Sunday, January 25, 2015

January Update # 6

Hello again, this update makes 6 updates so far for the month, not bad at all. You never know how any month is going to go. I know an update every day would be good, but that's never going to happen on this blog. I blog as often as I can, when I can and also when I have the raw materials , namely postcards.

Let's start with a train card today. This one is the Chiayi Alishan Railway in Taiwan. The Aloshan Forest Railway is an 86 km network of 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railways running up to and throughout the popular mountain resort of Alishan in Chiayi County, Taiwan. The railway, originally constructed for logging, is itself a tourist attraction with unique Z-shaped switchbacks, 50 tunnels, and over 77 wooden bridges.



This card's stamp is from 2012. It is 1 of 4 in a set of Fruit definitives.



My second card today was postmarked  in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. It's an Art Nouveau image called Fashion Victims, but  these girls aren't exactly Wilma and Betty of Flintstones fame.

  

This card arrived with the U.S.'s latest circular stamp, the Silver Bells Christmas Wreath Global Forever stamp. It was issued Oct 23, 2014.  I remember when circular stamps were as scarce as hen's teeth, and frowned upon, now they are popping up in lots of countries and have been more or less accepted.



Now it's the final card for this time. An AirBerlin Airbus 330. I previously blogged about this same card back on April 27, 2014, so I'll leave you to go back and check it out, if so inclined. Funny thing about that card back in April - it arrived from Romania and now this one arrived from Indonesia. Obviously AirBerlin gets around. Final note - The Airbus 330 is still an aircraft that I have yet to fly on or in , however one wants to read it. It's on the list, so someday I'll get it done. Here's the card .



Dida, a Postcrosser sent this one along and used 2 stamps. On the left is 1 of 6 in a set highlighting Postal Services. The other stamp, issued in 2011, is 1 of  2 in a set celebrating International Year of Chemistry.

There it is, another one in the books. Thanks for dropping by and do call again. Take care.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Russian Train, Two Popes and The New Yorker

It's Thursday and here I am back back with another update, sooner than I expected. It just works out that way sometimes, and that's good. I'll start today with another train card. This one is a Russian train , a steam locomotive in fact. Reminds me of that train in Doctor Zhivago, the one you see after the lady jumped onto the train with her baby.

 

This postcard is compliments of Irina . She lives in Kurgan , in the Urals Mountains in southern Russia. Not that I'm keeping track but The Urals is another Doctor Zhivago reference. Irina used a number of the Kremlin definitives issued in 2009. This was a self adhesive set of 12.

  

A couple of Popes are showcased on my second card today.. On the left is Pope Francis, the reigning pope of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome. On the right is Pope Benedict, who was pope from 2005 until 2013.



This card is from Dominique, and it was sent back in late December.  Posted in Vatican City, it of course has a Vatican stamp. This one was issued in 2012 and features Christopher Clavius, the German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who modified the proposal of the modern Gregorian calendar after the death of its primary author.



Now the final card for today. It shows the New Yorker Magazine cover for Sept. 22, 1928. In 1928 the magazine cost 15 cents . Try buying a single magazine for 15 cents these days.  Not going to happen. 



A Postcrossing couple from Cologne, Germany - Silvia and David - picked this card for me. They used this often received bridge stamp . I've written about it many times before, so no need to do it again.



So ends another update , bit of a small one this time. Thanks for today's cards go to Irina, Dominique and Silvia & David.  Comments - yes , no !  Take care , see you soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cards From Poland, Germany and Taiwan

I'm back with a few more cards to have a look at. My first one today arrived from Warsaw, the capital and largest city of Poland . On this card we see the city center.

   

This is a card from a Postcrosser who writes that he is an alien , from a distant galaxy, sent to Planet Earth to check out if there are any intelligent life forms down here. I 'm not sure what Hark is smoking, but he does ask some interesting questions. Here are just a few. " Why do you keep polluting your planet when you seem to be aware you are destroying the very conditions for life and when you don’t even have any advanced spacecraft that could take you to any other inhabitable planet? And WHY do you imagine that such an inhabitable planet, if you could find one, would be uninhabited? Or that its population would welcome immigrants who have made their own planet uninhabitable??? " What can I say ?

Hark used a couple of great stamps though, just from Poland, not some distant galaxy, although that would have been good too. On the left is a 2014 stamp commemorating the Worldcup of Volleyball. It is one stamp from a souvenir sheet containing six different stamps. Over on the right is another stamp from 2014 . It is also one stamp of three in a souvenir sheet commemorating Polish Olympic winners in Sochi. This one shows ski jumper Kamil Storch.

 

Next is a card showing the Wendelstein Rack Railway, an electrically driven metre guage railway that runs up the Wendelstein in the Upper Bavarian Alps. Construction started on 29 March 1910 and the railway was formally opened on 25 May 1912.



A Postcrosser who lives in the South of Germany sent this card. She used 3 of the Flower definitives , which I'm not showing as I have showed them many times in the past. They are quite common and arrive on many postcards.

Here's a Train themed postcard for all you Railway enthusiasts out there. It is from Taiwan and shows a Pacific T250 Class locomotive from 1935 . It was built by Mitsubishi.



Ali's card arrived with a 2015 Year of the Ram stamp. It is 1 of 3 in the set. Sadly it arrived with a little damage in the top right corner.



Final card for today is from Germany and it is of the Kramerbrucke. 
The Krämerbrücke is a bridge in the Thuringian city of Erfurt in Germany which is covered with inhabited, half timbered buildings on both sides. It is unique in Europe north of the Alps. Currently mostly artisans' and antique shops can be found in the 32 houses on Krämer Bridge. Except for the houses numbered 15, 20, 24 and 33, all houses are municipal property. The building was and is a touristic highlight and a must-see. The greatest city festival of Erfurt is named after the bridge: Krämerbrückenfest. It is held around the bridge and in the old town annually in June.
Friedrich 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.
 There you have it for today. Thanks to Hark, Friedrich, and Ali for today's cards.  What do you think of today's cards, any comment ? 
Later.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Denmark, Germany and France Cards

Hello again, here's another small update with three recently received cards. Let's look at the card from Denmark first. It's a reproduction of a painting by Danish American artist Anni Moller (1938 - 2014 ). Moller visited her hometown of Horsens, Denmark in the summer of 1999 and was fascinated by its atmosphere. This fascination was translated into a set of eight postcards. I''m not totally sure, but maybe this is one of the eight.

 

In the upper right corner are 4 self adhesive definitives with a beautiful socked-on-the-nose cancel. Then just to the left is a large 2014 Stamp Art issue. Thanks Hans-Jorgen .






My second card today shows a scene from the old medieval town of Colmar. The city was founded in the 9th century and is located 64 kilometres (40 mi) south-southwest of Strasbourg. Colmar is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums. Sculptor and creator of the original Statue of Liberty, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was born in Colmar in 1834.





Dominique used a stamp issue in September of 2013. It is 1 of a set of 12 different designs in a Heritage self adhesive booklet . This one features Villa des Freres Lumiere in Lyon.



Now for a nice Aviation / Airline postcard. This one is a Lufthansa B 727.  The Boeing 727 was the first trijet introduced into commercial service. This particular aircraft D-ABHI was built in 1972 and had a cruising speed of 570 mph.  
 The 727 was heavily produced into the 1970s; the last 727 was completed in 1984. In July 2011, 23 727-100s and 227 727-200s were in airline service.For over a decade more 727s were built per year than any other jet airliner; in 1984 production ended with 1,832 built and 1,831 delivered. As of June 2013, 188 Boeing 727 aircraft (all variants) are in commercial airline, private and government service. Interesting fact about the B727 -D. B. Cooper is an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,160,000 in 2015), and parachuted to an uncertain fate. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history. 





Suse, a Postcrosser in Germany sent this card along.  She used a couple of often seen German stamps, which I won't bother writing about. Here they are. 



That's it for this time. Thanks for cards go out to Hans-Jorgen, Dominique and Suse. Thanks for reading, I'll see you all back here in a couple days, at least that's the plan. Take care.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Three Cards in January

Howdy folks, I'm back with another small update`, update # 2 for 2015. I have just 3 cards for this time. One is from Belgium and 2 are from Czech Republic. Let's start with Belgium. This card is all about doing away with the old and bringing in the new. It is an adaptation of a 1948 photo of Lana Morris, a British film, stage and television actress during the 1950s and 1960s. So Happy New Year from Lana.



Johan sent this card along, carrying his best wishes for 2015. Be sure to check out his postcard blog called "Johan Postcards " right  here . He used 2 self adhesive Christmas stamps to move this card along. They resemble Christmas gifts wrapped , with ribbon.



This second card arrived from Prague, Czech Republic. It gives us a look at Golden Lane , an ancient street located in the Prague Castle complex.  Golden Lane dates from the 15th Century and has a beautiful, olden world quaintness about it. It comprises 11 historic houses, inside which period scenes have been created to show the life of the artisans who once worked, ate, drank and slept in them. The origin of some of the houses goes back to the 16 th century. The renowned writer Franz Kafka lived in the Golden Lane for some time during the World War I. The house no. 14 was a home of the fortune-teller Madame de Thebes since 1918. She used to crystal gaze and tell fortunes from cards. She was killed by the Gestapo at the end of the World War II., reportedly because she foretold that Adolf Hitler will die soon. Probably the oldest house in the street is the one with number 20. It looks almost the same as it did in the 16 th century.



 This is another card from Meelis. He always sends great cards with great stamps on them. On this one he used 2 wonderful aviation themed stamps , making it an even better card for me. On the far left is a 1996 stamp, from a set of 3 , showing Aircraft. Next is a Flower definitive from 2007. Then another aviation stamp. This one is from a 2014 Transport set of 2. The 2nd stamp in that set is Rail related. Finally on the right is a 2002 stamp celebrating the NATO Summit held in Prague in November of that year.

  

My last card for today, arrived as a surprise to me , ( well all cards arrive as a surprise, but this one more so than most ) . It is a thank you card from Monika in Prague. About 6 months ago I was contacted by a guy at the Polish Antarctic Station asking if  I'd  send a couple of cards to some young people in Europe. Of course I agreed and this card arrived back from one of them. Zbigniew if you're reading this, I never did receive your card from down there. Monika's card is a  look at Charles bridge and Lesser Town Bridge Tower.   The Lesser Town Bridge Tower was built in the second half of the 15th century under the rule of King George of Podebrady. The Charles Bridge is famous for the many statues of saints that embellish the bridge along its length.
Due to its prominent position the Charles Bridge has played an important part in Prague's history. In 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years' War, the invading Swedes were halted on this bridge and in 1744 the Prussians were defeated here but today the bridge is often overrun with tourists.



Monika's stamp is from 2011 and is a Z rate definitive in an Architecture series.






Well that's about it for this time. Short and sweet I'd say. Thanks to Johan, Meelis and Monika. See you back here again soon. Take care.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015's First and 2014's Last

I guess I'm a little late, but Happy New Year to everyone. Hope 2015 is a great year for all postcard and stamp collectors and bloggers. May you receive lots of postcards. A new year often means resolutions - I thought of a few beforehand but as always never pushed the idea. I thought it would be good to update this blog every day in 2015 - not going to happen. I thought about writing and sending a postcard every day - too expensive. I think I will settle for visiting and reading at least one postcard or stamp blog every day this year. That one doesn't really seem too difficult to do. So there. Now on to postcards.

I have 3 cards for this time. Cards 1 and 2 are the last 2 cards I received in the mailbox in 2014. They both arrived on December 31st . The third card is the first card received in 2015. It arrived yesterday.

This first card is from the United States, postmarked in Syracuse , N.Y.  It is in fact a Russian Christmas postcard dating from 1983. I'm impressed that someone  would take time on Christmas Day to write a postcard out to me. Thanks Joe. Happy New Year to you and your family. 



Joe used 3 USA Forever stamps from 2014. One with Santa, one with Rudolph and one with Bumble. There is a 4th stamp in the set, one featuring Hermey. They commemorate the longest running holiday special in TV history. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas television special that first aired on December 6, 1964.  It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history. 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the television special and a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph was issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014. 



 Today's second card shows the artwork of Ben Houstie and it's entitled Hummingbirds. 
Ben's works include: original paintings, limited edition prints, carved cedar rattles and paddles. He has worked with Cheryl Hall, Robert Hall, David Gladstone and Beau Dick, and in 1988 worked under Bill Reid painting several drums of Bill's designs and 20 paddles for the Canadian Museum of Civilzation, Ottawa. His first painting in 1977 and his first limited edition prints in 1987 were sold to Leona Lattimer Gallery. Ben also painted several reconstructed artworks in 2000 for the Museum of Anthropology's 'The Transforming Image' exhibition, at the University of British Columbia.




My Lovely Teena sent this card to me . We recently visited the town of Chemainus. 
Chemainus is a community on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Founded as an unincorporated logging town in 1858,Chemainus is now famous for its 39 outdoor murals. This outdoor gallery has given birth to many businesses, including a theatre, antiques dealers, and eateries. The tourist industry stemming from the murals helped rejuvenate the town after its large sawmill closed in the early 1980s and was replaced by a smaller but far more efficient mill. Here's another interesting fact about Chemainus - On 13 January 2006, a Boeing 737 aircraft was sunk off the coast in order to build an artificial reef. The sinking was documented in "Sinking Wings", an episode of the Discovery Channel Series, Mega Builders.
Teena used a Shania Twain stamp on this card. It's from a set of 5 Canadian Country Artists stamps issued July 31, 2014. Other singers in the set included k.d.lang, Tommy Hunter, Hank Snow and Renee Martel.




Now for the first card received this year. It's from Thailand and arrived with another fine selection of Thai stamps. It is of the railway station at Hua Hin ,  one of eight districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, located in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. Its capital, also named Hua Hin, is a beach resort town. The district has a population of 84,883 in an area of 911 km². Hua Hin is on the southern rail route originating in Bangkok and ending in Singapore. Trains run through to the south of the country and link directly with Malaysia.The railway station is thought by some to be Thailand's most beautiful train station. The wooden building used to be a royal pavilion in Sanamchan Palace, Nakhon Pathom Province. It was rebuilt at Hua Hin in 1968.


This is another fine card sent by Jobbo, his 3rd, all of which have been loaded with great stamps.The 3 large stamps all feature The Princess Mother . People unfamiliar with the Kingdom of Thailand and its history, often wonder why the King's Mother is called Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother instead of the Queen Mother, as is done in Great Britain. Married to a Royal Prince, a son of King Chulalongkorn and Queen Sawang Wattana, she was never Queen. She is, however, the mother of two kings; the late His Majesty King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), the present highly respected and greatly loved King of Thailand. She is best remembered for leading mobile medical teams - composed entirely from unpaid volunteers - into the rural hinterlands and hilltop villages untouched by modern medical practices. The large vertical stamp on the left was issued in 2011 on the occasion of her 111th birth date. The middle stamp was issued in 2000 and the stamp on the right was issued in 1996. Jobbo also included a couple of recent flag definitives. A great card with great stamps - keep them coming Jobbo.

 

Well , that's how 2015 started here on GemsWorldPostcards. I'm looking forward to another banner year with lots of great postcards , arriving with great stamps , from many great places. Thanks today go out to Joe, Jobbo and My Lovely Teena. I'd like 2015 to become known as The Year of the Comment, and you can help make that a reality. If you have read this, leave a comment and let me know what you think, what you liked, what you didn't like , or how I can improve the blog. Until next time, take care.   

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day 2014

Today is Boxing Day here in Canada. The Christmas rush has passed, today is a day to relax, and nothing relaxes more than postcards. So, here's a few cards to relax by.

My first card comes from China. The card was bought in the old town of Lijiang, a city in the Northwest of Yunnan province. It is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Old Town of Lijiang. It was added to the List in 1997.






The card shows what appears to be a scene from a market. Li , who lives in Inner Mongolia sent this card. This is an autonomous region  of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country, bordering Mongolia and Russia. Its capital is Hohhot. Li used 2 stamps on this card, a Bird stamp and a Fish stamp. The Bird stamp is a 2002 definitive from a set of 3. The Fish stamp is from a set of 8 issued in 1998 to bring attention to the upcoming  22nd Universal Postal Union Congress in Beijing in 1999.



Card # 2 arrived from Rockville, Maryland, located some 20km from the subject of this next card, Washington, D.C. On it we see the Lincoln Memorial. It honours the 16th President of the United States. This figure of Lincolm, sitting in contemplation, is 19 feet high and weighs 175 tons. It's a very impressive monument and one I saw first hand a number of years ago.





This is a card from a Postcrosser named Evan. He used the 2013 Global Forever self adhesive stamp showing Ocean Currents. A fairly common stamp these days.




Dusseldorf is up next. According to the card, this is what Dusseldorf looked like about 100 years ago. It would be interesting to see a recent postcard showing a view from this same spot. I'm sure there would be lots of changes.



Ralf used 2 Flower definitives along with a 2012 Train stamp. It celebrates 125 Years of Narrow Gauge Railway Service in the Harz., the highest mountain range in Northern Germany. 



Here's a card from Ukraine, giving us a look at hollow-tree beehives, dating from the late 19th century. Also on the card , behind that fence, is The Church of the Resurrection in the village of Kysorychi. It was built in 1784.



The stamp used here is a definitive from a 2008 set of 13 Handicrafts.



You can see a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this card from South Korea, a country that I haven't received a whole lot of cards from .   This one is of Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, part of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This palace complex was added to the WHS list in 1997.



Jienn Yoo used a 2011 Flag stamp here.



There you have it, my Boxing Day update. Very relaxing indeed. Thanks for today's card go out to Li, Evan, Ralf, and Jienn Yoo, and all you reading this. Let me know what you think. Take care and with luck I'll be back again before the New Year.