Friday, April 17, 2015

Nelson Mandela, Easter Island, Capri, Corsica, The Smithsonian, The Paris Postal Museum and a Few Others

Well there you have it . The title of this post gives you some idea of what's to come. I hope time and space permits. Let's start with a card from Nelson Mandela's South Africa. It's a card from Robben Island Museum. Robben Island is an island in Table Bay , 6.9 km west of coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. Robben Island is internationally known for the fact that Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. Robben Island is both a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Bruce's card is a powerful card with an extract of Nelson Mandela's Rivonia Trial speech. 




Powerful words indeed. Words that not everyone might live up to. 

Bruce used a 2010 definitive from the Handicrafts set of 27. 




This second card arrived from a place I have wanted a card from for a long , long time. Maybe 8 or 9 years , I have been trying for a card from Easter Island and now it's finally happened. Easter Island or Isla de Pascua , take your pick. Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle . Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site . 
Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest inhabited land (around 50 residents) is Pitcairn Island  2,075 kilometres (1,289 mi) away. The name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday (5 April) 1722. The island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua,  also means "Easter Island". The island has a current population of 5034 inhabitants, of which 60% are continental Chile, and 40% ethnic Polynesian . A local is called a Rapanui. Almost all of them live in the only population center, Hanga Roa . 
Marcus's card shows a group of moai located on Anakena Beach. 



Marcus wrote on his card " Greetings from the Navel of the World ! " Besides its more well known name of Rapa Nui , Easter Island is also known as Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua, which means " the Navel of the World'. " Marcus's greeting might also refer to the fact that  at Te Pito Kura, on the northern coast , is  a perfectly round stone known as the " navel  of the world . " People say that placing your hands on the navel can rejuvenate your body energy. So who knows for sure ?  
Marcus used 2 stamps from 2014. They were issued in October and celebrate National Heros and Leaders, specifically Lautaro and Coupolican, both of the Mapuche people of Chile. 



A couple more things  before we leave Easter island. First a shout-out for Marcus. He co-operates with his beautiful wife Alicia, Easter Island Traveling . You can catch him at easterislandtraveling.com 
Finally, even though Easter Island may be off my postcard want list, it remains on my personal bucket list. I'll get there someday. I regret not making the effort when I was in Chile a few years ago. 

Beautiful Capri is up next. It's  an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in Italy. The main town on the island , Capri shares the name. Capri is now a resort town and visited by tourists during the summer months. You might even bump into American singer Mariah Carey as she owns a villa on the island. If so, tell her I said Hi.
This is another card from my brother Dale. Looking at his card Capri appears to be a very beautiful spot, but quite busy. 

  

Dale , who has collected stamps for many years, didn't seem to have much success , stamp wise, at Naples. Nothing very exciting here. 



Now it's on to Corsica, where Dale found a better stamp. Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, belonging to France. Dale posted his card in Ajaccio, capital and largest settlement on the island.  Of course Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napolean Bonaparte. I guess it's not surprising that Dale's card is of Napoleon himself. Ajaccio has one other bit of fame - On 9 September 1943, the people of Ajaccio rose up against the Nazi occupiers and became the first French town to be liberated from the domination of the Germans. General de Gaulle went to Ajaccio on 8 October 1943 and said: "We owe it to the field of battle the lesson of the page of history that was written in French Corsica. Corsica to her fortune and honour is the first morsel of France to be liberated; which was done intentionally and willingly, in the light of its liberation, this demonstrates that these are the intentions and the will of the whole nation." 
Must be a day for quotes. 


Here's a better stamp than those from Naples. It's a 2015 stamp commemorating Leonard Limosin, French painter. This is a beautiful stamp and is from an even more beautiful souvenir sheet. 



Now , here's a new addition to my Airlines / Aviation Postcard Collection. F-BVFA , an Air France Concorde. On June 12, 2003 it touched down at Washington Dulles International Airport and was donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It's now on display at the Steven F. Udvar -Hazy Center. Well worth a visit I would think. 




This is another card from Mike and Ashley of west Chester, Pennsylvania. They used a number of stamps including a 2014 Abe Lincoln stamp, a 2008 Tiffany Lamp stamp and a 2007 Silver Coffeepot stamp. Also included is the 2014 stamp honoring American novelist Ralph Ellison. He is best known for the landmark 1952 novel on the African-American experience Invisible Man. 



An old letter box  is what's on this next card. A 1900 Mougeotte type French letter box in fact. A great souvenir of the Paris Postal Museum.  The Musée postal de France (Postal Museum of France) opened on 4 June 1946 at the Choiseul-Praslin hôtel. Not large enough, the Choiseul-Praslin hôtel was replaced by a new building of 1,500 square meters. It was built between 1969 and 1972. The inauguration took place on 18 December 1973.



Here's the postage that Jean Pierre used on this one. Some sort of vending machine postage perhaps, if it's not a postage stamp, then I'm no expert on it at all. 



I know there are collectors of cards showing various royal families So here's one for them. The Royal Family of Luxembourg - Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa and the Royal Kids.



Jean-Marc, a Postcrosser sent this card. He used a 2014 Flower stamp. It is from a set of 3. 



Well, that's it for this time. Big thanks for cards go to Bruce, Marcus, Dale Mike & Ashley, Jean Pierre and Jean-Marc. Just a question for any readers out there. Who among you has received a card from Easter Island?  Just wondering how many are out there on the go.  Johan , I know you have one . 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dale's Cards and One From Wolfgang and One From Bono

Here I am again with a few postcards and stamps. Today's cards come from  Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Germany and Hong Kong. The first 3 cards are all compliments of my brother Dale who was traveling for 35 days or so.  First up is this card of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Construction started on this superstructure on 1 March, 1993, with completion on 1 March 1996 . The 88 floor towers reach a height of 451.9 meters.



Dale used a stamp from Sri Lanka, issued in 2013, featuring an elephant at Yala National Park. Yala is the most visited and the second largest national  park in Sri Lanka. It's obvious now that this card of Malaysia was actually posted in Sri Lanka. The elephant stamp is from a set of 6 Animal stamps contained in 3 souvenir sheets.



Okay, this one is of Sri Lanka and was indeed posted in Sri Lanka. It's a group of Sri Lankan  fisherman fishing from stilts. This 70 year tradition have the men sitting atop the stilts waiting for swarms of fish to pass in the shallow water. It should be noted that during the monsoon season fishing stops entirely and many fishermen rent their stilts to people who pose as fishermen for tourists.



Dale used a mini-sheet from 2012 celebrating the Sinhala-Hindu New Year. It is usually celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April and marks the end of the harvest season in Sri Lanka. The sheet consists of 4 different stamps and fits together quite well forming a square.



Dale's third card arrived from the city of Mumbai and it's a bird's eye view of the Gateway of India. The gateway was erected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. It is 26 meters in height and can accommodate 500 to 600 people.



The stamp on this one was issued in a set of 11 in 2008. It celebrates 12th century poet Jayadeva and his work Gita Govinda. The first English translation of the Gita Govinda was published by Sir William Jones in 1792.




Now we have a card from Bono - no not that Bono, but Bono the radio engineer from Hong Kong. His card shows a street scene in the busy Causeway Bay area, one of the most busy districts in the city. Of note is the route sign on the bus or tram - Happy Valley. Certainly not the Happy Valley that I know from my younger days  in Labrador in northern Canada. 




Bono used a definitive from a 2014 set of 12. They all show rock formations, waterfalls or some other geological formations. 




My last card for today is a new addition to my Aviation Postcard Collection. It's the NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery, landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Or as Wolfgang wrote on the card - Just another airliner. Yes I guess so. Discovery's  first mission, STS-41-D  flew from August 30 to September 5, 1984. Over 27 years of service it launched and landed 39 times, gathering more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date. It has spent 365 days, 22 hours, 39 minutes 33 seconds in space and had flown over 238.5 million km. Discovery was retired after completing its final mission, STS 133 on March 9, 2011. The spacecraft is now on display in Virginia at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the  Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. 




Wolfgang sent this card not from the U.S.A but from Germany, so therefore it arrived with a German stamp. It is a 2015 stamp featuring the Bodden Landscape , an area in northeastern Germany.


That's the update for this time. Be sure to tune in again soon, for another one -  I got the cards, it's just the time that's in short supply. Take care and comment if you want, don't comment if you don't want.
Thanks for today's card go out to Dale, Bono and Wolfgang.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Cards from David, Dominique and Mike

It's time for another blog update. I have seven cards for this time. They are all from readers of this blog, whether regular readers or readers who drop by once in a blue moon, or should I say , once in a blood moon. That's exactly what is happening Saturday, as the moon undergoes the briefest total eclipse this century. Making this lunar eclipse a bit more noteworthy is that totality will last only a mere four and half minutes long, much shorter than the average blood moon, which can last upwards of an hour.  The blood moon moniker is derived from the red color that is cast over the moon from light refracting in Earth's atmosphere. Enough science, on to postcards.
 First will be a bunch of cards sent by David, from his last trip abroad. 
Card # 1 is from Christmas Island, Australia. It's a bird's eye view of Flying Fish Cove,  the main settlement of  Christmas Island. Although it was originally named after British survey-ship Flying-Fish many maps simply label it  "The Settlement " It was the first British settlement on the island, established in 1888. About a third of the territory's total population of 1,600 lives in Flying Fish Cove, which lies near the north-eastern tip of the island.






David used a bunch of stamps on this one. On the left is a red Crab stamp from 2014. Just below this one is a Christmas stamp from 2014. Both of these received the special crab cancel. The 3 stamps on the right are from a souvenir sheet of 14 , all celebrating the Year of the Goat / Zodiac. They were issued this year. 



Card 2 is from Cocos Keeling Islands. The  Territory of Cocos ( Keeling ) Islands , is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island  and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka The territory has 2 inhabited areas , West Island and Home Island , with a total population of approximately 600. David's card is from West Island and shows a map of the area. 


Two great stamps on this one. On the left is a 2011 stamp , 1 of 2 in a Ships issue. The right stamp, a map stamp, was issued in 2014 in a set of 4. 



David's third card comes from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah in East Malaysia. Here we see an adult male orangutang. The Malay word orangutan means "person of the forest." These long-haired, orangish primates, found only in Sumatra and Borneo, are highly intelligent and are close relatives of humans. Orangutans are more solitary than other apes. Males are loners. As they move through the forest they make plenty of rumbling, howling calls to ensure that they stay out of each other's way. The "long call" can be heard 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.



Three stamps on this card. On the left is a stamp from 2010, it's 1 of 8 in a set of Flowers. In the middle is a 2015 stamp featuring a couple of  Water Buffaloes. Then on the right is a stamp featuring Xing Xing . It was issued on Feb 25th of this year celebrating the presence of Xing Xing and Liang Liang , 2 Giant Pandas on loan to Malaysia, from China. 

  

Here's David's final card for today. It comes from the World Heritage City of Penang, Malaysia. It shows the clan jetties or waterfront settlements of early Chinese immigrants in the middle of the 19th century. The houses are built on stilts along the wooden piers that extend to the sea. 


I'll show the stamp , but unfortunately I couldn't find anything about it, other than it was issued in 2014. Maybe someone will recognise it and leave a comment about it.  Don't forget to check out David's fine postcard blog - Postcards A World Travelogue and you can find it here





Now it's a card from France, showing the style of a typical house in Strasbourg.  It's the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Strasbourg's historic city centre was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.




Dominique used a 2014 stamp celebrating the spring Philatelic Exihibition in Clermont - Ferrand. 




My last 2 cards are from Mike , actually one is from Mike and one is from Mike & Ashley. They recently came across this blog and just wanted to drop me a line from West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. This first card shows a reproduction of a painting of the Philadelphia Art Museum by David Fox. The Museum houses more than 227,000 objects showing the creative achievements of the Western world since the first century AD and those of Asia since the third millennium BC.Included in it's paintings collections are works by Rubens, Gainsborough, van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Picasso and Chagall.  Impressive indeed. 




Mike used a couple of recent stamps on his card. On the left is the 2014 Abraham Lincoln stamp. Then it's 1 of 20 from the 2014 Songbirds set. Over on the right is a stamp featuring the light at New London, Connecticut. It's from a set of 5.




Here now is the card from Mike and Ashley. On the front is a C-5 Galaxy aircraft from Dover Air Force Base. The base is home to the U.S's largest cargo planes- the C-5 Galaxy. Three dozen of these 247 foot long planes are assigned to Dover Air base, the only all C-5 wing in the U.S.Air Force.  The C-5 is a monster of a plane. I remember back in the mid 1970's seeing C-5's landing or taking off at Goose Bay, site of a former USAF Air Force Base.  Even going aboard one at an air show there. 


  
A great addition to my Aircraft Postcard Collection.
Mike & Ashley used 3 similar but mostly different stamps on this card. Here they are. 




That about does it for today. Thanks for cards to David , Dominique and Mike & Ashley. Happy Easter to all who celebrate, Good Weekend to those who don't. It's a Long weekend here in Canada , no new mail until at least Tuesday of next week. Did someone mention postcard withdrawal ? 
Comment if you got one . Take care,  Later.   

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.

 .

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.