.v.S) and built in 1933 by the Crichton-Vulcan shipyard in Turku, Finland. It served as a direct prototype (name CV-707) for German Type II U-boats. Between the years 1933 and 1934 the German Navy carried out trials with the submarine in the Turku Archipelago. In 1936, the Finnish Navy bought it and renamed it Vesikko. Vesikko was one of five submarines to serve the Finnish Navy. The other four were the three larger Vetehinen-class boats Vetehinen, Vesihiisi, Iku-Turso (named after Finnish mythology characters) and the small Saukko (Finnish for otter). The word "vesikko" is the Finnish name for the European mink, a small predator now near extinction (already extinct within Finland). Vesikko saw service during World War II. Like other submarines of the Finnish Navy, she patrolled the Gulf of Finland during the Winter War against the Soviet Baltic Fleet. On 1 December and 19 December 1939, Vesikko made attempts to attack the Soviet heavy cruiser Kirov and battleship Marat, both of which had been damaged by Finnish coastal batteries. During the Continuation War, Vesikko continued her patrolling career but there were few targets of opportunity due to extensive minefields laid by Finnish and Germans forces on the eastern half of the Gulf of Finland, which essentially blockaded the Soviet ships in their ports. Nonetheless, on 3 July 1941, Vesikko managed to torpedo one Soviet merchant ship named Vyborg of 3,500 tons.

After the war, Vesikko was decommissioned because of the obligations of the Paris Peace Treaties that forbade Finland having submarines. Vesikko was lying as a wreck for years. It was eventually put up for sale for anyone willing to buy it. Former crewmembers of the submarine managed to rescue and restore it. The submarine currently lies on the island of Suomenlinna. It has served as a museum during the summers since 1973 as a part of the Military Museum of Finland. Vesikko is the last surviving Type II submarine in the world. My Dear friend Merja sent me this very nice card.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Finland – Havis Amanda Fountain, Helsinki

The Havis Amanda Fountain with a bronze statue of the naked nymph is located at Kauppatori (Market) Square. Ville Vallgren, Finnish sculptor, who lived in Paris, created the fountain, which is made of granite, and the bronze statue in 1908. Havis Amanda is one of Vallgren's Parisian Art Nouveau works. The legend says, that she is a mermaid, rising from the water with four fish spouting water at her feet and surrounded by four sea lions. Choosing this person Vallgren wanted to symbolize the rebirth of Helsinki. The height of the statue is 194 centimetres, but along with the pedestal it is 5 metres tall. According to the letters of the sculptor the model for the statue was Marcelle Delquini, a 19-year-old Parisian girl.

The naked sculpture in the very centre of Helsinki caught a great deal of protests and harsh criticism nevertheless Ville Vallgren's nymph remained at the place. Vallgren called this statue Merenneito ("Mermaid" in English), but soon it got the name Havis Amanda ("Sea Nymph" in Swedish) and Haaviston Manta or simply Manta (in Finnish). Havis Amanda stays the common name of the statue. Over time this graceful bronze figure became a real (but still unofficial) symbol of Helsinki.

Every year during cheerful and a little bit mad Vappu - students' festival held 0n May Eve - rowdy students put on Manta's head a white cap. This tradition dates back to 1930s. The "ceremony" begins strictly at 6 p. m. In 1995 when Finland's national ice hockey team became world champions, this cheerful bronze nymph was dressed in national ice hockey uniform. Thank you Merja for this lovely card.

Friday, July 08, 2011

RSA – Cape Point

Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform that runs north-south for about thirty kilometres at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent in the Republic of South Africa. Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town are close to the northern extremity of the same peninsula. The cape is located about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) east and a little north of the Cape of Good Hope on the southwest corner. Although these two rocky and beautiful capes are very well known, neither cape is actually the southernmost point in Africa; that is Cape Agulhas, approximately 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast.

The peak above Cape Point is higher than that above the Cape of Good Hope. The rugged sandstone (Table Mountain sandstone) ridge that rises from Cape Point at sea level develops into two peaks. There is a major peak that dominates the skyline locally but there is also a smaller peak about 100 m further south. The higher peak has the old lighthouse on the top. The Flying Dutchman Funicular runs from a car park to the north up to slightly below the level of the old lighthouse and a short flight of steps leads to a viewing platform at the base of the lighthouse. From the end of the railway a second path leads to the lower peak. Thank you Maria. This is a very pretty card.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Finland – Laulurinne in Joensuu

Laulurinne is an event venue that is known for the Ilosaarirock Festival Rock Festival) held here every 15 July. Camping sites are located nearby. The stamp shown on the card is a replica of the picture on the card featuring the Open Air Theatre where the song Festival is held each July. There is another week to go, so guys and gals take a flight to Helsinki, and from there to the Camping sites is just about six hours by train or bus. Merja, tempted me by sending this card. Thank you Merja, some other time.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Finland - Grannies

Here's one more Granny card by Inge Look. Pia sent this card.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sailing Vessel

A beautiful picture of a sailing vessel off the Italian coat.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cyprus - Potomos

This picturesque fishing village, about 3 km west of Makronissos, is well worth a visit. Nearby are the crumbling remains of a Venetian watch-tower. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud worked in this area in the 1880’s. This place is situated in Nicosia. Merja sent me this lovely card.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Finland - Aino & Väinämöinen

Aino is a figure in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. It relates that she was the beautiful sister of Joukahainen. Her brother, having lost a singing contest to Väinämöinen, promised Aino's "hands and feet" in marriage if Väinämöinen would save him from drowning in the swamp into which Joukahainen had been thrown. Aino's mother was pleased at the idea of marrying her daughter to such a famous and well born person, but Aino did not want to marry such an old man. Rather than submit to this fate, Aino drowned herself (or ended up as a nix). However, she returned to taunt the grieving Väinämöinen as a salmon. The name Aino, meaning "only", was invented by Elias Lönnrot who composed the Kalevala. In the original poems she was mentioned as the "only daughter" (ainoa tytär). Painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, depicting the Aino Story of Kalevala on three panes: The left one is about the first encounter of Väinämöinen and Aino in the forest. The right one depicts mournful Aino weeping on the shore and listening to the call of the maids of Vellamo who are playing in the water. The central pane depicts fishing Väinämöinen having thrown away a small fish, now turning out to be Aino, who laughs at him and vanishes forever. This beautiful set of three cards were given to me by My Dear Friend Merja.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Germany – Messerschmitt KR 200 1955-1964

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller, was a three-wheeled car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955-1964. Messerschmitt, temporarily not allowed to manufacture aircraft after WW2, had turned its sights toward the production of vehicles, much like its cousin company BMW. The most noticeable thing about the KR200 is its distinctive bubble canopy. These were usually made of transparent acrylic "Plexiglas" or "Perspex". Three-wheeled, low to the ground, and sporting two perfectly round headlights, these cars were unusual, even by the standards of microcars. The KR200 ran on a one cylinder two-stroke air-cooled motorscooter engine, which was in front of the rear wheel, just behind the passenger's seat. It had very simple controls, including a steering bar reminiscent of that of an aircraft. A cabriolet model was also made which had a roll-down hood directly replacing the Perspex dome. In addition, a "Roadster" KR 201 was made in small numbers having a small flyscreen in place of the windscreen with completely removable plastic side screens and a full convertible hood. The "Sport" model was made in very small numbers. This had a fixed (i.e. not opening) top with only a tonneau cover.

Having the second seat behind, rather than beside the driver and only a single rear wheel not only reduces frontal area but allows the body to taper like an aircraft fuselage, within a practical length. Ten horsepower (7 kW) propelled it at around 65 mph (105 km/h). The consumption of the car was 87 mpg (3.2 litres per 100 km). The KR200 was small, fuel efficient, and inexpensive. In a country in the throes of the after-effects of war but with an extensive system of motorways, it was well-matched to the demands of the time. Production of the KR200 ceased in 1964 as sales had been dropping for a few years. The demand for basic economy transport in Germany had diminished as the German economy boomed. A similar situation developed in other parts of Europe such as in the Company's biggest export destination, the UK. These two wonderful cards were sent to me by Maria.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Russia - Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church on Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ its official name. "The preferred Russian name for this great church is [Храм Спаса на Крови] Khram Spasa na Krovi, but each English-language tourist publication seems to list it under a different name. The moniker of "Spilled Blood" is most popular in preference to the likes of the Church of the Resurrection, Church of our Saviour on the Blood, Cathedral of the Ascension, Resurrection of the Christ, or Assumption, Church of the Redeemer, or any permutation of the above."
This Church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. It should not to be confused with the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land, located in the city of Yekaterinburg where the former Emperor Nicholas II (1868-1918) and several members of his family and household were executed following the Bolshevik Revolution. Evgeniya sent this lovely card.