Sunday, September 20, 2020

All Canadian Banff National Park

BLOG # 1474

In the Time of Covid

Hello and welcome to another rendition of GemsWorldPostcards. This time it is an all Canadian special and we are not talking pizzia, burgers or donuts here. We are talking all Canadian postcards from an all Canadian place - Banff National Park. A short time ago My Lovely Teena and I journeyed out to Banff to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary.  Banff should not feel it was a fallback destination because of the times we are in. Banff can stand on its own at any time as one of the most spectacular places on the globe. 

Our intent was to celebrate in the town of Banff and later in Lake Louise, and that is exactly what we did. As always when we travel or visit any place, My Lovely Teena always picks up a few cards and posts them back home to me. This trip was no exception. The cards she sent are the cards we will see today.  

First up is a card from Banff showing a poster image of a Bison. There is an interesting story here of course. Although there are lots of bison in Canada and in Alberta, there have been none in Banff National Park for over one hundred years. Well now there are some. In July 2018 ,  31 bison were reintroduced to the park. As of this month there are now 36 and we expect 300 or so by 2031. So after an absence of over a century, the return of wild plains bison to Banff National Park is a historic, ecological and cultural triumph.  

Banff Post Office provided a nice pictoral cancel on the card. The stamp is 1 of 2 issued this year commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First Canadian Radio Program. 

 The next three cards are all from Lake Louise Post Office and they also used a nice clear cancel on each card. 

The first card is a look at Lake Moraine, located 14 km from famous Lake Louise. It may not be as well known as Lake Louise but in my opinion it is far and away more beautiful . Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. It has an elevation of 1,884 metres and a max depth of 14 metres. The lake reflects a distinctive shade of azure blue. This is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis by the surrounding glaciers. 

Let me desribe Moraine Lake in a word or two. Amazing, breathtaking, beautiful, spectacular, awe-inspiring, stunning, awesome, incredible, magnificent, mind-blowing, impressive, majestic and jaw-dropping. Oh that is a little more than one or two. Sorry about that , but Moraine Lake is my favourite spot in Banff Park.  I would even go so far as to say, it is one of the most beautiful places I have been lucky enough to see and visit anywhere. Here is a card now, showing its fine form. 

The stamps that Teena used on this card and the next two are all from a set called the Group of Seven. They were issued this summer to showcase the work of the Group of Seven , Canadian landscape painters from 1920 - 1933. On this card we see a painting called " Labrador Coast " by A.Y. Jackson . 

Teena's next card is a nice picture of Lake Agnes. This is a small mountain lake with a surface of 0.57 sq km. It is located 3.5 km hiking distance from Lake Louise. A lovely teahouse is situated on the eastern shore of the lake at an elevation of 2134 m. 

Here is another of the Group of Seven stamps. This time it's Frank H. Johnston's  painting " Fire Swept, Algoma ".

Teena's last card shows us one of the reidents of Banff National Park. He doesn't need a park pass, he can come and go as he sees fit. Usually he steers clear of us loud tourists, but if you are hiking you do need to be super vigilant, as you don't want to be his next meal. 

Here is the last Group of Seven stamp. It is " Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay " by F.H. Varley.

That's it for this All Canadian update. Big thanks for all this going out to My Lovely Teena. 

It was great to get out to the mouintains with you Teena and let's do it again soon . Take care, love you. 

To you readers, take care, stay your distance and wear a mask. Cheers.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Bits of France

 BLOG # 1473

In the Time of Covid still

Hello again , I have three cards for this time, all of which arrived from France. First up is this old image of the Cathedral Of Reims. It was constructed between 1220 and 1288. It is famous as the site of the coronations of many of the Kings of France. I believe the image on the card shows the time around the coronation of Charles X. The cathedral was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. 

 Dominique used a stamp from this year, Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Death of French writer Frederic Dard in 2000. He was born in 1921  and that leads to one of my pet peeves. Would it not have been much nicer to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of his Birth next year, 2021 . 


My second card was also sent by Dominique and shows us a part of Sarlat, a medieval town in southwestern France. Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. The centre of the old town consists of impeccable stone buildings and is largely car-free. I think you can see this on the card.

The stamp on this card Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of French Polymath Boris Vian this year. Looks like they got it right this time. Need I say more ! 

Card # 3 is an overhead look at Belle-Ile-En-Mer, an island off the coast of Brittany in northwest France. On the card we see the 1868 lighthouse at Poulins Point. 

Jean Pierre used a nice Lighthouse stamp and got a nice lighthouse cancellation. The stamp was issued on Aug 28. 

That is about it for this time. A little shorter than my usual but that is the way it goes sometimes. Thanks to Dominique and Jean Pierre for the cards highlighted today. 

Take care. Remember stay safe, wash your hands , no touching  your face and keep your distance. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Air Baltic, Taormina, Bucharest, Kaunas and Riga

 BLOG # 1472

In the Time of Covid

It's time for another installment of GemsWorldPostcards and here it is.

This time around all the cards are compliments of one sender -- Jean Pierre. The cards are from Italy, Latvia , Lithuania and Romania. So let's get to it. 

First up is Italy. The card shows a number of sites around Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily, near Mount Etna. In the lower left is the Greek Roman Theatre which is still in use today. 

Jean Pierre used a recently issued stamp highlighting the New Genoa Bridge. 

The next two cards are from Riga. The first one is the latest addition to my Aircraft / Airlines Collection. It shows YL-AAU,  an Air Baltic Airbus A220. This aircraft is quite new, it was delivered to Air Baltic in December of 2019, after being built in Montreal.   The A220 fits the 100 - 150 seat market. They are designed to give the feel of a wide-body jetliner in a single-body aircraft. 

The reverse side of the card in addition to the stamps shows a partial system map of Air Baltic flights. Direct flights from Riga, Tallin and Vilnius are shown. The stamps are 2 Flower definitives f4rom 2014 and 2019. The larger stamp on the left was issued for Magnetic Latvia. That's the sum of what I know of this stamp.

The next card is a look at two quite old buildings in Riga. On the left is St Peter's Church, an Evangelical Lutheran Church. Earliest records of the church indicate it was around in 1209.  The building on the right is the House of Blackheads. It was erected during the early part of the 14th century in 1334. It was built as a venue for meetings and banquets held by Riga's various public organizations.

This card's stamp was issued in 2019 and Commemorates the 250th Anniversary of the Birth of Garlieb Merkel. 

From looking at my next card, it's obvious there is a lot to see in Kaunas. This city in south central Lithuania is located at the confluence of the Neris and Nemunas rivers. From top to bottom the card shows the following : Kaunas Castle, the historical Presidential Palace, a Kaunas Old Town street, the Pazaislis Church of Visitation of Our Lady and the Monastery, a monument to those who died for for Lithuanian independence, The House of Thunder, St Michael's  Archangel's Church, The Kaunas Zaliakalis Funicular, and the Vytautas Church- the church of Taking Holy Virgin Mary into Heaven. So if planning a visit, be sure to give yourself enough time in this town. 

Two stamps were used on this one. On the left is 1 of 3 showcasing Historic Banknotes. On the right, from this year is a Bird stamp- this one shows Owls. 

Just two more cards to go and both are from Romania. This first one shows Old Princely Court in Bucharest in the southern part of the country. It was built as a palace or residence during the rule of Vlad the Impaler Dracula in 1459. Vlad ruled Wallachia and you can see a statue of him on the card to the right. He's on that white pedestal.  

Jean Pierre used 3 recent stamps here. On the left, from 2018, is 1 of 2 Easter stamps for that year. The middle stamp , from 2019, is 1 of 9 different stamps in a sheet highlighting The Constitution of Romania - Guarantor of the Romanian Citizens' Rights.   The far right stamp was issued in 2015 to mark the Solemn Year of the Parish and Monastery Mission.

Here we go , the last card of the day. It's a look at a couple of the tall buildings in Bucharest , in evening light. 

There are at least 2 stamps on this card and maybe three. On the left and the right are stamps from 2013 and 2020. The left one is the Christmas stamp of that year. The large stamp on the right is 1 of 4 in a set issued for Romanian Day of the Stamp. The stamps show the uniforms of the Romanian Royalty. The king on the stamp is Carol 1. Oh yes, the center "stamp" . I don't know what it is, I don't think it's a stamp. It could be some kind of postal label or selvage from a sheet of stamps. Any thoughts or comments or prediction as to what it is ? Enquiring minds want to know !

Air Baltic, Taorimina, Bucharest

That's all I have for today. Big thanks going out to Jean Pierre for all the cards and great stamps. 

Take care all , stay safe , wear your mask and keep your distance. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

French Towns and a KLM DC10-30

 BLOG  # 1471

In the Time of Covid

I'm not sure how many cards I'll get through today, but it's a good day for blogging- weather wise that is. Yesterday was a sunny day and 27 C. Today we have a high of 11 C with rain later and tomorrow the projected high is 9 C and rain. The overnight low tonight will be 3 and tomorrow night 1. That'll maybe mean snow in the mountain parks. Did someone say summer is over ? 

Now on to the cards . First I have three cards from France, all of which were sent by Dominique. The first is from Etretat in north-western France. The area is known for its chalk cliffs and 3 natural arches. There is also a pointed formation called L'Aiguille or The Needle which rises 70 metres above the sea. Claude Monet was attracted to the area - he did several paintings of the cliffs and sea stacks in the area. One more interesting fact about Etretat - it is the last place in France from which the 1927 biplane L'Oiseau Blanc or the White Bird was seen . It disappeared somewhere over the Atlantic, along with pilots Nungesser and Coli. 

Dominique used a great Aviation themed airmail stamp on this card from 1982.   It shows the French plane Southern Cross. 


Dominique's second card shows Mont Sainte Odile. This is a 764 metre high peak in the Vosgens mountains in Alsace. The mountain is named after Saint Odile. Shown on the card is a monastery / convent at the top of the mount and it is notable for its stone fortifications called " the Pagan Wall " . Sadly in 1992 an Air Inter Airbus A320 crashed in this area with 87 casualties and 9 survivors.  

Dominique used an apt stamp on this card. It was issued this year and commemorates the 1300th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Saint Odile. She is the patroness saint of the blind and partially sighted. 

Card # 3 shows the port of Honfleur, a city in Normandy near where the Seine meets the English Channel. The city is knows for its port and for its slate covered homes. These have been painted by a number of artists over the years. Honfleur has a couple of Canada connections. In 1508 a local man Jean Denis departed for Newfoundland island and the mouth of the St Lawrence River. Then in 1608 an expedition organised by Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec. 

The stamps on this one, also from 2020, Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of French polymath Boris Vian. I don't know about you, but I had to look that one up.   

Next it's a card from the Netherlands. Another great item for my Aircraft / Airline card collection. Shown is a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines DC10-30. PH-DTF was delivered new to KLM in 1973. It later saw service with VIASA, World Airways, American and Omni Air. The airframe was scrapped in Tulsa Oklahoma in 2001. 

Barbara sent this card. She and I have traded cards a number of times the past couple years. She used a Europa stamp from this year. It is from a set of 2 featuring Ancient Postal Routes.

Well that does it for today. I was going to show a few more but they can wait until tomorrow. 
Today I have to thank Dominique, and Barbara for the cards I showcased this time.
Thanks for dropping in today, If the rain forecasted for tomorrow shows up, I  think I should be here once again. 
Remember we're in Covid times so wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Picking Flowers, SAS B767 and Pankow

BLOG # 1470 

Still in The Time of Covid

Hey there. I'm back again, so soon after last time. My cards today come from -- today you have to read the blog to find out. 

Let's start this off with a card from a Postcrosser Down Under. Not a heck of a lot to say about the card other than a few ladies are gathering flowers. May be a picture of a painting, but it doesn't say and I'm no expert. 

Rafi used 3 nice stamps on her card. The left stamp is the latest addition to my Aviation Stamp Collection. It is 1 of 2 different stamps in a minisheet, issued in 2019 ,  commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First England to Australia Flight.  The middle stamp , also from 2019, commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Murchison Meteorite Falling to Earth. The right stamp was issued this year and Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Sydney to San Francisco Mail Steamer Service. Shown on the stamp is the S.S. Wonga Wonga. 

Today's second card , another addition to my Aircraft / Airline Collection shows a SAS B767-ER in a Star Alliance livery. This B767, registered as OY-KDH,  is still active after 31.4 years. It was delivered new to Scandinavian Airlines. In those 31.4 years it has seen service with 8 other airlines.  It was converted to a freighter in January of 2010, with ABX Air. The picture on the card was taken at London Heathrow in February 1998.

 Jean Pierre sent this card from Vilnius, Lithuania. He got a very clear and readable postmark on both stamps used. The left stamp is 1 of 3 in a set showing Historic Banknotes. The right stamp Commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence.

Today's 3rd card is from Germany. It's a look at a large intersection in Pankow. Pankow is part of Berlin, formally part of East Berlin. 

This is a card I received from Isa, a lady I swap cards with in Germany. She used 2 of the common Flower definitives along  with a stamp  issued this year to Commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of Baron von Munchhausen in 1720.

That's it for today, a little shorter than my usual. Thanks for cards today do out to Rafi, Jean Pierre, and Isa. Remember , take care, wash your hands and wear a mask. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Antwerp, Nieuwpoort Light, Bruges, Andorra and Viaducts

BLOG # 1469 - In the Time of Covid

 Hello once again. I`m back a little sooner that most of you might have anticipated. This time around I have three cards from Belgium, one from Turkey, one from Czech Rep and one from Andorra. I will do the Belgian cards first. All three were sent by Johan and each received a First Day of Issue cancellation on the stamps. 

First Card : Here we see a scene in Antwerp, a port city on the River Scheldt, dating back to the Middle Ages. It shows the Brabo Fountain , located in the Grote Markt, in front of the Town Hall. The sculpture was erected in 1887. 

The legend of the statue you see there is as follows : The giant Druon Antigoon cut off a hand of all the sea captains who moored in the area and who refused to pay a toll. He then threw the hand in the Scheldt. At some later time the captain of the Roman Army, Brabo , cut off the hand of the giant. The fountain reflects the moment when Brabo throws the hand of the giant into the river. 

Johan used a great large stamp on this card. It is 1 of 5 different  in a sheet , promoting Liege Squares. 


Johan has a fine postcard blog called johanpostcards and you can visit it right here .

Here is the second card from Johan showing the Nieuwpoort Lighthouse. This town in northern Belgium is known for its beach and marina. The current lighthouse stands at 29.0 m and was opened in 1949. The original lighthouse here was built in 1881 and destroyed during the first war. It was rebuilt in 1923 and then destroyed by the Germans in 1944. Tough being a lighthouse here !


Again issued on Jun 15 of this year, this stamp is from a sheet of 5 identical stamps honoring Team Belgium, Faster, Higher, Stronger.

Card 3 from Johan -- A lady from Bruges doing some crafting. Bruges is the capital of West Flanders, known for canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. The Historic centre of the city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage  list in 2000. 

 The stamp on this card is again from a sheet of 5 stamps, called Football Unites. 

My next card , from Turkey shows an engineering and construction marvel . It is the Varda Viaduct , located in Hacikiri village in Adana province, Turkey. The stone arch structure is 172 m long, 98 m high and contains 11 arch spans. It was constructed between 1905 and 1916. 

Mea , a Postcrosser from from southern Turkey sent this card. He used a really nice large stamp issued this year. An Europa stamp, it celebrates Ancient Postal Routes. 


What about another viaduct , this one in Czech Rep. This time it is the Znojmo Railway Viaduct, constructed between 2008 and 2009. It replaced a temporary bridge built in 1992 and that one replaced the original bridge from 1871. The current viaduct has 4 spans, is 220 m long and 48 m high.

Vaclav sent this card from Pilsen, home of Pilsner Brewery since 1842. He used a 2018 stamp celebrating Czech Jazz. 

Well you made it, here is the last card of the day. A nice look at Pessons Lakes , a great hiking area in the Pyrenees Mountains. This high mountain lake is at an elevation of 2294 m above sea level in the parish of Encamp.

Josep & Assumpta used a Coat of Arms stamp from 2019.

Be sure to check out the blog   - Letters and postcards from everywhere - by Josep & Assumpta . Click  right here .

Well so ends another update. Thanks for the cards today go out to  Johan, Mea, Vaclav and Josep & Assumpta. This blog would not exist without people like you guys. Big thanks to you all. 

Take care, safe safe, wear a mask !