Monday, June 30, 2008

My 2nd North Korea DPRK Card

It was another one postcard day at the mailbox again today. That's ok though as that one card sometimes turns out to be a gem as it did today. Today's card was from North Korea DPRK. It was sent to me by Stephan J of Germany who recently toured there. The card is postmarked Pyongyang on June 21 and arrived in my mailbox today, June 30. That's not bad service , 9 days in total. I hate to say this , but it often takes that long to mail a letter across Canada.
The card shows The Tower of the Juche Idea. The Juche Tower is a monument in Pyongyang, North Korea. Completed in 1982, it is on the eastern bank of the River Taedong, directly opposite Kim Il Sung Square. It was built to commemorate Kim Il Sung's 70th birthday. Many say it was designed by Kim Jong-il.
The 170 metre tower contains 25,550 blocks , one for each day of Kim Il Sung's life. The tower is named after the principle of Juche, developed by Kim Il Sung as a blend of autarky, self-reliance, isolationism, Korean traditionalism and Marxism-Leninism. Even though Pyongyang, the capital , often experiences power shortages; the Juche Tower is always brightly lit to preserve symbolic strength.

Stephan used 3 stamps on the card. Two are definitives from a set of 12 issued in 2002. The other is a commemorative from 2003 , commemorating Atomic Independence.

That is today's update. Tomorrow is a special day and no it's not my birthday, we already did that last week. Tune in tomorrow and see what is on the go.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Card From Majorca, Spain

On Friday past I received just a single postcard. It was from Majorca, Spain and was sent by Xisca a Postcrosser who I had previously sent a card. She says on her card that she had read this blog and wanted to send a card with hopes of my highlighting it. Well, Xisca, this is it. Thanks for the card and I am glad to show it. Her card shows a typical house and garden in Majorca. Typical but with oranges growing in your garden, it sure isn't Canada. I can't think of a better place to be when it's minus 30 degrees Celcius with snow on the ground than Majorca watching oranges grow.
Majorca is the largest island of Spain. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea and its capital is Palma. It is a popular tourist destination. The members of the Spanish Royal Family, traditionally spend their summer holidays in Majorca, where they have a palace. Also, quite a few celebrities maintain residences on the island, including catherine Zeta-Jones and Mike Douglas, along with Michael Schumacher, Claudia Schiffer, Frida of the band Abba, Annie Lennox, Julian Lennon and Boris Becker.
The stamp that Xisca used is quite a nice stamp that was issued in 2007. It is 1 of a set of 2 showing mushrooms. The one on the card shows the Amanita Muscaria. It is a poisonous and psychoactive fungus. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large imposing white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Though generally considered poisonous, Amanita Musicaria is otherwise famed for its hallucinogenic properties. These mushrooms often appear on Christmas cards and New Year cards from around the world as a symbol of good luck.

That's all for this time. Keep those postcards coming.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Postcard From Sanquhar and Others

An interesting card to start with today. I received a postcard from The Blackaddie House Hotel in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Sanquhar is the site of the world's oldest post office. It has been operating continuously since 1712. And, the card says just that - postcard posted from the oldest post office in the world in Sanquhar S.W. Scotland. Sanquhar is located on the River Nith and has a population of around 2100. Another interesting fact about Sanquhar is that it also has the world's oldest curling society, formed in 1774. This is a great card in my collection. Now if only I could get a card from the most northerly, the most southernly and the highest post offices to go with the oldest, it would be a great mini collection. Thanks to the Blackaddie.
I don't normally show the written comments on my cards, but in this case an exception is warranted. I am also showing a picture of the Sanquhar Post Office.

My second card for today is from Provincetown , Mass, USA.It was sent by postcrosser Hans, who hails from France. He runs a B&B in Provincetown called Carpe Diem. Provincetown is located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod from where this card was posted. Hans says Carpe Diem means Seize The Day. My high school had Carpe Diem as its motto and we always said it meant Seize The Opportunity. I guess both are acceptable. Hans used a number of stamps on his card. The most interesting is the one showing Five Finger Lighthouse in Alaska. Five Finger lights the waterways of Frederick Sound and Stephens passage in Southeast Alaska. The lighthouse has been an active navigational aid since 1902. This stamp is one of a set of five issued in 2007 featuring Pacific lighthouses and safety at sea.

My final card today is from Burnham On sea. Lora from Postcrossing sent the card along. Burnham On Sea is a town in Somerset, england. Burnham is a popular seaside resort as well as the home of the shortest pier in Great Britain. The area is notable for its beach and mudflats. The area also has the second highest tidal range in the world. Tides can recede for over 2.4 km.
The picture on the card looks like a pretty nice spot to pick up some fish and chips.

That's all for today. Drop back again soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Seven New Postcards

There are a lot of postcards to show and write about today. Today and yesterday I received 7 postcards in total. I received 2 from Germany, both sent Postcrossers. Another card was from Brazil, sent by a Postcrosser. Two other cards were also from Germany, both sent by Igor Adolph, a blogger in his own right. Another card was sent from, Berne, Switzerland. More on that card later.Finally, the last card is from Madagascar, but it is blank or not written , and arrived in an envelope.

The first card up for viewing today is the one from Berne, Switzerland. It was mailed from and postmarked at The Universal Postal Union. The UPU is an international organization that coordinates postal policies between member nations. Universal Postal Union's headquarters are located in Berne. 191 member countries make up the UPU. Switzerland issues Official stamps for use by The International Bureau of The Universal Postal Union.
The card was sent by Laurent W , who works for the UPU. He used a 2007 Switzerland Official Stamp . Interestingly, the stamp design is actually a part of the card's front design. Thanks Laurent and I will look forward to your card from The United nations in Geneva in July.

Next are two aviation themed cards that Igor sent along. They will be great additions to my aircraft on postcards collection and since both have aircraft related stamps , will be included in my aircraft on stamps stamp collection. I can't go wrong with these Igor. The Lufthansa card shows a modern airliner with its nose partly open. Looks to me like a smile. Igor used 2 great semi-postal stamps on this card. The stamp on the left shows a Do J Wal, while the one on the right shows a A380. Both were issued in 2008. They are canceled with a special aviation postmark. Unfortunately, I can't read German, so I can't say what it is about.
To Michael in Korea- If I had another copy of the A320 stamp, I would send it off to you.

The other card from Igor shows an old unidentified aircraft. It again has a nice stamp from 2002. It shows a small aircraft spelling out the word Post. Again this stamp is canceled with another special aviation postmark. Thanks Igor for these two cards.

Finally I want to show the stamps on the cover from Madagscar. They are 2 of a set of 7 issued in 2004. The set featured famous people, in this case Ranavalona II , the last queen of Madagascar from 1863-1883 and Andrianampoinimerina , King from 1787-1810. Thanks to Anni K , a nurse in Antsirabe, Madagascar for this.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Postcard From France

I just have one postcard to show today. It was send by Postcrosser Maud from France. Actually the card is from Rambouillet. Rambouillet is located in the metropolitan area of paris. It is 44 km Southwest from the center of Paris. Rambouillet is famous for the vast forest of the same name , as well as for the Chateau de Rambouillet, which is pictured on the card. The Chateau has hosted several international summits. Due to its proximity to Paris and Versailles, Rambouillet has long been an occasional seat of government and summer residence of the Presidents of France.
Maud used a 2007 stamp, 1 of a set of 4, featuring protected animals.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Bunch of Postcards : Part B

Greenland, Australia, and Taiwan
First in this posting is a card from Nuuk, Greenland. It was sent to me by Jaana R who is leaving Greenland for Finland in about 2 weeks. So I was lucky to receive this card. She used a 2008 stamp featuring Nordic Legends and Fairy Tales. The card shows the Greenland National Museum and Archives. Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland. It is located about 240 km south of the Arctic Circle. It has a population of 15,047.

I am also showing a First Day of Issue postcard from Australia. It was sent by Isobel. The card shows the city of Sydney, the Sydney Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The stamp honors APEC 2007, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.It was issued August 28, 2007. It is interesting that Isobel was able to send this card to me and get it postmarked on June 13, 2008 on the reverse. I guess it is because the card itself is a postage pre-paid card for posting worldwide.

Finally, I have a First Day Cover to show . It was sent by James Chen of Taipei, Taiwan He enclosed a note in the cover saying that he is a reader of this blog and enjoys it very much. In addition he wished me a Happy Birthday, tomorrow. He is just the 2nd blog reader to answer my challenge that I issued in my 30th of May posting - to send a postcard for my birthday. I guess it didn't go over that well. Oh well you can't blame a fellow for trying.
James' cover has a set of Stag Beetles of Taiwan stamps on this FDC. The FD of issue was June 5, 2008. it is just a beautiful and clear cover with special beetle shaped postmarks. Thanks James, I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Keep reading the blog.

Just a couple of housekeeping items with which to end off today. I would like to say that anyone who reads this blog , please feel free to leave a comment. To know that you read it , is what keeps me writing it. I look forward to the comments .

Since I added the Live Traffic Feed from Feedjit about a week ago , I am absolutely amazed to know that my blog is visited by people from so many places around the world. Leave a comment, drop a postcard, send an email, any of that is great.

Thanks to Stephen for his assistance in adding the worldmap to the blog. It lets my readers know just where I still need a postcard from to achieve my goal of one postcard from every stamp issuing country. On that note to complete South America, I still need cards from Paraguay and Guyana. If you know any contacts in either of these countries , that might be able to help , drop me an email . Of course if by chance I have any readers in either country, please feel free to drop a postcard in the mail to me. I would be forever grateful.

Well, I guess that it for today. Thanks to Jaana, Isobel and James. And to quote someone, but I'm not sure who,"keep those cards coming folks" .

A Bunch of Postcards : Part A

Well it was only a few days ago , back on June 12th, that I was complaining about a dearth or scarcity of postcards. That certainly is no longer the case. Since my last posting on June 16th I am happy to report 10 postcards and 1 beautiful FDC have arrived. I will be dividing today's posting into 2 parts, parts A and B.
My first card today is from Seoul , South Korea. It was sent by Michael of cddstamps. Thanks Michael. The postmark isn't very clear, so I can't tell if it was posted at the DMZ as Michael hoped.Nevertheless , I am glad to receive it. The stamps on the card are both definitives. The one on the left was issued in 2006 and shows a couple of swans, while the other stamp shows some sort of ceramic pot or vessel and was issued in 2003. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and has over 10 million people with 23 million in the metropolitan area. The North Korea border in just 50 km to the North.

My next card was sent by Postcrosser Jill. It shows The Opera House in Woodstock, Illinois. Some parts of the movie Groundhog Day were filmed in Woodstock and not Punxsutawney as one might have believed. Bill Murray's character tried to end it all by jumping from the tower of The Opera House, but of course it didn't work. Jill used 3 stamps , all definitives on this card. The stamps include the 2004 issued Chippendale Chair, the 2008 issued Pomegranate, from a set of 5 and the 2007 booklet stamp showing a flower.

I just want to show the stamps from another postcard from South Dakota, USA. It was sent to me by another Postcrosser. The stamps used are , from 2007 , the Navajo Jewelry stamp and From 2003, the American Clock stamp . Then we have two Star Wars stamps from 2007. One shows an Imperial Stormtroopper and the other shows Chewbaacca and Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford. These now make only 3 Star Wars stamps in my collection.

The final card in this Part A posting is from Thailand. It was sent by another Postcrosser, Woravich. It shows The Royal Barge Suphannahongse, gliding past the Royal Palace towards the Temple of Dawn. The Suphannahong Royal barges have been a form of Royal transport since the Sukhothai period. These barges are for the reigning monarch only. The barge is 45 meters long, 3 meters wide and weighs 15 tons. It is manned by 54 oarsmen, 2 officers and 1 flagman.
The stamp that Woravich used is a 15 Baht value definitive showing the present king of Thailand, Phumiphol.
Thanks to all for their postcards.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another One Card Day

Well, it's just one postcard that arrived today. This card is from Benicia , California and was sent by Postcrosser Lori. Benicia is a small town just outside of San Francisco. Benicia is a waterside city in California and was the state capital , but only for thirteen months from Feb 1853 to Feb 1854. The city was founded on May 19, 1847 and in 2000 had a population of 26,865. The world's largest ferry, the Solano, carried entire trains from Benicia to Port Costa.
An interesting fact about Benicia is that on December 20, 1968, the Zodiac Killer made his debut here killing 2 local residents. Then on July 4 of the following year he struck again killing one more.
A notable resident of Benicia was Jack London, who briefly lived here in 1892 and worked as a deputy patrolman for the California Fish Patrol.

Lori used 2 stamps on her postcard. One was a 4 cent , 2004 American Design stamp featuring a Chippendale Chair. The other was a 2007 90 cent airmail rate stamp showing Hagatma bay , Guam. The card shows the old state capital building. The area around the building is now a state park.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Card From Egypt

One postcard arrived yesterday, Friday the 13th. It was from Cairo, Egypt. The card , sent by Mohammad, is again a result of my Postcrossing membership. Mohammad's card shows Abu Simbel. This is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples in Southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 290 km southwest of Aswan. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Nubian Monuments. The twin temples were carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 12th century BC.The complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s to avoid being submerged in Lake Nasser, the water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt's top tourist attractions.
The stamps that Mohammad used include the following: a 2002 issued definitive featuring Egyptian Archeology, 1 of a set of 6 and a 2008 commemorative issued for the African Cup. This football tournament was staged in Ghana between 20 Jan and 10 Feb. Egypt won the tournament beating Cameroon 1-0 in the final.
Thát's all for today, enjoy your postcards and stamps.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Minnesota Postcard

I just have one postcard to show today. Actually postcards have been few and far between lately. I certainly hope the number of cards and the frequency of arrival picks up soon. Anyway on to today's card. It is from Minnesota , USA and was sent by Postcrosser Sara B who lives in Virginia, MN. Minnesota was the 32ns state admitted to the Union on May 11, 1858. The population of the state is 5 million and it's capital is Saint Paul.
Sara used 5 stamps in total . She wrote that she had read this blog , hence all the stamps . Stamps used were a 1999 1 cent Flora and fauna stamp featuring an American Kestrel, a 2003 10 cent American Design stamp with an American Clock , a 2004 5 cent American Design stamp with American Toleware , a 2006 39 cent Happy Birthday stamp and finally a 2007 17 cent Bighorn Sheep stamp. Directly under the Happy Birthday stamp is Sara's birthday greeting to me. Thanks Sara.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A portugal Card

I have just a short update today, showing just a single card. The card is from Portugal and was sent by Postcrosser Jose. The postcard shows an old tramway in Lisbon. Tran #28 , which is the one shown, is probably Lisbon's greatest ride as it runs through the narrowest and steepest streets at the Alfama district. The tram itself has become a huge tourist attraction and riding in it is now a must way to see the oldest parts of the city. I regret not having taken a ride on it when I visited Lisbon way back in 1978.

The stamp used on the card was issued in 2006 for the Pico wine industry and is 1 of a set of 4, from the Azores.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A New Month and 3 Postcards

I have three postcards that have arrived so far in June. They are from South Korea, Switzerland and Germany. The one from South Korea was sent by Michael of cddstamps and I thank him for it.
His card is quite interesting in that it shows The Bridge of No Return. This is the site where two United Nations Command Officers were murdered by North Korea soldiers in 1976. The bridge is located in the Joint Security Area and crosses the Military Demarcation Line between North Korea and South Korea. It was used for prisoner exchanges at the end of the Korean War in 1953. The name originates from the fact that prisoners were given the choice to remain in the country of their captivity or cross over to the other country. But if they chose to cross the bridge, they would never be allowed to return. The last time the bridge was used for prisoner exchanges was in 1968 when the crew of the USS Pueblo was released and ordered to cross into South Korea via the bridge. A lot of history has taken place on that bridge.
The stamp on the card is a 2003 definitive.

My second postcard today was sent by Postcrosser Wolfgang who lives in Lucerne. The card has two views from Lucerne. The top shows a Jesuit Church built between 1666 and 1673. The bottom view is of Lucerne Town Hall and Chapel Bridge. The 14th century wooden bridge crosses the Reuss River and is 670 feet long. The tower on the right , the Water Tower, has served as a prison, a torture chamber, a watchtower and a treasury.
Wolfgang used a 2008 stamp , 1 of a set of 4, featuring music instruments, in this cars a saxaphone.

The final card for today, from Germany is also the result of my participation in Postcrossing. The card , sent by Kirsten , shows The Berliner Dom or The Berlin Cathedral. It is a Lutheran Cathedral and was built between 1895 and 1905. Kirsten used 2 nice stamps , including one single stamp souvenir sheet. It was issued in 2001 for children. The other stamp , issued 2007 honors Karl Valentin, 1882-1948. Valentin was a Bavarian comedian, cabaret performer, clown, author and film producer. He was ofter called the "Charlie Chaplin of Germany".

That's another day of postcards . see you again soon.