Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May's Last Update

It is the last of May and all I have for you are a few cards that I have had for sometime now but which have never made it into the blog. So they will see the light of day today. Also on the agenda will be my postcard report for May. Today's cards are from Tunisia, Tanzania, Iran and Samoa.

Let's have a look at the Tunisia card first. It's a card showing a portion of Sousse, Tunisia. Sousse is 140 km south of the capital Tunis and has a population of around 175,000 people. Sousse is quite known for its olive grove which stretches over more than 2,500 sq km. Stasa, a Postcrosser from Slovenia, sent this card while on holiday back in 2006. The stamp is from 2004 and is a part of a set of 5 featuring antique coins.

Next is the Tanzania card. It gives us a view of Mountain Village, Arusha, part of the Serena Hotels. Mountain Village is found at the foot of Mount Meru and on the shore of Lake Duluti. Mailed at Arusha, this is another card from 2006. I received this card from the management of Serena Hotels at Arusha and they used a 2002 stamp. It is 1 of 4 highlighting the art of Zanzibar.

Now for a card from Iran. This one is of The Mausoleum of Hafez, one of the biggest and best of Iranian poets. Some even consider him to be the greatest poet of the world. His mausoleum is located in Shiraz. Shahdad used 2 great stamps on this card. The one on the left was issued in 2005 and is 1 of 4 stamps different stamps in a souvenir sheet issued for Expo Aichi. The second stamp was issued in 2006 and is from another souvenir sheet of 4 showcasing Persian Gulf maps.

The last card for this time is a multi view card from Samoa, the treasured islands of The South Pacific. The upper right picture is of Apia, the country's capital. Anita who works at The Siufaga Beach Resort sent this card and she used a non traditional shaped stamp. The stamp is 1 of 4 in a set showing shells and the stamps are all shaped like shells. They were issued in 2006.

That's the cards for this time. Thanks to Stasa, Anita, Shahdad and Serena Hotels.
As always, your comments are welcomed. I don't seem to get many though.

One more thing, for the record, May's postcard report.
During May I received a total of 29 postcards. Of this number 12 were from fellow Postcrossers.
I mailed a total of 45 cards and 25 of them went to Postcrossers. I added 1 new country to my collection, leaving just 26 more to collect.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One New Card and a few More From the Archives

Here I am back with another kick at the can, the postcard can. The sun is out, the rain has stopped and we're in for a great week ahead. First card up today is a card I received on Friday, past. It is from Poland and sent by a Postcrosser, Serena. She dated the card and posted it on 01.04.2011, April 1st. That's quite a long time ago. Come to think of it, I was still on my cruise back then. Where it been all this time, I have no idea, but I'm glad it finally arrived. Serena says on her card that she picked this card up in Venice, Italy and brought it back to Poland. The stamp on the left was issued in 2001 as part of the Farms set. The one on the right is an Easter stamp from a 2011 set of 2.

The next few cards are cards that I had received sometime ago , before my blog started. They are great cards and do deserve their place in this blog. So here we go.

Cameroon- Bill , a U S Peace Corps member sent me this card in early 2007. He sent it from Buea, a town of about 90,000 in the south west province of Cameroon. It's a view of Mount Cameroon , the highest peak in west and central Africa at 4095 m. Bill used a 2000 stamp on the left. On the right is a stamp from 2005, 1 of a set of 8 issued to celebrate Co-operation with Japan.

Syria- Next is a card from Damascus, Syria. Sent in 2006 by May , the owner of Beit Al Mamlouka, it shows us the Great Omayyad Mosque ( Dome of the Treasure). May has since sold Beit Al Mamlouka, the first boutique hotel in Damascus. May used a 2004 stamp from a set of 4 showing farm animals.

Armenia- Now we have a card from Yerevan, Armenia. Another card from 2007. A multi view card, it shows us a number of the sights around the capital , Yerevan. The stamp used is from a set of 3 Eagle stamps issued in 2003. It may be a little tricky to see due to the very light shading of the stamp.

Myanmar- The last card for today comes from Yangon, Myanmar. Jerry sent this card in June of 2007. It shows the Shwedagon Pagoda. Its golden stupa rises 98 meters above the base and is covered with over 60 tons of pure gold. Jerry used a 1999 musical instrument stamp, a shan pot drum.

That's all for this time. See you soon. Leave a comment if you are inclined.
Take care.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

France, New Zealand, Swaziland, Finland, and Spain

I'm back with another update. Seems like a good day for postcards. It's pouring rain, has been for a couple days now and will be for a few more. My grandson's soccer game last evening was cancelled, and I was looking forward to the Calgary Vipers' baseball season opener tonight. I'm pretty sure that will be a rain out, the field must be sogged. That's why postcards are a great hobby, rain or shine, the mail arrives.

I have 5 postcards for this time. These have arrived over the past 2 days, so I guess it's time to get them up on the blog. O.K. Here we go.

France- Another great airline/aircraft on postcard.My collection of these continues to grow. I love these cards and this one is a great one. An Air France A320 in Retro. In November 2008, Air France rolled out an Airbus A320 with registration F-GFKJ that was repainted in the full 1946 paint scheme to celebrate the airline's 75 year anniversary. Note the Seahorse logo on the tail. This card shows the aircraft on the ground in Toulouse in November 2008. Yes, it's another card from Jean Pierre. He used a round stamp from a souvenir sheet of 2 different stamps , issued for the 800th anniversary of Reims Cathedral.

New Zealand- Greetings from New Zealand. A Flag postcard to boot. This card is from a Postcrosser named Jo who lives in Te Awamutu, a town of about 9,700 people on the North Island . The town is often referred to as "The Rose town of New Zealand", because of its elaborate rose gardens in the centre of the town. Jo used 1 of 2 stamps issued in 2010 to celebrate the All Blacks. The All Blacks are the National Rugby Team of New Zealand. The Rugby World Cup 2011 will be held in New Zealand. The Rugby World Cup 2011 will feature the best players in the world, and will be held in twelve venues around New Zealand. The tournament kicks off on Friday September 9, 2011, when hosts New Zealand take on Tonga, at Eden Park , Auckland. The final will be held at Eden Park on Sunday October 23 2011.
Teams from 20 countries will contest 48 matches, all looking for the ultimate prize, the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Swaziland- The Kingdom Of Swaziland I guess I should say. The card shows a couple of young boys dressed for the hunt. Another Jean Pierre card, but this time with help from Bruce. Jean Pierre wrote and addressed the card, while Bruce, who has often sent cards from South Africa and other places, posted the card while on a business trip to Mbabane, Swaziland on May 5th.
At this point, that's all I know. Obviously, more was involved. Bruce used, since he was the one doing the posting, a 2007 definitive stamp from a set of 13, all of which featured trees. The butterfly stamp is from a 12 values set issued 1992, even though they are dated 1991.

Finland- Now for a little unorthodox card. Certainly not a traditional tourist type card. The card is titled Grand Tour 2001. A little different meaning to the words "riding the rails" then we are used to. A nice card though. Kaisa used a 2007 butterfly stamp , from a set of 3.

Spain, Cartagena to be exact. This card shows a statue of a sailor walking along with his sea bag slung over his back. Jerry and Bev sent this card along. They just finished a transatlantic cruise and had a little time in Spain. Bev used a 2011 International Woman's Day stamp .

Well that's another one in the books. Oh yes, the ball game is now officially rained out. Maybe tomorrow, we'll see.
Take care , Come back soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Malaysia, South Africa and 2 From the Archives

Happy Victoria Day
I want to take this opportunity to wish my fellow Canadians a Happy Victoria Day. For all of you non Canadian readers abroad, let me explain. Victoria Day is a public holiday observed across Canada on the Monday before May 25th. It celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24th.
Victoria Day is always on a Monday, and thus the holiday is part of a long weekend, which is commonly referred to as the Victoria Day Weekend, the May Long Weekend, the May Long, or the May Two-Four (a case of beer in Canada is called a "two-four" and many of these are consumed over the holiday). The weekend is also called the May 24th weekend, although it does not necessarily fall on May 24th. The Victoria Day Weekend is the first popular weekend for spring / summer travel. Lots of people open up their cottages, plant gardens, or just get away. Banks, schools and post offices are closed today, so no new postcards today.
Just to have a little fun for the 24th here is a little musical ditty to celebrate the weekend. The first one is a little music video and the second one is just the song with the words so you don't get lost in the Newfoundland accent. Enjoy !

Now on to the postcards at hand. First up is a card from South Africa. All you flag postcard collectors out there should enjoy this one. The South African flag is ethnic in design and concept and heralds an era of optimism, progress and peace for all South Africa's varied race groups.
Bruce, a frequent contributor from down that way sent this card . Bruce used a newer definitive from 2010. It is 1 of a set of 27 showing handicrafts.

S.L. sent this next card from Malaysia. His card shows us the funicular train used to transport people and goods to Penang Hill (821 m above sea level). S.L. says that this train has now been replaced with an electrified train as of May of this year. We can also see a nice 2011 train stamp here, that looks like the train on the card.

An archive card, from 2006, is next. Izzi's card shows Deir El Kamar, a village in south central Lebanon, consisting of stone houses with red tiled roofs. Izzi used 2 stamps from a set of 9 issued in 2005 showing buildings. The top one shows The national Museum and the other is Government Palace.

Today's final card is from Guatemala. On it we have a view of Temple II from Temple I , or Gran Jaguar, in Tikal, one of the most famous Mayan cities. The stamps on Claudia's card all come from 2005. The 2 top ones are from a set of 8 , all showing churches. The bottom stamp is 1 of 4 issued for The Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal.
A short update again, but it seems I'm getting good at them. So thanks for today's card go to Bruce, S.L., Izzi and Claudia.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Wallis & Futuna, Sri Lanka and 30 postcards Project

I'm back with another short update. Short ones don't seem so daunting, so maybe I should stick with them. Anyway, I 'm here and that's what counts. I guess the old adage is true, you can't have too much of a good thing. Until a few days ago , I did not have a single card from Wallis and Futuna, this after 5 years of trying. Then I get one and now yesterday I get a second one, both thanks to Jean Pierre. This latest one is a generic type card showing a pineapple. I have heard that postcards are actually quite scarce on Wallis and Futuna, as the islands are not exactly a tourist mecca. Clearly postmarked at Mata-Utu, 5-5-2011, the stamp used is a 2011 issue marking the 170th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Pierre Chanel, who was murdered on Futuna April 28,1841.

My next card is from Sri Lanka. Ravindra sent this card of ladies plucking tea. As an avid tea drinker, it is interesting to see one part of the tea process. Both of the stamps used have a church on them. The vertical stamp on the left was issued in 2010 and shows holy Emmanuel Church. The other stamp is of St. Mary's Church.

The last card for today is from the U.S.A. Kevin sent it along. His project is called 30postcards.com. With this project, people from all over the World mail postcards and talk about something unique, odd, interesting,special, strange, exceptional, or fascinating about the places where they live or travel to. Give them a look and send a card. I'm not showing the stamp , it's just the often seen 2009 Grand Teton National Park stamp. The card itself is a specially printed card for the 30postcards project. That's today's update. Thanks to Jean Pierre, Ravindra and Kevin for their cards. Thanks to you for reading.

One more thing - in my update of Wed, May 11th I mentioned I had received a postcard from Madagascar , and I had no idea who sent it - well, mystery solved. I had word from Bruce in South Africa that he was responsible . So Thanks to Bruce

Take care, Back Tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Country # 246 Wallis and Futuna

Well I have finally done it. I have received a stamped postcard from Wallis and Futuna Islands. I have been actively pursuing a postcard from there for over 5 years . Of course , when I say, I have finally done it, we all know that this required the help and assistance of someone other than myself. I'll get to that later. This update will be a short one with just a single card, a Wallis and Futuna card. That is country or stamp issuing entity # 246 in my collection, leaving just 26 more to go to have conquered the world. It was really exciting opening the mailbox yesterday and finding just this single card inside.

Wallis and Futuna is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific. Total lland area is 264 sq km and there is is a population of around 15,000. Since 2003 Wallis and Futuna has been a French overseas collectivity. Its capital is Mata-Utu.

The aerial view on this card doesn't really show a whole lot but that is quite alright. On the reverse we can see the postmark reads "Mata-Utu, 5 - 5-2011, Wallis et Futuna." The sender used a 2010 Crab shaped souvenir sheet containing 2 different stamps , each one showing a crab. Now who do I have to thank for this great addition to the collection ? None other than Jean Pierre , himself. I don't know how he does it, but I'm just glad he does. And that he remembers GemWorldPostcards.

As I mentioned earlier this makes country # 246, the first new country received since back in February. I still have 26 to go , you can see them over to the left side, at the top.

That's the update for this time. Thanks again to Jean Pierre.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Gems From The Archives

Hello again, good for you for coming back.
This time , I have another bunch of cards from my archives. These are cards that I received before this blog went public. As I have said before they are good cards from good places that I want on the blog record as a place from which I have indeed received a card. All of today's cards are from islands except for the last one, which comes from Africa. My comments on the cards and where they come from may be less than my norm as I want to get in as many as possible. Here we go:

Card # 1 is from Niue, an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Though self-governing, Niue is in free association with New Zealand and lacks full sovereignty. All Niueans are New Zealand citizens. Interesting fact about Niue : with a population of about 1900, in 2003 Niue became the world's first WiFi nation, in which free wireless Internet access is provided throughout the country. Niue's tourism motto is "undiscovered unspoiled unbelievable". On the card , on the left we can see a Uga or coconut crab. The stamp is from a 2007 set of 7 definitives. This one shows a humpback whale.

Card # 2 comes from Palau. This Pacific island nation is located 800 km east of the Philippines. It is one of the world's youngest and smallest sovereign states, having just emerged from United Nations trusteeship in 1994. The card from The Airai View Hotel & Spa gives us a look at Long Beach Island. The stamp is from a 2007 set of 18 butterflies definitives.

Next up is a card from Papua New Guinea, a country in Oceania. It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined as Melanesia. It's capital is Port Moresby. Many people live in extreme poverty, with about one third of the population living on less than US$1.25 per day. Robert sent this card and it shows a scene or face from the Morobe Show 97. This show, held in Lae, is a major tourist attraction. It is the oldest festival in the country and started in 1959. Robert used a butterfly stamp from a 2006 set of 4.

Now we are going to move north from the Pacific to the Irish Sea. The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, but not a part of the United Kingdom, even though it's head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Hannah's card shows us Douglas Harbour, while her stamp is from a set of 5 flower stamps issued in 1998.
Sorry but you need to turn your head a little sideways for that one.

It's back to the warm waters again. This time we are going to The Maldives, a nation in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives are the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. It is also the lowest country on the planet, with an average ground level of 1.5 metres above sea level. It is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world at 2.3 metres. The front of the card shows a group of tourists heading for the Maldives. I guess they didn't realize how far away they were. When I go, I'll be sure to book a flight. The stamp- sorry but I couldn't find anything about it. But have a look at it anyway.

Now it's on to New Caledonia, a special collectivity of France, located in the southwest Pacific. It's capital is Noumea. Julie's card is of the typical touristy type card of palm trees, white sandy beaches and calm blue waters. A nice place to visit I think.
The large stamp that Julie used is the 2006 Christmas issue.

The next card is from The Commonwealth of Dominica. This island nation is in the Caribbean Sea. To the north northwest lies Guadeloupe , to the southeast lies Martinique. Christopher Columbus named the island after the day of the week on which he spotted it, a Sunday (dominica in Latin), November 3, 1493 . The picture on the card is entitled Roseau's Treasures and is the Cools-Lartigue Residence on King George V Street ,in Roseau, Dominica. The card was issued by S.H.A.P.E., the Society for Historic Architectural Protection & Enhancement. An Elvis Presley stamp was used , but I haven't been able to determine the year of issue. I looked in all my catalogues and also in the online catalogue that I use, but to no avail. Anyway, it's a great stamp . Many, many Elvis stamps have been issued over the years but this is just the first that I have actually received through the mail.

Finally, the last card for this time. It comes from the west African nation of Ghana. My card shows us 3 brightly colored African masks. These masks are crafts of the Asante, who are Akan people who live predominatly in Ghana and who speak Twi. The stamp which is badly damaged was issued in 1995 as part of a set of 6 definitives featuring butterflies, birds and fish.