Friday, February 27, 2009

Postcards From The End of The World

The End of The World. Where exactly is that? I guess it all depends on who you talk to. For today's update it is Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world. Now, you can't really discuss this without mentioning Punta Arenas, Chile and Puerto Williams, Chile. Punta Arenas is the southern most city on the South American continent and Puerto Williams is the southern most town in the world. At least this is how I interpret it all.

I received three postcards from Ushuaia, all compliments of the MIL810 Ushuaia Hotel. The greeting on all three reads "Greetings from the end of the world".Ushuaia lies on the shores of the Beagle Canal.It is situated at 3,00 kilometers south of Buenos Aires and has a population of 44,000. Ushuaia, which in Yamana tongue means "receding bay" , developed from a military and re offenders prison created in 1884, which provided enough labour force for the construction of bridges, streets and buildings. The prison was permanently closed in 1947 and has become a relevant site of tourist interest thanks to the majestic scenery that surrounds it and its special geographical location. Have a look at all three cards.The stamp used on all 3 cards is the same, but I wasn't able to locate any information about it.

Now for a couple of cards that aren't from The End of The World. How about Germany and Ukraine. First let's do Germany. The card is from a Postcrosser named Gabi. It shows a number of Trabants in some strange positions. The Trabant was a car produced in the former East Germany. They were East Germany's most common vehicle. The car's main selling points were that it had room for four adults and luggage, and was compact, light and durable. Production started in 1958 and continued until 1991 , during which more than 3,000,000 were produced. The cars shown on the card , partially buried , are in some kind of park as a monument for the Trabant.Gagi used a couple of stamps on the card including, on the right , a 2009 issue honouring a wonderful German actor, Heinz Erhardt, 1909-1979.The stamp on the left , I have shown and written about , a number of times before.

The last card today is from Ukraine. It is also from a Postcrosser. It shows the interior of a church from the village of Zelene. It is actually part of an open air museum, located just outside the city of Kiev, where they have collected authentic houses, churches and various household items from every region of Ukraine.The stamp, a definitive was issued in 2006.

Now, with the postcards from Ushuaia and a card from Alert, Canada, which I received a month or so ago, I have the top and bottom of the world covered.

On a final note , congratulations to Postcrossing and all Postcrossers on exchanging 2 million postcards . It happened on Thursday the 26th. The 2 millionth card went from Germany to Norway.

That's all for today. cheers!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Two Postcard Day

I always thought that receiving two postcards in the mail wasn't too bad. A few times in the past I have received 5 or 6 or 7 , even 9. Well, today I read about another postcard blogger and she received 55 postcards in yesterday's mail. That's no typo, that is indeed two fives, 55. That is so impressive, it's truly unbelievable. Her blog is called Carol Postcrossing Journey and you can read her blog at . Even though I am quite envious I have to move on to my 2 wonderful postcards. My cards are from Tallinn , Estonia and Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. First , let's do the Estonia card. It was sent by a Postcrosser and I will have more to say about Postcrossing later. The card shows Fat Margarete Tower. The tower, located in the Old Town was constructed in the early 16th century. The round tower , with 155 loopholes, a diameter of 25 meters, and a height of 20 meters, was built to protect the harbour. It got its name from the fact that it was the stoutest tower in the city wall. Through history, it has served as a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons, and as a prison. Fat Margaret Tower now houses the Estonian maritime Museum. The stamps include, left to right: a 1998 stamp featuring house upgrading, a 1994 WWF stamp from a set of 4 and a 2006 stamp featuring Lotte of Gadgetville, sometimes called Estonian children's favorite character.

The Alaska card was sent by Kris , who runs a blog called Post Card Images : 100 Years of life, Love and Mystery. You can check it out at .Kris's card is of Spectacle Reef Lighthouse, located in northern Lake Huron, Michigan. This lighthouse was the subject of a United States stamp in 1995, a set of 5 commemorating lighthouses. Kris used 2 fairly new stamps , one from 2008 showing an Albert Bierstadt painting entitled Valley of the Yosemite, painted in 1864. The other stamp is from 2009 and commemorates 50 years of Alaska statehood.

As I mentioned earlier , I want to say something about Postcrossing. Anyone , already a member of Postcrossing knows this already. Postcrossing is about top celebrate quite a milestone. As I write this , Postcrossing is just 363 postcards short of 2,000,000 postcards exchanged. That is a lot of cards and stamps going back and forth. If you like or love postcards this is the place to be. Joining Postcrossing is free and easy. Log on to and get going.If you hurry, maybe you will get the 2 millionth card. You better hurry, it's now down to 359.

That is all for today. More tomorrow.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Georgia, USA and The Netherlands

I have two postcards for today's update. The cards are from Savannah, Georgia , USA and The Netherlands. Gayle sent the card from Georgia, through Postcrossing. com . It shows a number of historic homes in Savannah., a city which dates back to 1733. The city attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city's architecture and historic buildings. The house in the top left is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of The U.S.A. The top right shows Chestnut House , now a bed & breakfast. Gayle used 3 definitives from 2008 on this card. They are Flag at Dawn , Flag at Midday and Flag at Dusk. Missing is Flag at Night . All in all there are 5 different issues of these 4 stamps. They have different die cuts, and formats- water activated or self adhesive and come with square and round corners. As a collector who actually likes and collects the many different types and issues of definitives, I look forward to hopefully having them all in my collection, even though they look alike.- four face different but a total of twenty different stamps. Thanks Gayle.
The second card is from Monique , also a Postcrosser, who lives in Ysselstein, Netherlands. The card shows a windmill, I would never have guessed, that is in the town of Ysselstein, which is in the middle of The Netherlands. Monique used 4 stamps , including a definitive from 2002 and 3 Christmas stamps from 2007. They are part of an issue of 10 different designs. Thanks Monique.

That is my update for today. More hopefully tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Postcards, Postcards and More Postcards

Well wouldn't you know , it's feast or famine. A few days ago I was complaining about not receiving any postcards over a three day period. Now today I find seven cards in my mailbox. Six were from Postcrossers in Finland (2) , Germany (2) , USA, and Macau. The seventh card was from a fellow blogger in Mauritius. I won't be showing all the cards but I would like to acknowledge them.

The first card that I want to show today is the Non-Postcrossing card from Mauritius. It was sent by Tasneem . The card shows a group of dolphins swimming near Le Morne. It is a basaltic rock with a summit of 556 metres above sea level. The hill became well-known in the 19th century when runaway slaves used it as a hideout . After the abolishment of slavery on Mauritius, a police expedition traveled to the rock on 1 February 1835 to tell the slaves that they were free people. However, the slaves misunderstood and many jumped to their death. In 2008 Le Morne was added to the World Heritage Site list. Tasneem used a stamp from 2008, 1 of a set of 6 featuring shells and corals.

Now the card from Macau. It shows Mandarin's House. It is a traditional Chinese structure mixed with some western features built in 1881. It was the residence of the renowned Chinese philosopher Zheng Guanying. The stamp on the left is from 2008, 1 of a set of 4 featuring legends and myths. The stamp on the right is from 1999, 1 of a set of 10 showing modern architecture.

The third card is from The U.S.A. It is a card of Maine, but sent from Tucson, Az. Merle sent the card and used a 94 cent St John , U.S. Virgin Islands airmail rate stamp from 2008.The picture on the card shows a Harbor Seal. They are found frequently along the Maine Coast and are sometimes called the " clowns "of the deep.

The last card for today is from Helsinki, Finland. It shows Helsinki Olympic Stadium and the Waino Aaltonen's sculpture Paavo Nurmi. The stadium was built in 1938 for the 1940 summer Olympics which ended up cancelled due to World War II. It is best known as the site of the 1952 Summer Olympics. Paavo Nurmi was one of the Flying Finns and considered by many as the greatest Track & Filed athlete of all time. He won 9 Gold medals and 3 Silver medals in the 1920, 24 and 28 Summer Olympics. The stamp used on this card is from the 2008 souvenir sheet featuring Kimi Raikkonen and his F1 World Championship of 2007. Just a beautiful stamp.
That is today's update. See you tomorrow. Remember, comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two Cards

I think from the title of this posting, one can see that there is not too much to get excited about with these two cards. One is from Japan and one is from Spain. The card from Japan shows a wintry scene from Matsushima in Northern Japan. It is an area known for its natural and scenic beauty. Ranko sent this card and used seven different stamps. Most are from the 1960s and 70s.

The card from Spain shows I know not what. The interior of some building with a lot of benches. The card is unusual , not for the stamps used , but I guess for those not used. Let me explain. The sender used a 0.01e value plus a filler from a multi -sheet. 0.01e is about 1.5 Canadian cents. It actually cost $1.65 Canadian to send a postcard internationally. 0.01e is pretty cheap postage if one can get away with it. In this case , it got through. In actual fact, the postcard did not receive any postmark or cancellation. You can see this filler on the left side of the multi-sheet , which was issued for sports at the edge of the impossible in 2007.

Nothing of much consequence today. Hopfully more and better things tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Correction To the Numbers

I have a correction to make to my last update and it also effects many post before that. It is a correction to the numbers in my postcard collection. I have just concluded an inventory of my postcards , country wise. Based on my list of countries and stamp issuing entities of 266, I now have a total of 210 in my collection leaving 56 left to collect. Still not bad. I guess the discrepancy came from the fact that I was using a number of different lists . When I compiled my new list of 266, I saw the error of my ways. So with 56 still to go, I will keep pegging away in my efforts to bring that number down.


Friday, February 13, 2009

No Postcard Days

Well, I didn't receive a postcard in today's mail. That makes 3 days straight. No postcard today, yesterday or even Wednesday. I think I'm starting to have postcard withdrawal. I hope that I get a cure on Monday. Any postcard will do . But all is not lost. I have received confirmations of a number of cards coming, sent, in the mail, etc. They are from Anguilla, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Mauritania, Palestine, Albania, Mauritius, Ushuaia Argentina and Puerto Williams Chile. I can certainly put up with 3 postcard free days if all or even most of these arrive during the next week or two or three.

As mentioned in Tuesday's update I now have received a stamped and mailed postcard from 212 different countries or stamp issuing entities. By my count I now have 54 left to collect. I have finally compiled a list of 266 stamp issuing entities , that I use . I'm sure that it won't suit everyone, some will say this or that shouldn't be on the list, others will say this particular place or region should be included. But it's my list and I decide what is included. However , I am willing to provide the list , via email, to anyone who would like to receive it. Your only cost, mail me a postcard , and it's yours.

That is all I got for today. Let's hear from you, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did I say Four postcards, No Make That Five

In yesterday's update I said I had received 4 postcards for today. That is true but I also received another postcard , but in an envelope. Postcards that arrive that way don't normally make it in this blog but every now and then one does. Such is the case today. Let's have a look at the postcards that arrived on their own- no envelope.
The first one is from Latvia. It shows The Gate of the Sigulda New Castle. Sigulda is a town in Latvia , 53 km from Riga. This postcard is a reprint of an old postcard from the early 20th century. The New Sigulda castle was built in the 19th century. A Postcrosser , Raivita sent this card and used a number of stamps. The two smaller stamps are from a 2007 set of 3 showing Coats of Arms. The larger stamp on the right is 1 of 2 Europa issued stamps from 2008.

Next is a card from Lithuania. It shows a number of scenes and buildings in Kaunas. Kaunas is the 2nd largest city in Lithuania. It is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers , the Nemunas and the Neris. The top right corner of the card shows Laisves aleja (Liberty Avenue) .This is the main pedestrian street and one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. Another Postcrosser, Roberta sent this card. She used just a wonderful stamp from 2008. It honors S. Darius and S. Girenas.
They were Lithuanian pilots. On July 15, 1933 they flew across the Atlantic, covering a distance of 6411 km , in 37 hours and 11 minutes. Flying without navigational equipment, their flight was one of the most precise in aviation history. Unfortunately , they crashed and perished on this same flight , on July 17th , just 650 km short of this goal, the city of Kaunas.
This is an extra special stamp to me as I have now another stamp for my topical airplane on stamp collection.

Now another card from Guyana. Last week , zero cards from Guyana, yesterday three and now one more today. Who would have thought ? This one was sent by Jennifer. Again a multi view card showing a parrot, a snake, a jaguar and City Hall.

The last of the cards that arrived normally is from Finland. Showing a winter scene on the front, it was sent by Jenni of Tampere. Jenni used a brand new stamp issued Jan 22, 2009. It features Pallas-Yllastunturi national Park. This stamp is offset with Braille lettering.

And now the card that arrived unconventionally, in an envelope. It shows The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. This is an Islamic Shrine and a major landmark located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was complete in 691 , making it the oldest extant Islamic building in the world. Husam from the Westbank sent this card. It arrived in a Registered letter from Jerusalem.
Now Husam has already sent a postcard , regularly through the mail, from Palestine , with Palestinian Authority stamps. Hopefully it will arrive soon and I will be able to add another stamp issuing entity to my collection.

That it for today. Hopefully more tomorrow or Friday. Thanks to Raivita, Roberta, Jennifer, Jenni and Husam for their cards. Without people like them , there would be no blog. As always, your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Country #211 Guyana and #212 Guam

This will be the kind of update that I like to make. Lots of postcards and 2 new additions to my list of new countries in my collection. I received a total of seven postcards in yesterday's mail. I will mention just five of them . First is a card from Guam. Even though Guam is not a country , nor does it issue its own stamps , I have decided to include Guam as a stamp issuing entity and give it # 211 in my collection. My reason for this is that Guam is a very distinct place and therefore deserves to be included. Guam or The Territory of Guam is an island in the western Pacific Ocean. It is a U.S. Territory with it's capital at Hagatna. It is the largest and southernmost of The Mariana Islands. It was first populated about 4000 years ago by the Chamorros . This card , sent as a private swap with Liz shows Fintasa Falls, one of Guam's most breathtaking treasures. The stamps that Liz used include the 2007 issued Hagatna bay 90 cent airmail rate stamp and 4 of the 2008 Tiffany Lamp definitive.

Next is 1 of 3 postcards from Guyana , all 3 arrived the same day. Last week I had no cards from Guyana, and now I have three. Guyana is new country # 212 of the collection. Guyana, previously known as British Guiana is the only state of the British Commonwealth of Nations on mainland South America. Guyana borders Suriname, Brazil, Venezuela and the North Atlantic Ocean. The card shown and 2 others were all sent by Alan . This card shows 3 buildings in the country all with some history. Or as Alan says, architectural souvenirs of our colonial masters. On the left is City Hall from the French era, top right is Stabroek Market from the Dutch era and bottom right , St George's Cathedral, from the British era. St George's is one of the tallest wooden structures in the world. One interesting thing is that the jungles of Guyana are home to the great Jaguar. Alan used a number of different stamps on his postcards. All but one are from the 2003 set of 9 value definitives featuring butterflies. They make a nice set and I now have 4 of the set of 9. The other stamp , a bird stamp showing a Goshawk, of which I couldn't find any information, is a great topical stamp .

The next card , from Singapore is quite interesting. The story behind it is this. Postcrossing asked its members to send a postcard of an ox ( for Year of the Ox) to The Singapore Philatelic Museum which will hold a display of the postcards sometime during The Year of The Ox. I happened to have such a card and sent it off to the museum. In return I received this thank you card from the museum. The card doesn't have a stamp , it is just printed " Overseas Postage Paid By Singapore Medicine" Why Singapore Medicine is footing the bill escapes me. A nice card with lovely ladies , uniquely Singapore.

A card now from Norway. The card shows Sognefjorden. Sognefjord is Norway's longest and deepest fjord. It extends more than 200 km inland . The Sognefjord is crossed by the second largest stretch of a power line in world. Its span is 4597 metres wide. The Sognefjord region, where the emerald green fjord meets the largest glacier and highest mountains in Norway, is considered one of the world's most beautiful travel destinations. Postcrosser Malin sent this card and used a great stamp of a moose. It is from a set of 3 , issued in 2008 featuring a moose, a bear and a wolf. Just a beautiful set. Just another set that I would love to have in my collection. Norway also issued another similar set this year, 2009, featuring a deer, a caribou and some type of bird. Another great set. Need I say more.

The last card for today is from The United States. It shows an old time photo of Congress Avenue in Austin Texas. Mickey sent this card and he has lived in Austin these past 20 years or so. He used a pair of definitives , including the 2003 American Clock and the 2008 Dragonfly stamps. The Dragonfly stamp is really great. I like commemorative stamps but I also like and collect the US definitives. There is just something about them that appeals to me, so I do appreciate them unlike many people that just see them as regular common postage.

That's all for today.Another great update sked for tomorrow. How do I know, well today's mail yielded 4 great postcards.

Comment anyone ?

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Finland Postcard

Hello there, I just have a single postcard for today's update. It was sent by Emilia, a little 9 year old girl from the small village of Rayrinki, Finland. Emilia is of course a Postcrossing member. The card is of Martti Ahtisaari, the 10th President of Finland. He served as president from 1994 until 2000. I 2008, Mr Ahtisaari received The Nobel Peace Prize. Emilia used a nice new stamp. It was issued Jan 22, 2009. It is 1 of 4 stamps in a miniature sheet honouring Finland nation builders. Alexander the First is featured on my stamp. The other 3 are George Magnus Sprengtporten, Carl Erik Mannerheim and Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt. Quite a nice set of stamps, one which I wouldn't mind owning. Thanks Emilia for this card.

That's all for today. As always your comments are welcome. Let's hear from you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cards of Latvia, Alcatraz, Portugal and China

A bit of a jumble of cards for today. First up is Latvia. The card is from the 2006 Mens Ice Hockey World Championship . This hockey series was held in May 2006 in Riga, Latvia. It was the 70th annual event. In the gold medal final game, Sweden won against the Czech Republic. The card shows the hockey arena in Riga, many of the Latvian fans and a goalie from Team Latvia. The card was sent by a Postcrosser named Kristine and she used three stamps on the card. The 2 smaller stamps are from 2007, from a set of 3 showing coat of arms , birds and berries. The larger stamp on the right was issued in 1991 , 1 of a set of 6 showing a Liberty Statue in Riga.
The next card for today is from the U.S. It shows the very famous Alcatraz island. Enough has been written about Alcatraz so I don't feel it necessary to add anything. The card was sent by Sue from Saratoga, Ca. She has a postcard website at . Give it a look and see what she has to say. Of course she is also a Postcrosser.
Today's third card is from Portugal. It shows a view of Palmela and its castle. Carlos who sent the card says that Arabs lived there more than 7 centuries ago and that much of their influence remains today. He used 3 stamps, the small one on the left is from a set of 6 featuring masks that were issued in 2006. The stamp in the center was issued in 2007, a joint issue with Morocco. It is from a set of 2 featuring castles and fortifications. The stamp on the right was also issued in 2007. It is from a set of 3 featuring famous persons. In the case of this stamp, it is Jose Valentin Fialho de Almeida, a medical writer. Again, need I say that Carlos is also in Postcrossing.
The last card for this update is from China. I can't really tell much about the front of the card as I don't understand the language. So I'll get right to the stamps on the back. The 2 stamps on the left honor Bo Yibo, a Chinese politician and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist party of China. They have a first day of issue postmark , Jan 19, 2009. Also of interest is the 2009 Year of the Bull (Ox) stamp. Ke Zhang , who sent the card referred to it as Year of the Bull. Who am I to argue ? The bird stamp, lower right was issued in 2006.