Sunday, March 29, 2015

A New Country Postcard and a Few Others

Well, it's been a while, a month in fact. Last update was Feb 28th and now it's Mar 28th. As some of you know, I've been away , away for 3 weeks actually. My Lovely Teena and I were on our 7th cruise, this time to the South Pacific. We had a week in Sydney, Australia and then a 2 week cruise. We flew from Vancouver to Sydney , then a week later boarded the Oosterdam and sailed to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. That's 4 new countries for Teena and I, bringing our total to 31, not bad at all, but nowhere near the Travelers' Century Club requirement. Our cruise didn't exactly go as planned, the itinerary was changed a couple of times, we missed getting into 3 ports due to Cyclone Pam. We missed one in New Caledonia, one  in Fiji and one in Vanuatu. We were supposed to dock in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Friday the 13th and we all know now that that's the day Pam hit there causing such widespread destruction. Skirting around and avoiding Pam as we did, certainly made more sense then trying for ports that we now know were unsafe. As I always do after a cruise, I'll post "Cruising Thru Postcards 7 " when all or most of the postcards mailed on the cruise have arrived . Be sure to look for that one.

Of course after 3 weeks away, my mailbox was kinda stuffed with postcards, so I have lots to work with for a while. Included in these cards was a new country, the first for my collection since Jan of 2014. Country or stamp issuing entity # 261 is Guinea. Guinea, officially the Republic of Guinea, is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea, it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbours Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Guinea has a population on just over 10.5 million and is comprised of 245,860 square kilometres. My first Guinea card shows a local lady, described as a castanet player. Here it is .


This card is from Madeleine, the only Postcrosser in Guinea, but it's not an official Postcrossing card. Madeleine wrote that she stumbled upon my blog and saw that I still needed a card from Guinea.
So with the help of her sister in Switzerland, I now have a card from Guinea. Madeleine's card was sent back in Dec of  2014 and wound its way through Switzerland before arriving in Canada 3 months later. Sent from the city of Kissidougou, it arrived with 2 wonderful, and colorful stamps . On the left is a stamp celebrating 50 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Guinea and the Peoples Republic of China. On the right is a stamp from 2008 honoring the Africa Cup. It is from a set of 8.

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Now with Guinea in the box, I have just 12 countries or entities left , so just in case you're jetting off soon  to any of these obscure places , here they are : Australian Antarctic Territory, Central African Republic, Congo ( Democratic Republic ) , Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niuafoóu, Penrhyn Island, Sierre Leone, South Sudan,  Tokelau Islands, and of course Transniestra. So come on all you intrepid travellers and Travelers' Century Club members and 1.3 million Virtual Tourists out  there who seem to be going everywhere, drop me a postcard from wherever and hopefully it'll be one of the twelve listed above.


Next up is a card from Georgia, the country not the state. Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, bounded by the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It's capital is Tbilisi. This is my first card from Georgia in a couple of years. I used to get cards from there regularly but for some reason they dried up. My card shows a number of houses and the 13th century Metekhi Church built rather precipitously along the banks of the Mtkvari River in Tbilisi.



Meelis used 2 stamps from the 2013 Europa  Postal Transport issue. He also used a neat Aviation related Air Mail sticker. I think if more countries used Air Mail stickers like these, there would be more people collecting them.



Now for a little Singapore. First is a card sent by my brother Dale. He's on a 35 day cruise in that part of the world. His card gives us a look at the Singapore City skyline featuring a couple of Singapore icons - Marina Bay Sands Resort Hotel , Gardens by the Bay and The Flyer.



Dale used a recent 2014 stamp. It's 1 of 4 in a set highlighting Vanishing Trades, the one shown is a Garland Maker.



My 2nd Singapore card showcases the Grand Prix Season in Singapore. The 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Grand Prix will be held 18.19.and 20 Sep at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.




Jean Pierre used 2 great stamps from 2010. On the left is 1 of 10 in a set featuring Trees. On this stamp is a Rain Tree. On the right is a stamp featuring a Common Birdwing Butterfly. It is from a set of 4.



Here's the last Singapore card for today. It is of the Singapore Philatelic Museum, a place I'd love to visit. The building was designed as part of the Anglo Chinese School in 1906. In the 1970s  and onward it was used as a Methodist Book Room. The Singapore Philatelic Museum was restored to its original glory in 1995.



David used 3 of the Vanishing Trades stamps that I mentioned earlier. Here we see a kacang puteh seller , a lantern maker and the garland maker again.



One more card for this time and it comes from Bangkok, Thailand. It shows the Royal Barge gliding pass the Royal Palace towards the Temple of Dawn during a ceremonial Procession. The Royal Barge Suphanahongse was built in 1911. This 46-meter craft was carved from a single trunk of teakwood, and was launched 13 November 1911. There is a golden pavilion on board to house the king and his immediate royal family. The World Ship Trust, in 1992, named the Royal Barge Suphannahong a Maritime World Heritage.




Jean Pierre used a number of stamps on this one. On the top are 2 stamps celebrating National Children's Day 2015. The blue King definitive is from 2010 and the flag stamps are from 2013.




That;s the cards for this time. Thanks for them go to Madeleine and her sister, Meelis, Dale, Jean Pierre and David. Great cards and great stamps . Drop by again, it's certainly won't be another month before I'm here again. Just a day or two. See you then, Don't forget, if you want to leave a comment , go for it, they are always welcome.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The last One For February

Well it's certainly time for a new update. I haven't done very well this month and next month, March,  will not be any better. After today don't expect anything new for at least  thee weeks or more. I'll be away from the blog until March 24 or later. Do make a point to come back as there'll be lots new by then.

Now on to some postcards, the reason you're here today.

My first card for today is from Perth , Western Australia. It is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and is the fourth most populous city in the country. Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. David's card provides a look at some of the modern buildings in Perth's skyline.



David used 3 current 2015 stamps , all featuring old 19th century clipper ships that sailed in Australian waters. Featured is The Phoenician, The Monkchester and The Arabian. A fourth one featured The Frances Henty.




My next card is perhaps a Valentine's card from Poland. It features  two young lovers and was posted on Feb 13th, one day before Valentine's . It's a Postcrossing card from Swidnik, a city in eastern Poland with just over 40,000 inhabitants.



Dominika used a couple of Heart Shaped stamps issued for Valentine's Day 2015. She also used a small definitive from 1997.




Have you heard any Volkswagen jokes lately ? Remember the one about the lady who looked under her front hood and thought someone stole the engine ? Or the one about the guy at the gas station who didn't know whwre the gas went ? Or the water for that matter ?  People used to make a lot of fun of the VW. I remember, I used to drive a 1968 Bug  back around the early 1970s. That old gas heater really didn't do all that well during a cold Canadian winter. You always needed a scraper handy to scrape the inside of the windows.



This is a Postcrossing card sent by Yanz  from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, some 12702 km away. She used a 1999 stamp commemorating the 125th  anniversary of Taiping, a town located in northern Perak. There are four stamps in the set and all featured different modes of transport. One showed a hand drawn cart, another a car, another featured planes and of course the train , as shown.




Here's another addition to my Airlines / Aircraft on Postcards collection. This one is a Luxair B707. The airline operated aircraft LX-LGW in the 1970's. On this card it is shown at the old airport terminal in Findel.



Meelis , who often contributes to this blog, sent this card from Luxembourg. He used 2 Europa stamps from 2013 featuring Postal Vans.




Now we have a Nouvelles Images card entitled Sea, Sex, & Sun. Many people go out of their way for these these type of cards, but not me. I wouldn't buy it , but of course, I'll collect any card I find in my mail box. And be happy about it.



Actually my main reason for putting this card on here is to showcase the stamp. It's a Postcrossing stamp issued by Finland. That country issued 4 Postcrossing stamps in 2013. I now have 2 of the 4 different stamps. I had a lot to say about these particular stamps when I featured my first one here on the blog, back on Jan 16, 2014. Nothing has changed since then. I'll leave it at that. Feel free to go back and have a look at my rant about them from that time. You can read it here  





Now for a card from Russia. It's a Postcrossing card from Helena, showing the Ostankino TV Tower. Ostankino Tower is a television and radio tower in Moscow.It stands 540.1 metres tall and was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. It is currently the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and the eighth tallest in the world. It was built between 1963 and 1967.

Helena used a couple of great large stamps. The horizontal stamp was issued in 2013. It is 1 of 4 in a set featuring World War II warships. The triangle stamp , is also from a set of 4 issued in 2013.




This next card shows The Map Room of the Cabinet War Rooms Museum in London, England . Cconstruction of the Cabinet War Rooms,began in 1938. They became operational in August 1939, and remained in  operation throughout the Second World War, before being abandoned in August 1945 after the surrender of Japan.  



Regular contributor Dominique used a nice international Postcard Universal Mail stamp featuring Christ Church College. An agreement with Royal Mail enables any postcard bearing this type of stamp to be mailed through Royal Mail's network of red post boxes and post offices located throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 




I think that's it for this time. Thanks for cards go out to David, Dominika, Yanz, Meelis, Susanna, Helena and Dominique.Great cards and great stamps all around. Take care and drop by again in about 3 weeks. See you then. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Two From Johan, One from Maria and One from Helga and Flag Day 2015

First , before I get to any postcards, I want to mention Flag Day 2015. Today Feb 15th is Flag Day in Canada. It commemorates the inauguration of the Flag of Canada, The Maple Leaf, on February 15th , 1965. Fifty years ago today our flag flew for the first time. It is not a public holiday, but any Government of Canada that wants to declare it one, will get my vote. So without further ado, I just want to fly our flag for a bit here.
George F.G. Stanley designed the current flag, which is inspired by the Royal Military College of Canada’s flag. The multi-party parliamentary committee formed to select a new flag unanimously chose the design on October 29, 1964. The House of Commons passed the design on December 15, 1964. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965, and it was inaugurated on February 15 in the same year.

Canada Post is also commemorating our flag's 50th anniversary.  Pushing the boundaries of stamp production, Canada Post has created Canada's first fabric stamp as a fitting celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag . Denominated at $5, the innovative stamp uses a satin rayon fabric and  special ink to create a durable and spectacular image. Canada Post is also issuing a celebratory Permanent rate stamp that showcases an undulating flag with a blue sky and "50" in the background.


Now on to the postcards - the reason you tuned in . My first card is from Belgium. It shows a Concorde's nose dipped low over a Citroen , or at least what I think is a Citroen. We don't see many of them in these parts so I could be wrong.  The time frame of the picture is 1969. Thanks to Johan for this card. 



Johan was able to secure a First Day of Stamp Issue cancellation on the stamp he used on this card. It is 1 of a set of 5 .




My second card arrived from Russia. Now I'm not one to talk, and I like receiving all cards, but this one is just not that interesting or exciting, at least not to me. All it  shows is a number of QR Codes. 



Pretty boring, right ? Well the stamps are good though. Maria used 2 stamps from 2013. They are from a set of celebrating Olympic Sport Legends. 




Here another card from Belgium, again sent by Johan. It's a view of Oostende Airport. Oostende  is a Belgian city located in the Flemish province of West Flanders.

Postcards of airports might make a quite interesting collection. Maybe I should go through my card stock and see what I can come up with. 
Johan again received a First Day of Issue Stamp cancellation , Jan 26, 2015 on this one. It celebrates Thorgal,  a Belgian fantasy comic book series by the Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and the Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. It combines several themes and legends, ranging from Norse mythology  and Atlantean fantasy to science fiction, and such genres as dark drama, horror and adventure stories. The comic first appeared in serial form in "Tintin" magazine in 1977.



I have just one card left for this time. It is from Belarus and was sent by a Postcrosser named Helga. The card celebrates 20 Years of Belarus WWF  stamps. This is my second card from this series. My first featured all bird stamps. 



Helga used a stamp from 2014 featuring an Olympic Medal winner. It is from a set of 3 . 



That's my update for today. Happy Flag Day to all my Canadian readers. Happy Day to everyone else. Take care and catch you next time.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Five More For February

Well it's raining again here on Vancouver Island, so a good day for postcards and blogging. Today mu cards are from Portugal, Germany and the U.S.A.
Let's start with a card from Raul who lives in Coimbra, in the center of Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital many, many years ago, Coimbra  is better known for the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. The historical University buildings were classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013. Raul's card shows the Palace Hotel of Bucaco, built between 1888 and 1905. It is still a magnet for tourists.



Raul used a stamp from 2013, 1 of 8 in a set highlighting Traditional Festivals. 




Today's second card , from Germany, is an older card showing the Catherdal of Cologne. This one shows the cathedral and the area around it as it was before the destruction of World War II.

Stephanie used the current German stamp for foreign postage. It is the same stamp David used on his card from Germany, which I posted in my last blog update.


My third, fourth and fifth cards are all from the U.S. First up is this card showing the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The five tower complex is a modern city within a city. Its facade is made of reflective glass. Originally completed in 1977, the facility features a 74-story, 1,300 room Marriott Hotel, surrounded by five 39-story office towers totaling a combined 2.3 million square feet.  



Emarie used 3 different stamps. On the left is an Abraham Lincoln  self adhesive from 2014. In the middle is a self adhesive Forever Christmas Poinsetta stamp. It is from a 2013 Booklet. On the right is my first Batman stamp. It is 1 of 20 stamps in a minisheet issued in 2014. Sixteen of the stamps are vertical images of Batman and four are Bat Symbols highlighted in a search light. 


  


This next card was posted in Boston, but it shows a display aircraft at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs , Colorado. This is a military academy for officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado.  Graduates of the Academy's four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. Shown on the card is a T-38 Talon. The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twin-engined supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2014 in air forces throughout the world.





A Postcrosser named Julia used 2 nice Hummingbird self adhesives from 2014, along with a 2012 Purple Heart Forever stamp.






The last U.S. card today and the last card today arrived from the state of West Virginia, and shows an old , fancy mailbox.

  

Julie used a number of stamps, 3 in the upper right corner and 2 in the bottom left. The top 2 upper right stamps are from the set of 4 issued in 1988 commemorating Antarctic Explorers. The stamp located just under there was issued in 1972 and commemorated the 100th Anniversary of mail Order. The 2 stamps in the lower left are 2 of 4 in a 1993 set commemorating the national Postal Museum in the United States.



Well, that's it for today. Thanks for cards go to Raul, Stephanie, Emarie, Julia and Julie. Take care, and check back again soon for another update.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February's First

I know, we're already a week into February and this is only my first update. Sometimes it happens like that. Priorities and all. I was out to Calgary for 5 days so that was a big part of the time. Anyway it's on to postcards now. First up is a card showing an Asiatic Lion at the GIR National Park & Sanctuary. The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. It is the sole home of the Asiatic Lion and is the world's only place where lions and tigers coexist. These lions were once found across northern Africa, south west Asia and northern Greece. Now there are only around 411 left in the wild and all of them are in or around the Gir Forest National Park.



This card arrived compliments of Nagi who writes the blog - SIDS Hobby Center - and you can find it all here .   It has lots of great information about stamps, postcards, and postmarks . Check it out for yourself. Nagi used a couple of definitives on his card. On the left is a 2008 Rajiv Gandhi issue. Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the seventh Prime Minister of India, serving from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, his mother, to become the youngest Indian prime minister. On the right is a 2009 stamp featuring Homi Jahangir Bhabha , an Indian nuclear physicist, founding director, and professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.




Next is a card from Cologne, Germany. An interesting card with two views of the same area. On the top is a 1945 , after the war view. Then below - the same area in present day. Standing upright and tall in both views is the Cologne Cathedral, dating from 1248. The cathedral,  suffered fourteen hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but remained standing in an otherwise flattened city. The great twin spires are said to have been used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft raiding deeper into Germany in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed.



Regular contributor David sent this card . Be sure to check out his great postcard and stamp blog - 
Postcards A World Travelogue. You can find it here .  You'll also learn a lot about the world. David used a new 2015 stamp featuring Ludwigsburg Palace.  Ludwigsburg Palace is a historical building in the city of Ludwigsburg, Germany. It is one of the country's largest Baroque palaces and features an enormous garden in that style.







Another addition to my Airlines / Aircraft on Postcards is next. It is an Austrian Airlines Boeing 777. Aircraft OE-LPD , nicknamed Spirit of Austria, was delivered on 30/01/2007, and is a smaller B777-200. I'm hoping to be flying to Sydney on the bigger B777-300 next month.



A Postcrosser named Yulia sent this card from Belarus. She used a 2014 Flower stamp, showing a Dahlia. It is 1 of 4 in a Botanical Garden set.



Anyone for Sushi ? That's the complete theme of this card from Kobe, Japan. Featured are 20 different sushi.


Michiko used a 2012 teddy bear stamp. It is 1 of 10 different bear stamps in the Autumn Greetings sheet.





Yes, another Airline / Aviation card - this time a JAL B747 freighter. It's actually a B747-200F. The B747-200F was a cargo plane developed from the B747-200B. The cockpit of the B747 was originally placed on the second deck in anticipation of its conversion to a cargo plane. The aircraft was equipped with a nose door that opened upward, allowing it to handle long cargo that to date could not be loaded on other cargo planes.



Another Postcrosser , Ren from the port city of Kobe sent this card and used a nice Aviation related stamp from 2010. It is 1 of 10 different stamps in a  beautiful mini-sheet issued to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Aviation in Japan. It would be a wonderful sheet to have in my Aviation Stamp Collection.







That's 5 cards , so I think that will do for today. I have 5 more here on my desk ready for tomorrow or the next day. Thanks go out to Ren, Michiko, Yulia, David and Nagi for the cards featured today. Take care and leave a comment if you want to or you feel you need to . I'm always happy to read them.