Friday 31 May 2024

A Postcard A Day - Friday 31 May - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely peeps,

Have you enjoyed your week? I have as I'm traveling at the moment. I am writing this on a night train from The French-Spanish border to Paris and this morning I will be looking for a train to Rotterdam. More about that later but let me show you my postcard which should make you smile. It's from the Caribbean:

It features a scene from the Virgin Islands which belong to the U.S.

It was sent to me by Andrew, who lives in Kansas but has an aunt who is a gardener in St John, (USVI).

St. John is the smallest of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands, which are located in the Caribbean Sea. Virgin Islands National Park occupies more than half the island. Its forests shelter resident and migratory birds, including cuckoos, warblers and hummingbirds. The mangroves at Hurricane Hole, in the east, support corals and anemones. Dolphins inhabit the island’s waters, which also host hawksbill and green turtles.
 ― Google

Drool, drool, dribble, dribble. I'd love to go to an exotic place like that! But here I am 'stuck' in Paris.

The stamps are lovely:

The sender sent this card from Kansas after he came back from St John, so the stamps are US stamps. 
The large stamp on the right depicts a wooden dragon, as 2024 is the year of the dragon.
The Year of the Dragon in 2024 is associated with the element of Wood. The combination of the animal sign (Dragon) and the element (Wood) designates the year as the Year of the Wood Dragon. The Lunar New Year begins on 10 February in 2024. This marks the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon.

The other stamps seem to be for postcards especially, but I have never seen them.

Here is one of the Patricias with her partner. They have been together for many years but they still radiate happiness!

So, what can I tell you about my travels? I spent a whole day in Madrid and went to see the so-called Nomad museum, where there was a VanGogh technical immersion experience. Don't know what to call it really but it was very quite spectacular. 

I went to the toilet and that was also quite different:

I read that I looked fine. It made me smile.

This was a bench outside on the Gran Via (Main shopping street in Madrid):

I'll leave it at that, as the train wifi is not brilliant. Of course there are some funnies at the end.

I wish you all a lovely weekend.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

A Poscard A Day - Tuesday 28 May 2024 - T for Travel, Lithuania and paella

 Hello lovely peeps. 

This morning at 8 a.m. I will have left on my travels. My dear friends Kim and Andy are giving me a lift to Granada from where I will get on a bus to Madrid. Exciting stuff!

But let me show you my postcard for today:

It is the Lithuanian town of Klaipéda, (or Memel as it was called in its German days). The street no longer exists but it was called Friedrich Wilhelm Strasse. 

To show you where Lithuania is:

It is the third largest city in Lithuania as well as the only major sea port in the country.

Here is an old image:

Sadly 90% of the old town was destroyed during or demolished shortly after WWII.

The church on my postcard is the Reformed church.
Here is a photo of that same church I found on the Internet:

View of Friedrich-Wilhelm-Straße : On the right is the whitewashed St. James Church (Lithuanian Country Church), opposite on the other side is the Reformed Church .

Wikipedia says: The construction of the Reformed Church was completed in 1683 and rebuilt and decorated from 1779.  Many of the Memeler Reformed came from England, Scotland, Holland, France and Switzerland. In 1688 there was a Reformed school.

During the Russian era the church fell into disrepair and was closed in 1775. The foundation stone for a massive church was laid, but due to financial difficulties it could not be completed until 1794. This church was also completely destroyed in the great city fire of October 4, 1854.  This church was demolished by the Soviets in 1944.

Interesting stamps:

Gediminas, grand duke of Lithuania:
 Wikipedia writes:
He was a founder of a new Lithuanian dynasty, he is also regarded as founder of Vilnius, the modern capital of Lithuania. According to a legend, possibly set in 1322 while he was on a hunting trip, he dreamt of an iron clad wolf, who stood on a hill, howling in an odd manner as if thousand of wolves would be howling at once. He consulted his vision with his priest Lizdeika who told him the dream spoke of a city that must be built at the exact place and decided to build a fortification on the confluence of rivers Vilnia and Neris, where the place of his vision was pointed out.

 The church on the right-hand stamp is the Vilnius cathedral. 

It is called the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Mother of God, and is located in the old town on the banks of the river Vilnius. The construction began in 1342 and the church was consecrated in 1346.  

Wikipedia writes: After 1748  ​it was badly damaged by the fire that raged all over Vilnius and was abandoned. Only after a longer time - in 1785 - the church was rebuilt and acquired baroque style features. in 1794 during the uprising, the church was heavily damaged by the artillery of the Russian army in Vilnius. After this destruction, the church was not rebuilt, and  in 1808 was transferred to Vilnius University . In the building, in 1822. anatomy auditoriums, and a library were installed . Later, there were barracks, warehouses, an archive and even a forge . In 1865 - 1868 , the church was rebuilt and returned to the faithful according to the project of Nikolai ChaginIn 1949 and 1957 capital repairs of the church were carried out , and in 1980 and 1998 , it was restored .

I haven't been able to find out much about the other stamps.

This week has been a busy week with packing and organizing things for my absence.

I went to the gym for the last time:

When I come back, they will have packed up for the summer. Next gym in October!

The schools are winding down too. I saw the local school children come out of the school on their way to some activity:

Every class has a different colour t-shirt.

On that same day I saw one of the local chaps park his motorbike. I see these things daily but always forget to photograph them. 

Here is his motorbike (a substitute for a donkey) with baskets made out of asparto grass:

It is an ancient craft still practiced in our village.

Me and my four girlfriends (two Patricias, Antonia and Conchi) always try to get together once a month (difficult as three of them are working). Conchi suggested she cook a paella. Paella is a famous rice dish from the Valencia area of Spain. Conchi was born in that area and does a mean Paella:

This is for all you cat lovers out there:

And that is all from me today. I'm going to join the T-Party at Elizabeth and Bluebeard's.

Oops, I have no drink. Okay, here is one:

Happy T-Day everyone!


Friday 24 May 2024

A Postcard A Day - Friday 24 May 2024 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

There have been many smiles this week and of course a postcard will always make me smile, especially if it is a beautiful scene like this one:

It comes from Belarus and features a painting by Ivan I. Shiskin (1832-1898). 

Wikipedia says: He was a Russian landscape painter closely associated with the Peredvizhniki movement. (Peredvizhniki , often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants in English, were a group of Russian realist artists who formed an artists' cooperative in protest of academic restrictions).

Below a painting of Shishkin by fellow artist Ivan Kramskoi.

The stamp looks impressive:
Google translate helped me to read what it says on the stamp. It reads: '25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of India.
Thank you Mr Google Translate!

So what have I been doing? I've been preparing for my journey next week. Trying to book things. My friends Kim and Andy happen to be going to Granada on the same day so they're giving me a lift to the Granada bus station. I've managed to book a bus to Madrid and I've also booked a hotel for two nights in Madrid. I'm really excited.

My friend Antonia's husband has five horses and one of them has given birth to a foal. My friends Dian and Suzanne are both horse lovers and were eager to go see the new born baby horse.

I hope that makes you smile. 

Gorgeous little one.

Here is my friend with one of the horses:

Well that is all from me today. 

Now it's over to Annie at A Stitch In Time to join the others with their smiles of this week.

Of course there will be some funnies at the end to get you chuckling.

Have a great weekend,