Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Postcards from Canada, Estonia, Greece & Hong Kong!

Recently, I have received many beautiful postcards through postcrossing and private swaps. So today, I would like to share with you a few.

The first is this stunning postcard from Canada sent by Glenn. Thank you! Castle Mountain is located within Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, approximately half-way between Banff and Lake Louise. While looking nearly impenetrable from the Trans-Canada Highway, the peak can be ascended from the backside on the northeastern slopes. It has an elevation of 2,766m and first ascent was made in 1884.

The mountain was named in 1858 by James Hector for its castle-like or fortress appearance. Following the post war visit of U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the name was changed to Mount Eisenhower. Eventually, public pressure forced the name to be changed back in 1979 to its original but an isolated pinnacle at the southeastern end is now called Eisenhower Tower.

The first 3 stamps on the card belong to a series of 9 low-value stamps featuring Traditional Trades. It was issued by Canada Post on 29th April 1999 to replace the low-value Berries first seen in August 1992. These stamps depict Bookbinding (1c), Decorative Ironwork (2c), Glass-Blowing (3c), Oyster Farming (4c), Weaving (5c), Quilting (9c), Artistic Woodworking (10c) & Leatherworking (25c). The next two stamps feature baby Jesus from Canada Post’s annual Christmas Stamp in 2008 and Beijing Olympics Games 2008. Both are single issues.
The extreme right stamp on the card shows the Monkey King confronting the Jade Emperor. It is part of a remarkable pair of stamps which Canada Post issued on 15th Jan 2004 to celebrate the year of Monkey in 2004. The other stamp in the set shows the Monkey King on his way to the West (also available in souvenir sheet shown below).
On the lower right is a stamp from the Beneficial Insects Series, issued in 2007. The full set is shown below. They depict Convergent Lady Beetle (1c), Golden-eyed Lacewing (3c), Northern Bumblebee (5c), Canada Darner (Dragonfly) (10c) & Cecropia Moth (25c).
Great Thanks to Janek for sending me this lovely postcard from Estonia!

Built in the 13th to the 14th centuries, Toompea Castle is situated on the steep limestone hill of Toompea in the central part of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is one of the most potent symbols of reigning power, conquered over the centuries by various nations. Today, the Estonian Parliament is housed here.

Tall Hermann was built in the southwestern corner of Toompea Fortress at the end of the 14th century. The name of the tower comes from the German phrase "Lange Hermann" meaning "tall soldier" or "chief" and comes from the tales of the adored medieval hero Hermann. This sort of name was usually given to the most powerful towers in a fortress. The Estonian flag waves at the top of the 48-meter-high tower. The lovely souvenir sheet used on this postcard was issued in 2006 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Tori stud farm. While the other stamp is part of the definitives series from 1995.
Next we have this gorgeous postcard from Greece. Thank you Konstantinos!
The Acropolis of Athens is the best known acropolis in the world. Although there are many other acropolises in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as The Acropolis without qualification. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.

The acropolis was a military fortress during the Neolithic period, due to its position which offers a great view of the land as well as the sea. During the Mycenaean times, it became a religious centre, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Athena, as well as a residential area, at least until the 6th century B.C.

It is said that the place was declared a province only to the gods by an oracle, and therefore stopped being inhabited by the people.The three temples of major importance, the Parthenon, the Erechteion and the Temple of Nike, were erected during the classical period (450-330 B.C.) on the remains of earlier temples.All three of them are dedicated to different aspects of the Goddess Athena.

The Persian destroyed the Acropolis during the battle of Salamina in 480 B.C. The creator of the Athenian democracy, Pericles, was the one who rebuilt it under the form it has kept until today. He made it into a city of Temples, and, as everything else created at that period, turned it to the ultimate achievement in terms of classical Greek architecture and sculpting.The Acropolis has, since then, been through a lot, and its remains reflect each and every period of the city of Athens.
The stamps used on this postcards belong to the 10 stamps Greek Island Series & Sports Clubs Series. Both were issued in 2008.
Last but not least, we have this fine card from Hong Kong sent by Tommy Ying. Thank you!
Ocean Park Hong Kong is a Recreation Park in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island.

In 2006, It was ranked 7th in 'The World’s Most Popular Amusement Parks’ by Forbes. The Park also ranked 16th in the TEA/ERA Theme Park Attendance Report 2007 with approximately 4.9 million visitors, higher than Hong Kong Disneyland at 21st place with 4.1 million visitors. It covers an area of 870,000 square metres. The different parts of the park are connected by a gondola lift system (or cable car system), as well as the world's second longest outdoor escalator.

The theme park currently has over 14 rides and other attractions such as aquariums.
Besides housing two roller coasters, Ocean Park also features a Giant panda exhibit, a jelly fish and Chinese sturgeon aquarium, as well as a four-story aquarium displaying more than 2000 fish. The stamp on this postcard belongs to a set of 4 stamps from the 2009 Lunar New Year Ox Series. It features many different types of oxen and cows.

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