Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

We’ve all seen our habits and routines changed to some degree these past few months, so we thought it would be a good idea to stop and reflect on these changes. Let each postcard become a small time capsule of this time, that we exchange and share with others.

In July, write about your quarantine or lockdown experience.
Reflecting on your lockdown experiences

So… how was or is the lockdown going for you? What habits have changed and which memories in particular will you take from this time? What do you miss, what is the hardest bit and which part of the experience have you appreciated or felt grateful for the most?

Although some restrictions have already been lifted around here, we still choose to stay home for the most part. We definitely miss hugging our friends and family, but are grateful for their good health so far. Unexpectedly, we’ve rediscovered the joys of gardening these past few months, and I’ve collected my first cherry tomatoes just a few days ago. 🎉

What about you? Share your thoughts and stories on the postcards you send this month!

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Some time ago, the Little Mail Carriers hopped on a cruise to exotic Bermuda… and like many others in that mysterious area, seem to have gotten a little lost. 😅 Luckily, a report of their trip has recently resurfaced, so check out their dreamy photos and even some exclusive tips about the best way to experience Bermuda!

Wopnin (“what’s happening?” in Bermuda slang), friends! Nearly three years ago, Michaela (aka ChaelaMonstah) took us on cruise from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey (U.S.A) to Bermuda! We’re excited to finally tell you about our adventure to the “Devil’s Isles”.

The Little Mail Carriers on a cruise ship!

The Celebrity Summit cruise ship was our home for 7 fun nights. The ship was captained by Kate McCue – she was the first American woman (and fifth woman overall) to captain a cruise ship! She took the time to tell us about her 20+ year career and about her cat, Bug Naked, who is with her during every voyage. Captain McCue was very excited to learn about Postcrossing and we were as equally excited to meet her and learn about her very cool story!

After three fun days at sea, we arrived at the King’s Wharf port in Bermuda. We were only going to be in port for two days, so we made sure to book as many excursions as possible in order to see the full majesty of the Bermuda islands (Bermuda is an archipelago of 7 main islands and about 170 additional named islets and rocks – it’s only 24 miles (40 kilometers) long and is less than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) wide!). We hopped on a bus and began our 6 hour day-one journey.

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

Our first stop on our adventure was Gibbs Hill Lighthouse – built in 1844 by Royal Engineers, it’s one of two lighthouses on Bermuda and was one of the first lighthouses in the world to be made of cast-iron. Oh – we forgot to mention that we were actually in Bermuda right before the 35th America’s Cup yacht race. More on that later!

Heydon Trust Chapel

We then visited the Heydon Trust Chapel. Heydon Trust Chapel was built in the early 1600s and with only three pews, it’s the smallest church in Bermuda.

On Horseshoe Bay Beach

As we drove the small, winding roads of Bermuda, our guide told us that due to the small size and limited natural resources, rental cars are not permitted. Tourists typically rent scooters, hail a taxi, take a picturesque trip on the public ferry, or catch a ride on one of Bermuda’s pink public buses (tip: for a great view of Bermuda’s stunning south shore beaches, hop on the Number 7 bus, which follows South Shore Road and makes stops at the island’s most popular slices of sand, including Warwick Long Bay and Horseshoe Bay Beach.).

During our own bus ride across Bermuda, our guide stopped by several beaches (including Horseshoe Bay Beach) where we got to catch some rays and take in the breathtaking views.

St George's Town

We also had a brief stop in the Historic Town of St. George and Related Fortifications, a UNESCO World Heritage site. St. George’s Town was founded in 1612 following the 1609 Sea Venture wreck and is the oldest surviving English town in the New World. Of course we had to send postcards from the St. George’s Post Office while in town.

Gombey Dance Troupes

In the evening, our guide took us to Hamilton, the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Hamilton is a major port and tourist destination, but it’s also the territory’s financial centre. Did you know that tourism accounts for only about 28% of Bermuda’s gross domestic product (GDP)? Our guide told us that international business (such as offshore insurance and reinsurance) actually accounts for over 60% of Bermuda’s economic output. About 80% of food is imported in Bermuda, so buying groceries or going out to eat can be quite expensive. Bermuda’s official currency is the Bermuda Dollar (which is fixed to the US dollar), but most shops and restaurants will happily take US currency.

We visited Hamilton during Harbour Nights – a weekly summer street party that includes famous Gombey dance troupes and a market featuring island art and local foods. The Gombey is an iconic symbol of Bermuda – it’s a unique performance art full of colorful and intricate masquerade, dance, and drumming. This folk-life tradition reflects the island’s blend of African, Caribbean, and British cultures. If you are lucky enough to hear the drums and witness a Gombey troupe, you’re supposed to throw coins as a sign of appreciation.

The Crystal Caves of Bermuda

The next day, we got up bright and early to visit the Crystal Caves. These caves were discovered by two Bermudian teenagers, Carl Gibbons and his friend Edgar Hollis, in 1907 while they were playing a game of the island’s favorite sport: cricket. This awe-inspiring subterranean world has inspired everyone from Mark Twain to the creators of Fraggle Rock – what a discovery!

In the National Museum of Bermuda

We spent the rest of the day exploring the National Museum of Bermuda. The National Museum of Bermuda occupies several historic fortifications in the Royal Naval Dockyard, including the Commissioner’s House, Casemates Barracks, and The Keep (Bermuda has 90 different forts!). We also learned that there are more than 300 shipwrecks in the waters surrounding Bermuda – there are even special snorkeling and scuba diving shipwreck tours you can go on! Michaela went on a snorkeling excursion, but she let us stay on dry land because we aren’t very good swimmers.

Bermudan Banana Dolls and Bermudan flowers

We came across some unique items for sale at the Clocktower Mall in the Royal Dockyard, including special Bermuda Banana Dolls. Bermuda is also home to many beautiful flowers. The Bermudiana is the national flower – we weren’t able to find it in the wild, but we did discover lots of other lovely plant-life during our trip.

Watching yacht racers practising

On the day of our departure, we got a special treat – we got to watch the Oracle Team USA and Great Britain (Land Rover BAR) teams practicing for the 35th America’s Cup. The America’s Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years.

We only had two days to explore the extraordinary land of Bermuda, but we tried to see and do as much as possible. After visiting Bermuda in person, it’s easy to understand Mark Twain’s famous quote “You can go to heaven if you want. I’d rather stay in Bermuda.”

Thanks so much for hosting the Little Mail Carriers and helping to chronicle their adventure, Michaela! Who knows where they’ll visit next…

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Can you feel the excitement in the air? Postcrossing 15th anniversary is coming up soon…

For almost a decade and a half, our community has been diligently mailing postcards and trusting that these will slowly but surely make their way into the recipient’s mailboxes… but what do these mailboxes look like? How does YOUR mailbox look like?

On Postcrossing’s 15th anniversary, we have a mission for you: show the world your own happy mailbox! Grab a camera and your postcards, and take a selfie with your mailbox (ie, the place where you receive your postcards). Then, upload it to our wall of awesomeness! 😍

Here, Paulo and I will go first:

Show us your happy mailbox!

Now we want to see YOUR mailboxes in their full, colorful glory… and your smiles as well!

📮 Add your mailbox!

You have until July 14 to join the fun – go go go! Upload your photo and join the celebration! 🎉

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Ancient Postal Routes

It’s time to vote on the EUROPA stamps competition for 2020!

The theme for this year is “Ancient Postal Routes”, and it invites us to rediscover the old paths through which mail was transported in Europe. This really seems like an appropriate topic for this year, which has seen so many postal routes being disrupted… and re-invented.

Curious to know where and how did mail travel around in Europe in the past? This year’s stamps tell a tale of horseback riders, boats, pigeons, mail carriers brandishing their postal horns… and naturally lots of maps as well. There’s even one cheeky interpretation of the theme, featuring Santa Claus’s sleigh. 😜

Ancient Postal Routes - EUROPA stamps 2020

Go check out all the stamps and vote on your favorite on PostEurop’s website until September 9th!

And if you do, leave a comment below as well to let us know which one is your favorite! We think it’s going to be a tough competition this year, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Which ones do you think have good chances of winning?

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

Architecture is everywhere around us… but beyond its practical purpose to provide shelter and security, the buildings we inhabit and walk by everyday often say something about our culture, and can be works of arts in their own right. How do these look like, where you are? Are there architectural styles or details that are special to where you live?

In June, write about an architectural style from your region or country.

So, I’ll go first! Our town of Tavira has a peculiar architectural detail that makes it unique: the special pyramid-shaped rooftops, called “telhados de tesouro” (or treasure roofs)! You can see some of them on this photo:

Treasure rooftops in Tavira

They’re very intriguing in a southern seaside region with little rain, where most of the houses have terraces instead of clay tiled roofs (so that fish can be dried in them). The treasure roofs came from the time of the great sailing expeditions, and the style is said to have been brought by adventurous sailors returning from the East, where it was adapted to the monsoon weather. They thought it was fashionable, perhaps, and tried it out. A few centuries have gone by, but these special roofs still exist today, giving the town a unique skyline that locals have come to recognize as home.

What about you? Is there something in your region or country that stands out, architecturally? We invite you to share it with others on the postcards you write this month!

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