Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Portugal, Malaysia, New Zealand, Estonia, Taiwan, and The Canadian Badlands

It's time for another postcard update. Today's cards are from Portugal, Malaysia, New Zealand, Estonia, Taiwan and Canada. All cards are from Postcrossers with the exception of the Canada card. That one is from Me. Without further ado, let's get it going.

Today's first card from from Sintra, Portugal. It provides us a look at a cove on Sao Miguel , in the Azores. A pretty nice place to come ashore. Sao Miguel Island, nicknamed "The Green Island"is the largest and most populous island in the Portugeuse Azores archipelago. The island has around 140,000 people of which 45,000 are located in the largest city ion the archipelago: Ponta Delgado.
A stamp that should be in many topical collections was used, a 2010 bird stamp from a set of 4 issued for International Year of Biodiversity.

Now let's look at a card from Malaysia. On it we see a white-bellied sea Eagle swooping down to catch a small fish. The stamp is from a set of 8 Bird definitives issued in 2005.

My third card is a map card from New Zealand. Have a look at it, it is a little strange with New Zealand on the top of the world. I guess New Zealanders have their own way of looking at the world and their place in it. As it says on the front of the card, "When everything goes arse up, NZérs come out on top ". Graham , who sent this card, wrote "Only convention says North is up, so here we have a true perspective of the world". Graham used 3 face different stamps from a 2007 definitive set of 7.

Card # 4 - comes from Estonia. Oksana sent this multi-view card of her country. I don't have a lot to say about this card , other than she used 3 nice stamps. The large bird stamp on the left was issued in 2004 and is a White Stork. The large Swan stamp was issued in 2007 and the small flower stamp was also issued 2007.

The card from Taiwan is entitled "Bits of Old Hong Kong ". The "Glimpses of Hong Kong" exhibition series at Hong Kong International Airport demonstrates a glimpse behind the development of Hong Kong in various aspects through the years. The current exhibition is "Bits of Old Hong Kong ", a retrospective of the first hundred years following the colonization of Hong Kong. The exhibition is presented by Hong Kong International Airport, In collaboration with The Leisure and Cultural Services Department and supported by The Hong Kong Museum of History. Is it possible to mention the city's name any more often than I have ?
The insect stamp is from 2011 and is from a set of 4 . The flower stamp, from 2009 is from a set of 4.

Finally the last card. From Canada, showing the location of The Canadian Badlands Passion Play. The Passion Play is performed in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada yearly in July. In a hidden valley stage, hundreds of actors and musicians re-tell the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within the valley walls the entire nation of Israel comes to life. Whether you go for the beautiful artistry, the intimate story, or the spiritual meaning, the Canadian Badlands Passion Play is an unforgettable experience. A souvenir sheet of 2 stamps commemorating the U.N.'s International Year of Forests was used.
The two stamp issue speaks to both the diversity and intrinsic value of Canada's forests. This sheet of 2 stamps was issued April 21, 2011 and is indeed postmarked or cancelled on that date, making it a First Day of Issue postcard.

That's the update for this time. Tune in again soon. Leave a comment if you have one.
Take care.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bamboo Woods, Fraser Island, Inishmore, Happy Easter, A Maori Warrior and Phi Phi Islands

Here we go again with a few cards to look at , all of which arrived while I was away. Interestingly, all of them are from Postcrossers. These cards come from japan, Australia, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, and Thailand.

Let's start with the card from Japan. Mie sent it from Kyoto which she says was Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794-1868. On Mie's card we can see an area of bamboo woods, located in the southwest of Kyoto. This wooded hill is famous for the production of bamboo shoots. Mie used the larger of 5 stamps in a 2010 souvenir sheet issued for the Kouchi Government.

Now for a card from Fraser Island , Queensland, Australia. Fraser Island stretches over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares it is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where tall rain forests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres.Fraser Island was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list in 1992. The card shows a wild dingo on the beach at the wreck site of the Maheno, which drifted ashore and beached on July 9, 1935. The stamp on this one is a 2009 International Post rate showing a Koala.

Next up is Ireland. Asia sent the card and offers greetings from Inishmore, the largest of three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, off the west coast of Ireland. On Asia's card we see Dun Aonghasa, the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands. It is located on Inishmore, at the edge of a 100 metre cliff. It is not known exactly when it was built, but some surmise that it was built in the 2nd century BC. It is a pretty cool looking place and one that I wouldn't mind visiting. The stamp is from a set of 3 Wild Flowers issued in 2008.

Now for a very time appropriate card . It comes from Finland and wishes Happy Easter. Thea card shows us a young lady arranging flowers in a large egg. Quite timely as I write this late on Good Friday evening , just two days before Easter Sunday. The small stamp on the left is from the 2008 Water and Landscapes set and the larger stamp, is1 of 2 stamps in a 2004 World Heritage souvenir sheet.
Just 2 cards to go, so stick with me here. New Zealand is next with a card postmarked in Auckland. On it we get a good look at a Maori Warrior, performing the Wero or traditional challenge , in Rotorua. Marta used a 2010 Christmas stamp, 1 of 5 in a set. This one celebrates 50 years of Christmas stamps.Finally the card from Thailand. On it we can see , what looks like a paradise, at least to me. Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands.There are six islands in the group known as Phi Phi. They lie 50 km south-east of Phuket and are part of Hadnopparattara-Koh Phi Phi National Park which is home to an abundance of corals and marine life. There are limestone mountains with cliffs, caves and long white sandy beaches. Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le are the largest and most well-known islands. Phi Phi Don is 28 sqkm: 8 km in length and 3.5 km wide. Phi Phi Le is 6.6 km.

The islands came to worldwide prominence when Ko Phi Phi Leh was used as a location for the 2000 film The Beach . The film's release was attributed to an increase in tourism to the islands. Phi Phi Leh also houses the 'Viking Cave', from which there is a thriving bird's nest soup industry.

KoPhi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was destroyed. As of 2010 most, but not all, of this has been restored.
I don't know who sent this card, other than it was a Postcrosser, but I do know that great stamps were used. The three top stamps are from a 2011 set of 8 entitled The Eight Immortals, sadly I only received 3. The long stamp on the right is from 2011 and celebrates the 150th anniversary of Charoen Krung Road. The small stamp, bottom right was issued in 2010 in a set of 6 Greeting stamps.

That about wraps it up for this time. Have a great weekend and tune in again soon.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Few Cards From Postcard Friends

Hello again. First , let me thank Leslie for the info she left on my last update with regard to the building on one of the cards from Russia. Thanks Leslie.
Now for today I have 5 cards. They come from people I have swapped cards with or just people that want to send me a card. Either way I enjoy the cards and thank them all.Today's cards are from Turkey, Reunion, Mauritius, Slovenia and Singapore.

Let's get right to the card from Turkey. The picture is a reproduction of a painting entitled Maiden's Tower by Sehnaz Bayan. It shows Kiz Kulesi Lighthouse , located on a small island at the end of the Bosphorus near Istanbul. This tower was erected by Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos, and it served as a prison for a time. It was used as a lighthouse for part of its history, and is the oldest lighthouse in Istanbul. Now it serves as a museum and restaurant. Leslie who has a postcard blog called 'the postcard blog" sent this card along basically for no other reason than to use the nice train stamp that she used. And I thank her for that. Of course Leslie and I have swapped cards many times , and it will be great if we can continue. The train stamp is from a set of 2 Railways stamps issued in 2010. It is actually a semi-postal stamp , but what the extra 10 Kurus was collected for, I don't know.

Today's second card is from Reunion in the Indian Ocean and was sent by that intrepid traveler David , back on March 31st. David sent his greetings and this card from the village of Hell-Bourg. A view of the village is shown on the card. Since Reunion is an overseas department of France, David had to use French stamps. We can see a number of Marianne definitives along with 1 of 2 stamps from a 2010 souvenir sheet honoring Sandro Botticelli.

Card # 3 comes from Mauritius. It gives us a view of Ile aux Cerfs. Known in English as the deer island it is an island near the east coast of Mauritius in the Flacq district. This paradise island of Mauritius is around 100 hectares of land. Nowadays there are no more deer on the island, but you will find there some of the worlds beautiful beaches and as such it is one of the must places to visit and see in Mauritius. Ile Aux Cerfs is famous for its sandy beaches and beautiful lagoon.
David from Port-Louis sent this card and he has a postcard blog called "Mauritian Philatelic Blog "David used two copies of a 2010 stamp celebrating the Bicentenary of the British conquest of Isle De France in 1810.

Now for a card from Slovenia and in particular Lipica. Located in southwestern Slovenia it is well known for the "Lipizzan or Lipizzaner ",a breed of horse. Lipizzans are born dark, either Bay or Black ) and become lighter each year as the graying process takes place. This card is from Sonja , who has swapped with me before. Two flower definitives from a set of 17 issued in 2007 and a Costumes stamp from 2011 can be seen.

Final card for this time comes from The Singapore Philatelic Museum, Singapore. For a few years now they have held a postcard exhibition and if you send them a postcard to exhibit, they send you one back. This year they are themed around rabbits. I sent them a rabbit card and this is what I received back form them. They used a nice 2007 bird stamp showing the Stork-billed Kingfisher.

That is all for this time. Thanks go to Leslie, David L, Davis O, Sonja and The Singapore Philatelic Museum.

I still have lots of cards to work with, so another update should be soon.
Thanks for tuning in , enjoy your postcards .

Monday, April 18, 2011

Valentina's Cards and Dale's Cards

It's Monday morning and time for another postcard update. Time to showcase some of those cards that arrived while I was away. I have 6 cards for this entry but they only come from 2 people in 2 countries. At least that is the plan at the moment, but I may add another card or two if time and mind permits.

I have before me 4 cards from Russia and 2 cards from Brazil . Lets do Russia first.
Card # 1 - On this card we see a fine picture of Elektrozavodskaya, a Moscow Metro Station on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line. Opened on 15 May 1944, it is named after a nearby electric light bulb factory. This station is thought to be one of the most spectacular and better known stations on the line.Now for the back of the card. Nothing but airplane stamps. Perfect ! All will be great additions to my aircraft on stamps topical collection. The top four aircraft stamps are from a 2005 souvenir sheet of 5 featuring military planes. The souvenir sheet included 5 stamps and the label of a gentleman which you also can see at the top. I may be going out on a limb here but I believe him to be either the designer or builder of these aircraft. The helicopter stamp at the bottom was issued in 2008 and is from a set of 2 .

Card # 2 - Here we have a Russian styled building. Which one or of what , I know not. The information about it had to be covered in order to add all the wonderful stamps on the reverse. That's a good price to pay , though. Perhaps one of my readers will elaborate on the building by leaving a comment.
Now turning it over , here are the stamps. What can I say, more great aircraft stamps. This time from a 2006 souvenir sheet honoring O.K. Antonov. Him , I am familiar with , having seen some of his planes, The Antonov's , over the years. Included on the souvenir sheet, in the selvage and not part of the postage is a great picture of a modern 4 engine Antonov jet.

Card # 3 - This time the card shows us a 1896 reproduction of a photo of a Russian gentleman standing next to a cart. Whether he is a postman, a delivery man or even a chauffeur, your guest is as good as mine. A nice card though.
And yet again, on the reverse more airplane stamps. This time 4 of 5 from a 2006 souvenir sheet featuring Yakovlov aircraft. Again, I am somewhat familiar with The Yak aircraft Corporation. The bottom helicopter stamp is the second from the earlier mentioned set of 2 from 2008.
Now the final Russian card, card # 4- On this card we can see a blue Russian post box and one well used bulletin board. I can't say if this is a current type of box or an earlier, older model.
I can say yhough that on the back are some more great Russian stamps. No, not airplane stamps this time. Lighthouse stamps , so I know they will appeal to some of you. The one on the right, the one in the middle and the one on the bottom all show paintings of Russian lighthouse and are from a 2006 set of 3. The other stamp is a 2008 Europa stamp featuring 'the letter'. This time I left the great comment about my blog for all to see, there it is on the top of the card. That's it for Russian cards and Russian stamps this time . A wonderful collection of stamps . The 4 cards are from Valentina, who has contributed to this blog and my collection before. She continues to send good cards and good stamps.

Next are the 2 cards from Brazil sent by my brother , Dale who recently spent 2 weeks in that country. The first shows us a picture of Alberto Santos-Dumont ( July 20, 1873-July 23, 1932).
We also see his airplane, the 14-bis and a picture of his home in Petropolis, now a museum. Petropolis , also known as The Imperial City of Brazil is about 65 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro. Santos-Dumont made the first European public flight of an airplane on October 23, 1906. Designated 14-bis or Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"), the flying machine was the first fixed-wing aircraft witnessed by the European press and French aviation authorities to take off and successfully fly. Santos-Dumont is considered the "Father of Aviation" in Brazil, his native country. Dale used a great 2006 Christmas souvenir sheet of 3 to send this card on its way.
Dale's second card comes from Penedo, Brazil , a city 170 km from Rio with a population of around 45,000. Originally started as a Finnish colony in the early 20th century, Penedo has grown into a vacation resort that embraces all things non-Brazilian. In the more developed lower section of town, you’ll find tourist traps capitalizing on the region’s European heritage mixed in with authentic Old World influences.It has been inhabited by Finn immigrants since 1929. It is the only colony of this nationality in Brazil. The card gives us a look at Pequena Finlandia, a cultural theme park, the Santa Claus House in Penedo - Small Finland.
Dale used 2 stamps , one from 2009 on the left issued for the 100th anniversary of Sport Club International and a 2002 stamp from a set of 10 featuring musical instruments.
I think that will do for today. Six cards is my usual limit anyway. Thanks again to Valentina and Dale. Check back again tomorrow, I'll try and get another update in then. Take care.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'M BACK From Abroad

Hello all. Well, I'm back from away. My wife and I left Canada on the 26th of March and returned in the late evening of the 11th of April. We went on our second cruise, a 14 day Caribbean jaunt. We flew from Calgary, Canada to Fort Lauderdale , Florida, U.S.A. We boarded the Grand Princess in Port Everglades , Florida and sailed to Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and finally back to Port Everglades. A total of 6611 kilometers sailed. The Grand Princess is 289.5m long and 36.0m wide. She can sail with about 2800 passengers and around 1500 crew. So we got to nine different countries along with St. Thomas , in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so that's a lot of places to mail postcards from. I sought out a lot of postcards, stamps and post offices. I mailed a total of 38 postcards while away. So, it may be wise to check your mailboxes in the next week or so. I was able to post from all places with the exception of the Bahamas. Of course I mailed myself a card or two, or three and when they all arrive I will post them here in order for all to see, much like I did after my Panama Canal cruise last year. I also want to thank my lovely Teena , first for the cruise , and also for walking, in the very hot temperatures, to seek out post offices in Oranjestad, Willemstad, St. George, Bridgetown, Kingstown, Basseterre, Charlotte Amalie and Santo Domingo.

On arrival back home, 29 postcards were waiting in my mailbox. I also had received 6 cards the day before I left which had to be put aside till my return. So I should have lots of material for this blog for quite a while. In today's update I want to show the 6 cards that arrived the day before my departure. Hope you find these interesting. They come from Argentina, Mauritius, The Comoros, Spain, China, and Belgium.

First up is the card from Buenes Aires, Argentina. This is a great card with a couple dancing the Tango. The card is from my brother, Dale who was traveling in those parts back in January. He posted this card on Jan 13, 2011 and I received it in Alberta on March 25, 2011. Perhaps I should rephrase that, I think I can say he couriered the card. Dale didn't post the card through the regular mail system, he sent it through DHL Courier. They put some sort of DHL label on it but interestingly , I received it through the regular Canada Post mail system. Where it entered the mail system , I have no idea. When I received it, there was a second label put over the DHL label. I carefully removed it and reapplied it to the left. It reads "Taxe Percue Mexico Cartas LC
What this means and where and why it was applied I , your guess is as good as mine.

Card # 2 is from Mauritius and gives us a nice tranquil scene of Ile Rodrigues , one of the islands that make up Mauiritus . Another in a long line of cards from David, who was traveling through the area in late February of this year. He used a nice assortment of stamps on this one. Going from left to right they are: a 2010 stamp issued for Shanghai Expo 2010, showing the Two Pence Post Office Mauritius stamp ; a definitive from a set of 12 featuring flowers issued in 2010 ; and 2 of a set of 2 issued in 2010 commemorating the Bicentenary of the British conquest of Isle De France in 1810. A nice bunch of stamps, for sure.

The next card , also from David, comes from the Comoro Islands. It has 2 pictures on it, one of an active volcano and secondly, a street scene from Moroni, the capital. The Comoro Islands are off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. Four major islands make up The Comoros : Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte. Politically the islands are divided into two entities: The Comoros, a sovereign state and Mayotte, an overseas department of France. David used 2 stamps, the one on the left was issued in 2003 and is from a set of 4 featuring orchids. The one on the right , issued 2006 in a set of 5, features Leopold Senghor, President of Senegal , 1960-1980 .

My next card is one that would make two groups of card collectors happy. It is both a map card and a flag card. I know there are map card collectors and also flag card collectors, so I should certainly have their attention with this one. The card comes to me from a Postcrosser in Spain, and shows us basically a map of Europe. The butterfly stamp was issued in 2011.

We're getting there, just 2 more to go.
The fifth card comes from another Postcrosser living in Thieusies, Soignies, Belguim. It is a card showing St. Peter Church. Rhamdam used 6 different bird stamps . A nice little group of stamps.

Now we have the final card for this time. It comes from Fan, a Postcrosser in China. It shows a number of cages hung under eaves at Wang Fu Chang Hutong. Fan used a number of stamps including 1 of 1 set of 6 issued in 2010 for the Asia Games. We can also see a couple of labels in the center.

That's it for cards this time , but before I go , I just want to show a really nice souvenir sheet of aircraft stamps , along with the stamp on the cover that it arrived in. This is compliments of Michael and his blog found here.
It's a beautiful set of stamps that will be a wonderful addition to my aircraft on stamps collection.

Thanks for cards to Dale, David, and the Postcrossers. Also thanks to Michael.
Cheers, it's good to be back . Now I just have to check out and catch up on everyone else's blog. See you soon.

BTW , on the weather front, Winter is still here in southern Alberta. We got another dump of 20 cm of snow overnight. And, it was heavy wet snow to shovel. Take care.