Friday, March 9, 2012

WEEK 04/52 - Postojnska Jama, Slovenia

this week we're going for a trip to another lovely European country - Slovenia. many thanks to wonderful Tina who spoilt me with two postcards and an encouraging note. let's take a look and sink in the beauty of her country.

Postojnska Jama

stamp that came with the postcard

Monday, February 6, 2012

WEEK 03/52 - Taipei, Taiwan

i'd like to apologize with all my heart for my absence lately due to exams, sickness and personal issues. from now on, posts will appear more regularly, it's a promise! also i've decided to change blog structure a little bit - we'll focuse more on the spirit of the whole idea - your opinions - while my comments will be background and background only. :) i'd like to show you more 'private pile' postcards as well. i'm always so curious of what do you think about your spot, city, country and what you'd recommend! please share thoughts with us :)

in the meantime i'd like to show the first Asian postcard here, sent from Taiwan by lovely Yi-Ting Chen. thank you so much dear! it came earlier this year after more than a month of travel. what we can see there is an insight of Shangi-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei.
let's have a glimpse of the postcard & of what the sender herself wrote us:


postcard sent by Yi-Ting Chen, thank you!

my first association with Taipei City is a landmark, 509 metres high and formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center. it was considered  world's tallest building until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. i'm lucky to have a view showing this exquisite example of architecture in my postcard collection - it is at the same time one of the very first postcards i've received via official exchange on postcrossing back in 2010 when my adventure begun :) hope you'll like this at least as much as i do.

postcard sent by Miya via

Sunday, January 15, 2012

WEEK 02/52 - Acropolis, Greece

during 2nd week of our expanding adventure, we'll take a journey to a beautiful country's capital and home of democracy - Athens. i'm lucky enough to tell it is also a place where my dear friend lives, and she is the person i'd like to thank especially for this week's postcard as well. Eirini, thank you so much for supporting me with the project and cheering for me always, i cannot tell enough how thankful i am.

let's take a look at what Eirini herself wrote to us and enjoy visiting lovely Greece (it's a chance to admire beautiful and one of my personal favourite stamps as well) :)


What would a visit to Athens be without going to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon? It is believed to be  the most perfect building created by the world's most advanced civilization and even though specialists have been studying it carefully for centuries, we still can't be 100% sure how exactly it was built. The Acropolis is the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age of Perikles.

The Acropolis of Athens is a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. The hill and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization – they form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed to the world by Greek Antiquity. In the second half of the 5th century BC, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple of Athena Nike.

postcard sent by lovely Eirini, thank you!

Parthenon is the greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena, dominates the centre of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis. The most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, earliest cults and several decisive events in the city's history are all connected to this sacred precinct. The monuments stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries.

What makes the Parthenon so facinating is that to look at it you would think that is is made up of interchangable pieces. For example the columns are stones placed on top of each other and you could replace one piece of a column with any of the others. Not true. Each piece of the Parthenon is unique and fits together like the world's biggest and heaviest jigsaw puzzle. Lines that look straight are actually not. The ancient Greeks understood the mechanics of site and that to make a line look straight it had to be tapered or curved.

Regular ticket for seeing this exquisite place is a cost of €12. It allows you to see not only the Parthenon but also Ancient Agora, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos or Hadrian's Library. There are also free admission days like 6 March, 18 April, 18 May, 5 June, 27 September and more.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

WEEK 01/52 - Kinderdijk, Netherlands

What is the very first association with the Netherlands when you think of it – is it tulips, cheese markets, traditional houses, pottery made of Royal Delft, innovative water-management? For me personally, it has always been tranquility, millions of bicycles and clogs - traditional wooden shoes, mini-version of which my sister brought home from her trip to Holland when I was little. Whatever that is – as we could mention many more examples  – today let us focus on a worldwide-known Dutch icon and landscape feature  –  windmills.

pictures found on &

I’m truly happy to present the postcard that opens the ’52 postcards’ project. It was sent by Moniek from the Netherlands, whom I’d like to thank with all my heart. It’s an exquisite view of the windmills village and Unesco World Heritage Site – Kinderdijk

See what Moniek herself wrote us:



The Netherlands is famous for its windmills –  more than 1 000 are still there nowadays. Nowhere in the world you can find as many of them in one place as near beautiful village Kinderdijk – with 19 magnificent and well-preserved windmills. Kinderdijk is at a distance of only 16 kilometers from Rotterdam and a little bit less than 10 kilometers from the city border of the oldest city in the region, Dordrecht. The mills drain the excess of water from the Alblasserwaard polder; then all of the excessive water supplies the Rijn river.

The country, which is approximately the size of the US states Connecticut and Massachusetts combined, has about 27% of land actually below the sea level; at the same time this area is home to over 60% of the overall population. It’s an example of remarkable water management and techniques of reclaiming the land from the sea. Let’s take a glimpse of how it looks like: firstly a dike is built around a large area covered with water, then the water is completely pumped out of the section. A place created this way is called a polder, which can be used for farming and industrial purposes. The process of draining is possible by using a windmill or mechanical pumps. The main advantage of a mill is that it requires renewable (and free) energy  of the wind, not fuel. On the other hand, the wind is not a factor we can rely on totally and also it has less power and it’s slower than a mechanical pump. 

postcard sent by Moniek, thank you!

Construction of hydraulic works for agriculture and settlement began in the Middle Ages and have continued uninterruptedly to the present day. The installations here illustrate all the typical features associated with this technology – apart from windmills there are also dykes, reservoirs or pumping stations to admire. Although they went out of use in the late 1940s, all 19 mills are still maintained in operating condition, because they function as fall-back mills in case of failure of the modern equipment. So far as the landscape is concerned, the other most striking feature is the evidence that the medieval land-tenure system is still present in two areas. This is a landscape that has not changed significantly for centuries.The mills are lined up in two opposite rows and form a spectacular sight. The unique character was rewarded with a Unesco recognition in 1997, filling 3 criteria of inscription (I, II and IV).
The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for "Children's dike" and comes from a folktale. It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went to the dike near the polder to see what could be saved. He saw a wooden cradle floating in the distance. When the cradle came nearer, someone saw quiet and dry baby sleeping there safely.

The good news is that visiting the famous 17th century windmills is free. The area has nice infrastructure of roads, walking- and cycling paths (you can go straight to Rotterdam from there on a bike). Apart from walking or cycling, canal cruises are organized – each of them lasts for about 30 minutes and doesn’t require any reservations. Horse and carriage tours are quite famous too & you can also see Kinderdijk from the air.

stamp that came with the postcard
In July and August you can witness how all nineteen mills still operate; while during wintertime  you can capture picturesque moments when families ice-skate along the Kinderdijk. Also, during 2nd week of September every year, the windmills are lighted at night, which is called ‘mills in floodlight’. This attracts many visitors from all over the world. During the tourist season one of the windmills is opened for visitors - anyone can get a pretty good idea about the functioning of the mechanisms and the lifestyle back then while visiting.

It is said that a photo album of your trip to the Netherlands isn’t complete without a photograph of the windmills at Kinderdijk. Looking at the postcard we shouldn’t have any doubts. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

PRIVATE PILE #1 Victoria Falls

since the main project of '52 postcards' is waiting for January 1st to begin i decided to dedicate a few posts at a time to a different concept of mine called private pile. the idea is simple - to show examples of postcards in my private collection, gained via postcossing and other postcard exchanges. every blog post coloured with green will be according to this. so here we go! 

let us begin with one of the most exquisite and exotic postcards i've received so far - this one came from Zambia earlier this year. Stan, thank you once again with all my heart for that exact direct swap and for sending me a view of Victoria Falls which i dreamt about acquiring! it’s truly a treasure. 
Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya)

postcard received from Stan, thank you!
Victoria Falls are among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. They are located in-between Zambia and Zimbabwe on the Zambezi river which is approximately 2 km wide at this point. The river plunges down a series of basalt gorges and creates a mist that can be seen a few dozen kilometers away. 

The falls are one of the seven natural wonders of the world (among Aurora Borealis and Great Barrier Reef) and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – inscribed in 1989. To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. Victoria Falls fulfilled two of them – 7th and 8th which indicates they are containing superlative natural phenomena, the area of exceptional natural beauty & aesthetic importance and also significant on-going geological process with magnificent landscape features.

Before white man’s arrival, autochthons called these sites Mosi-oa-Tunya which means "the smoke that thunders". Scottish explorer David Livingstone was the first European to see the waterfall in 1855 and renamed it after his monarch, Queen Victoria. He wrote about this place after "scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". The falls are formed as the full width of the Zambezi river meets a 108 m (360 ft) high cleft. Falling water drops into a deep, narrow chasm which is connected to several gorges – this unique form allows to view Victoria Falls ‘face to face’ from only 60 m away. The best place to admire the mighy water is ‘Knife Edge’ – a bridge built in 1969. The falls and associated gorges are an outstanding example of river capture and the erosive forces of the water still continues to sculpture the hard basalts. 

When the Zambezi is in full flood (usually February or March) 500 million litres of water per minute go over the falls. During the wet season also the spray from the falls can be seen nearly 50 kilometres away (because of the mist, it’s one of a few places in Africa where we can be more than sure we’ll get wet!). At low water level in November the flow can be reduced to around 10 million litres per minute, and the river is divided into a series of braided channels that descend in many separate falls. 

Victoria Falls are 1 709 m wide with the maximum height of 108 m. Rainbow Falls is the highest point where a beautiful rainbow can normally be viewed. The amazing fact is that a lunar rainbow may also be seen there on full moon. Just like its day-time equivalent, the lunar rainbow or ‘moonbow’ is created as light is refracted by water particles in the air, ever-present from the spray of the falls. It’s one of the few places on earth where this natural phenomenon occurs regularly and where it can be witnessed with ease. It also creates one of the most impressive sights of Victoria Falls. 

There is something to do for everyone – river cruises, elephant rides, walks with lions, safari adventures, canoeing also helicopter rides & cultural experiences. Adrenaline junkies can choose between all day white water rafting, 111 m bungee jump, river boarding, zip wire activities and also Devil’s swim – only available from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls when the water is low. This activity takes place on Livingstone Island in so-called Devil’s Pool. The island is strictly protected area – there can be at most 16 people at once - and it’s also the same spot David Livingstone was standing when he saw the falls for the first time. The swim in Devil’s Pool - right at the top of the falls with a hundred meters drop to the rocks below – it’s like no other view and gives a completely different perspective one gets from the other side of the canyon. The Devils Pool itself is a deep natural pool and a barrier that allows you to 
stamps bought with kwacha (ZK) –Zambian currency. 1$ = 4 715 ZK
jump into the water and swim, right at top of the waterfall. It must have been an amazing experience! 

Have you ever been to the waterfalls that magnificent? Or can you recommend a place like this in your country? Share your thoughts with us!