Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Republic of Abkhazia , country or entity # 238

I know that I haven't been here for over a week, but the wait is worth it. I feel I am returning with a bang. A card from the Republic of Abkhazia. I am not taking sides, nor am I making a political statement, I don't do that on this blog. This blog exists only for the enjoyment of postcards and stamps, nothing else. In addition to the card from Abkhazia, I also will show cards from St. Pierre & Miquelon, Romania, France and Malaysia.Without further ado, let's get to it.
Abkhazia is located on the eastern coast of the Blabk Sea and the south western edge of the Caucasus. It considers itself an independent state. However, it's independence is only recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, South Ossetia and Transnistria. Those last two are somewhat in the same league as Abkhazia. The rest of the world considers Abkhazia to be a part of Georgia. With it's capital in Sukhumi, the so called republic has a population of around 216,000.
The card shows a view of New Afon Lake. The card is from David L , a postcard collector and world traveller, who just happens to read this blog. Since the stamps of Abkhazia are only valid in Abkhazia, David had to use stamps of Russia in addition to the Abkhazia stamps. The Russian stamps are from 2008 and 2009. The Abkhazia flag stamp was issued in 2009 and the larger stamp on the right is from 2006. It shows a map of the area and the president, Mr Bagapsh. David, I can't thank you enough, it is certainly a great addition to my collection. Certainly, it is one that I never thought would be in my collection. Now I guess I will have to concentrate on South Ossetia and Transnistria.
Just another thought before moving on to the other cards. Receiving cards from some places is quite easy, while some others are next to impossible. Abkhazia was in the next to impossible group. For me this group includes North Korea, Antarctic Bases, Alert, Tristan da Cunha , Saint Helena, and Pitcairn Islands. All of which, I might add, I have succeeded in collecting. Perhaps I should have included Nauru and Wallis & Futuna Islands in the group as I have had absolutely no luck with either for over 3 years now.

Now I want to show a card from Saint Pierre and Miquelon. It is a card showing July 14th holiday celebrations on St. Pierre. The holiday celebrates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. St Pierre is a little special place to me. It is just off shore of my home province of Newfoundland and where I and my lovely Teena honeymooned in 1974. I owe thanks to Jean Pierre for this card. The stamps used include a SPM overprinted France Marianne definitive stamp, a 2009 stamp celebrating local traditions and a 2007 flower stamp, 1 of a set of 4 showing carnivorous plants.I have collected stamps for a long time and consider stamps from St Pierre and Miquelon to be among the most beautiful stamps out there. I put them right up there with stamps of French Polynesia. If you want to have a collection of superb stamps, try collecting either or both of these. You won't go wrong.

Card # 3 was posted from Bucharest, Romania. It is a view of Arnota Monastery. Built in 1634, it is located 37 km from Ramnicu Valcea, Romania. The stamps include a 2005 pottery definitive and a 2007 stamp, 1 of a set of 3, featuring German personalities in Romania.
Now another card from France, sent by Jean Pierre. It is a map card of Normandy. Really nice stamps on this card include a 1999 stamp from a multi sheet of 10 celebrating the 1999 Tall Ships in Rouen Armada. The middle stamp is a 2010 20 gram letter priority stamp. Lastly is a Marianne definitive .
Our final card for today comes from Sabah, Malaysia. Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. The card was posted in the capital of Sabah, Mel Kinabalu. Maureen, a Postcrosser sent this card along. Maureen's card shows Bajau women carrying trays of prepared food, along a waterway in a west coast stilt village. Maureen used a round stamp issued on Jan 18, 2010 even though the stamp reads 2009. It is from a set of 6 featuring currency coins. This is the 2nd set of round stamp from Malaysia, the first was in 1971.
Well, that's my update for this time. Hope to be here again soon.
Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Estonia, France and Austria

What do I have today ? Just 3 cards , since I didn't receive any cards in today's mail or in yesterday's mail. I can only hope for better things tomorrow.The first card today is a rather large card from Estonia. It is from Elina, a Postcrosser over that way. Elina's card shows the Estonian Song Festival, one of the largest amateur choral events in the world. It is held every 5 years in Tallinn. Elina used an Europa stamp from a 2009 set of 2 celebrating Astronomy. Thanks Elina.

Jean Pierre sent the next card along. He is a regular contributor to this blog. The card shows Antibes. This is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It is located on the Mediterranean in the Cote D 'Ázur, between Cannes and Nice. Jean Pierre used a 2010 stamp issued for Singapore 2010, the Youth Olympic Games, along with 2 Marianne definitives. Thank you Jean Pierre.

Today's final card is from Vienna, Austria. It shows the Monument of Johann Strauss. The sender of this card used 3 different stamps. The one on the left is from a set of 2 definitives issued in 2003. The stamp on the right was issued in 2004 and shows an Austrian soldier , the coat of arms and flag. The middle stamp is a little more of a mystery to me. The basic stamp was issued in 2002, 1 of a set of 5 definitives. The original value appears to be blacked out and a new value of 55 is overprinted in the center. I couldn't find any info on this. Anyone with an explanation is welcome to comment.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cairo, Prague, Helsinki, Philadelphia and Tucepi

Today's update title has the names of five cities , therefore I have five postcards to have a look at. The first card comes from Cairo, Egypt even though it showcases Sharm el-Sheikh. It's a city of 35,000 located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai. It has often been called the City of Peace due to the large number of peace conferences that have been held there. Pictured on the card is Na' ama Bay, one of the more popular spots in the city for locals and tourists. Farah, a Postcrosser from Cairo, went out of her way to use as many commemoratives as possible . And she did well. The two top stamps were issued in 2010 and celebrate 50 years of The Aswan High Dam. The middle left stamp, also from 2010 commemorates The National Council for Women. The middle right stamp, from 2008 , commemorates 125 years of the Egyptian stock Exchange. The bottom left stamp celebrates the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the Pharmaceutical Industry. The bottom right stamp celebrates , I believe, Orphan's day. I apologize if this is incorrect. Thanks Farah

Next we have a card from Martin, a Postcrosser in Prague. His card shows a foggy Charles Bridge. The bridge over the Vltava River, is a stone Gothic bridge and one of Prague's sightseeing destinations. It is also one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe. That certainly shows in the postcard. Construction of this bridge began in 1357. Starting in the 17th century, Baroque statutes , 30 in total, have been placed on either side of the bridge. Martin used 2 stamps, the larger on the left was issued in 2008 and celebrates the 2008 Beijing Paralympics . The other stamp was issued in 2004, it is 1 of a set of 2 highlighting trees. Thanks to Martin.

Now we have a very colorful card from Helsinki, Finland. The colors make for a really impressive picture of the Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral. This church was constructed during the late 1800's, (1862-1869). The stamp on this card comes from the 2009 Sauna Booklet of 5 different stamps.
Card number 4 is from Philadelphia, USA. It shows the Fairmount Water Works Restaurant and Lounge in Philadelphia. Julie, who sent this card along, says that this waterworks department was the 1st in America to supply an entire city with drinking water. Also of note is that in the background of the picture is the Art Museum where Rocky Balboa ran up the steps. Now the stamps. The American Kestral stamp is from1999, the Navajo jewelry from 2004, the polar bear 2009 and the Forever Liberty Bell stamp is from 2009. Thanks Julie for this.

The last card for this time is from Tucepi, Dalmatia, Croatia. Tucepi is a small town in the Split-Dalmatia County of Croatia. It has a long history, dating back over four thousand years. Thanks to its glorious coastline, it has become a popular tourist destination. The stamp on the left and the one in the middle are from a 2007 set of 4 highlighting the architecture of cities. The stamp on the right is 1 of a set of 4 , issued 15 March 2010 for Croatian Ethnographic Heritage.

That is the update for today. I should be back again tomorrow. At this time I have three cards for tomorrow. see you then.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Bird of Paradise, Nuns, Belarus Sights and a RAS Card

Here we go with another update.The first card that we have today is from Portugal. It shows a bird of paradise. A beautiful flower, indeed. This card was sent as a thank you card by a Postcrosser that I had sent an earlier card off to. Thanks Libanya. The stamp is from a 2009 set of 5 featuring city transports such as railways, tramways and automobiles.Card number 2- A black and white card showing 2 nuns looking at what might be a subway map. In my part of the world, one doesn't often see nuns in habit anymore. Christian of sent this card. According to his website his objective is to receive the largest amount of postcards. Good luck Christian and I wish you well. The stamp on this one is from 2009 and celebrates 50 years of the Asterix comic book series.
Next up is a card from Belarus. It shows some of the great sights of historic Belarus. Included are The Kosovo Palace, the castle ruins at Novogrudok and the palace at Ruzhany. I received this card through a private swap with Annie in Minsk. She has a postcard blog called Postcards From Far Away . Annie used 2 of 24 from a 2008 souvenir sheet of flowers and plants. The larger stamp, from 2009, is 1 of a set of 4 in a folklore souvenir sheet. Thanks Annie.

My last card for today is this rather large card from The Netherlands. It has the classic windmill along with what looks like millions of tulips. I certainly wasn't expecting this card. It is what is called a RAS card in the Postcrossing Forum. A Random Act of Smileness and that's exactly what it did. It put a big smile on my face knowing that someone just wanted to send me this card , along with the special stamps for my collection. Thanks Femke. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending this card and the great airplane stamps. They will be really great additions to my collection.

What more can I say.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Montreal, Lukang, Krakow and Other Stuff

Today's update will be a bit of a mishmash, a little postcards and a little stamps .
First off I want to show two cards from Montreal. I don't very often receive or show cards from my own country of Canada. I received these two cards from Levi, as the result of a private swap. Both cards show housing in Montreal, one in winter and one in summer. The winter scene is of St. Denis Street. Levi says the summer scene is from the St. Louis Quarter. Both appear to have fine grand old houses. Levi used the 2009 Mental Health Semi-Postal stamp on both cards.
Next is a card from Taiwan, Republic of China. The card shows a small museum in Lukang, in northwestern Taiwan. The town is probably best known for its many temples, over 200. I received this card from Peiling, a Postcrosser over that way. Peiling used a nice bird stamp from 2008 and a 2010 stamp from a set of 4 , featuring landscapes, a very nice set actually, a set that would be great in my collection. While looking up these stamps I found a number of Taiwan stamps that appealed to me. These included a set of 4 bridges and a set of 4 houses issued in 2010. In 2009 a set of 2 pandas and a souvenir sheet of 1 showing 2 pandas are quite nice and would find great homes in my collection. Oh well, one can always dream.

The final card ( in a stamped, posted kind of way ) is from Poland. It shows the main square in Krakow. Gosia sent the card and says that she spends a lot of time there, but it is never enough. She also writes that she has read this blog and had nothing but goods words about it. Thanks Gosia, I need all the encouragement I can get.
Now for the other stuff as mentioned in the title of this update.

I received a cover from Igor of . It contained two aircraft on postcard cards. They are both great additions to my collection. Only thing that might have made them better, would be if they had actually travelled through the mail as postcards. The cards show an Air Canada A319 decked out in its old livery of Trans Canada Air Lines. I have actually flown on this particular aircraft, so way to go Igor. The other is of an Airbus A300/600 St Beluga. If you have any heavy transporting to do, this is the one to call on. I saw this one on the ramp in Vancouver last year .
As I mentioned in an earlier update, I purchased a large lot of old postcards. Included were these two showing DC 3's at some airport in the U.S. Even though they show their age and appear to have been stuck in a book with tape, I do like the pictures and just wanted to show them. Sorry, to those who don't like airplanes.

Finally , I just want to show a few stamps that arrived in my mail the past week. The large lot from The Netherlands arrived on a letter from PostBeeld. I have often said when showing a postcard from The Netherlands that the stamps on them were almost always the same and quite boring. I guess I have to take that back and admit they have some nice and interesting stamps after all. I can only hope that the Postcrosser who draw my name for a postcard will send more interesting stamps. There, I've said it, now we wait to see how much trouble I get in with them. But note, I am cheering for The Dutch in tomorrow's World Cup Final. That should mean something.

And finally a couple of stamps from The U.S. I rather like the Katharine Hepburn stamp and the Hanukkah stamp.
That's it for today, like I said , a bit of a mishmash. Hope you enjoyed it all the same. If you did , let me know and if you didn't , let me know that , too. I enjoy getting commented.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Four Card Update

Here I am back at it, a few days later than I expected. Reasons , there are many, but none that I will go into tonight. It's on to the postcards . I have four cards to have a look at and they come from Turkey, Finland, Italy and Great Britain.Turkey is up first. This card shows Goreme Valley. Goreme is a town in Cappadocia, Turkey. It is famous for the rock formations that offer a spectacular landscape , entirely sculpted by erosion. These formations so remind me of the Hoodoos , located east of Drumheller, Alberta, not too far from my location. Goreme National park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having made the list in 1985.
This card came as a surprise, from Leslie. She and I have swapped many cards over the past year or so. The card is actually signed by 10 other Postcrossers, Leslie makes it 11. They all attended the First Official Turkish Postcrossing Meetup in Ankara on June 12th. Thanks Leslie. The stamp is from 2010.Now a card from Finland. It shows a couple of very old trains. I know there are train postcard collectors out there, so this one may be of interest to them. It was sent by a Postcrosser named Ritva. The stamp is from a booklet of 6 different values , issued this year and highlighting rock and pop music.
And now we have a card of Venice, Italy. It has a great view of the Canonica Canal. The Postcrosser who sent this card used a great 2010 Vancouver Olympics stamp featuring skiing.
The final card for this update shows The Port of Liverpool Building. Construction of this fine building took place between 1903 and 1907. The building is decorated throughout with many references to the sea , including mermaids, shells , anchors and seahorses. The stamp , from 2010, is from a set of 7 featuring the House of Stuarts.
I know this is a short update, but at least it is an update. I am really trying to get back to a more regular update, but when that will happens, remains to be seen. Take care.