Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Philly Chinatown and a New Europa Stamp

BLOG # 1464  , Still in the Year of Covid

Hello again. As I have mentioned before, since Covid,  postcards have been scarce. I guess since people haven't been travelling,  the idea of sending postcards is pretty much on the back burner. But all is not lost, I have received two cards this past week and they are my focus for today.

First up is this card showcasing Friendship Gate in Philadelphia's Chinatown. The gate dates from the mid to late 19th century.  The first business opened in the area in 1871. Friendship Gate is the first authentic Chinese Gate built in America by artisans from China. It weighs in at 88 tons and stands 40 feet high.

This card arrived from Mike & Ashley in Malvern, PA.  The stamps are 2 in a sheet of 10 issued this year showing American Gardens.

Today's second card is from Germany. Here we see the Elektro-Schnelltriebwagen , a high speed train running through the country.

 This is my first card from Isabelle, a Postcrosser I have just recently started exchanging with. She used a wonderful new minisheet of 1 along with a Flower definitive. The minisheet is Germany's Europa themed stamp featuring Ancient Postal Routes. The Flower stamp was issued in 2018.

There you have it for another time. Thanks for today's card go out to Mike & Ashley and Isabelle.
Thanks to you reading this , come back again soon.

As we are still in the pandemic , be sure to wash your hands, don't touch your face and keep your distance.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

France, Q.E.A. , Bears and Lux Airport

BLOG  1463 

Still in the Year of Covid

Hey ! Hope everyone is doing well . I know it`s been 2 weeks, but these days one day runs into the next, so who really knows how long it`s been since I was last here. And a half dozen cards have arrived in that period of time. Three arrived from France, and singles from Christmas Island, Luxembourg, and Finland. So it`s on to France first. Dominique`s card shows the Protestant Church of Bischwiller. It was constructed in 1722 with the Bell Tower added sometime later.

The stamp on this card is from 2016 and is one that I previewed in Blog #1460 on May 7th.  It was on the Strasbourg card, so check it out if you want.

Card 2 is also compliments of Dominique. It`s a look at the Fontfroide Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery located near the Spanish border. It was founded in 1093. It passed into private hands in 1908. Today wine is produced here and there is a small working farm, a bookstore and a restaurant.

This card`s stamp is form 2018 and celebrates Stamp Day. It features a Race car, an Alpine Renault.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 is the subject of Dominique`s last card for this time. It`s the Canal du Midi, a 240 km long canal in Southern France. The canal was constructed between 1667 and 1681 and was considered one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century.
It is a part of the canal route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic.

Here`s the last French stamp for today. It was issued in 2005, 1 of 4 European Capitals stamps in a mini sheet. This mini sheet featured Berlin.

Here now is a card from Christmas Island. I received it in June but Jean Pierre mailed it in March. I don`t know about you but I think all mail from Christmas Island be postmarked in December. Christmas Island is an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean, some 2,600 km NW of Perth.   The card appears to be an advertising card for Qantas Empire Airways Kangaroo Service. That would be a 1949 flight from London to Sydney by a Lockheed Constellation.

Jean Pierre used a fine assortment of stamps on this card. The 3 stamps to the left are Australia issues and the far right stamp is a Christmas Island issue. Let`s go from left to right. First, from 2020, is a Commemorative marking the 150th Anniversary of the Sydney - San Francisco Mail Steamer Service. Next, again from 2020, is 1 of 3 stamps issued showing Tree Dwellers of the Tropics. Then we have Queen Elizabeth marking the 1954 Royal Tour, the stamp was issued in 2004. Finally at far right , from 2009, a stamp showcasing Species at Risk - shown is the Blue-tailed Skink.

Nice crab cancellation on the left.

Here's a card with a vintage view of Luxembourg Airport. A few vintage aircraft can be seen here too. 

Meelis used two commemoratives on this card. On the left, from 2007, this stamp commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Auto Club of Luxembourg. On the right, from 2009, this one commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Aeronautics Federation of Luxembourg. 

The last card for today is from Espoo, Finland and according to the sender, it shows the country's national animal. From looking at the card, I think these two spent too long in hibernation this past winter. And I thought bear's favourite pastime was looking for berries. What do I know , right ? 

Raili used a 2018 Bear stamp. Bears on the card, bears on the stamp, why not ?

That's all the cards for this time. I have just one more little bit of business to attend to. A short while ago I received a small package from Giles in France. It contained a large bunch of postcards of the Strasbourg area and a couple of sheets of what I call computer generated or ATM stamps. One of the sheets were of Star Wars characters. I hadn't had any contact with Giles before, but I had commented on someone's postcard blog that I liked the Star Wars stamp. He saw to it that I now have a sheet of these, so thank you Giles for thinking of me. Here's the Star Wars stamps .

Thanks to Dominique, Jean Pierre, Meelis and Raili for the cards featured today. Take care all.

One more time - Stay Safe, Wash your Hands , Keep your Distance and Don't Touch your Face. 
We will get through this sometime. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Museums, van Eyke , Ladies and a Beautiful Vista

BLOG # 1462

Still in the Time of Covid

Here we go again.  I'm back after a week or so, with a few cards to have a look at. A couple from Albania and a couple from Belgium. Let's start with this fine view of Valbona. Located in northern Albania, the Valbona Valley National Park is found in the Albania Alps. The park encompasses the Valbona River, mountainous terrain, alpine landscapes, various rock formations and waterfalls.

You know , if Albania, Valbona wasn't on the front of the card, I would have thought it was a card showing a vista from the Canadian Rockies. It could pass for any number of wonderful places in my area. I've had lots of lunches or picnics at places in the Rockies looking like this. But it looks good on Albania.

Indrit used a stamp from 2018. It is 1 of 8 in a set featuring Albanian Art. It's a nice set actually.

Here's the second card from Albania. It shows some ladies from the Zadrima region of the country. The area is know for its rich cultural heritage. It is also known for women's traditional costumes.
Indrit's card shows a couple of the local ladies wearing the traditional women's dress.

The stamps used on this card certainly reflect the traditional costumes I mentioned earlier. They are 2 of a set of 12 issued in 2007 celebrating Regional Costumes of Albania. Even though issued in 2007 they bear a 2006 date.

Check out Indrit's postcard blog called POSTCARD ALBANIA .

Now here's the first of three cards from Belgium. Here, we're looking at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren. Know as the Africa Museum, it was built to showcase King Leopold II's Congo Free State in the 1897 World Exhibition.

Johan used a fine new stamp on his card. It was issued on March 16th and Johan secured a First Day of Issue cancellation. The stamp Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Birth of King Philippe.

Another card from Belgium. This time it's a look at the facade of the Old England department store in downtown Brussels. The building is now the Musical Instruments Museum, renowned for its collection of over 8,000 instruments.

The stamp, issued March 16th, commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Again we have a First Day of Issue cancellation , thanks to Johan.

It's time for the last card of the day. Again it's from Belgium. It's a picture of the Jan van Eyck oil painting  Portrait of A Goldsmith or Man With a Ring. van Eyck was from the County Loon and actively painted in Bruges.

The stamp was issued on March 13th and once again Johan secured a First Day of Issue Cancellation. The shaped stamp has the same image as the postcard. It is 1 of 5 stamps in a very impressive looking sheet of 5 different stamps, all showing paintings by van Eyck.

Be sure to check out Johan's great blo called johan postcards   .

That brings to a close another installment of GemsWorldPostcards. Thanks for cards today go out to Indrit and Johan. Thanks for dropping in, see you again soon.

Once again - Wash your hands, Don't touch your face and Keep your distance. Stay Safe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Omaha, Bischwiller, Blondie and Air Pacific

BLOG # 1461

Still in the Time of Covid

Well the mail has certainly trickled down a lot this past few weeks, cards are getting scarce. Of course a good collector can always come up with a card or two. So I have a few for this time.

Let's start with a card  sent from Arizona but showing a bridge in Omaha, Nebraska. It's the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The 814 m footbridge crosses the Missouri River between Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha. It opened on September 28, 2008.

Leslie used a 2019 Railroad stamp. It is 1 of 3 in a set Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

My second card for today is from France. It's a look at the House of Associations and Culture of Bischwiller, France. It is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Dominique used a stamp from 2015 on this card. It is issued to highlight a yearly Stamp Festival , this one shows a couple dancing the Tango.

Very similar to the couple I saw dancing the Tango in Buenos Aires a few years ago.

Today's 3rd card arrived from Grevenbroich, Germany. The town is situated on the river Erft, about 30 km from both Cologne and Dusseldorf. Isa's card doesn't tell us anything about Grevenbroich or the area but maybe the women of the area are as fine looking as the one on her card.

Isa used a couple of the regular Flower definitives along with a 2019 stamp featuring Emoji.

Well it's not often that my updates don't have a airplane / airline card and today will be no exception. This time it's an Air Pacific B767, registered as DQ-FJC. It's shown in Sydney in 1994.

Air Pacific was the flag carrier of Fiji and was based in Nadi, Fiji. In 2012 the airline was rebranded as Fiji Airways. This aircraft , DQ-FJC is 25.7 years old. It flew for Air Pacific from 1994 to 2012. Then from 2013-2020 if flew for Blue Panorama Airlines of Italy. It is now stored at FCO.

Jean Pierre used a Gandhi stamp from 2018 on this card. It is 1 of 4 issued to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary in 2019, of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

Well I think that's it for this time. Thanks for today's card go out to Leslie, Dominique, Isa and Jean Pierre. If you're reading this , thanks to you.
Remember - Wash your hands, Don't touch your face and stay home if possible. If not - stay 2 meters away from others. Stay safe.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Potpourri of Cards

BLOG # 1460

Still Deep in the Time of Covid

People are still getting sick, people are still dying, people are still off work, people are still inside and when they are not they are still 6 feet apart. Life kind of sucks but at least everyone I know is alive and well. So it's not all bad.

Hey it's postcard time ! It's a bit of a mixed bag of cards today, no real theme that one can follow. So here goes.
First up is a card from Germany. You Are Bluetiful is the theme of the card. It's an advertising card from Eurowings.

Eurowings is a German low cost airline headquartered in Dusseldorf. Here you can see a couple of their aircraft.

Carmelo used a couple of the never ending Flower definitives along with the 2020 Sesame Street stamp. How many of the 6 characters on the stamp do you know by name ?

Next is a card from France.   It's a great look at the Strasbourg Astronomical Clock , located at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It is the 3rd clock on that spot and dates from 1843. Its features include a perpetual calendar , an orrery, and a display of the real position of the sun and the moon and solar and lunar eclipses. Of course the main attraction is the procession of the 18 inch high figures of Christ and the Apostles, which occurs every day half past noon


Dominique used a stamp from 2016  celebrating the life of Georges Charpak, a French physicist who was a Nobel Prize Winner in 1922.

Card 3 is from the U.S.A. It's a state abstract watercolor and which state is pretty obvious if you look at the card. It's all about the image.

Lauren used a number of recent stamps on her card. The left stamp is a Red Pears definitive from 2017. The middle stamp is a Love stamp from 2019 while the right stamp is a Made of Hearts stamp from this year.

Here's another card from France. This time we're looking at the ancient timber framed pharmacy in Bischwiller dating from 1681, during the reign of Louis XIV. The town is 7.8 km southeast of Haguenau, where the sender of the card lives.


           Dominique used an interesting stamp on his card. This triangular shaped stamp was issued in 2015 to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First French Satellite - Asterix.   

Time for a little personal reflection. Times have certainly changed. I am old enough and have collected stamps long enough to remember  when triangle shaped stamps were frowned upon or even laughed at, certainly not collected. Of course there are always exceptions such as the Cape of Good Hope triangles. Latvia, Fiume, Netherlands, Obock, Iceland, Spain, Somalia and New Zealand all issued nice collectible triangles. I have some of them and they look great in my albums.

Many cards in my collection are aiviation and aiplane related. This next one is no exception. The card is from the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills , North Carolina, U.S.A. This reproduced photo , from October 10, 1902 shows Wilbur Wright at left , and Dan Tate helping Orville Wright get a glider flight up and away. We certainly owe a lot to these guys and more. What would these guys think if they could have seen B747s, Concordes, or A380s. Not to mention space flight.

Al used a potpourri of stamps on this card. Let's start with the mostly yellow stamp on the right. It is 1 of 10 in a 2019 set showing Art by Ellsworth Kelly. No offense to Mr Kelly but I looked at all 10 of them and I have to say his art is not my cup of tea. But what do I know ? The large stamp at center was issued in a sheet of 10 in 2004  featuring Pacific Coral Reefs. The top left stamp is a Christmas stamp from 1979. The bottom left stamp was issued in 1931 and it shows President William Henry Harrison. He was the 9th president but he only served 31 days. What can we say about someone who served such a short time ? His term in office is the shortest of any president , he was the first president to die in office, he was the first head of state to have his photograph taken, and his inaugural address was and is still the longest in American history.

This card received a neat 50th Anniversary of Earth Day cancellation, you might make it out on the 2 large stamps.

Final note on this one . I hope Al knew what he was doing. The green Harrison stamp has a face value of .13 cents, but it's actual value to a collector was $4.00 before he stuck it to my card. Now it's valued at .80 cents.

I think that's enough for this time. Thanks for cards go out to Carmelo, Dominique, Lauren and Al .  Great cards, great stamps !

Thanks for dropping in today, I've enjoyed doing this post, hope you have enjoyed reading  it.

Remember  wash your hands, don't touch your face , stay home as much as possible and keep your distance.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Sad Day in Canada - More Death

Blog # 1459

Still In the Time of Covid

Well it's been a tough go here in Canada lately. As if the Covid - 19 , with 3,180 deaths so far , wasn't enough , we had the mass shooting rampage in Nova Scotia just over a week ago , with 22 dead. Now , yesterday we had another 6 dead in  a helicopter crash off the coast of Greece. The 6 were members of the Canadian Armed Forces taking part in a NATO exercise. They were in a CH-148  Cyclone Helicopter. Dead are 4 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and 2 members of the Royal Canadian Navy. Six Heroes For Sure Now Lost.

On a more upbeat note, I  have four cards for today. Two from the U.S.A and one from France and one from Germany.

First up is this card from Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA . It shows Elfreth's Alley, in Philadelphia. This street is the oldest street in the United States, continuously inhabited since the 1690's.  Jeremiah Elfreth and members of his family bought most of the properties in the early 1700's . There are 32 houses on the street which were built between 1703 and 1836.

Mike & Ashley used a couple of recent stamps. The left stamp is from 2017, a definitive of Red Pears. The middle stamp, from 2020, is 1 of 10 Flowers - Wild Orchids. The stamp on the right , is 1 of 12 in the Wild & Scenic Rivers set issued in 2019.

It's good to hear from Mike & Ashley again, it's been a while.Their cards are always a great source of recent U.S. stamps, not that I would remove them from the cards of course. 

Surprise, surprise, here's another card from Mike & Ashley.This is a card showing MSC Divina, a ship they were on a few months ago. I'm sure they feel lucky to have completed their cruise before the pandemic  struck. 

All three stamps on this card were issued in 2019. On the left is Ernie, 1 of 16 stamps issued to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Sesame Street TV Show. THe middle stamp is 1 of 4 in a set Celebrating State and County Fairs. The right stamp is 1 of 4 showing Military Working Dogs. 

WE jump over to France for our next card. It's a look at the Cite de Carcassonne. This is a medieval fortress or citadel in the French city of Carcassonne. 

Dominique used a stamp from 2018 celebrating the Life of Suzanne Noel (1878-1954) She was a French Surgeon.

And the final card is from Germany. It's a look at the sights of Hamburg, the second largest city in the country.

Andrea used a Flower definitive along with the Peanuts stamp from 2018.


So ends another update. Thanks for today's cards go out to Mike &  Ashley, Dominique and Andrea. 

Remember : wash your hands, don't touch your face and stay home if you can.