Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - EUA

If you are an Harry Potter fan then the theme park "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is a place you can not miss when in Florida. Andréa has been there 5 years ago and Maria Gabriela visited the park  this year.

 Harry Potter: TM & © Warner Bros.. Entertainment Inc.
The theme park "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" opened in June 2010 and brought with it what most fans expected: being able to feel what it's like to be at Hogwarts, or Hogsmeade, or even in the company of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
A Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort have partnered to create the first environment in the world completely immersed in Harry Potter, based on the famous books of J.K. Rowling and the films of Warner Bros. Designed as a "park within a park", the new environment has become part of the Universal Adventure Islands at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Inspired by the compelling stories and characters of J.K. Rowling - and true to the visual landscapes of the films - "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" provides a unique opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends. The park allows visitors to see some of the major sites found in books and movies, including even the mysterious Forest.

Erg Chebbi - Morocco

Last month Celina spent a few days in Morocco exploring oasis, mountain, gorges and deserts. Morocco is on my must visit list and I believe that riding a camel on a desert must be something really cool. 

© FISA - ESCUDO DE ORO, S. A.
Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco's two Saharan ergs – large seas of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. 
The dunes of Erg Chebbi reach a height of up to 150 meters in places and altogether it spans an area of 50 kilometers from north to south and up to 5–10 kilometers from east to west lining the Algerian border. - in: wikipedia

Monday, April 23, 2018

Ningaloo Reef - Australia

I'm back from my holidays in the Netherlands and I wish I could go on holidays again tomorrow. Still more 8 weeks to travel again, I hope.

If you like to dive, then western Australia and Ningaloo Reef might be a good option for your next holidays. 
The Ningaloo Reef was declared a marine park in 1987 in order to protect this unique environment and its inhabitants. In 2011, the Ningaloo Reef and Ningaloo Coast received UNESCO World Heritage listing, with the inception of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. This was largely in recognition of the fact that the Ningaloo Reef is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on the planet; home to more than 250 species of coral and over 500 species of fish.

Foto: Benjamin James Knapinski
The Ningaloo Reef is not only a spectacular wonder of nature itself, but also forms an important habitat for many amazing marine creatures. The Ningaloo Reef is one of only a handful of locations worldwide where huge but completely harmless whale sharks regularly congregate in numbers, allowing visitors the extraordinary experience of swimming with these largest fish in the ocean.
Manta rays are another huge but harmless inhabitant of the Ningaloo Reef, particularly at Coral Bay which is home to a resident population of mantas. This allows visitors the year-round opportunity to swim with these playful and very inquisitive creatures.

AU-599871, sent by Su.
The Ningaloo Coast is also home to a large population of marine turtles. Six of the world's seven species of marine turtle have been recorded along the Ningaloo Reef, with green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles the most commonly encountered. The reef forms a feeding ground and habitat for these turtles, while the beaches of Ningaloo are critically important turtle nesting sites.
Humpback whales are annual visitors to the Ningaloo Reef, migrating from their Antarctic feeding grounds to winter in the warm waters of the Ningaloo. During this time the Ningaloo plays host to the highest density of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere, with as many as 30,000 individuals visiting during the June-November period. - in: http://www.visitningaloo.com.au/our-region/ningaloo-reef

Monday, April 16, 2018

JP-1081573

When I first saw this card I couldn't figure out what was on it. Then I read on the back that these iluminated things are kamakuras, which didn't help much, because I've never heard about kamakuras. Google helped on this. Kamakuras are snow huts. Each winter, the small onsen town of Yunishigawa, helds the Kamakura Festival and it transforms into a winter wonderland with hundreds of kamakura on display. 

Photo: Tateho Kitayama
JP-1081573, sent by Ren. 
Kamakuras range from the larger snow houses, which can be entered, to miniature illuminated versions on display at various locations around Yunishigawa Onsen.
The main event takes place at Heike no Sato (平家の里), an open-air museum in the style of a traditional village, with snow-covered thatched houses providing the perfect backdrop to the dozens of illuminated kamakura lining the paths. The larger kamakura can be entered, with many available for reservation to enjoy a special barbecue experience.
The second main location is held at a bridge vantage point down the road to the west, where visitors can admire hundreds of illuminated mini kamakura lining the Zawaguchi river bed. It's a mesmerising view and not to be missed – this site is illuminated everyday except Thursdays. - in: https://pt.japantravel.com/tochigi/yunishigawa-kamakura-festival/35366

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Scenic India

Sachin and Aparna are two Indian girls with whom I change postcards, well, I've only started to swap with Sachin a few weeks ago.
I've got these card from them last month. 

Photo by Sachin
Last month Sachin sent me an official postcard and said that after reading my profile, she felt we had a lot in common. Hiking and photography, for example. We then decided to start swapping postcards and letters. After the official card, she sent me this postcard with a photo taken by her during a hike to the Harishchandragad Fort in the state where she lives, Maharashtra.
Tomorrow I'll send her a postcard.

Photograph © Nicholas Eakins
In March Aparna went on holidays to the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, where this postcard is from. 
On the back of the card: Seen here from Batal close to where Spiti region begins and with the Bara Shigri Range as backdrop, the milky blue waters of the Chandra river form by glacier, melt from the nearby Baralacha Range, head off throught the main valley of Lahoul district. 

Miri-Arab Madrasah - Uzbekistan

Located in the center of Bukhara, Miri-Arab madrasah is considered one of the most interesting monuments in the city, and is still an acting institution, where future imams and religious mentors receive their education.

Photo: Temur Khaitov
Construction of the Miri-Arab madrasah dates back to the 16th century and is related to the sheikh Abdallah Yamani (from Yemen), the spiritual pir (guide) of sheybanids. 
The décor of the Miri-Arab madrassah has dominance of different stone mosaics of exquisite work with geometric, vegetative and calligraphic writings and patterns. 
Miri-Arab madrasah was the only spiritual educational establishment in the USSR that had begun to function after the WWII. All leading imams of those times had graduated from this religious center.
Décor and architecture of the building are done in exquisite oriental taste. The monuments had gone through many destructions, but restorers managed to reconstruct the large part of the building, returning its initial look. - in: https://www.advantour.com/uzbekistan/bukhara/miri-arab.htm

Saturday, April 14, 2018

RU-6291728

This card is not that big but there's still a lot of space on the back to write at least "hello". There's not a single word from the sender, only the ID, my address and 3 stamps!! 

RU-6291728, sent by ??
The Kreuzkirche is a church in the former city district of Lomse in Königsberg, Germany, now Kaliningrad, Russia. The church was designed by architect Arthur Kickton and built between 1930 and 1933 for the evangelical community of Königsberg. 
The church was only lightly damaged in World War II and became a garage and a factory for fishing equipment thereafter. After a fire it was decided in 1988 to use the building as a church again, now for the Kaliningrad Orthodox community. - in: wikipedia