Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ryann's Card, Britain's Most Northerly, Laos and Europe's Most Western Point

That's quite the title - it covers a lot. This is the first update for February and since this is a Leap Year, logically I should be able to get an extra update in. So that's good.

In my last update I highlighted a card from my grandson Evan. He had sent it from Maui while on vacation. A number of days after receiving Evan's card, I was thrilled to find a card from my granddaughter Ryann in the mailbox. She found time to write out this card , while in Maui , also. Ryann's card  shows the Giant Banyan Tree located in Lahaina , on Maui. Extending about 200 feet wide, the giant Banyan tree of Lahaina is a sight to see. To memorialize the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission in Lahaina, a banyan tree seedling was planted on April 24, 1873. The seedling was 8 ft high when it was planted, by 2005 it had grown to a height of 49 ft, with 16 trunks. It is the largest banyan tree in Hawaii.



As I did with Evan's card, I am showing the back of Ryann's also. Just in case she forgot what she wrote. Mahalo Ryann, I love the card.



My next card arrived from Baltasound in the United Kingdom. Baltasound is the largest settlement on the island of Unst in the Shetland Islands. Unst is the most northerly inhabited island in the U.K. The card arrived from and shows the Baltasound Hotel , Britain's most northerly hotel. It is the only hotel on the island of Unst.




Now a little about how this card came to me. First I owe the idea for it to Johan of   Johan Postcards  fame.
I saw a card from Unst on his postcard blog and thought to try for one for myself. I contacted the Baltasound Hotel and the rest is history.
The card arrived with 1 of 8 stamp issued in 2015 featuring images of  Ernest Shackleton's Endurance Expedition as recorded by Frank Hurley, the expedition's official photographer. Take note of the special cancellation showing puffins and the words " Britain's Most Northerly Post Office ".  A good card all around. Thanks to the staff of the Baltasound.




Laos is up next. A short while ago, back on Nov 4th, I commented that I considered Laos one of those rare countries, postcard wise. I now have another Laos card, so I guess it's getting to be a little less rare country. Jobbo's card shows Wat Xieng Thong or Temple of the Golden City. It's a Buddist Temple, located on the northern tip of the Peninsula of Luang Phrabang. Construction took place from 1559-1560.

 

Jobbo used a nice selection of stamps as always. On the left is a stamp from 2014,  highlighting Historic Buildings and Places. There was a set of 5 issued . The center stamp , from 2000, is 1 of 4  issued for the Millennium. Lastly on the right is a joint Issue with Russia , issued in 2015. The joint issue celebrated the 55th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries.




Here's today's last card, a nice lighthouse card for all you lighthouse card collectors out there. This one is the Cabo da Roca  Lighthouse which overlooks the promontory towards the Atlantic Ocean. Cabo da Roca is a cape which forms the westernmost point of mainland Portugal and continental Europe.




Jean Pierre used a 2015 stamp , 1 of 4 issued showcasing the Portuguese Sea.




Well there you have it. Thanks for cards go out to Lovely Ryann, staff at Baltasound Hotel, Jobbo and Jean Pierre.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Couple of Cards to See January Out

Well, that happened fast - January all but gone, a month of the new year gone already. Time sure does fly sometimes. I have just 2 cards to end the month with. One from the U.S.A and one from France.
Let's start with the U.S.  Aloha , this one is special as it's from one of my grandsons.
Evan was vacationing for a week in Maui, Hawaii with his Dad and Mom and younger sister. His card shows an adult Humpback whale and also her young swimming close by. Humpback whales, often called the clowns of the sea, range in length from 12-16 m and weigh about 36,000 kg. They have long pectoral fins and knobbly heads. Humpbacks are know for breaching , with males producing a complex song lasting 10-20 minutes. They feed only in summer in polar waters and then migrate to tropical waters to breed and give birth.
Evan was lucky enough to take in some whale watching while in Hawaii. I'm sure that was exciting , especially watching them breach.



Now I don't usually show the whole back of a card, but I'm sure Evan won't  mind. Mahalo Evan .




My second card , from France, shows a winter scene in Graufthal. The tiny town of Graufthal lies in the Zinsel Valley and grew around a Benedictine abbey in the 12th century. Several natural caves in the high sandstone cliffs were used as storage by the Abbey monks before being converted into living spaces over time. Called Maison des Rochhers, the cliffs act as the  back wall with rock forming the ceiling and floor. Only the fronts are man made. The last occupant, Catherine Ottermann,  died in 1958 and they have been listed as historical monuments since 1984. These troglodyte houses are today the setting for a museum showing the life of the last occupant.



Frequent contributor Dominique used a 2014 stamp on this card. It celebrates 50 years of INSERM, the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, a biomedical and health research institution.




There you have it , the end of another update and even the end of a month. This is number 8 for the month and that's a great start to the new year .
Mahalo to Evan  for his card and thanks again to Dominique.  Take care and be sure to drop in again in February. I'll be here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Few Cards on A Rainy Day

Yes , it's another rainy day, so that's makes it a good day for postcards. Plus it's been a week since my last update. So , it's definitely time. Today's cards will be from Bhutan, Ottawa Canada, Slovenia and Mexico. Sounds like a good combo to me.

First up is this card from Paro, Bhutan. When you receive a card from Bhutan, you have to show it , right ? I mean , how often do you see mail from this far off, strange land. Then, knowing that's it's unexpected, makes it even better. First a few words about Paro,  itself. The town of around 15,000 is home to Bhutan's only international airport. The airport has been described as "the most difficult commercial airport in the world ". With only one runway at 1,980 m , and extreme high density altitude at the site, planes on approach pass by 5,500m  Himalayan mountain peaks . Only a handful of airline pilots, ( 8 as of Dec 2014 )  are certified to operate commercial aircraft into Paro.
My card gives a look at Taksang Monastery, high up in the Paro Valley. This gem like monastery clings to a sheer , 3000 foot rock face. The name of this cluster of buildings means literally, "The Tiger's Nest ".



As I mentioned this card came as a surprise. Leslie, who has often contributed postcards to this blog, arranged with a friend of hers ( Tamara ) was was travelling in these far off parts , to send this card of to me.
And it worked well. Tamara used 2 stamps dating from 2012. On the left is a stamp Celebrating Sherig Century or The Role of  Education in 100 Years of Nation Building. Then over on the right is the 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp.




My second card arrived from Ottawa, our nation's capital. I don't receive many cards from Canada, so when one does arrive, it's always good. This one gives us a nice look at the Wakefield Covered Bridge, spanning the Gatineau River. This red bridge dates only from 1998 as the original from 1906 was destroyed by an arsonist in 1984.

 As mentioned I don't get many cards from Canada. It usually takes a swap with another collector , and that is the case this time , a swap with Jason. I sent him a nice Head-Smashed-In  Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Site postcard.

Jason used a couple of older Canadian stamps which is always welcome. On the left is 1 of 5 in a Rivers set, from 1991. It shows a Moose on Main River, in Newfoundland and Labrador. On the right is a 1999 stamp highlighting 50 Years of the UBC Museum of Anthropology.



An Aviation themed card and stamp is next. The card arrived from Slovenia and shows 2 Soko J-20 Kraguj. The J-20 is a light military, single engine, low wing , single seat aircraft. They were designed and built in Yugoslavia . A total of 85 were built between 1962 and 1977.



It's always "double your pleasure, double your fun " when an aviation card arrives with an aviation stamp. Such is the case here. Marjan used a 2014 stamp celebrating the Allied Liberation.



A card from Mexico is my last card for today. It shows a Giant Stone Head from the Olmec Culture. There are at least 17 of these monumental stones representing human heads. All date from at least 900 BC. Portraying mature men, they all have fleshy cheeks, flat noses and slightly crossed eyes. The smallest head weighs in at 6 tons and I guess that's not really small  , while the largest is between 40 and 60 tons.


Lenina, a Mexican PostCrosser used a large stamp from 2015 on her card. It is 1 of 6 in a set showcasing Xochicalco. This is a pre-Columbian archaeological site Miacatlan in the western state of Morelos. Xochicalco was added as a UNESCO WHS  in 1999.




That's it, that's all for today. Thanks for cards go out to Leslie and Tamara, Jason, Marjan, and Lenina. Hope you found something of interest and that you'll come back again. As always, I'm open for comments. Take care.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Odds and Ends - No Particular Genre

Hello again - I take it you all survived the weekend. Me too. The weather was the pitts though, rainy and clouds , then clouds and raining. 2016 has started off not all that well - weather wise. But as they say - weather is a federal issue, what can we do ?
Now it's on to postcards- the reason you're reading this. Today's cards don't fit into any genre, they're all over the place as you will see. But that should make for an interesting update, don't you think ?

First up is a card from Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A. The city is the largest in the state of Delaware and is the home of Dupont, the country's largest chemical corporation. Founded in 1636, the city of just over 71,000 was built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. Sadly crime appears to be a big problem in Wilmington. In 2010 there were 27 homicides and in 2012 , there were 26. In 2012 Parenting magazine called the city the Nation's most dangerous city on a per capita basics. In March 2014, Movoto Real Estate rated Wilmington the most dangerous small city in the U.S. Then in December 2014, Newsweek magazine called it " Murder Town USA ". Sorry Wilmington - on this blog you get the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Mike and Ashley's card gives us an evening view of the cityscape.

 

Mike and Ashley used 3 stamps , all of them issued in 2015. On the left is an Additional Ounce stamp showing Penguins. In the middle is a Geometric Snowflake Forever stamp, 1 of 4 in the set  and on the right is a Peanuts - A Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamp. It is 1 of 10 in the set.



This next card is from France and is a view of the Mer de Glace glacier and the Chamonix valley.The glacier is 5.5 km long and 200 metres deep. The train shown on the card is the Montenvers train, which takes people on Chamonix to the Ice sea, in the Mont Blanc's. It runs 5,141 meters in length, climbs 871 meters and runs 14 to 20 km per hour.



A PostCrosser named Murielle sent this card along and she used a couple of stamps. On the left is a recent definitive, while on the right is an example of the 2015 annual Heart stamp of La Poste. It is the work of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

 


Here's a card of a lady with Big hair. Now I've seen big hair before, but never with a clock and don't even mention the butterflies looking for a home. It's art from Ukraine, a nice painting , what more can I say ?

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Tanja was quite free with her stamps, using 5 in all. The 2 on the left are recent definitives featuring plants and leaves. The Cow stamp was issued  in 2015 , 1 of a set of 4 Cows. The Round stamp featuring a Sheep was issued in 2013. It was part of a set commemorating the Oriental Lunar Calendar. Even though issued in 2013, the stamp tells us that Year of the Sheep was celebrated in 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979 1991, 2003 and 2015. The last stamp on the right , also issued in 2015, is 1 of 4 in a set celebrating Crimean Tatars. A nice set , too.




One might think when looking at this next card that it arrived from Tanzania. The image on the card shows a 1992 stamp from a set of 7 , all showing Cats. But if you thought that, it would be wrong. The card is from Russia. Now there are some out there that frown on this. Receiving a card from one country , while the card's image or subject indicates a different country. I don't have a big problem with this situation, and it hasn't happened all that often with me. The card in this case is a nice card and it arrived with great stamps of Russia. What more do you need ?


Red Panda used a small definitive from a few years ago , along with a Pavel Bazhov Fairy Tale stamp from 2004. Then we have the beautiful Whale stamp from 2012. There were 2 in this set, however the one shown is the nicest, in my opinion of course.





Now  we've come to the last card for today. It's from Singapore and features Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. It was sent from the Singapore Philatelic Museum . They are holding an exhibition of postcards featuring Charlie Brown and his gang. They asked for submissions from all around the world, and those are the cards on exhibit. Everyone who sends in a card , receives a card back. 



The museum used 2 copies of a 2015 stamp highlighting Vanishing Trades. In this case it's a Dairy Man. 



That's it for today. Thanks for dropping in, hope you found something to your liking. Big Thanks for cards go out to Mike & Ashley, Murielle, Tanja, Red Panda and The Singapore Philatelic Museum.    

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Planes, Trains and -------

Good day to you all, thanks for dropping in . Hope you find something to your fancy and make you want to come back. For any new readers, it's all about postcards and stamps here. Enjoy.

As the title of this post indicates, you can expect to see a few postcards of planes, a few cards of trains and maybe a few of something else, but no cards of automobiles.  I'm sure you all remember that movie from the 1980s, "Planes, Trains & Automobiles , starring John Candy and Steve Martin.  Funny from beginning to end.

So let's start with a couple of planes. First is this fine view of a 4 engined military transport. The only marking visible on the aircraft reads Air National Guard. Based on that I believe it to be a C17 Globemaster, but I'm not 100 percent sure. Maybe a more knowledgeable aviation nut out there will let me know by leaving a comment. Anyway here's the picture.



Daniela from Czech Republic sent this card. She used a stamp from 2011. It's a Z rate definitive from their Architecture set.




Next up is a Lufthansa B747, D-ABVX, first delivered to the airline in December of 1999. As I write this, D-ABVX is enroute from Frankfurt to Denver.



Claus , recently retired from Lufthansa after 27 years sent this card. He wrote " Feels like Heaven on Earth ".  Very similar to how I felt on retiring after 28 years of airline work. Claus used a number of stamps, including a couple of the often seen Flower definitives and a 3 Cent Additional Value stamp. Then over on the right is the 2015 Christmas stamp.





Here's another aircraft currently in the air as I write. D-ABUZ, is a B767 ER flying under the Thomas Cook / Condor livery. Today it operated between Frankfurt and Male in the Maldives.




Gunter who lives in the UNESCO WHS city of Weimar sent this card. He used a stamp issued on Oct 2, 2014 commemorating  Fagus Factory, along with one of these Flower definitives.



The next card shows one of those famous views from Hong Kong - a large jet flying low over the Hong Kong skyline.Can't tell the airline or aircraft type though.



John, who's trying for a postcard from every country, used a nice selection of stamps on his card. He used 2 Bird stamps from the 2006 definitive set of 16. Then there is 1 of 12 definitives issued in 2014, all showing Landscapes. Finally the stamp on the right is 1 of 4 issued for World Post Day in 2015.

 

That's it for planes, now we do trains. Let's start with this fine example from Taiwan. Nothing really to say about it, I guess it's really just a painting of sorts.



Ryoko used s few older stamps on this one. The left and middle stamps are 2 of 4 in the 1976 set showcasing Postal Service. For the stamp on the right - sorry , I have nothing.



Here's another artist's idea of a train from around 1898.



Mari, a Postcrosser from Hirsjarvi, Finland sent this card and she used a nice stamp selection. On the left is a stamp from a 2012 set showcasing Search and Rescue. The middle stamp is from last year and honours Finnish composer and musician Toivo Karki. The stamp on the right, also from last year, is one of 6 in a set featuring Industrial Design.



Next we can see a part of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway. It's a 855 km railway built during 1904 and 1910, connecting Haiphong, Vietnam with Kumming, Yunnan province, China.



Mikaela, who lives in Zhongzhou used a nice selection of stamps on this one. On the left is a stamp issued in 2006 for the Beijing Olympic Games. It's from a set of 4. The other 2 stamps are from a set of 5 issued in 2000 under the name of Fish Legend. I see the fish , but I don't know the legend.



Well I think that's it for this time. It did turn out to be only Planes and Trains. Oh well, that leaves something for next time. Be sure to come back soon. Thanks for cards today go out to Daniela, Claus, Gunter, John, Ryoko, Mari and Mikaela.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yangon, Amsterdam, Sydney and Sallent de Gallego

Good morning, at least it's morning as I write this. My cards for this time are from all around as you can see from the title of this post.
Let's start with the card from Yangon, Myanmar. A nice view of the General Post Office in Yangon. The building is one of the listed heritage buildings in the city. Its rows of arched windows, the portico and the double-winged stairways in the foyer are all attractions for visitors. The postal service in Yangon started in 1854. An original building was damaged in the 1930 earthquake. As a result, the British then bought the current building and converted it into a new General Post Office in 1936. I think some might have thoughts about a building from 1936 receiving a classification as heritage. But it is what it is .



This is another card from Jobbo. I can't find any information on the stamp, but I'll show it and hope someone can leave a comment and give some info about it.



Amsterdam is next. It is the Netherlands' capital aand known for its elaborate canal system, dating back to the 17th century. A fine view of the city is found on Ana's card.



Ana used a most beautiful 2014 stamp showing Johannes Vermeer's 1665 painting - Girl with a Pearl Earring. If  you're lucky enough to be in The Netherlands, you can see this wonderful painting at Mauritshuis, an art museum in The Hague.

Be sure to check out Ana's postcard blog right here .

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Sydney Opera House. Brings back good memories from last spring for me. On our last cruise My Lovely Teena and I sailed under the bridge and later attended a performance at the Opera House. It was a good time indeed.



This card is from Kim, a Canadian ( a fellow Newfie in fact ) who now makes New South Wales home. She wrote that celebrating Christmas in summer was a bit strange. It was 31 C when she wrote out this card on New Year's Eve.  Oh well, we all have a cross to bear.

Kim used a 2015 Christmas stamp. It is 1 of 2 different rate stamps in a nice Christmas souvenir sheet.



Now here's a card from Barcelona, Spain. It gives us a winter view of Sallent de Gallego. This small town of just around 1,500 is located in the central Pyrenees close to the border with France.



This is a card from Albert and he has a postcard-travel blog and you can find it  here .
We have 2 stamp on this card. On the left is a 2014 definitive of King Felipe. It is from a set of 5. The other stamp , also from 2015, is a Europa stamp showing Old Toys. It is a self adhesive.



I was going to end off here, but things are moving along well , so let's keep going.

Lately I have received a couple of cards from St Pol sur Mer, France. They aren't the normal touristy cards, in fact they have no pictures or descriptions at all. But, they did arrive with some fine, beautiful and old French stamps. Here they are.

 First card , Front



Rear View



Second Card , Front

Rear View
  As I mentioned , some fine older stamps.

The last card for today, I promise. It's  from Gdask, Poland, as seen from Olowianta Island. It shows a good view of the Zuraw Port Crane, the oldest surviving port crane in Europe, not to mention it is the most characteristic building in Gdansk. It was built between 1442 and 1444 with two brick towers between which was installed the wooden lifting mechanism. It was intended to serve three functions : a loading crane, a defensive fortification and a city gate.    



Veronica, a Postcrosser from Gdansk sent this card and used the stamp which I call " the Unknown Comic stamp '' It just reminds of The Unknown Comic. It was issued in 1996 and is just one of many definitives issued that year.



There it is , update # 4 so far in 2016. Thanks for cards today go out to Jobbo, Ana, Kim, Albert, Aerts and Veronica. Thank you all.

I'll be be back soon, do drop by again.