World No Tobacco Day

Today the World invites all the smokers to make a 24h period of abstinence of all forms of tobacco. Today is World No Tobacco Day!

The World Health Organization (WHO) selects "The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control" as the theme of the next World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on Tuesday, 31 May 2011.

Tobacco's toll: < 6 million people die each year from tobacco use or exposure to tobacco

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs): 63%of all deaths are caused by NCDs, for which tobacco use is the greatest risk factor, after high blood pressure. In: http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2011/en/index.html
 This card came from France, a swap with Anaïs.


US-1110458 - Iao Needle and Valley

Hawaii has great views! The Postcrossing user "bluehobbit" sent me the US-1110458, a waterfall card from Iao, Maiu Island. Maiu is the second largest island of Hawaii and the 17th largest island of USA. The Iao Needle and Valley showed on the card is locatted at  West Maui Mountains, an extinct volcano.

The ʻĪao Needle (Kūkaemoku) is a famous landmark in the state park, a vegetation-covered lava remnant rising 1,200 feet (370 m) from the valley floor or 2,250 feet (690 m) when measured from sea level. The needle is surrounded by the cliffs of the West Maui Mountains, an extinct volcano. In: Wikipedia

More birthday gifts from Switzerland

From Switzerland arrived more postcards as birthday gifts!! I'm really happy!!

My dear Alexie sent me this funny card of a dog holding perch of birds. My dog is not able to do that... The same for Alexie's dogs :D

Thank you Alex!

My Swiss-Italian Grace sent me an envelope full of cards :D

This night view, shows the Castelgrande in Bellinzona. This castle is one of the tree castles that belongs to the UNESCO heritage site of Town of Bellinzona.
"The site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st century BC and until the 13th century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona. During its history the castle has been known as the stronghold (before the 13th century), the Old Castle in the 14–15th centuries,Un Castle after 1506 and Saint Michael's Castle from 1818." In Wikipedia

This card shows the Zähringer fountain and Zeitglochen tower, in the Old City of Berne also UNESCO. "Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Berne developed over the centuries in line with a an exceptionally coherent planning concept. The buildings in the Old City, dating from a variety of periods, include 15th-century arcades and 16th-century fountains. Most of the medieval town was restored in the 18th century but it has retained its original character." In UNESCO

These mountains and the moon make an excellent view!! On this card are the Mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (Jungfrau is UNESCO) in Berner Oberland.
This peaceful and quiet place is Arosa. "Arosa is a municipality in the district of  Plessur in the canton  
of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is known for being both a summer and a winter resort." In Wikipedia 
I would go there on both seasons...

Klosters "is a popular ski location and the slopes are easily accessible via a large cable car." In Wikipedia
This huge cable car is not for those who have afraid of heights...

This waterfall is at the Uper Rhine near Schaffhausen. "They are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high. In the winter months, the average water flow is 250 m³/s, while in the summer, the average water flow is 700 m³/s. The highest flow ever measured was 1,250 m³/s in 1965; and the lowest, 95 m³/s in 1921.
The falls cannot be climbed by fish, except by eels that are able to worm their way up over the rocks." In Wikipedia

Al last, but not least, a card from  Valposchiavo showing the Lago della Crocetta at Ospizio Bernina (Bernina Pass) mountain.

Thank you Grace :D


Matterhorn or Monte Cervino - Switzerland and Italy

As a birthday gift, Carolisha from Switzerland sent me this card showing Matterhorn (German) or Monte Cervino (Italian) on the cross border of Switzerland and Italy. Thank you Carolisha :D

"It's summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest peaks in the Alps. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points. The mountain overlooks the town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais to north-east and Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. The Theodul Pass, located at the eastern base of the peak, is the lowest passage between its north and south side.
The Matterhorn was the last great Alpine peak to be climbed and its first ascent marked the end of the golden age of alpinism. It was made in 1865 by a party led by Edward Whymper and ended tragically when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent. The north face was not climbed until 1931, and is amongst the six great north faces of the Alps. The Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks in the Alps: from 1865 – when it was first climbed – to 1995, 500 alpinists died on it.
The Matterhorn has become an iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps and the Alps in general. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built, it attracted more and more visitors and climbers. Each summer a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit." In Wikipedia

MY-64652 - Kuan Yin Teng Temple

The Postcrossing user kkkhor sent the MY-64652 showing the Kuan Yin Teng Temple also known as  Temple of the Goddess of Mercy. This temple is located at George Town, Penang. Like Melaka, George Town is also part of the UESCO area called "Historic cities of the Straits of Malacca".

"Officially known as Kong Hock Keong, it is located along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, formerly Pitt Street, and is one of the oldest Chinese temples in George Town. If you study the history of the Goddess of Mercy Temple, you would be surprised to learn that at the time it was built, it was not dedicated to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, but rather to Ma Chor Po, the patron saint of seafarers. " In: Penang Travel Tips


Boa Vista Island - Cape Verde

In 2010 I spent one week in vacations in Cape Verde at Boa Vista Island! I can say that in August the weather was perfect, the beach and the water temperature were great! And the sand dunes are so large and so brite... Sometimeas during the day you can see sea turtles fishing or searching a place to make the nest. Absolutely a great place to rest and enjoy the sun, the Atlantic Ocean and the food...


Köln Cathedral - Germany

Last April was a big month! Some Postcrossers managed to meet in Köln (German) or Cologne (English), Germany. During 4 days we saw the city center and visited Koblenz and Braubach. This card was sent by me (I know, I'm crazy...).

Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete. It is 144.5 metres long, 86.5 m wide and its towers are approximately 157 m tall. [...] The cathedral suffered seventy hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but stood tall in an otherwise flattened city. The great twin spires are said to have been used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft raiding deeper into Germany in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed. [...] In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites. [...] Visitors can climb 509 stone steps of the spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 98 metres above the ground. The platform gives a lovely top view of the Rhine." In: Wikipedia


Peneda-Gerês National Park - Portugal

Peneda-Gerês National Park was the first protect area to be classified as a National Park. It was created in 8 May 1971 and still until today as the first and only Portuguse National Park, although there are other several protected areas. This Park is located in the northwest of Portugal and crosses 3 districts: Braga, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real. The Peneda -Gerês National Park is also at the border of Spain. Those two cards are pretty old and one is in bad condition... They were bought by my parents. I've been there several times and I still love to there!

"The park comprises a ridge of mountains — Peneda, Soajo, Amarela, and Gerês. These form a barrier between the sea shore plains to its west and the plateaus to the east. The highest peaks are Nevosa (1,545 m) and Altar dos Cabrões (1,538 m) [...] The valleys have an exuberant display of vegetation. The most common are several oak species (Pedunculate oak, Pyrenean oak, Portuguese oak, and others), Portugal laurels, Holly,strawberry trees, and birches; also, next to rivers, yews and silver birches. Some woods, such as Albergaria and Cabril, are notably well preserved. [...] Wolves and Golden Eagles, seen as a threat to livestock, were almost eradicated due to hunting. They have been protected by law since the end of the 20th century. Some other, relatively numerous, wild species include mammals, such as roe deers, wild boars, European otters, wild cats, beech and pine martens, and red squirrels; birds such as red kites, common buzzards, eagle owls, falcons, and whinchats; reptiles such as vipers, water snakes, and Schreiber's green lizards; and amphibians such as newts, salamanders and disc-tongued frogs. Worthy of mention are the garrano, a breed of small horses." In Wikipedia


AU-40996 - Minnamurra Rainforest

From Australia came the AU-40996 postcard showing an amazing waterfall at Minnamurra Rainforest. I love waterfalls and this was my first card received from Postcrossing with a waterfall.

The Minnamurra Rainforest is a multi award winning attraction located in Budderoo National Park, a short fifteen minute drive west of Kiama past the village of Jamberoo (off Tourist Drive No: 9). Visitors can experience the spender and beauty of this rare remnant of subtropical and warm temperate rainforests which is representative of the once extensive rainforests of the Illawarra region.
Visitors regularly see first hand the fauna of the area such as the normally allusive Lyrebird, the Eastern Water Dragons, Swamp Wallabies and a host of bird species which make Minnamurra their home. In: http://www.kiama.com.au/accom_result1/minnamurra-rainforest/


Taktsang Palphug Monastery - Bhutan

My friend Alexie from Switzerland sent me this postcard with a view of Taktsang Palphug Monastery, a  Himalayan Buddhist sacred site, also known as Paro Taktsang or The Tiger's Nest. This is one of the buildings that makes me wonder how they managed to get there the materials to built it! This Monastery is locatted in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley.

"The monastery buildings consist of four main temples and residential shelters ideally designed by adapting to the rock (granite) ledges, the caves and the rocky terrain. Out of the eight caves, four are comparatively easy to access. The cave where Padmasmabhava first entered, riding the Tiger, is known as 'Tholu Phuk' and the original cave where he resided and did meditation is known as the 'Pel Phuk'. He directed the spiritually enlightened monks to build the monastery here. The monastery is so precariously perched that it is said: "it clings to the side of the mountain like a gecko". In: Wikipedia

Saint Bárbara's Garden and Archiepiscopal Palace, Braga - Portugal

This card is from my hometown: Braga and shows a night view of Saint Barabara's Garden and the Archiepiscopal Palace. Probably, it's the most visited garden in town and a great place to take some pictures and rest. During spring and summer, there is a sweet smell and a mixture of colors given by the flowers.

The fountain (not visible on this card) with the a statue from the XVII century of Saint Barbara gave the name to the garden.

Panoramio has some photos of the garden, take a look...


CN-376672 - Wulingyuan Scenery

Today arrived this card from China, Postcrossing ID CN-376672. The card shows a Chinese World Heritage Site, the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area.

A spectacular area stretching over more than 26,000 ha in China's Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200 m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, some 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species. In: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/640
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