Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another BLOG----HIATUS

Attention Readers, Please take note of the following:

GemsWorldPostcards will be Dormant for 2 weeks.

Next update will Not be before April 13 th , 2011.

Wish you all good blogging and good times with your postcards and stamps.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saint Basil's Cathedal 1890 and Now, Main Square of Krakow, Predjama Castle and Manafossen

Hello again, I'm back with another 5 card update. Today's cards are from Russia, Poland, Slovenia and Norway.
There are 2 cards from Russia and while they are different, they show the same building, although many years apart. The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561. It marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century.The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. Note that the photo of the cathedral on on left is from 1890. Both cards are from Valentina and the result of a private swap. Just as she did on an earlier card , Valentina used outstanding stamps , nothing common at all. On the 1890 card the stamps are as follows: left stamp- issued 2010, 1 of 3 in a Tsarskoe Selo souvenir sheet. The middle stamp- issued 2010, 1 0f 3 in an Anton Chekhov souvenir sheet. The last stamp on this card was issued in 2009 and is 1 of 4 in a N W Gogol multi sheet. Now the stamps on the modern card : let's look at the 3 on the left first. The top and middle stamps are from 2009 , 2 of 3 in a Regions issue. The bottom one , also a regions issue but from 2010. The stamp on the top right, was issued in 2009 and is 1 of 4 in a bridges issue. The bottom stamp , also a bridges issue , but from 2010. All in all, 2 nice cards , both with wonderful stamps. Thanks very much to Valentina. I hope we can swap again.

Card # 3 , from Poland, gives us an aerial view of the main square in Krakow. I like this view, maybe it's the colorful roofs, and the open space in the square. Look's like a neat place just to hang out and relax, watching the people. I love watching people, whether in airports, malls or any other place people roam around. This card is from another private swap, this time with Ola. Sadly, Ola used a couple of very common stamps , so I have elected not to show them this time.

On the next card we can see Predjama Castle, a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in the Kras region of southwestern Slovenia. The castle dates from 1274. A little aside here. Since I have been collecting postcards, these past 5 years, I have often commented about different places and building dating from this and that. Let's look at 1274. It's a little difficult for us in Canada to appreciate a date like 1274. I mean our country was only formed in 1867 and the oldest building in Canada only dates from 1637, just a baby in the eyes of Europeans and others. In my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador , the oldest building dates from 1805 and in Alberta , where I now live, it is 1799. Anyway, enough about that, it is what it is. Bilyana , a Postcrosser from Ljubljana sent this card and she used a cool snake stamp from 2010.

Today's final card comes from Norway. I don't get many from that area of the world, except for Finland. So anyone from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Aland Islands and Svalbard feel free to drop me a postcard. If you do , you'll see it here first. Moving on to today's card, it shows us Manafossen waterfall. This falls is located at the bottom of the fjorf Frafjord in Rogaland , Norway and is about 60 km from Stavanger. The falls has a total drop of 92 m. Jorg used 2 stamps here, a definitive from 2002 and a stamp from 2007, 1 of a set of 4 featuring marine Life .

Thanks to Valentina, Ola, Bilyana and Jorg for their fine contributations of cards and stamps. Without folks like you , I would be silent.
Take care.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Small Update- Macedonia, Russia and Slovenia

Here is a small update with just 3 cards. Small because time is of the essence. Later all my family and their families will be here for supper. So the house will be full . We should get in a few games of pool and then there is a very important hockey game on television, not to be missed. What's on the menu, you may ask ? Atlantic salmon , along with cod tongues. Ah, cod tongues, I can't wait. I'm sure that if cod could use their tongues to talk, they might ask you why anyone would want to eat them.Unlike anything in the seafood world, the tongue of the Atlantic cod (actually a gelatinous bit of flesh from the fish's throat) is an acquired taste. But tonight in Alberta and in Newfoundland - where they say the cod were once so thick you could walk across the bay on their backs - it's a local delicacy as iconic as moose nose or seal-flipper pie. With these coveted little morsels on the menu - lightly battered and fried, topped with the traditional scrunchions (crispy bits of salted side pork) supper will be indeed a delight. Now that I've made you all hungry, let's get back to the topic at hand , postcards.

I open with a card from Macedonia. Ana of My World of Postcards sent it along. It gives us a look at the railway track in Ovche Pole. Ovche Pole is a plain in the east-central part of Macedonia. The climate of the plain is hot, dry summers and cold winters. Often called "the windiest place on the Balkans " , strong winds are present for most of the year. It is also one of the driest areas in Europe. Even though Ana says the overall effect of the postcard for her is a sense of calmness, and I can see that , I'm sure there are days on the plain that are just the opposite. My thought on the card would be " am I early or late for the train ? " Ana topped off her railway related card with a train stamp. It is 1 of a set of 2 issued in 1998. Thanks Ana.

My next card is the result of a private swap with Valentina in Moscow, Russia. The card is a 1935 picture of Russian Ballet star Irina Baronova, in Paris. Baronova was the mother of film and television actress Victoria Tennant, who was at one time married to actor SteveMartin. Valentina writes that this card is one of her favorites. Moving on to the stamps. First I want to show the stamps that I usually receive on cards from Russia. They almost always are these common definitive types . Dull and boring if you ask me. Not this time though, thanks to Valentina. She must have went out of her way to use great stamps . Have a look. The stamp on the left is from a set of 2 issued in 2009 featuring paintings. The middle stamp is 1 of 4 issued in 2010 featuring Russian costumes and the last stamp is from a set of 4 issued in 2009 , again featuring costumes. All beautiful stamps , and it's a pleasure to receive them and not the aforementioned ones. This is just the first of 3 cards from Valentina so I'm hoping for great cards and great stamps on the other two. Thanks Valentina.

The last card for today comes from Koper, Slovenia. Koper is a town in southern Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea. Sonja sent this card showing the city of Piran. The city resembles a large open-air museum, with medieval architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Narrow streets and compact houses give the town its special charm. Piran is the administrative centre of the local area and one of Slovenia's major tourist attractions. The card shows us a beautiful evening view of Piran with the Church of St. George in the topright. The church, the most remarkable building in the city, dates from the 12th century. The present building was completed in 1637. The bell tower was built in 1608 and is a smaller copy of the famous tower bell of St. Marcul in Venice. Sonja used flower definitives but from different years. The one on the left is from a set of 17 issued in 2007. The other is from 2009 and is 1 of 11 in a set. Thanks Sonja, for this swap and I am looking forward to the other cards from you.

I think that will do it for this time. Take care. See you soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Penguins, Lemurs, People and Other Things

Here we go again, I have a number of cards for this time.
First up is a card of Phillip Island, Australia giving us a look at The Little Penguins. Phillip Island is around 140 km South East of Melbourne and is the home of the world famous Penguin Parade. The Penguin Parade is Australia's most popular wildlife attraction and home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world. The Little Penguin is the world's smallest penguin and every evening at sunset the penguins emerge from the sea and march across the beach to their sand dune burrows. A Postcrosser, Joy, mailed this card from Minyip, a town dating from the 1870s. The Minyip Post Office opened on 1 May 1875. Minyip was the filming location for the television series The Flying Doctors. I remember it well. Reminds me of the Charlie Drake song "My Boomerang Won't Come Back "and the line "O my God, I've Hit The Flying Doctor". Joy used a 2010 ( I think ) International post rate stamp featuring Russell Falls in Tasmania.

The second card was posted at Santa Ana , California, U.S.A. and shows us a breathtaking sunset overlooking Dana Point Harbour in Southern California. A pretty nice evening along the boat docks. Melissa used a Liberty Bell First Class Forever stamp.

Next we have a card from Belarus. On it we see the Church of Saints Simon and Helen in Minsk. It was built during 1908 and 1910. Anna used 4 common definitives as you can see.

Now, another card from David, from his trip to Madagascar. On the card we can see a couple of cute Lemurs. Madagascar is world famous for its Lemurs. David was visiting Andasibe-Mantadia National park, a 155 square km area in eastern Madagascar. David used a 2005 stamp issued to celebrate the Centenary of Rotary. If you look closely at the stamp , you can see the face of a lemur. Interesting.

Anna, who lives in Rauma, Finland sent the next card along. It shows a large group of skiers enjoying a meal after a hard day on the slopes. Anna used a 2009 Moomin stamp . I don't know why so many people rave about these, they are not my cup of tea. Sorry.

Our final entry for this time is from Kyiv, Ukraine. This one shows us The Assumption Cathedral. It has had quite the history. It was first built between 1073 and 1078, rebuilt in 1640s, destroyed in 1941 and rebuilt again between 1998 and 2000. Marina , a fellow Postcrosser, who I have often wished to swap a card with, sent this card. She has a fine postcard blog called "My Postcards" which you can find at . Marina used 2 definitives from a 2008 set of 13.

That's my update for this time. I might sneak another in tomorrow, if I'm lucky. If not enjoy your weekend and your postcards and stamps. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Long Overdue Update

Here we go again, I have no excuses for this gap in updates. I had the postcards, just never got around to the blog. I always had the intention but just never got there. Now with the snow falling this morning , this seems to be a good time for a blog.
I have some pretty good cards for this time, I won't say how many, I'll just go with it.

My first three cards are all from the intrepid traveler David, who continues to surprise me every week, with his adventures. The three cards are from Mauritius, Madagascar and Reunion. Three pretty good postcard locations. Card # 1 gives us a number of views of Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis, Mauritius. The city has a population of around 150,000 and is the capital. It's history as a harbour dates back to 1638. David used a beautiful 2010 high value, at 100Rs , Gold Foil stamp honouring Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam , The Father of the Nation.

David's 2nd card comes from Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. It gives us a look at the ruins of Queen's Palace ( Rova) in Tana, the shortened version of the capital's name. The palace was burned out in a fire on November 6, 1995. The blue and yellow stamp on the right is from 2007 and celebrates a Whale Festival. The other stamps are from 2010 and that's all I can tell you about them.
Here's the third card. It comes from Saint-Denis, La Reunion. Reunion Island is an island with a population around 850,000 , located in the Indian Ocean. It is an overseas department of France, hence the French stamps used on the card. On the card we have an aerial view of the island with Saint-Denis in the foreground. The stamp on the right was issued in 2010 and honours Villeneuve-sur-Lot, a town in south-western France. The stamp on the right is from 2011 and celebrates the Tran-train of Mulhouse, a town in eastern France.
With all the travelling that David is doing, I just hope he is a member of or The Globetrotters Club. I would recommend MostTravelledPeople myself.

Now we have a rather unique item or one not often seen. It is an example of Paquebot mail. The stamp Paquebot is a postal marking or cancellation stamped on mail posted at sea for processing by the postal authorities at the next port of call. Mail so marked can and often will carry the stamps of another country. The concept is based on the fact that a merchant ship on the high seas is sovereign national territory of the country of the flag she flies (similar to an embassy) and therefore mail posted aboard a ship in international waters is entitled to be franked with stamps of the country of the ship's registry. Bruce from South Africa sent this card. I guess he boarded at Cape Town and headed for St. Helena. The markings on the card show that the card was posted at sea aboard R.M.S. St. Helena, one of the last working Royal Mail ships in the world. Then cancelled at the St. Helena Post Office at Jamestown. The card gives us a nice snap of R.M.S. St. Helena at anchor off Jamestown. The stamp used is from a 2010 set of 4 called Postal Ships. This is indeed a great item in my collection.

Today's final card is from the United States, Maui, Hawaii , in fact. Sent by my lovely Teena while on our recent vacation in Maui, it is a reproduction of an original painting by Karen Lei Noland. It is of the Kahakuloa Church located in the small isolated village of Kahakuloa. Teena used a 2007 Harriet Beecher Stowe definitive.I think I will end it here for this time. My thanks for cards go to David, Bruce and my lovely Teena. A pretty good update I think. What do you think ?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

England, France, Turkey, Thailand and Switzerland

That's a pretty good assortment of countries in the title of this update. Even though I have been at this postcard collecting business for five years now, it is still a great pleasure to go to the mail box and find cards from such places. It's pretty awesome to know that people in such faraway places , places I have never been for the most part, are sending me postcards. It's been a wonderful hobby and it's helped me meet a good number of people around the world. I know , I haven't really met any of them in person, and don't know them from Adam but I like to think that I have made a few friends through their postcards. People like Jean Pierre, Leslie, David, Trevor, Ana, Bruce, John, Michael, Kris, Ravindra , Katuna, Riccardo, and the 2 Erics. Without people like these sending postcards, stamps and information when requested , I might have given up sometime ago. I owe all of them many thanks for their kindness these past five years. Okay, on to the cards now , because that's why you read my blog, right ?

For this update I have 5 cards again, I often have 5 since it seems like a manageable number for me. First up is England and The Union Jack. A fine flag and one recognized the world over. I hope all you flag postcard collectors out there all have one of these. Sophie, a Postcrosser mailed this one from the Leicestershire Mail Centre. I'm not showing the stamp used on this card , as it is just a 67p Machin definitive.

The next card comes from Paris, France. It gives us a picture of the Palais Garnier, or the Paris Opera. It is a 2,200 seat opera house. Constructed between 1862 and 1875 it was the home of the Paris Opera from 1875-1989. This is another card from globetrotter David. He wrote on the card that Paris is the first leg of his trip to TAAF. TAAF or French Southern and Antarctic Territories consist of Amsterdam Island, Saint Paul Island, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands and Adelie Land on Antarctica, along with The Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean. Where one actually goes on a trip to TAAF I'm not exactly sure. However if any more cards arrive from David's trip, you'll read about it here. Back to the card, the stamp ( not shown here but in my last update) is the 2011 issue for the International Year of Chemists.

Card # 3 is from Istanbul. It is a card showing Ortakoy Mosque, located in Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey. This current mosque was built between 1854 and 1856. Belkis , a Postcrosser in Istanbul, used 2 great stamps on this card. Both were issued in 2006. The stamp on the left is from a mini sheet of 4 different stamps issued for International Desert Year. A very nice mini sheet indeed. The right stamp , also 1 of 4, highlights comics.

Now the card from Switzerland. Rebecca sent this card and on it we can see The Grossmunster , a Romanesque-style church in Zurich. Constructed between 1100 and 1220, it is 1 of 3 major churches in the city. Rebecca used a beautiful bird stamp from a set of 2 issued in 2009. I just love the socked on the nose cancellation , I wish more post offices could do as well.

Last but not least is this card from Thailand. This one gives us a look at The Temple of The Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most important and sacred temple. It enshrines the highly revered Emerald Buddha, carved from a single block of Jade. Now for the stamps- let me just say the stamp package on this card is simply outstanding. The kind you love to see on a card. All of the stamps were issued in 2010. The top right and middle stamps are from a set of 4 featuring fireworks. I'm not quite sure what it is , but you can actually feel the fireworks . The small stamp under the fireworks stamp is from a set of 10 definitives. Of course, I saved the best for last. A beautiful stamp for my Airlines/Aircraft on stamps collection. This one is from a set of 4 issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Thai Airways International. Shown is a Boeing 747-400 . Also in the set is a DC-10 , an Airbus A340 and one other. Just a beautiful stamp set that was also issued as a mini-sheet. I would love to add this set to my collection. Any takers among my Thai readers ?

I think that's about it for this time. A good update with nice cards, if I do say so myself. Thanks go to David, Belkis, Sophie, Rebecca and Suteemar for their cards. As always, I look forward to and read your comments , when you leave them.

I still have lots of cards in hand , so tune in again soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warning- New Country, More Ethiopia, More Planes

Glenn's back . Yes, I'm back after a nice week on Maui, Hawaii. Sun, sand, warm temps , ocean and pool, all things experienced there , but not anywhere in sight , here in Alberta, yet. It was a great week with family, my wife and I tagged along with my son and his family. So it was our first trip abroad with any of of our grand kids. And we enjoyed it immensely.

Of course, I fully intended to mail out a number of postcards from Maui , but that idea fell by the wayside when I discovered that I had left my address book back home. I could only recall from memory one address , so if you are that recipient of postcards, you are indeed the lucky one. I still picked up a couple of cards that match some people's wish lists , so I will get the cards off , albeit mailed from unexciting Alberta, Canada.

The day before I left for Maui, I received a couple of great cards and then when I returned the mailbox held 15 more. So, I have lots of material for a few updates to come. Now on to the cards for today.

Warning , Warning , New Country Alert, I love saying that. New country # 245 is Djibouti. Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It is one of the least populous of African countries. Once known as French Somaliland, and later as the French Territory of The Afars, and the Issas, it declared itself an independent nation in 1977 and took its name of Republic of Djibouti. The card shows us a number of traditional outfits on a few young locals. This card is another one from David who recently completed his trip to Africa. Djibouti makes country # 245 in my collection. By my count and my list I have just 26 more to go for a complete collection, subject to any new political changes, of course. David used a beautiful, large stamp from 2007 , celebrating 30 years of Independence. Thanks David.

Today's 2nd card is another for my Aircraft/Airline postcard collection. It is an Air France Boeing 747. In my opinion the B747 makes the most beautiful sight of any aircraft type in flight. I feel the same about it , even when it's on the ground. That hump or bubble makes it stand out over any other aircraft. The card is compliments of Jean Pierre who has sent a number of cards in the past. The 2011 stamp celebrates the international Year of Chemists.

Next we have another Djibouti card. As always , once you receive one, you receive another. Of course it's from David and shows various buildings in Djibouti City. On this card he used 3 stamps from 2004.

Another card from David, this time from Ethiopia. On this one we can see the Monoliths of Axum. Located in northern Ethiopia, the monoliths date from 300-500 A.D. David used 5 copies of the 1 Birr value of the 2002 set of 4 featuring the Konso Waka. This is a small statue that honors fallen heroes. The stamp here appears longer than if is , and that's because the five stamps were overlapped. Good effect though.

And the final card for today is another one for my Aircraft/Airline postcard collection, this time a Lufthansa Airbus A310-300. Another fine plane no doubt, but one which I haven't yet had the pleasure of flying on . The card comes to us from a Postcrosser in Lithuania. Now that I have mentioned Postcrossing, let me say that today marks 5 years of my participation in Postcrossing. It's been a great five years during which I have received 921 postcards as a result. I highly recommend Postcrossing to anyone collecting postcards. Just go to and join. It's easy and free. Oh yes, the stamps on this card. Quite nice actually. On the left is a 1998 stamp celebrating The Lithuanian Post. The middle stamp is 1 of 3 in a 2001 souvenir sheet featuring the nature of the Baltic Sea, a joint issue with Latvia. The stamp on the right is 1 of 2 issued in 1994 highlighting animals.

Oh yes , I know it is well into March, but I can't let you off without my Feb 2011 postcard report. I received 39 postcards during last month and 21 of them were sent by Postcrossers. I mailed out a total of 26 cards and all 26 went to Postcrossers. I added cards from 3 new countries in Feb.

That's it for this time. Back here again soon. Take care . Leave a comment if you are inclined.