Monday, December 31, 2012

Gratitude 2012

I made a list of things I was grateful for in 2012. Of course, postcards was one of the things on the list! Many of them were also places I went and people I met this year, so I thought I would share a few of them with you all.

In no particular order:


Viking ships

Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde

Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona


Skee Is



Bayon temple

Cambodian stamps



Chichen Itza
new friends

old friends
fuzzy creatures
ripe nectarines

Feel free to add your own in the comments.
Best wishes everyone for a healthy and happy 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stanley, Idaho

Stanley, Idaho
Stanley, Idaho

Nestled snugly at the base of the Sawtooth Range, Stanley, Idaho offers a tranquil mountain retreat. Fishing, hiking and exploring opportunities are only a step away.

I sent this card to myself when I went to Pocatello for my cousin's wedding in September 2011. It was a challenge to get postcards in Idaho since I was only there for 24 hours and none of the tourist attractions seemed to be open. I finally found some at a gas station, and mailed them from the airport.

Since I mailed it to myself, I used my faaaaaavorite stamp. This is from a 2011 set of four on the U.S. Merchant Marine. Clipper ships, ushered in by the California gold rush of 1849 and noted for their streamlined shape and majestic cloud of square-rigged sails, set numerous speed records for their time.

Polish horses

From Castielle for vacation RR group 493.

I love this card!! Such beautiful horses. :D

This is one of a set of 3 Polish cities issued in 2002. This one shows the royal castle in Warsaw and Syrenka the mermaid of Warsaw. There is a fairy tale about Syrenka which you can read in its entirety here.

 I posted another stamp from this series here.

Zelhem, Netherlands


Despite being a multiview, I really like this card. Artistic, nice font, well-designed!

Zelhem is a village in Gelderland, Netherlands. Apparently it's not famous for much, but is known for the good witch Smokshanne, who in the 19th century flew around Zelham on a broom backwards, with only one clog, the other having been lost in flight. The village's 1200th anniversary party was Smokshanne-themed.

The stamp on the right is familiar to us. I can't find any info on the stamp on the left.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chiufen, Taiwan

Chiufen is an old town in northern Taiwan. According to the senders of these cards, the town was famous for its gold mine. Now the mine is closed and Chiufen is a famous tourist spot with many old grocery shops and teahouses.

From vickietsai for the favorites tag.

Chiufen old town
From shui for a vacation RR group.

Two movies have been set there. One is a Taiwanese movie about Chiufen. The other is Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away." I can definitely see the resemblance. Can you?

I may have to add this to my list of Ghibli pilgrimage sites. I've already been to the Ghibli museum in Mitaka; Seiseki-sakuragaoka, the inspiration-place for Whisper of the Heart; and the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architecture Museum with the bathhouse from Spirited Away. I also still want to visit Yakushima, inspiration-place for Princess Mononoke. Have I forgotten any other locations? 

Tabebuia chrysantha (golden goddess), a 2009 definitive.

On the left is 2009 definitive of Calliandra emarginata (pink powderpuff). The other two are commemoratives from the 2010 Taipei International Floral Expo (which I posted about here), tulip and lily.

Selfprinted Ad


I was pretty disappointed when I got this card. It's a selfprinted one. The majority of the cards sent by this person are similar selfprinted ones. Either this or with a different graphic but mostly the same message. This time the reason I don't like the card isn't that it's ugly. It tells me absolutely nothing unique about the person who sent it or the place they live. It's basically an advertisement for postcrossing - but I already know about postcrossing! This would be a good card to give to people who ask you why you're buying so many postcards when you're not a tourist (this happens to me a lot!), if it explained how postcrossing works on the back. But I don't think this is a good card to send to someone who is already a postcrosser. (Of course I registered the card and thanked the sender even though I didn't like the card. I am glad they took the time to send me a card.)

I know many people disagree with me though, because a lot of postcrossers have put this card on their favorites wall. This is just my personal opinion. You are all welcome to voice yours in the comments. And if someone really likes this card and wants to swap for it I am happy to send it on to someone who will properly appreciate it. ;)

It seems like cards I don't like also usually come with boring stamps or none at all. This is a scrap of paper printed from the internet and pasted on the card.

Kotovasiya Christmas

thank you reddew

From Olya for the favorites tag. She writes "This card perfectly depicts what happens every morning in Moscow buses not only in Christmas day, but every day when people go to work, school, university." I love the looks on the squished cats' faces. Seems a bit like the Tokyo subway at rush hour. How are people without cars supposed to get their Christmas tree home if not on the bus? I have a tiny fake tree so I don't have to worry about that.

 Two stamps from 1996, unfortunately damaged in the post. :(

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finnish Forest


"Do what you believe in, and believe in what you do. Everything else is a waste of time and energy."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

I have a number of cards from Estonia, so it's high time I posted one of them on this blog.
This card is from Tondinahk for the favorites tag. This is a great example of a really beautiful cityview. Even though I say on my profile I don't like them, sometimes I do. :) It's all in the composition of the photo, really. I'm sure the birds in this one are photoshopped, but I don't care. :p

Tallinn is the oldest capital city in Europe, and its old town is a UNESCO world heritage site. If I am not mistaken, this card shows three of the major structures of the old town: Toompea Castle in the foreground, St. Nicholas Church in the middle (shorter tower) and St. Olaf's church in the distance (taller tower). St. Olaf's church, built in the 12th century, is rumored to have been built by a man named Olaf, who died after falling off the tower. When his body landed, a snake and a toad crawled from his mouth. This scene is depicted inside an adjoining chapel. The tower was also used by the KGB as a surveillance point. Nowadays, surplus to the Catholic church, they let the Baptists use it.

The stamp is from 2010, showing Christmas artwork by Liisa Hallik and Maarja Kotkas.

Christian de Lanbodère

The sender of this card states that she found it at a French art show in Shanghai, China. As such, I'm not sure how to classify the nationality of the card!

However, it was mailed from Canada.
The stamp is from February 2011. It's a painting by Canadian Aboriginal artist Daphne Odjig entitled "Spiritual Renewal."

Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

The 100 Views of Edo: Sensoji Temple at Asakusa
by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

This postcard shows a famous woodblock-print by one of Japan's most famous ukiyo-e artists. Hiroshige was born the son of a samurai in Tokyo (then called Edo). He followed in his father's footsteps to become a firefighter, dedicated to protecting Edo Castle from fire. However, his salary was small and he took to art to supplement his income. The series of 100 views of Edo was produced over a three year period from 1856-1859, and was completed by Hiroshige's pupil after his death. This painting is number 99 in the series (there are actually more than 100 of them).

I've been to Sensoji several times, but it seems I don't have any pictures of it. It's one of the best places in Tokyo to buy souvenirs, as they have different types all in one place. And you can buy a candle or incense to make an offering, or buy a luck charm. I've never seen it covered in snow like this, though.

The stamp is from the series "Anime Heroes and Heroines," issued in October 2009. This one is Sai from Naruto.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Kota Bharu market

An early morning market scene in Kota Bharu. This is an official card, MY-50925 from Ethen.

Why did I choose this card for today, you may ask. Well, I have been hungry all day and no matter how much I eat, I get hungry again an hour later. Among the things I've eaten so far are two bananas, an apple, a pear, and some Japanese sweet potato, so it seemed appropriate to post a fruit market. :)

Kota Bharu is a city and its surrounding area, located in Kelanten, Malaysia, near the border with Thailand. In the city, you can visit the old royal palace to view its unique architecture -- but only from the outside, as the inside is still occupied by the sultan and sultanah. You can also go diving to the IJN Awazisan Maru, a Japanese transport vessel sunk in WWII, and mingle with giant barracudas, a mere 40 minutes from the city center. Just thinking about it makes me hungry again.

When researching this stamp, I discovered that Malaysia issued a large set of stamps depicting "traditional festive food" from many cultures in the same year as this stamp.

 If I can drag myself away from those, I can tell you that this stamp, issued in 2010, is from a set of Old Post-Offices! This is particularly fitting since today is World Post Day! This one is Seremban General Post Office.

Even though it's inactive, here is another post for Our Wonderful World Tuesday.

Our Wonderful World Tuesday

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Another vacation RR card, this time TeamBearCat sent me a card from their trip to the Cayman Islands.

Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars in the North Sound of Grand Cayman. Tourists can get up close and personal with stingrays. The name "stingray" comes from the venomous mucus-covered tail barb sported by this species. According to Wikipedia, their mouths have about as much suction as a powerful vacuum cleaner. So, snorkelers beware!

 The stamp is from the Cayman Islands Cultural Series Part 3: Catboats. Also known as cat-rigged sailboats, catboats are single-masted vessels, often painted blue to minimize glare. They were originally made for the activity depicted on this stamp: turtle fishing.

This is a post for Our Wonderful World Tuesday. Click the image to join in.
 Our Wonderful World Tuesday

Thursday, September 20, 2012

St. Paul, Minnesota

Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota
Bell Tower at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota

From the back of the card: "The Bell Tower is a Macalester landmark donated by the classes of 1927 and 1928. The bell itself was used as a fire bell at the Hope Fire Station and a church bell at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church. It was given to Macalester Founder Edward Duffield Neill in 1856."

Macalester is my alma mater. I was just there in June for my 5-year reunion and bought this postcard at the student store. I can tell you that the bell is also rumored to be the "virginity bell." It is said that you ring it after the first time you know... at Macalester. Which reminds me of this video.

I ♥ Macalester so much.

Kuşadasi, Turkey


Kuşadasi is a resort town on the Aegean coast. The name comes from the words for "bird" and "head," because supposedly from overhead, the shape of the peninsula looks like the head of a bird. I have to say, I don't see it.

This is a good example of the type of card I don't like. In its defense, I did a google image search of Kuşadasi, and it seems these pictures are pretty much exactly what it really looks like. I'm sure I would enjoy having a nice relaxing day on the beach if I were really there... or checking out one of the water parks with white-water slides.

 This stamp is from a 2010 set of sixteen (!) entitled "Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn Krtek



From the favorites tag... unfortunately I can't read the handwriting of the sender to recall their username!
I love this card. Pears are one of my favorite fruits.

 On the left is a stamp from a 2007 set of two on "the beauty of flowers" - this is a cyclamen (Cyclamen spp).

On the right is a pencil drawing by Czech artist Alois Bubak, from a 2004 set of three works of art on stamps.

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Schleswig-Holstein: Romantisches Pferdeland

Lovely card, it's just too bad it's a multiview... 
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost German state, bordered by Denmark to the north, Niedersachsen to the southwest, and Mecklenberg-Vorpommern to the southeast. According to the sender of the card, it is known as "land of horses."

The stamp can be seen here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hooker Valley, New Zealand

Southern Alps

From Adriennegarry for the favorites tag. I'm sure you can see why I had this one in my favorites. You can't really tell from the photo, but it's a panoramic card... sooo beautiful!

From the back of the card: A view of the Hooker Valley from high on the walking track to Sebastopol. Mt. Cook (Aoraki) and Mt. Tasman are central, and being struck by a typical southerly front, bringing rain and snow. The alpine mosses and grasses seen are typical in the mountains.

2011 Rugby World Cup stamp. When my roommate saw this stamp, she asked the person who sent me the card for a private swap so she could also get the stamp. :)

Delft Blue

Delft Blue

From Peggy for the surprise me RR. She writes that Delft Blue is a typically Dutch form of art, and that these are traditional costumes not often seen anymore except to amuse tourists. Thanks Peggy for the card and for these old, awesome stamps:

 A stamp from 1996, and one from 1991 showing Pieter Zeeman, nobel-prize winning Dutch physicist.
This one is from 1995 and shows the World Scout Jamboree, which was held in the Netherlands in that year.