Friday, July 31, 2015

Pool of Fame

Florida - International Swimming Hall of Fame, Ft. Lauderdale

For: US to US Travelling Envelope Round Robin - Group 43
Notes: The International Swimming Hall of Fame was established in 1964 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  In 1968, it became the first world-recognized hall of fame for any sport when it was endorsed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA). The Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of people in six aquatic sports - competitive swimming, diving, open water (marathon) swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and masters (competitive swimming for those ages 25 and older).  The ground of the Hall of Fame include a swimming history museum, a 50-meter pool, a 25-hard diving well and a warm-up pool.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Favorite Kind of Museum...Not!

Belarus BY-50593 received 03-19-2010

Sent by: iKota
From: Minsk, Belarus
ID number: BY-50593
Notes: In 1939, the Council of People's Commissars of Belarus (basically a glorified cabinet) issued a resolution creating a State Art Gallery.  That gallery is now the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk, and it is the largest museum in the country.  In 1941, the State Art Gallery housed just over 2,700 works of art; today, the National Art Museum has 10 times that many.  The museum moved into this building, which has ten spacious halls covering two floors, in 1957.  You can take virtual 360° tours of some of the halls here.

On a side note, as I was looking through my larger postcards to find one to post, I noticed that a great many of the panoramic-length postcards (like this one) were from Belarus.  It must be a very popular size there.  Here in the U.S., they are not that common and are usually relatively pricey.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Oldest...But Not That Old

Florida - Stranahan House, Ft. Lauderdale

For: US to US Travelling Envelop Round Robin - Group 43
Notes: This is Stranahan House (the small building, not the Sun Bank).  It was built in 1901, which makes it the oldest home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but the oldest surviving building in Broward County (which includes the city of Miami).  When it was first built, it wasn't actually used as a home.  The first floor was a trading post and the second floor was a community hall.  By 1906, Frank Stranahan's business was going well, and he moved the trading post into a larger building closer to the railroad.  The former trading post was then renovated into a home for his family. After his death in 1929, his wife, Ivy, rented out rooms to visitors, and also leased the lower floor to a series of restaurants.  When she died in 1971, she left the home to the Seventh Day Adventists, who sold it to the Historical Society of Fort Lauderdale. They renovated it back to its 1915 appearance, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1984.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Eight..Eight..Eight Cards in One!!

Turkey - Multiview 3

Sent by: Nihan
From: Adapazari, Turkey
For: Private swap
Notes: Some Postcrossers don't like multiview cards very much, but I don't mind them.  You get to see a bunch of different sights all at once.  In this case, the multiview card features various locations around the country of Turkey, or Türkiye.  The upper left shows the resort town of Kuşadası, which is obviously a popular port for cruise ships.  Below that is the Great Theatre at Ephesus, and the bottom left is Cappadocia, a historical region and UNESCO World Heritage site that features the Fairy Chimneys rock formation

The top middle photo also shows a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.  It was originally a Christian basilica when it was completed in 537 A.D.; then it was an imperial mosque, and now it is a museum.  I think you have probably figured out that the world map on the bottom is showing the location of Turkey. 

The upper right photo is the lake Uzungöl, located south of the city of Trabzon in the Çaykara district.  The center photo on the right shows the rock-cut tombs in the ancient city of Myra.  Finally, the lower right is a photo of some boats in the city of Istanbul (not Constantinople). (You're welcome for that link!)  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who are You Calling a Blimp?

USA DE-1998935 received 03-11-2013

Sent by: Buddylino
From: Tettnang, Germany
ID number: DE-1998935
Notes: This is LZ 127 (LZ = Luftschiff Zeppelin) Graf Zeppelin, a rigid hydrogen-filled airship that operated commercially between 1928 and 1937.  Its first intercontinental flight was from Friedrichshafen, Germany to Lakehurst, New Jersey in October of 1928.  In 1929, William Randolph Hurst commissioned the Graf Zeppelin to make a round-the-world flight.  This photo of the airship flying over San Francisco may have been taken on that flight, as it passed over San Francisco on its way from Tokyo to Los Angeles.  In 1931, the Graf Zeppelin was part of a groundbreaking research flight to the Arctic, and it 1933, it made a stop at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago.   It was decommissioned after the disaster involving its sister ship LZ 129 Hindenburg in May of 1937, and in 1940 it was scrapped so that its parts could be reused to build airplanes for use in World War II. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Random Cards, Random Thoughts

Finland FI-653217 received 10-31-2009

Sent by: mettev
From: Salo, Finland
ID number: FI-653217
Notes: I was looking through the oldest cards that I had yet to blog, and I found a couple of them in the basket of extra-large cards.  This card shows the Finnish flag on a lake, one of the thousands of lakes in Finland.  At first I was wondering if this flag was stuck in the middle of the lake, or if it was on the shore.  Then I noticed the wake in water, so I guess that it's on the back of a boat.  How boring.




Taiwan TW-68329 received 07-19-2009

Sent by: peishian
From: Taipei, Taiwan
ID number: TW-68329
Notes: This is Jade Mountain, aka Mount Yu or Yushan, the tallest mountain in Taiwan at 12,966 ft (3,952 m). It is also the fourth highest peak on an island, after Puncak Jaya on New Guinea, Mauna Kea on Hawaii and Mount Kinabalu on Borneo.  It is located in Yushan National Park, one of nine national parks in Taiwan.  There are over 30 peaks with elevations over 3,000 m in the park.  While Taiwan was under Japanese rule in 1900, two Japanese anthropologists made the first recorded climb of Jade Mountain, which they called Niitakayama.  The name Niitakayama was also used as the secret code word to signal the Imperial Japanese Navy to begin their attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Bad mountain.  BAD!!  Although...I guess that probably wasn't the mountain's fault.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

California Dreamin'...or Not

USA US-1589890 received 04-30-2012

Sent by: lucedelsole
From: Los Angeles, California, USA
ID number: US-1589890
Notes: The Santa Monica pier opened in 1909 as Municipal Pier.  Its primary function was to carry sewer pipes beyond the breakers.  The adjoining pier, Newcomb or Pleasure Pier, was built in 1916 as an amusement pier.  However, during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the amusement attractions closed and the pier was used primarily as a ferry landing.  In the 1970s, the city of Santa Monica had plans to raze the pier, but citizens protested and the city eventually gave up the plans.  The pier was severely damaged by storms in 1983, and the city created the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation to handle the rebuilding.  Today, the pier has restaurants, shops, and amusement rides, and it has been featured in an impressive number of films and TV shows.




California - Monterey Otter

Sent by: wassamatta u
From: San Jose, California, USA
Notes: This extremely classy card was sent to me by my extremely classy friend Mark, who thinks puns and whoopie cushions are the epitome of humor.  Monterey is located in central California, along the Pacific coast.  The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to about 1,200 California sea otters, like the one seen here.  They are unfortunately an endangered species, as they were hunted for their fur up until the early 20th century.  I'm fairly certain, however, that passing gas will not harm them, despite the look on this otter's face.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bazinga!

The Big Bang Theory Quotes

Sent by: TravelWithMe
From: Lamar, Colorado, USA
For: US to US Alphabetical Tag
Notes: For the US to US Alphabetical Tag, the first person sent a card that had something to do with the letter A. The person receiving that card had to then send a card that has something to do with the letter B, and so on through the alphabet.  You might think that this card was sent for the letter B, but actually it was sent for O, as in "Ooh, snap!"  Random, I know, but it is completely up to sender.  I have no idea what I sent for P, so perhaps it was something just as odd.

The card is from Cafe Press, and is not an officially licensed The Big Bang Theory product, as you can probably tell by the lack of the official show logo.  That doesn't bother me as much as the fact that "Knock. Knock. Knock. Penny." is only on here twice.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Bridge To Somewhere

USA US-2726765 received 04-08-2014

Sent by: dakohler1315
From: Martinez, California, USA
ID number: US-2726765
Notes: This is another one of those incredibly annoying postcards with no caption on it.  Seriously, postcard manufacturers, how hard is it to write a freaking caption so we know what the heck we are looking at????  Obviously, this is a bridge in California, but I don't know for sure which one.  I am 99% sure it is NOT the Golden Gate Bridge, based on what I can see of the support tower.  It might be the Bay Bridge, connecting San Francisco with Oakland, but without a better view of the shapes in that support tower, I can't say for certain.  The lighting, while very pretty, is also a hindrance, as it doesn't allow me to see the color of the bridge either.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Asparagus Time?

Germany DE-1268719 received 03-14-2012

Sent by: MyHighlight
From: Rostock, Germany
ID number: DE-1268719
Notes: I've found that asparagus is one of those divisive foods.  People seem to either really like it or really hate it (I'm on the like side).  And yes, there is always the question of why it makes urine smell funny.  The lovely and intelligent people at Mental Floss have answered that question for us.  Speaking of questions, what question is this card trying to ask?  The word zeit is German for time.  So the card simply says Time?  Seems rather odd to me.  FYI, the German word for asparagus is spargel.  And the scientific name is Asparagus officinalis, so I guess that means that it is officially asparagus.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Towers and Trusses

UK - Big Ben and Hungerford Bridge

Sent by: xxKeelleyxx23
From: England, United Kingdom
For: Private swap
Notes: You'll probably recognize the tower on the left as the Elizabeth Tower from the Palace of Westminster.  I think I've mentioned before that Big Ben is the name of the bell, not the name of the tower or the clock, so there's no need to say it again.  Oh...guess I did anyway.  The bridge is the Hungerford Bridge, a steel truss railway bridge flanked by two cable-stayed pedestrian bridges.  The railway portion of the bridge opened in 1864, and is also known as the Charing Cross Bridge.  The pedestrian bridges, completed in 2002, are also called the Golden Jubilee Bridges, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 50 years on the throne.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Wonderful

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Sent by: medusa242
From: Washington, D.C., USA
For: Wizard of Oz Lottery
Notes: I'd venture to say that most people in the United States have seen The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, but how many people have actually read the book by L. Frank Baum?  Or even know that the title of the book is slightly different - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  I have actually read the book.  In fact, the paperback copy of it that I had as a kid was so worn that the cover was falling off.  I also had one of the other Oz books (I think it was The Land of Oz), but I never really got into it back then.  As an adult, however, I have read most, if not all, of the other Oz books by L.Frank Baum.  There were other Oz books written by different author, but I didn't bother with those.  

FYI, the above picture is NOT the cover of the original 1900 publication.  It is actually the interior title page.  See, who says you can't learn things from Wikipedia!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lviv Locations

Ukraine UA-1048895 received 06-02-2014

Sent by: DianaDina
From: Lviv, Ukraine
ID number: UA-1048895
Notes: Lviv is a city of about 729,000 people located in western Ukraine.  It was founded around 1240 A.D.  While this church, Sts. Olha and Elizabeth Church, looks like it would be older, it was actually built between 1903 and 1911 for the city's expanding western suburb.  The church was damaged by bombs during World War II, but remained opened until 1946 when it was turned into a warehouse.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it was reconsecrated as the Greek Catholic Church of Sts. Olha and Elizabeth.




Ukraine UA-989235 received 03-26-2014

Sent by: vylkas
From: Kiev, Ukraine
ID number: UA-989235
Notes: This is Stare Selo Castle, also located near Lviv.  The first castle on the site, made of timber, was built around 1448, but was later destroyed by invading Turks. Construction on the stone fortifications began in the 1580s, but they were breached during the Siege of Lviv in 1648.  The current citadel was commissioned by Prince Zasławski and built between 1649 and 1654, but after his death in 1656, it slowly fell into disrepair.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Soup & Salad

Russia RU-757884 received 02-27-2012

Sent by: dvekosichki
From: Cheboksary, Russia
ID number: RU-757884
Notes: Borshch, or borscht as it is more commonly known in the United States, is a soup typically made of beets with beef stock.  The recipe here is obviously a vegetarian version with vegetable broth being substituted for the beef broth.  What size glass would you use to measure it though?  There are a lot of choices, so it would help if it was a bit more specific.  Anyway, if you'd like to try to make this recipe, you may want the list of instructions, which is listed on the back of the card.  Here they are: 

"Scald the tomatoes, peel, finely chop them, pour a little water and stew on a small fire until you have a homogenous mass.  Rub the mass through a sieve and boil it again until the sauce thickens.  Cut the beetroot into thin slices, warm it on oil, add tomato pulp, pour a little water and stew until doneness.  Put sliced potatoes and aubergines into the broth, bring it to a boil, add shredded cabbage and paprika, cook for 15-20 minutes.  Add stewed cabbage, browned onion and carrots, pepper, bay leaf and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  When serving, fill the soup with sour cream, sprinkle with chopped herbs."

Homogenous mass?  Mmmm, sounds appetizing. 



Russia RU-943365 received 05-21-2012

Sent by: tender_thunder
From: Yekaterinburg, Russia
ID number: RU-943365
Notes: If you have some beets, potatoes, carrots and onions leftover from making the borscht, you can use them to make this salad.  The instructions on this recipe make a lot more sense to me, and of course, none of the ingredients here are measured using grams, so of the two, I'd be much more likely to make this one.  Of course, I really hate chopping vegetables, so I don't think I'll be having this any time soon.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fortified

Taiwan TW-496886 received 04-30-2012

Sent by: TzuYuChen
From: Tainan, Taiwan
ID number: TW-496886
Notes: I wasn't sure what kind of building this was just by looking at it.  I was thinking maybe some sort of temple.  So I was rather surprised when I found out that it was actually a fort.  Fort Provintia was a Dutch outpost built in 1653 in Tainan.  It was surrendered to the Koxinga, a Chinese military leader, and was then destroyed by an earthquake in the 19th century.  When it was rebuilt, it was named Chihkan Tower, or Chikanlou.  I don't know if it is unusual for buildings in this area to be made of red brick, but it looks odd to me.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Did Someone Say Dracarys?

Poland PL-387189 received 03-19-2012

Sent by: anathema93
From: Bielawa, Poland
ID number: PL-387189
Notes: Fans of The Hobbit will probably recognize this scene as Smaug's attack on Esgaroth (Lake-town).  If you are not familiar with the story, I'll sum it up for you. *Spoiler alert!!*  Smaug spent many centuries sleeping atop his hoard of gold and other precious items, until one day, Bilbo Baggins and some dwarves show up and disturb him.  Bilbo steals a very valuable stone from him, which makes him even crankier than he already was.  He goes and attacks Esgaroth, where he is shot and killed by a really big arrow.  According to Malwina, the sender, there is a Tolkien festival called Tolk Folk in her town every year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Writing on the Wall

Taiwan TW-488695 received 03-26-2012

Sent by: Yihsin
From: Taichung, Taiwan
ID number: TW-488695
Notes: The first thing I thought of when I saw these old advertising signs is "Is this the Taiwanese version of Cracker Barrel?"  The card doesn't actually tell me where these signs are specifically.  As you can see at the bottom, it does say that they are in Lukang Township in Changhua County.  Lukang Township is located on the west coast of Taiwan, and it was an important deerskin trading post during the Dutch Colonial Period.  It has a population of over 86,000, and in 2012, it was named one of the Top 10 Small Tourist Towns by the Tourism Board of Taiwan.  That's probably due to the Cracker Barrel.  ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Peek-a-Pooh!

Netherlands NL-620485 received 04-30-2011

Sent by: suziebuzie
From: Weert, Netherlands
ID number: NL-620485
Notes: I'm sure most of you will recognize Winnie the Pooh, a character created by A.A. Milne in the 1920s.  Since then, the character has appeared in books, movies, TV shows, and theater and radio adaptations.  This card is a greeting card rather than a postcard.  The sender, suziebuzie, claims that they don't sell a lot of postcards in the Netherlands.  That's funny, because I have dozens of postcards from the Netherlands that say otherwise.  :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

When Does it Open?

Taiwan - Closed

Sent by: haru
From: Taipei, Taiwan
For: North America meets the World Round Robin - Group 335
Notes: I was a bit confused by this card.  I mean, I'm pretty sure Taiwan isn't closed.  I went to the website on listed on the back, which said "This site currently under construction."  Well, that's super helpful! There was some other information, but it was in Chinese.  Fortunately, if you right-click on a webpage while using Google Chrome, one of the options is Translate to English.  So I did.  Apparently, it is a stationery and book store.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hello, Sweeties!

Japan JP-163681 received 04-25-2011

Sent by: ogurice
From: Tokyo, Japan
ID number: JP-163681
Notes: I've said in the past that I love cards showing typical foods from a country, especially desserts and sweets.  Well, then it should be no surprise that I really like both of today's cards.  These Japanese-style cakes are so cute, each on their own little plate.  As an American, I'd probably be disappointed if I tasted one of them though.  Japanese confections tend to be a lot less sweet than American desserts.  I belonged to Skoshbox for a while and got to try a bunch of different Japanese candies and other sweets. Some were good but many were not, and some were just downright disgusting.  I've learned that I don't like anything flavored with green tea or pickled plum.  Blech!



Belgium BE-97935 received 05-09-2011

Sent by: Dreamweaverbird
From: Beveren, Belgium
ID number: BE-97935
Notes: Now these I find much more palatable - Belgian chocolates!  They're not only tasty (I'm assuming), but they are adorable too.  The two in the middle (hedgehogs?) are almost too cute to eat.  I'd have no trouble eating the rest of them though.  Dreamweaverbird mentioned that the little mushrooms at the top are marzipan, which is also not bad.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two from Taiwan

Taiwan - Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall

Sent by: RachelDing
From: Taipei, Taiwan
For: North America Meets the World Round Robin - Group 608
Notes: The white building that you can see through this beautiful gate under a rather dramatic (and possibly photoshopped sky) is the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.  In 2007, it was renamed National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, but the original name was restored in 2009 when the Nationalist party came back into power. There are two sets of stairs leading up to it, each with 89 steps, representing Chiang's age at his death in 1975.  The hall sits on one end of Memorial Hall Square, flanked on either side by the National Concert Hall and the National Theater. 



Taiwan TW-471623 received 02-25-2012

Sent by: winnietsai
From: Taipei, Taiwan
ID number: TW-471623
Notes: This is the entrance to the Dalongdong (I swear!) Baoan Temple in Taipei.  The temple was built in 1804, replacing an earlier wooden shrine, and there were a number of 20th century extensions and improvements made by the Japanese, who controlled Japan from 1895 to 1945.  Adjacent to this temple is the Taipei Confucius Temple, which was the site of the first roadblock on season 19 of The Amazing Race.  After reading about the roadblock, I do remember watching this episode.  Some people had a lot of trouble remembering the proverb.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Towering Too

USA US-1260284 received 08-19-2011

Sent by: Houri
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
ID number: US-1260284
Notes: Maurits Cornelis Escher, more commonly known as M.C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist whose work often featured impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, and tessellations. While he did poorly in school, he excelled at drawing from an early age.  This woodcut, entitled Tower of Babel, was created in 1928, when Escher was around 30 years old.  It depicts the Babylonians attempting to build a tower high enough to reach God, as recounted in Genesis 11:9.  Escher was not particularly fond of the work he created before 1935, dismissing it as "mostly practice exercises".  Pfft!!  I could practice drawing for the next fifty years and not be able to draw anything close to this!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Towering

Taiwan TW-687159 received 11-01-2012

Sent by: charlotte520
From: Qionglin, Taiwan
ID number: TW-687159
Notes: Sun Moon Lake is a tourist attraction located in Nantou County in central Taiwan.  I know what you are thinking - "I don't see a lake!"  Yeah I don't either, but this tower, the Cih-en Pagoda, is on Sha Ba Lan Mountain in the area surrounding the lake.  It was built in 1971 by  President Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother.  Construction was difficult because the building materials had to be shipped over the lake and then brought up the mountain.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Athletic Arenas

China CN-164145 received 02-18-2010

Sent by: cloudstu
From: Shenzhen, China
ID number: CN-164145
Notes: These buildings will be familiar to you if you watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  And if you know anything about me, you know I watched them a lot.  The building on top (it's not really floating in mid-air) is the Beijing National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube.  It was the venue for the swimming and diving competitions, and swimmers broke 25 world records over the course of the games.  In 2009, renovation began on the building, and it reopened in 2010 as an indoor water park.

The other building is the Beijing National Stadium, more commonly called the Bird's Nest.  It was used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the track & field events, and the mens' soccer gold medal match.  After the Olympics, it has hosted various concerts and sporting events, and it draws 20,000 to 30,000 tourists a day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lovely Lucerne

Switzerland CH-116805 received 08-11-2012

Sent by: Mabo63
From: Amriswil, Switzerland
ID number: CH-116805
Notes: Lucerne is a city of about 80,000 people located in central Switzerland.  In 750 A.D., a Benedictine monastery was built in the area, and by 1178, the city itself had been founded.  The area shown on this card is Old Town along the River Reuss, and the building on the left that looks like a church is in fact...a church.  It is the Jesuit Church, the first baroque church in Switzerland north of the Alps.  Construction began in 1667, and the church was consecrated in 1677 even though the interior was not yet finished.  The onion domes on the towers were not completed until 1893.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Totally Not Photoshopped

USA US-654479 received 04-19-2010

Sent by: TjPegly
From: Houston, Texas, USA
ID number: US-654479
Notes: Check out the markings on the cats.  That's totally real!  Seriously!!

Did you believe me?  Because if you did, I have this bridge I need to sell...

Here is what the blurb on the back of the card says: Kate Bishop works quickly using stencils and an electrostatic airbrush, to position images at the correct height so they can interact with images on other cats.  As the cats move about in a confined space, the images merge, becoming partially obscured and transformed in a vast orchestration of rapidly-changing random forms, each one representing the sum of its infinite possibilities.  This work has been described as representing a significant advance in the celestial-bestial chromosphere. 

Umm...yeah, sure.  The image is called Heavenly Bodies, and is from a collection called Why Paint Cats.  Hey look, you can buy the book used on Amazon for $.04 (plus $3.99 shipping)!  And while you are at it, you could get the companion book, Why Cats Paint.  The hardcover on that one is only $.01!    

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spanish Sights

Spain ES-279788 received 03-08-2014

Sent by: adrumo
From: Cáceres, Spain
ID number: ES-279788
Notes: This rather imposing and unfriendly-looking building is the cathedral in the city of Plasencia in western Spain.  The city dates to the late 12th century, and boasts a double line of walls dating to 1197, and the remains of a Roman aquaduct.  Work on the current cathedral began in 1498, and it was being built while the old cathedral on the same site was being torn down.  The construction continued off and on until the 18th century, when the building project was abandoned, leaving a cathedral that was a mixture of the old and the new.


Spain - End of El Camino de Santiago, Fisterra

Sent by: Green Tortuga
From: Seattle, Washington
Notes: Here is another card from my friend Ryan, sent while on one of his hikes.  Actually, this was sent from the end of the Camino de Santiago, a famous (and ancient) pilgrimage route to the city of Santiago de Compostela.  Fisterra (which comes from the Latin finis terrae, meaning land's end) is actually about 60 miles (98 kilometers) past Santiago de Compostela in far north-west Spain.  Many modern-day pilgrims on the Camino finish their hikes here. The body of water seen in these photos is the Atlantic Ocean, so it is not possible to walk any farther west...at least not without the aid of some SCUBA gear!

FYI, Ryan is currently re-hiking the Appalachian Trail, and if you'd like to read about his exploits, you can check out his blog here.  You'll have to go back to the entries from March to read about the A.T. from the beginning.  Or to read about his Camino hike, start in August of 2012.  He includes lots of photos in all of his entries.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

USA US-1558490 received 03-31-2012

Sent by: maverick7706
From: Lakeville, Minnesota, USA
ID number: US-1558490
Notes: I didn't really have any good Fourth of July cards, so I had to make do.  This card from the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota looks rather patriotic to me.  It opened in August of 1992, and I believe I visited it a couple of years later with my parents.  I spent most of my time there in the amusement park in the center of the mall rather than looking in the stores themselves.




Michigan - Robert E. Lee Showboat, Lowell

Notes: In 1932, during the Great Depression, the town of Lowell, Michigan started an annual project to hold a talent show on a riverboat.  The first showboat was the George Washington, but in 1935, the Robert E. Lee, shown here, was commissioned.  I'm not quite sure why a city in Michigan would name a boat after a Confederate general, but several new boats have been built since then, and they all seem to be named Robert E. Lee, so I guess the name works for them. I chose the card for today because the flags and bunting seemed appropriate for today.  I purchased this card at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids when I was there for a Postcrossing meet-up a few years ago.  It is made from two pieces of maple veneer, but seems like it would easily snap in two if it were to be sent through the postal system.  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rawr!

South Africa ZA-44991 received 06-02-2014

Sent by: mepype
From: Johannesburg, South Africa
ID number: ZA-44991
Notes: Oh, just look at the pretty kitty!  He looks so regal sitting there.  Unfortunately, wild male lions only usually live to be about 10 years old because of injuries sustained from fighting with rival males.  They can live for more than 20 years in captivity though.  mepype says that lions are part of the 'Big Five' of South Africa, a term formerly used by hunters but now used primarily by safari tour operators.  The other four of the 'Big Five' are leopards, rhinos, elephants and cape buffalo.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What a Zoo!

Germany DE-844769 received 03-07-2011

Sent by: Positron
From: Leipzig, Germany
ID number: DE-844769
Notes: As you can see, this card is from the Leipzig Zoo, which opened in 1878 in the city of Leipzig in eastern Germany.  It currently covers 56 acres housing over 850 species of animals.  It has a large carnivore exhibit, and has bred over 2,000 lions and 250 Siberian tigers, which are endangered. This card is obviously from the aquarium.  There is no information on the back saying specifically what all of these animals are.  I do believe the blue fish at the top is a blue tang, like Dory in Finding Nemo (and soon to be Finding Dory).  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Opulent

Russia RU-2484843 received 03-26-2014

Sent by: Kvantiki
From: Saint Petersburg, Russia
ID number: RU-2484843
Notes: If it seems to you that I have been posting a lot of cards from Saint Petersburg lately, rest assured, it seems that way to me also.  I think this is the last one for now.  This heavily gilt room is the Armorial Hall of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.  It was designed in the late 1830s after the previous Armorial Hall was significantly damaged in a fire in 1837.  It was designed for official ceremonies, and was one of the palace's main areas for entertaining, as it is the second largest room in the palace.