Happy Sunday, readers. Back again today with three UNESCO sites from England: Canterbury Cathedral, Hadrian’s Wall, and the Tower of London.
All three cards were received from a private swap with Kerstin in England, sent in July of 2014.
It seems very fitting to follow yesterday’s cards, with their Diamond Jubilee stamps, with these cards also celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee through… more stamps!
These were all received via private swap from Laura in Canada in the summer of 2014. The cards show various Canadian stamps depicting the queen during ten-year spans of her reign. These postcards were part of a six-part series of collectibles released by Canada Post to celebrate the jubilee.
Two more map cards for my US maps collection, and by my count, I am nearly finished collecting a map card for every US state. I believe I am only missing Rhode Island.
Both of these cards actually came from Glenn in Canada, a fellow postcard collector and blogger.
Glenn always uses awesome stamps on the cards he sends, and these were no exception. On each card is a stamp showing a marine mammal – the sea otter and harbor porpoise – and one stamp from a set celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (which occurred in 2012).
Well, readers, we have survived another week – or at least, since I am writing this in advance to post later, I assume we have. I’ll be back with more postcards tomorrow, so hang in there and be kind to yourselves and your loved ones.
Welcome back, today I have two UNESCO cards to share, from sites in Denmark and Iceland. Both sent by Svea via private swap, from Denmark and Iceland, in June 2014.
Þingvellir, or Thingvellir, is the site of Iceland’s original parliament, or thing, which met here from 930 BCE to 1798. The site has been on the UNESCO list since 2004. The name literally means “assembly fields,” as in, the fields where people would assemble and make decisions. Christianity was adopted by the parliament here in the year 1000.
The stamp shows the Kviarjokull glacier.
Second is the Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark. This cathedral is the royal burial place for the Danish monarchs since the 15th century. It was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is notable for being built of bricks. This is one of the earliest examples of Scandinavian Gothic architecture built in brick, and encouraged the spread of the brick Gothic style.
This card was sent from Denmark with some neat Danish stamps.
Today we have some high-up city views. First is this Postcrossing card from Brazil, sent in June 2014. It shows the famous Rio landmark, the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
And the stamp shows the trophy for the FIFA World Cup.
Second is a mystery city that comes from Malaysia via a private swap. I assumed it was a city in Malaysia, but a Google image search seems to point to it actually being an aerial view of Dubai. The only text on the back is “Laverton,” which Google tells me is a town in West Australia, population 340. I suspect that this is not the identity of the city on the card.
That’s all for today, see you again tomorrow for another installment of postcards from quarantine.
Today I have some flags from Poland and Taiwan to share. First is the state flag of Poland with coat of arms, sent by Marta in July 2014.
Second is a card from Hsun in Taiwan, sent in August 2014. The card shows the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Wikipedia says another name for this flag is the “Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth,” or as Hsun writes, “blue sky, white sun, and blood all over the floor.” The red part was added to symbolize the blood of the revolutionaries who overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1912.
The stamps on the card:
That’s all for today, see you again tomorrow!
Happy Sunday, readers! Today let’s take a little journey through some vintage travel poster cards. All of these are from private Postcrossing forum swaps in June 2014.
First a Finnish poster advertising Baltic Sea cruises, from Leila in Turku, Finland.
Second, an early twentieth century bicycle ad card from Jennifer in Indonesia. Google Translate doesn’t want to help me out with what it says at the bottom, except that it has something to do with bikes.
The stamps on this card are great:
A poster advertising British Railways, showing Windsor Castle above the Thames river. Not sure where this one is from, I can’t make out the sender’s name and it was sent in an envelope (now lost).
And finally, back home for some tea and hot chocolate. This card was sent by Hanna in Ukraine.
Another day, another card (or two). Today I have two cards from private Postcrossing swaps, received in June/July 2014 from Hungary (I think) and Finland, showing some ancient Egyptian artworks.
First, from Finland, a wall painting depicting hieroglyphs and I-don’t-know-what, because there is no description on the card of what is happening or where this painting is from. Not even a hint. Certainly does not seem to be a good time they are having.
The stamp on the card is ridiculously cute, though:
And second, a mummy mask from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary.
This card was sent by Karo, who writes that they visit the museum several times a year, so I can make a good guess that they sent the card from Hungary, though I no longer have the envelope it was sent in.
I was very interested in ancient Egyptian culture growing up, mostly because as a very young kid, I was obsessed with cats. Cats were the greatest and most important thing to preschool-age me, and obviously any culture that worshipped cats also deserved my full attention. But, I didn’t learn my favorite ancient Egyptian fact until well into adulthood, when we visited an exhibit on mummies that came to our local science museum a few years ago (the Mummies of the World exhibit, which hilariously has a trademark on the word “Mummyology”).
So, back in the day, Egyptian pilgrims would buy mummified animals as offerings when they visited temples. This spawned a huge industry devoted to raising, killing, and mummifying the sacred animals, and apparently, the actual raising, killing, and mummifying part was too much work. We’ve discovered that lots of these didn’t actually have mummified remains in them at all. We don’t know whether people knew that they were getting and it was really about the symbolism, or if this was just a huge ancient scam, but I find the idea that it was someone’s job in ancient Egypt to make and sell real fake mummies to be very amusing.
Today is Friday here! We made it through another week. Today I have cards, a haiku, a song, and some story to share with you.
Cards first…. the card of the Great Buddha in Kamakura, Japan, comes from a private Postcrossing swap with Shiki in Russia. This card was sent in May 2014. Shiki includes a lovely Japanese haiku on the card:
holding an umbrella, and looking
at the picture books in the shop
I have actually been to the Great Buddha, on a school trip to Japan I took in 2008. We were in Japan for nearly a month but that trip was still far too short. Looking back, I feel like I did not pay nearly enough attention to all the amazing places we visited! I remember mostly very silly and random things we did: going to a Denny’s with my host family (it was not like the American Denny’s, all the food was Japanese), subway ads for a ridiculously large McDonald’s hamburger, eating hardboiled eggs cooked in the sulfurous hot springs at Owakudani (the shells were completely black, the egg delicious), and going inside the Buddha at Kamakura.
And the second card, showing the Kumanokodo, a pilgrimage route to the Kumano Sanzan temples, a set of three Shinto shrines in the Kii Mountains. The temples and pilgrimage routes in the Kii Mountains are protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This one comes from a private swap with Momoko in Japan, dated June 7, 2014. Momoko used nice stamps on this one.
Sometime around the time I visited Japan (I’m not sure if it was before or after that trip), I learned about the 88 Temple pilgrimage route on the island of Shikoku. For many months I was fascinated by the idea of walking this route someday. I was about 17 years old and therefore felt invincible, as teenagers do. The complete walk is 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) and takes 30 to 60 days.
Oddly, I am probably in better shape to do that walk now than I was when I first learned of it. At the time I lived in a suburb of a very pedestrian-unfriendly city, and we drove everywhere. Now I have lived in Portland permanently for 6 years, and though we have a car, in the last two years I have come to really enjoy taking my time to walk to various places around town. It makes my city seem so much smaller and friendlier to know that I can walk to my friends’ apartment across the river, to work, to the store, to the rock climbing gym across town. (We will, for purposes of this story, ignore the time I was hit by a car. I am fine. Let’s never speak of it again.)
Since our stay-at-home order has been in effect, we are walking more and more. Car traffic is down considerably, so we can walk places that it would otherwise be somewhat unpleasant to walk, because they are too close to busy roads. And when there are no restaurants, bars, museums, or anything else open, walking is one of the few things you can do. Two weekends ago I met a friend and we walked down to Sellwood (a neighborhood south of Portland) and back, about a 9.5 mile walk (15.3 km). We have plans to walk more than 10 miles this weekend, though we haven’t decided where we will walk yet.
Finally, I promised you a song today, and here it is: Love Letter to Japan by The Bird and the Bee. Although I only recently discovered this artist, this song was apparently released around the time I visited Japan.
Hope you are staying well with good music and somewhere you can safely roam, sufficiently far away from other people.
Let’s go for something cute and cheerful today. It is nearly the weekend, so things should be looking up, right?
A herd of colorful elephants, from a Postcrosser in Canada. It is dated April 15, 2013.
And a Paddington Bear card from England, from a Postcrossing forums swap. I loved Paddington Bear as a kid, and I had a stuffed one that I carried around with me. He came complete with the hat, raincoat, and very tiny, removable Wellington boots.
I hope you can find joy today in something cute or a fond memory from your childhood. Or if your childhood was not so great, a fond memory from adulthood.