Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wise Words - Albert Einstein

This Einstein quote is one of my favorites. I've always thought wisdom something that one acquires through all sorts of means, not just formal schooling. Sara's favorite Einstein quote is "I have no special talent. I'm only passionately curious." I only know Sara via postcards, but that quote strikes me as particularly appropriate when applied to her way of thinking!

Sara lives in Bern, Switzerland, and writes that Einstein spent time in her city. The basics for the theory of relativity were founding at the patent office in Bern. There is a lovely article on the patent office site about Einstein's time there. Curiosity, playfulness and imagination seem to be the stuff of what made Einstein's brain so beautiful.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bahamian Breakfast

Yesterday this blog visited Greece and today the warm holiday spots continue with a visit to the Bahamas. The Randall family visited Bahamas and write that if we should ever have the opportunity to go, we should order the coconut sprinkled French toast for breakfast at Cafe Breeze in Freeport. Yummy!

The Randalls also wrote that they have a family tradition of picking up a Christmas ornament on all their travels so that they can remember the trip while decorating their tree. That is a lovely tradition!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Of Hotels and Holidays

Rodos (Rhodes) is the largest of the Greek islands. Prasoonissi is a small island of the coast of Rodos that is accessible in the summer, when water levels are lowest, by a sandbar from the mainland. In the winter, the water level doesn't get low enough for the sandbar bridge.

Laura writes that the hotel she stayed at on her recent trip to Rodos is the most luxurious she has ever visited. She then wrote that is an easy superlative because usually she ends up in cheap hotels that are falling apart. I know that feeling! As a kid and young adult, I always picked the cheapest accommodations. These days I am much fussier, and though I rarely get luxury, I always make the hotel is as close to posh as possible.

This card also carries Greek postage because Laura, who lives in the Netherlands, took the card with her on holiday in Greece! She wrote that she was enjoying the blue sky and sea, and sunny weather. I hope she brought home enough warm memories to last her throughout the winter.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Contrasting Fun

photo by Curtis Budden
Eilean Donan Castle is on a small island in the western Highlands of Scotland. The island is connected to the mainland by a footbridge, which is visible in the left both of the postcard.

When John was a kid, his family traveled around Scotland with a caravan (camp trailer in the US), but John doesn't have many memories of the adventures, except the visit to Eilean Donan.

There was only a small turnout for visitors back then, but now there is a large car park, visitor centre and café. John writes that the castle is one of the top vacation spots in Scotland.

I like the contrast between the ancient castle on the front, and the modern theme park on the postage. Blackpool Pleasure Park in the most visited tourist attraction in UK. I enjoy theme parks very much, and would love to visit this one, if only to ride the Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic, a ride based on a favorite animated series.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fairytales For All

This Brothers Uber postcard features a scene from The Happy Prince, a fairytale by Oscar Wilde. Elisabet discovered Oscar Wilde fairytales as an adult, and fell in love with them.

This story is about a statue called the Happy Prince, who was never happy when he lived. The statue watches over the people in a very poor town, and to relieve their suffer, the statue has a sparrow remove all the gems and gilt from his costume and give them to the poor. When the sparrow had removed all the treasures, it dies, and the statue's heart breaks. When the statue is removed, all that is left is a broken heart and dead sparrow, which are then rescued by an angel and brought to heaven.

When Elisabeth was a child, she only liked stories with happy endings. But, as she got older, she came to enjoy the fairytales with sad endings. Elisabeth wonders if that is because the sad ones are more real world.

Elisabeth also writes that her mother and grandmother always loved fairytales, too. You are never too old to enjoy a fairytale.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Studying the Great Outdoors

The waterfall is Kakabeka Falls in Ontario, Canada. Adrienne attended university in nearby Thunder Bay and visited Kakabeka Provincial Park often because of her outdoor recreation course. She has very fond memories of the time spent in the park. I love that she got to take a course that allowed her time outdoors!

There is a legend about these falls that tells of the daughter of a Ojibway chief who saved her tribe by misdirecting her captors and having them go over the falls instead of to the woman's home. Her name was Green Mantle and, as the legend has it, her spirit watches over the falls. Some say the mist between the cataracts sometimes takes the form of the young woman.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Of Bottles and Buses

This photo by Curtis Budden shows the sea at Ventrahorn in southeast Iceland. Niki, who lives in the UK, holidayed in Iceland in October 2013. While she was there, she and her friends found a message in a bottle, washed up on the shore. The message inside was from other English student staying further up the coast. The bottle didn't travel very far, but still fun to find!

It was also on this trip that their bus got caught in wild winds and almost tipped over going across a bridge. All the windows in the bus were smashed by flying rocks. Quite the adventure!