Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits (an area of 41.66 km²/16 sq.mi) include a population of 237,559 (2011) inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes. The Porto Metropolitan Area includes approximately 1.7 million people, and is recognized as a Gamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, being one of the four cities in the peninsula with global city status (the others being Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon).
Located along the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin for the name "Portugal," based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese the city is spelled with a definite article as "o Porto" (English: the port). Consequently, its English name evolved from a misinterpretation of the oral pronunciation and referred to as"Oporto" in modern literature and by many speakers.
One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the adegas of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the production and export of the fortified wine. This card shows a few very nice views of Oporto.This card was sent to me by Maria of Oporto.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Pafos, a small charming harbor town, on the west of the island, which has been, during certain times in antiquity, the capital of Cyprus, has a history which goes back literally thousands of years, and has always attracted visitors from the rest of the island and abroad.
Pafos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C.The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historical value. This pretty card is thanks to Merja.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The medieval castle is one of the nine castles of Cyprus (the others are at Kolossi, Larnaca and Paphos now in the Republic of Cyprus controlled area, and Famagusta, Kantara, Buffavento, St. Hilarion and Kyrenia now within the de facto but internationally unrecognised state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). It was built by the Byzantines around 1000 AD. Around the same period, a chapel was also built there. Richard the Lionheart is supposed to have married his fiancée Princess Berengaria of Navarre on this site after her ship was grounded nearby in 1191 as she accompanied him to the Third Crusade, on his way to Holy Land. The Castle was used as a prison, between 1790–1940 and it now serves as a medieval museum. The collection that the museum provides covers the era of 400 - 1870 AD. A visitor can see numerous exhibits: cannons, wood carvings of the 17th and 18th century, paintings and tombstones, statues, suits of armour, coins, terracotta, metalware and pottery, glass and marble articrafts. This pretty card was sent to me by my dear friend Merja.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Bear Island Light is a lighthouse on Bear Island near Mt. Desert Island, at the entrance to Northeast Harbour, Maine. It was first established in 1839. The present structure was built in 1889. It was deactivated in 1981 and relit as a Private Aid to Navigation by the Friends of Acadia National Park in 1989. Bear Island Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Bear Island Light Station on March 14.
In the foreground can be seen the lovely Windjammer Angelique. Since acquiring the windjammer Angelique in 1986, Mike and Lynne and their children Katie and Ryan have enjoyed the lifestyle, the people and the beautiful scenery of Maine. This pretty postcard was sent to me by Maria.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
The Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. There is a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (or as said in English: "Triumphal Arch") honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
The Arc de Triomphe is the linchpin of the historic axis – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre, to the Grande Arche de la Défense. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant patriotic messages.
The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence (after Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang). Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel. Thank you Maria for this nice card.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Once Upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il West) is a 1968 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, Charles Bronson as his nemesis, Jason Robards as a bandit, and Claudia Cardinale as a newly widowed homesteader with a past as a prostitute. The screenplay was written by Leone and Sergio Donati, from a story devised by Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Dario Argento. The widescreen cinematography was by Tonino Delli Colli, and Ennio Morricone provided the film score.
In Europe, the film was a substantial box office success, playing for multiple years in some cities. However, it was greeted with a mostly negative critical response upon its 1969 theatrical release in the United States and was a financial flop. The film is now generally acknowledged as a masterpiece and one of the best western films ever made.
In 2009, it was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant and will be preserved for all time. This film poster card was sent to me by Bettina.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This card brings back nostalgic memories of my days in the Missile Boat Squadron (with OSA class boats) in the Indian Navy. SFR Yugoslav Navy guided missile gunboat of the Končar class, which was a class of fast attack craft that was built for the SFR Yugoslav Navy in the late 1970s. Following the break-up of Yugoslavia one craft went to the Croatian Navy whilst the remaining five went to the Montenegro Navy. As of 2009 three vessels remain in service.
As planned by the Yugoslav navy, the entire class of six ships was due to undergo extensive overhauls and modernization during the early 1990s. The ships' anti-ship armament was to be replaced by the Swedish state-of-the-art RBS-15 system after the removal of the old Soviet P-15 Termit missiles. The stern Bofors 57 mm gun was also due to be removed and replaced by a CIWS AK-630M unit. However, only one ship managed to undergo these changes. It was the RTOP-402 which, as the war in Yugoslavia broke out, was being worked on in a Croatian shipyard and thus remained in Croatian service. All other RBS-15 missiles (out of roughly 100 delivered by the time) were captured by the Croatian forces. This ship entered Croatian Navy service as RTOP-21 "Šibenik" in late 1991 and saw additional light upgrading and overhauls over the years.
The class is named after the first vessel which in turn was named after Rade Končar. Armed with two SS-N-2B launchers, the Končar-class boats were modeled after the Swedish Spica class. This card was sent to me by Karoly from Serbia.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The cougar, also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the jaguar. Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is closer genetically to the domestic cat than to true lions.
A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. It will also hunt species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, grey wolf, American Black Bear, and the grizzly bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people. Attacks on humans remain fairly rare, despite a recent increase in frequency.
Because of excessive hunting following the European colonization of the Americas and the continuing human development of cougar habitat, populations have dropped in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated sub-population in Florida. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Transient males have been verified in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago and, in at least one instance, observed as far east as Connecticut. This impressive card was sent to me by Graham of Kansas City.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Salo is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Finland Proper region. The municipality has a population of 55,243 (January 31, 2011) and covers an area of 2,168.27 square kilometres (837.17 sq mi) of which 181.78 km2 (70.19 sq mi) is water. The population density is 27.81 /km2 (72.0 /sq mi). In Finnish salo means woodland, backwoods but also a wooded island. It is thought that Salo has meant the island that over thousand years ago existed to the South of the current town but is today a hill, not even very close to the sea. The municipality is unilingually Finnish. Salo has existed as a centre of rural commerce since at least the 16th century, grewn in the location where the Great Costal Road, the important East-West road, crossed River Salo; the river provided the fairway to the sea. In 1887 Salo officially became a market town and, in the beginning of 1891, an independent municipality. The area of the municipality was initially very small, only 0.65 km². In 1932 it grew to 18 km² when areas from neighbouring Uskela and Halikko were annexed to Salo. Eventually Salo became a town in 1960. Today its main claim to notability is as a developing and manufacturing plant for Nokia, and can therefore be considered as the original home town of Nokia phones. Nokia also is one of biggest employers in this region. Salo is located between the capital Helsinki and the provincial capital Turku, making it a busy small city. The short distance from these bigger cities keeps the Salo region and its business life growing. Farming also plays a considerable part in the area.
On the card is featured the Salo Art Museum (the round house in the upper part of the card). In the lower part of the card is a locomotive shed with an ancient steam engine by the name of Kana (meaning chicken). This nice card was sent to me by my dear friend Ella.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The stamp on this maxi card and the card itself were issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “Chemins de fer de provence” an old railway company located in the south of France which is now running a unique route between Nice and Digne-les-bains. This route, that opened in 1911, is locally referred as the “train des pignes” (the pine nuts train) as indicated on the stamp.
In 1861, Alphonse Beau de Rochas, an engineer from Digne who invented the four-stroke internal-combustion engine, wanted to link Nice, annexed to France the previous year, to Grenoble via the Var Valley, Digne-les-Bains and Gap. But, it was not until 1882 that the military authorities granted their approval for the project, which could then begin. To adapt to the very rugged relief, the engineers chose to build a narrow-gauge railway: a 1-metre gauge - instead of the standard 1.40 metres - provided for tighter curves (100 metres instead of 300 metres) and lower construction costs. In all, there are no less than twenty-five tunnels, sixteen viaducts and fifteen metal bridges on the line’s 150 kilometres.
The ‘Train des Pignes’ (pinecone railway) finally reached Nice in 1911 and was inaugurated on 3 July.
Despite many obstacles - climate, finances, the rising popularity of automobiles, war... - and thanks to close fruitful cooperation with local economic players (local communities, schools, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, travel agencies, associations), CFSF- Chemins de Fer de Provence was able to anchor the railway in the local economic fabric, thereby offering regular transport by train from the Mediterranean Sea to the Alps, also revealing the wealth of the cultural and tourist heritage of the 30 communes along the line. This pretty maximum card was given to me by my dear friend Maria.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
As the millennial celebrations of 1896 approached, the nation's demand for representation channelled the conception of a unique Parliament building. The Palace of Westminster in part inspired the design, but a well-known Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, laid out the plans in their entirety. The building stretches 268 meters in its length, along the Danube embankment. Ornamented with white neo-gothic turrets and arches, it forms the most outstanding landmark of the Pest side horizon. Statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders decorate the outer walls. The unique interior design includes huge halls, over 12,5 miles of corridors, a 96-meter high central dome, and 691 rooms. When the Parliament is not in session, all these can be visited (cameras are allowed); tours are offered in English, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian and Spanish.
The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest. It is currently the largest building in Hungary. Similar to the Palace of Westminster, the Parliament Building is in the Gothic Revival style; it has a symmetrical facade and a central dome. It is 268 m (879 ft) long and 123 m (404 ft) wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m (315 ft), it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen's Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation's millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896. The main façade faces the River Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square in front of the building. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls.
On the façade, statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military people are displayed. Over the windows, there are pictures of coats of arms of kings and dukes. The main entrance is the stairs located on the eastern side, bordered by two lions. When entering the Parliament, visitors can walk up great ornamental stairs, see frescoes on the ceiling and pass by the bust of the creator, Imre Steindl, in a wall niche. Other statues include those of Árpád, Stephen I and John Hunyadi. One of the famous parts of the building is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central hall, with huge chambers adjoining it: the Lower House (today the National Assembly meets here) and the Upper House (until 1945). The Holy Crown of Hungary, which is also depicted in the coat of arms of Hungary, has been displayed in the central hall since 2000.
Further features include the stained glass and glass mosaic paintings by Miksa Róth. Due to its extensive surface and its detailed handiwork, the building is almost always under renovation. During the Communist regime, the government added a large red star to the central steeple at the dome of the building, but after its downfall, the star was removed from the steeple. This pretty post card was sent to me by Katalin from Budapest. She pasted some pretty stamps on the card too.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Viviana my friend in Argentina sent me this lovely card of Parque Tres de Febrero, also known as the Bosques de Palermo ("Palermo Woods"), is a city park of 25 hectares (62 acres) located in the neighborhood of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Located between Libertador and Figueroa Alcorta Avenues, it is known for its groves, lakes, and rose gardens (El Rosedal). Following the 1852 overthrow of strongman Juan Manuel de Rosas, his extensive northside Buenos Aires properties became public lands and, in 1862, a municipal ordinance provided for a city park on most of that land. On the initiative of Congressman Vicente Fidel López and President Domingo Sarmiento, work began in 1874 on Parque Tres de Febrero (February 3 Park), named in honour of February 3, 1852, the date of the defeat of Governor Rosas, among whose opponents had been Sarmiento. Designed by urbanist Jordán Czeslaw Wysocki and architect Julio Dormal, the park was inaugurated on November 11, 1875. The dramatic economic growth of Buenos Aires afterwards helped to lead to its transfer to the municipal domain in 1888, whereby French Argentine urbanist Carlos Thays was commissioned to expand and further beautify the park, between 1892 and 1912. Thays designed the Zoological Gardens, the Botanical Gardens, the adjoining Plaza Italia and the Rose Garden.
The Andalusian Patio and Munument to the Four Argentine Regions (the "Spaniards' Monument") were added in 1927, the Municipal Velodrome in 1951 and the Galileo Galilei planetarium, in 1966. Its Modernist architecture is distinctive in the city—a sphere supported by three arches. A popular field trip destination for the city's schoolchildren, the planets and other astronomical phenomena are projected on the dome, inside. The demolition of the original Japanese Garden in the Retiro area led to the 1967 opening of the current Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens, the World's largest outside Japan. An Edwardian-style former café on the grounds became the Eduardo Sívori Museum in 1996.
Many people use the park everyday, both on foot and bicycle, and this number increases greatly at the weekends. Boat rides are available on the three artificial lakes within the park. Close to the boating lake is the Poets' Garden, with stone and bronze busts of renown poets, including Jorge Luis Borges and William Shakespeare.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Maiden of Finland is the national personification of Finland. She is a barefoot young woman in her mid-twenties with often-braided blonde hair, blue eyes, wearing a blue and white national costume or a white dress. She was originally called Aura after the Aura River in Turku. As a symbol, the Finnish Maiden has been used since the 19th century when she was pictured as a woman wearing a turreted crown, and then developing as Finland gained a national consciousness and independence.
The Maiden of Finland can also refer to the shape of Finland on the map. With a little imagination it looks like a female form, which has one hand, raised (and another before the Moscow Armistice of 1944), a head, and a skirt. The metaphor is so commonly used that the northwestern area around Enontekiö is known as the Arm (Käsivarsi) even in official contexts. My dear friend Pia sent me this card.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.
The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian, also called Hadrian's mole, was erected on the right bank of the Tiber, between 135 AD and 139 AD. Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden top and golden quadriga. Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in Baiae in 138 AD, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138 AD. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217 AD. The urns containing these ashes were probably placed in what is now known as the Treasury room deep within the building. Hadrian also built the Pons Aelius facing straight onto the mausoleum – it still provides a scenic approach from the centre of Rome and the right bank of the Tiber, and is renowned for the Baroque additions of statues of angels holding aloft elements of the Passion of Christ. My dear friend Maria sent me this card.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Timo Mäkinen (born 18 March 1938 in Helsinki, Finland) was one of the original "Flying Finns" of motor rallying. He is most famous for his hat tricks of wins in the RAC Rally and the 1000 Lakes Rally. Mäkinen's start in international rallying came in the 1959 1000 Lakes Rally (now Rally Finland), in a Triumph TR3. He later drove works Austin-Healeys and Minis. In the big Healey, he finished fifth in the RAC Rally in 1963. Mäkinen drove Minis during most of 1964 but came second in the RAC Rally in a Healey, at the end of that year. He returned to the Mini Cooper S in 1965, winning the Monte Carlo Rally and the 1000 Lakes. He came second in the 1965 RAC Rally, again in a Healey.
In 1967, Timo Mäkinen drove his Mini at a high speed through the famous Ouninpohja stage of the 1000 Lakes with the car's bonnet open. Leather straps holding the bonnet were not thoroughly tightened, and they opened after a few rough bounces. He tried to put his head out of the side window but his helmet was too big and he could only stick his head halfway out. So he had to skid the car sideways continuously to see the road ahead. Even so Mäkinen was third fastest on that special stage and he also won the rally overall, for the third year in a row. In 1975, Mäkinen won the RAC for the third time in a row, at the wheel of a Ford Escort, preceded only by Erik Carlsson (Saab 96) in that feat. Mäkinen won the Finnish Rally Championship three times, the ice track championship six times and the saloon car race championship three times. In 1969, Mäkinen competed in the very first Round Britain Powerboat Race, which he won. In 1994, Mäkinen made a brief return as Mini celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1964 Monte Carlo win by Paddy Hopkirk, who also participated in the race. Mäkinen retired on the second stage with a fuel system problem. My dear friend Merja gave me this maxi card.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Montenegro, the pearl of the Mediterranean, unique in many ways is situated in the south of the Adriatic. There is nowhere else that you can find, in such a small place, so much natural wealth, beauty, mild beaches, clear lakes, fast rivers and gorgeous mountains – like you can in the small country of Montenegro. In the morning you can wake up along the beautiful Adriatic coast, have lunch on the banks of Skadar Lake, and enjoy the evening walks in the Montenegrin Mountains. Montenegro is a place that cannot leave you indifferent.
Montenegro meaning "Black Mountain" is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica , meaning the former Royal Capital City. This lovely card was sent to me by my friend Karoly.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740. The fortress contains several notable buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral (1712–1733), which has a 123.2 m (404 ft) bell-tower (the tallest in the downtown) and a gilded angel-topped cupola. The cathedral is the burial place of all Russian tsars from Peter I to Alexander III, with the exception of Peter II. The remains of the Imperial martyrs, Nicholas II and his family and entourage, were also interred there, in the side St.Catherine's Chapel, on the 80th anniversary of their deaths, July 17, 1998. Towards the end of 2006, the remains of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna were brought from Roskilde Cathedral outside Copenhagen to finally rest next to her husband, Alexander III.
The newer Grand Ducal Mausoleum (built in the Neo-Baroque style under Leon Benois's supervision in 1896-1908) is connected to the cathedral by a corridor. It was constructed in order to remove the remains of some of the non-reigning Romanovs from the cathedral where there was scarcely any room for new burials. The mausoleum was expected to hold up to sixty tombs, but by the time of the Russian Revolution there were only thirteen. The latest burial there was of Nicholas II's first cousin once removed, Grand Duke Vladimir Cyrilovich (1992). The remains of his parents, Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich and his wife Viktoria Fyodorovna, were transferred to the mausoleum from Coburg in 1995.
Other structures inside the fortress include the still functioning mint building (constructed to Antonio Porta's designs under Emperor Paul), the Trubetskoy and Alekseyevsky bastions with their grim prison cells, and the city museum. According to a centuries-old tradition, a cannon is fired each noon from the Naryshkin Bastion. Annual celebrations of the city day (May 27) are normally centered on the island where the city was born. The sandy beaches underneath the fortress walls are among the most popular in St. Petersburg. In summer, the beach is often overcrowded, especially when a major sand festival takes place on the shore. This lovely card was sent to me by Olga
Saturday, October 08, 2011
HMS Hood (pennant number 51) was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. One of four Admiral-class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, her design—although drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction—still had serious limitations. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. She was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. The Admiral-class battlecruisers were designed in response to the German Mackensen-class battlecruisers which were reported to be more heavily armed and armoured than the latest British battlecruisers of the Renown and the Courageous classes. The design was revised after the Battle of Jutland to incorporate heavier armour and all four ships were laid down. Only Hood was completed, however, because the ships were very expensive and required labour and material that could be put to better use building merchant ships needed to replace those lost to the German U-boat campaign. Hood carried eight 42-calibre BL 15-inch Mk I guns in hydraulically powered twin gun turrets.
When war with Germany was declared in September 1939, Hood was operating in the area around Iceland, and spent the next several months hunting between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea for German commerce raiders and blockade runners. After a brief overhaul to her engine plant, she sailed as the flagship of Force H, and participated in the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. Relieved as flagship of Force H, Hood was dispatched to Scapa Flow, and operated in the area as a convoy escort and later as a defence against a potential German invasion fleet. In May 1941, she and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck which was en route to attack convoys in the Atlantic. On 24 May 1941, Hood was struck by several German shells early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and exploded; the loss had a profound effect on the British. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Royal Navy to "sink the Bismarck", and they fulfilled his command on 26–27 May. This impressive card was sent to me by my dear friend Maria.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company (the others being the Discovery and the Godspeed) on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia. This picture is of course a model of the original. This card was sent to me by Hank Holliman.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that sits at the entrance of the shipping channel into Casco Bay. The headlight was the first built by the United States government, and is now a part of Fort Williams Park. Cape Elizabeth is the home of Portland Head Light. Situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park, at 1000 Shore Road, the popular landmark is owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The Museum at Portland Head Light is contained within the former Keepers' Quarters. The adjacent ninety acre Fort Williams Park offers picnic facilities, hiking opportunities, sports and recreation areas, historic fort structures, and unlimited ocean views. Portland Head has long protected Portland and the adjacent area. Cape Elizabeth residents were deeply committed to American independence from British rule. In 1776, the new Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn citizens of coming British attacks.
In 1787, the General Court of Massachusetts (the Massachusetts legislature) provided $750 to begin construction of a lighthouse. The original tower measured 72' from base to lantern deck and was lit with 16 whale oil lamps. It was first lit on January 10, 1791. By 1865, the tower was raised 20' and a 2nd order Fresnel lens was installed. A portion of this lens may now be seen at the Museum at Portland Head Light. Except for a period between1883 and1885, this lens was in the lighthouse until 1958.
Late on Christmas Eve in 1886, the three masted bark Annie C. Maguire struck the ledge at Portland Head. Keeper Joshua Strout, his son, wife, and volunteers rigged an ordinary ladder as a gangplank between the shore and the ledge the ship was heeled against. Captain O'Neil, the ship's master, his wife, two mates, and the nine man crew clambered onto the ledge and then to safety . The cause of the wreck is puzzling since visibility was not a problem. Members of the crew reported they "plainly saw Portland Light before the disaster and are unable to account for same." My dear Friend Maria sent me thiscard.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Naantali is a city in south-western Finland, known as one of the most important tourist centres of the country. The municipality has a population of 18,782 (31 January 2011), and is located in the region of Finland Proper, 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) west of Turku. One of the oldest towns in Finland, Naantali was founded around the mediaeval Brigittine convent Vallis gratiae, the church of which still dominates its skyline. The name Naantali is the Fennecised version of the Swedish name of the town, Nådendal. The Swedish name was given as a direct translation from the Latin Vallis Gratiae which literally means "The Valley of Grace".
Moomin World (Muumimaailma in Finnish, Muminvärlden in Swedish) is the Moomin Theme Park especially for children, based on the Moomin books by Tove Jansson. Moomin World is on the island of Kailo beside the old town of Naantali, near the city of Turku in Western Finland. The blueberry-coloured Moomin House is the main attraction. Tourists are allowed to freely visit all five stories. Hemulen's yellow house is located next to the Moomin House. It is also possible to see Moominmama's Kitchen, Fire Station, Snufkin's Camp, Moominpappa's boat, etc. in Moomin World. Visitors may meet Moomin characters there or the Witch in her cottage. Moomin World isn't a traditional amusement park. There are many activities and fantasy paths for children there, e.g., Toffle's Path with Witch's Labyrinth, The Hattifatteners' Cave and The Groke's House. There are also performances in Moomin Theatre Emma. Moomin World is open daily from mid-June to mid-August. The nearby Väski Adventure Island is also a special sight for children.
The stamp and the postmark are also very illustrative of the Moominworl Theme. This Card was sent to me by my dear friend Brita from Naantali, which she visited recently.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Moulin Rouge is a cabaret built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. This risqué world-famous cabaret, performed in a 19th-century windmill, has been exciting audiences since 1900. I had the dubious pleasure of sneaking into and witnessing the cabaret show there in the Summer of 1957, when rhe 16 year old son of our host, managed to smuggle me into it. It was touch and go for both of us almost.
The Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today the Moulin Rouge is a tourist destination, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. Much of the romance of turn-of-the-century France is still present in the club's decor. However, it is said that due to better quality cabarets now available in Paris, the Moulin Rouge is left with more of a debatable reputation, than any real high quality. A real pity indeed. My dear friend Maria sent me this card during her recent visit there.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Browns Head Light is a lighthouse in Vinalhaven, Maine. It is on the NW corner of Vinalhaven Island and was first established in 1832. The present structure was built in 1857. Browns Head Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "Browns Head Light Station" on January 27, 1983. This nicely proportioned, compact station includes a fog signal in a small building shaped like a metronome. The lighthouse marks a popular seaway between Vinalhaven and North Haven islands. It is rented to Vinalhaven's town manager but the grounds are open to the public. The Maine State Ferry Service offers daily, year-round transportation to Vinalhaven Island; the lighthouse is at the end of Brown's Head Light Road there. The Brown's Head Light was built in 1832. Thank you Maria for this nice card.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It was built in Amsterdam in 1628, and armed with 24 cast iron cannons and a number of bronze guns. Batavia was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage, and was made famous by the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors. A twentieth century replica of the ship is also called the Batavia and can be visited in Lelystad, Netherlands. This pretty postcard was given to me by Maria.