November 30, 2017

3209 GERMANY (Berlin) - Tramcar Class TM36 Number 3587 at Machnower Schleuse


The Berlin tramway is one of the oldest tram networks in the world having its origins in 1865 and is operated by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), which was founded in 1928. It is notable for being the third-largest tram system in the world, after Melbourne and St. Petersburg. Berlin's streetcar system is made up of 22 lines that operate across a standard gauge network, with almost 800 stops and measuring almost 190km in route length and 430km in line length.

November 29, 2017

3208 ETHIOPIA - Mount Ziqualla


Located at 85km East from Addis Ababa, Mount Ziqualla is an extinct volcano rising to 600m above sea level and dominating the western part of the Rift Valley. The crater harbours a lake about 100m below the rim. All outer slopes of the volcano are steep and often dissected by deep gullies. The natural vegetation, mainly forest, only remains inside the crater and in a few deep gullies below the summit, however in former times the whole mountains would have been mainly forested.

November 28, 2017

3207 GERMANY (Berlin) - Berlin Cathedral after the bombing of May 25, 1944


Berlin Cathedral is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough, and has never been a cathedral in the actual sense of that term since it has never been the seat of a bishop. The current building was finished in 1905 and is a main work of Historicist architecture of the "Kaiserzeit". At 114m long, 73m wide and 116m tall, it was much larger than any of the previous buildings and was considered a Protestant counterweight to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

November 27, 2017

3206 CHINA (Hong Kong) - Double-deck tramcar in front of Western Market


Hong Kong Tramways, which has served the territory since 1904, covers the northern parts of Hong Kong Island. Owing to strong passenger demand, the first double-deck tramcar was introduced in 1912. It had an open top design, fitted with garden-type seats. The first class occupied the upper deck and one-third of the lower deck. Ten new tramcars were constructed, and 18 were rebuilt from single deck cars.

3205 GERMANY (Brandenburg) / POLAND (Lubusz) - International Postcrossing Meetup, Frankfurt (Oder) & Słubice, November 4, 2017


Frankfurt (Oder), also Frankfurt an der Oder, is a town in Brandenburg, located on the Oder River, on the German-Polish border directly opposite the town of Słubice, which was part of Frankfurt until 1945, when the Oder was designated Germany's eastern border. The Oder Bridge (in the postcard) connects the two cities. On November 4, 2017 there tooke place an international Postcrossing meetup with the theme "Bridges connecting...", the main organizer being Holger Kaufhold.

November 23, 2017

3204 FRANCE (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) - Settons Lake


Built between 1854 and 1861 to regulate the flow of the Yonne River and make it easier to float wood along the river to Paris, Settons Lake lies at the heart of the Morvan Massif, near Montsauche-les-Settons, at an elevation of 586 m. Protected by a unique granite dyke, this 367-hectare lake, long of 3.5km, wide of 2km and with a maximum depth of 6m, lies between quiet, wooded banks planted with pine trees and larches.

November 22, 2017

3203 SINGAPORE - Haw Par Villa

A diorama from Haw Par Villa - The spider spirits in the form
of beautiful women; they kidnapped the monks and forced him
to make love with them.

Haw Par Villa is a theme park which contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism. Originally called Tiger Balm Gardens, it was built in 1937 by the Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of Tiger Balm, as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. They moved their business from Burma to Singapore in 1926 and purchased the site in 1935.

November 21, 2017

3202 UNITED STATES - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)


Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. King has also become a national icon in the history of American liberalism and American progressivism.

November 19, 2017

2599, 3183, 3186, 3190, 3195, 3201 SLOVENIA (Slovene Littoral) - Piran and its inhabitants


Posted on 07.06.2016, 29.10.2017, 31.10.2017, 05.11.2017, 12.11.2017, 19.11.2017
Located in southwestern Slovenia on the Gulf of Piran on the Adriatic Sea, Piran is one of the three major towns of Slovenian Istria. The town has much medieval architecture, with narrow streets and compact houses. It was heavily influenced by the Venetian Republic and Austria-Hungary, therefore the monuments differ greatly from those in inner parts of Slovenia. The Piran town walls were constructed to protect the town from Ottoman incursions.

3183 Piran - Fisherman square, next to the town's inner port (mandracchio)

Inhabited at the beginning by Illyrian Histri tribes, the Piran peninsula was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 178 and 177 BC and settled in the following years with rural homes (villae rusticae). Incursions of Avars and Slavs at the end of the 6th century, prompted the Roman population to withdraw into easily defensible locations such as islands or peninsulas. This started local urbanisation and by the 7th century, under Byzantine rule, Piran had become heavily fortified.

3186 Piran - Fisherman repairing a fishing net

Despite the defences, the Franks conquered Istria in 788 and Slavs settled in the region. By 952, Piran had become a part of he Holy Roman Empire. During the 13th century Venice decided that it would like to have full control of the salt pans surrounding Piran, and launched a short successful war in 1282. Venetian rule lasted for over 500 years, only coming to an end in 1797 at the hands of Napoleon, but the Austrians invaded shortly thereafter, in 1813.

3190 Piran - The crier informed the townspeople about all
the important events.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Piran was an Austro-Hungarian city with over 12,000 inhabitants, larger than the nearby Koper. It was a flourishing market and spa town with good transport connections. After WWI all of Istria came under the rule of Italy, which neglected the region leading to significant decline. Following WWII, Piran became part of Yugoslavia in 1954. It gained independence as part of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991.

3195 Piran - At the well

The municipality is bilingual, both Slovene and Italian are official languages. According to the Austrian language census of 1910, there were 7,379 inhabitants in the town proper, 95.97% Italians and 0.09% Slovenes. In the surrounding countryside, included within the municipal limits, the population was mixed, both Italian and Slovene, with some villages (such as Sveti Peter and Padna) which were almost entirely Slovene, and others (such as Sečovlje and Seča) that were almost exclusively Italian-speaking.

3201 Piran - Housewives washing laundry at the well
 

As a whole, the 85.1% of the population of the Piran municipality were Italian speakers, and 15.2% were Slovenes. In 1945, the town proper had 5,035 inhabitants, 91.32% Italian and 8.54% Slovene speakers. In 1956 there were 3.574 inhabitants, 67.6% Slovene and 15.5% Italian. After 1947, the ethnic composition changed radically due to the exodus of Italians to Italy and their replacement by Slovene settlers, both from other areas of Slovenian Istria and from interior areas of the country. 

November 18, 2017

3200 TAIWAN - National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine in Taipei


The National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine, resting on the slopes of the Chingshan Mountain and overseeing the Keelung River, is located right next to the Grand Hotel in Taipei, and is dedicated to the war dead of the Republic of China. Built in 1969, it recalls the architecture of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Forbidden City. The structure houses the spirit tablets of about 390,000 persons killed, among other engagements, during the Xinhai Revolution, Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War, Chinese Civil War, and the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crises.

November 17, 2017

3199 THAILAND (Bangkok) - Wat Saket in Bangkok


Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok, which dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as Wat Sakae. When Bangkok became the capital, King Rama I (r. 1782-1809) renovated the temple and gave it its present name. King Rama III (r. 1824-1851) built a chedi inside Wat Saket, but it collapsed during construction because of the soft soil of Bangkok. Over time, the abandoned mud-and-brick structure acquired the shape of a low hill and was overgrown with weeds. The locals called it the Phu Khao Thong (Golden Mountain).

November 16, 2017

1318, 2232, 2647, 3104, 3198 TANZANIA / KENYA - Maasai people

3104 Tanzania - Young maasai milking a cow

Posted on 26.10.2014, 22.01.2016, 03.07.2016, 01.07.2017, 16.11.2017
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people, pastoralists, inhabiting southern Kenya (840,000) and northern Tanzania (800,000), i.e. the African Great Lakes region. They originated from the lower Nile valley and began migrating south around the 15th century. Their territory reached its largest size in the mid-19th century, and covered almost all of the Great Rift Valley and adjacent lands. Followed a period of epidemics and drought (1883-1902), then the British evicted them from the fertile lands between Meru and Kilimanjaro, and most of the fertile highlands near Ngorongoro, to make room for ranches.

2647 Tanzania - Maasai men

As with the Bantu, and the Nilotes in Eastern Africa, the Maasai have adopted many customs and practices from the neighboring Cushitic groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms. They are herdsmen, and had a fearsome reputation as warriors and cattle-rustlers. The raiders used spears and shields, but were most feared for throwing clubs (orinka) which could be accurately thrown from up to 100m. In modern time they have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle.

1318 Kenya - Maasai morans

The Maasai are monotheistic, worshipping a single deity called Enkai or Engai, who has a dual nature: Engai Narok (Black God) is benevolent, and Engai Nanyokie (Red God) is vengeful. The end of life is virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers. A corpse rejected by hyenas is seen as having something wrong with it. The Maasai lifestyle centres around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food. They eat the meat, drink the milk and on occasion, drink the blood. The measure of a man's wealth is in terms of cattle and children.

2232  Tanzania - Maasai dancers

Maasai society is strongly patriarchal, with elder men deciding most major matters. A full body of oral law covers many aspects of behavior. The men are born and raised to be warriors, and the central unit of the society is the age-set. Every 15 years or so, a new generation of Morans or Il-murran (warriors), formed boys between 12 and 25, will be initiated. One rite of passage to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision (emorata) ceremony. The healing process will take 3-4 months, during which urination is painful and nearly impossible at times, and boys must remain in black clothes for a period of 4-8 months.

3198  Tanzania - Maasai woman

The junior warriors live together in a circle of huts built by their mothers (manyatta), until they have passed on to senior warrior status and are allowed to start families. This period generally last between 5-7 years, although 8-12 years is not uncommon. Effectively a military garrison, in the manyatta they learn the arts of survival, cattle raiding and warfare (Eng Kipaata), although nowadays this period is more symbolic than practical. In the past a moran could be expected to prove his manhood by killing a lion armed with nothing more than a spear (olamayio).

November 14, 2017

3197 RUSSIA (Arkhangelsk Oblast) - Hooker Island (Franz Josef Land)


Located within the Arctic Ocean, 360km north of Novaya Zemlya and 260km east of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Franz Josef Land constitutes the northernmost part of Russia's  Arkhangelsk Oblast. These 191 islands are 900km from the North Pole and 750km from the Yamal Peninsula, the closest point of the Eurasian mainland. At 81° north the archipelago experiences 141 annual days of midnight sun, from 12 April to 30 August.

November 13, 2017

3196 CHINA (Hong Kong) - Former Marine Police Headquarters


Now officially renamed as 1881 Heritage, the Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound is one of the four oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong. It compound used to be occupied by the Marine Police, now a unit within the Hong Kong Police Force, since its establishment until late 1996, when it was moved to Sai Wan Ho. The Compound and the Old Kowloon Fire Station have been re-developed into a heritage hotel, opened in 2009.

November 11, 2017

3194 VIETNAM - The map of the country


Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula, bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, with Ho Chi Minh City as a historical city as well. With 94.6 million inhabitants (2016) is the world's 14th-most-populous country.

November 10, 2017

3193 INDIA (Assam) - Kaziranga National Park (UNESCO WHS)


Located in the heart of the state of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is one of the last areas in north-eastern India undisturbed by a human presence. The fluctuations of the Brahmaputra River result in spectacular examples of riverine and fluvial processes in this vast area of wet alluvial tall grassland interspersed with numerous broad shallow pools fringed with reeds and patches of deciduous to semi-evergreen woodlands.