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.

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