Friday, January 27, 2012

Postcrossing, and a few Cards

A few words about Postcrossing.
Today, January 27, 2012 is a banner day for Postcrossing. Today Postcrossing recorded postcard 10,000,000 as received. That means postcard number 10 million was sent sometime ago from Japan and was received today in Germany. What a super feat ! Postcrossing went live on July 14, 2005 and its first 1,000,000 card was received on April 11, 2008 ; now just six and a half years later , we are at 10,000,000. Unbelievable ! Postcrossing has 284,372 members in 202 countries or places around the world. Here's a link so you can read the history of Postcrossing.

Now for some cards. My first card for today is from The Netherlands. Yes, it's another mailbox, and a British one to boot. I am receiving quite a number of these postbox/mailbox cards and that's great. Barbara from Amsterdam , along with her 2 daughters picked this card out for me. A nice selection of Dutch stamps was used on this card. The stamp on the left was issued in 1979 and commemorates Joost van den Vondel. The middle stamp is from a 2006 Joint Issue set of 5 with Germany. It shows Rembrandt's Mother. The stamp on the right , issued in 2006, is from a set of 5 entitled Beautiful Holland.

Card # 2 is from Japan and on the front is a red Snapper. I have tried a lot of fish in my time, but never Red Snapper. The larger stamp on the right is a nice , old stamp, 37 years old in fact. It was issued in 1975 for International Letter Writing Week. Do they still have such a thing ? Yes, indeed, at least in Japan and Thailand. Its aim is to contribute to World Peace by encouraging cultural exchanges among the people of the world through letter writing. A lofty goal for sure. And what about Postcards? There is a National Postcard Week and it's just 94 days away. It will be held May 1-7, 2012. I have decided to mail a postcard everyday to someone during National Postcard Week. If you're reading this, you might be the lucky one that day. How about You ? What will you do ?

This next card just reappeared yesterday after 38 years. My Lovely Teena was going through some old photos and stuff and happened upon this great card. It shows the Saint
Pierre Airport . Parked out front on the ramp is a Eastern Provincial Airways, Air St. Pierre DC3. I started my airline career with Eastern Provincial way back in 1974, and St. Pierre is where Teena and I spent our honeymoon. The card was never mailed but will make a great addition to my collection.

Last card for this time. If you read my last update from yesterday you remembe
r I received a beer card from someone somewhere in Canada. Well I think I have received another card from that same unknown person. At least the printing of the address look the same. There's no other information on the card. This one shows the skyline of Indianapolis lit up by fireworks. Same as the last one, a U.S. card posted from Canada. All I have to say to the sender- keep those cards coming. A 2011 Christmas Holly Permanent rate stamp was used on this one.

Another update in the books. Take care, come back again. Thanks to Barbara, Tsubasa, My Lovely Teena and the unknown sender.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Update Without a Title- You Have to Read to Know

It's Thursday and I have 4 cards for today. They come from Germany, Morocco, U.S.A and Canada.More about the cards in a bit. First , I have an update to something in my January 22nd entry. I had showed a postcard from Russia with the picture of some dude. I didn't know who he was or anything about him. Well Leslie of the postcard blog! was kind enough to do a little research and advise her findings. The postcard showed the painting Portrait of the Russian poet Gavril Derzhavin . It was painted in 1795 by Valadimir Borovikovsky. The dates I had mentioned 1757 and 1825 are the birth date and the date of the artist's death. The painting is in the Tretyakov Gallery in the National Museum of Russian Fine Art, Moscow. Thanks Leslie for that.

Now on to today's stuff.

Dorothee's card shows us the impressive Cologne Cathedral. Constructed between 1248 and 1880 it is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. We have 2 stamps on the card, including a flower definitive and a 2011 issue of an Aquarium-For Our Children.

Here's a card from Marrakesh, Morocco. Marrakesh has the largest traditional market ( souk ) in Morocco and also one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world , Djemaa el Fna. Jean Pierre's card is really a Morocco Flag card, but with four Moroccan scenes added, one in each corner. Two nice 2011 stamps were used.

Now for a different shaped card. It's a Greeting from Maine card . Molly , who visited Maine last fall, actually lives in Keene, New Hampshire, in the US Northeast. As you can see on the top of the card, Maine is a great place for lobster. Molly used 2 of the Pixar stamps issued back in August of 2011. These two feature Lightning McQueen & Mater on one and Buzz Lightyear on the other. My grandsons would love these stamps. This is the second card I have received with these Pixar stamps. I now have 3 of the 5 different designs. Who knows, I might receive all 5 eventually.

And the final card is this one from Canada. It is actually an advertising card for Hoptober Golden Ale , brewed by New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Co. USA. That my friends is all I know about this card, I have no idea who sent it, where in Canada it was posted from or anything else about it. It didn't even have my name on it, just my address. It even escaped a postmark, sadly. The stamp is a recent one though, it was issued on January 16, 2012. It is the official Diamond Jubilee Permanent stamp, issued to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. The stamp features a cameo of a photograph of Her Majesty in her royal robes and tiara.
So ends another entry in GemsWorldPostcards. Thanks go to Dorthee, Jean Pierre, Molly and the unknown stranger. Leslie , thanks again. Take care, enjoy your postcards and stamps, and hope you enjoyed your time here and do come back.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Train, Planes and a Postbox

I'm back with that one card left from last time, along with a couple of others. Today's cards come from Malaysia, Finland, Great Britain and Japan. Let's get it going with a train card from Malaysia.
The card has a great view of the Penang Hill funicular railway. The new modern one. Construction of the railway took place between 1906 and 1923. It was opened to the public on Oct 21, 1923. From February 2010 until April 25, 2011 , the railway was closed while being upgraded and for new cars to be purchased to increase the passenger capacity and the speed of the train. The new train and current railway, unlike the railway before 2010, does not require passengers to change trains half way up. Passengers have non-stop service in air conditioned cars. The blue, air-conditioned Swiss-made coaches, capable of ferrying up to 100 passengers at one go, run every half hour from 6.30am to 9pm daily. The new RM73mil system replaces the 87-year-old funicular railway, which was closed in February 2010. I have KHOR of KKKHOR STAMP COLLECTION to thank for this card. The stamp is from a set of 10 issued in 2011 entitled Nilai Nilai Murni.

My next card, a plane card comes from Helsinki, Finland. On it we see the Valmet Vihuri II , a type of trainer aircraft. Fifty one ( 51 ) were built and flown between 1951 and 1959, mostly by the Finnish Air Force. VH-18 , the one shown on this postcard and the only preserved Vihuri, is on display in the Central Finland Aviation Museum. Anne used a stamp from a 2011 souvenir sheet of 2. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Juhani Ano , a Finnish author and journalist.

Now we have a postcard of a book cover. Flight Three U.S.A. , a Ladybird Book of Travel Adventure by David Scott Daniell. Arthur from Great Britain sent this one along . He used a 76p Machin stamp .

Here's the last card for this time. It is an illustration of an old Japanese postbox. Annie writes that Japan has fantastic manhole covers, but unfortunately no postcards of them. She must have read of my manhole postcard collection- all one card so far. But I can always hope. Annie used a couple of flower stamps.

That's a wrap for this time. Thanks for reading. Thanks to Annie, Arthur, Anne and kkkhor for the cards.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Towers, Planes, Windsurfing, A Mailbox, and More

Here I am again, and why the gap of almost a week, you might ask ? I have no idea, I had the cards, I'm sure I had the time, it just never happened. I promise to do better this week. Now on the the cards.
Let's start with a card from Doha, Qatar. Compliments of Jean Pierre, it shows Aspire Tower, a 300 metre tower located in the Doha Sports City complex. The tower housed the Asian Games flame and served as the focal point for the 15th Asian Games hosted by Qatar in December 2006. Jean Pierre used 3 stamps from 2011. The large one on the right is from a s/s of 4 issued for the Qatar Classic Squash Championship. The other 2 , I wasn't able to find any info about.

Today's second card is some sort of advertising card from Beijing Capital International Airport. It shows a large 4 engine aircraft lifting off. There are a couple of slogans on the card - Small Cards-Kind Regards , and then there is , Beijing Capital Airport wishes you special happiness at the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is a pre stamped card so I can't really tell much about the stamp.

Now we move on to wind-surfing , and on this card it's windsurfing on San Francisco Bay in California. This card comes from Terry who writes-" came across your blog and thought you might enjoy a card". Terry, you are certainly right on that account, I always enjoy a card in my mail box, especially from someone who just happened across my blog. If you are reading this Terry and want an Alberta card in return, just drop me a comment at and I'll get one out to you. The 2 stamps are kind of cute. They are from a pane of 20 issued in Aug 2011, entitled Send a Hello, animation figures. This pane of 20 stamps includes five different designs featuring Pixar characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars (2006); Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille (2007); Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995); Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up (2009); and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E (2008). 2 of the 5 are on this postcard. Evan, my little grandson certainly likes Buzz Lightyear , so I know he'll enjoy looking at this stamp. He's also a big Lightning McQueen and Mater fan and would love that one , too.

Let's have a look at a mail box card next. A very colorful card, this one comes from Ukraine and according to Anna, all the post boxes in Ukraine look like this one. They are coloured in the colors of the Ukrainian national flag. The blue symbolizes peaceful skies and the yellow, rich fields. The large stamp, top left was issued in 2010 and is 1 of 4 in a set issued commemorating the Kiev Metro. The top right stamp , also was issued in 2010 and is from a set of 2 featuring sculptures. The 3 bottom stamps are from a set of 8 Handicrafts stamps issued in 2011.

Now, who's up for another tower, actually a lighthouse. It is Eluanbi Lighthouse, located on Cape Eluanbi, the southernmost point of Taiwan. The lighthouse is 21.4 meters high and construction on it started in 1881, with the light first lit in 1883. Yu-Jhen used 3 stamps , which unfortunately I wasn't able to locate any info about them.

The next card is what I call a Person card. I don't receive many of these and for good reason. Since it's from Russia and I don't read the language, I have no idea who this fellow is or was. I can tell you though that he lived from 1757-1825.
At least that is what the card indicates. So, if you were guessing Alexander I , I believe he was born 1777, 20 years later. I'm sure someone will come up with the truth. Oxana used a number of different stamps and the 2 I want to highlight are the 2 larger top stamps. The left stamp is a 2006 Christmas stamp and the other one is a stamp issued in 2010 celebrating the end of World War II in 1945.

I think that's a good place to end for this time. I still have one card left which I will save for tomorrow. I'm a bit stuck for time here now as I have to take off to my grandson Evan's birthday party. He will be 4 years old tomorrow, Monday.

Take care .

Monday, January 16, 2012

End of Yesterday's Update

Well, I never finished completely yesterday's update. By the time I called it a day, I still had 4 postcards left. So here they are. Number 1 is a card from Brazil. I don't get a lot of cards from down that way so this one is welcome. We can see a view of the city of Sao Paulo with May 23rd Avenue that connects the north to the south of the city. According to Fernanda this city is the biggest in Brazil. When the card was written, Fernanda noted that it was 28 C and sunny. Well that sounds really good as it's -27 C here as I write this. With the wind chill it feels like -37 C. That's a huge difference in temperatures. 55 degrees ! Sao Paulo looks like a big city and I guess it is. Fernanda used a 2009 stamp , 1 of 2 in a set .

Today's 2nd card comes from a Postcrosser in Duisburg, Germany. The city is located in the north west of the country and has the biggest inland harbour in the world. Unfortunately , I don't have any info on the bridge shown on the card. But it looks like a neat place for a picnic and some picture taking. Here you see the stamp used on this one.

This next card is a Lufthansa card with a Lufthansa Airbus A380 parked on the ramp. It is by far the world's largest passenger airliner. Lufthansa is one of seven airlines flying the A380. I guess I should add flying on one to my bucket list.
The stamp on the right is from a 2011 set of 5 stamps featuring postboxes. A rather neat set to own. Any takers out there ?

The final card for this time comes from St.Barthelemy, Guadeloupe, according to the postmark. Now , I think I'm going to need a little help on this one. Any of my French readers or anyone else for that matter, can leave a comment and enlighten me here. My understanding is that St. Barths is an overseas collectivity of France. It is one of four territories that comprise the French West Indies, along with Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin.
I also understood Guadeloupe to be an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. Its departmental code is 971, as shown in the postmark on this card.

I see on maps of the area that St Barths is well north of Guadeloupe. So I guess the part that I have difficulty with is , why does the postmark read both places ?

Now on to the card . It shows Gustaf III Airport in Saint Jean . It is named after King Gustav III of Sweden. It is said to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to its short runway. I like the French stamps on this one. The one on the left was issued in 2009 and commemorates the abolishment of slavery. The right stamp was issued in 2009 and honours Aime Cesaire.
Of course these are French stamps as neither St Barths or Guadeloupe issues their own.

This is my first card from St. Barthelemy and also my first card with a Guadeloupe postmark. I actually thought that I had earlier received a card from Guadeloupe but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, I am glad to have this card in my collection.

I think that's it for now. See you soon. Thanks to those that sent these cards.
Cheers !

Sunday, January 15, 2012

United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Paris, Postboxes, USS Philadelphia, SR/71, Sao Paulo, St. Barth, Lufthansa Airbus A380, and a Bridge

Wow, that's quite the title, lots of cards covering lots of stuff. Another of my mishmashes. So let's get to it , I have a lot to cover today.
Card # 1 - Comes from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On it we can see Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It is the country's grand mosque and as such it is the key place of worship for Friday gatherings. The mosque has a capacity of over 40,000. It has 82 domes and 4 minarets. Jean Pierre posted this card 17 Dec 2011 and that month marked the 40th anniversary of the creation of The Emirates on 02 Dec 1971. One of the two stamps that were used commemorates this event. The other stamp, issued in 2009 is one of 7 Bird definitives.

The next card is from Sri Lanka. Pictured is Bogawantalawa, "The Golden Valley of Tea ". And no likes a good cup of tea more than me.
Ravindra sent this card and he has a couple of postcard blogs. One is called Discover the World on Trains and another is Lighthouses on Post Cards. The 2 stamps used are the 2011 Christmas stamps.

Jean Pierre's card showing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is next. This Roman Catholic cathedral was completed in 1345. Three Marianne definitives , along with a 2010 commemorative depicting said cathedral were used.

Japanese postboxes appear on this next card. The card snows 3 styles from 1871, 1908, and 1962. I like 1908 the best. Masayo , a Postcrosser from Japan sent this card. I worked for a number of years with a young lady named Masayo. It's not her though. Here are the stamps Masayo used.

The next 2 cards are the result of a private swap with Kate. She operates a great postcard blog called deltiolog. We've swapped a few cards in the past and I hope we do so again. She has great cards and a huge bunch of great stamps as is evident on these cards.
Here's a card showing the USS Philadelphia. Now I've been collecting postcards for over 6 years and scanning postcard blogs for that amount of time and let me say, one doesn't see many submarine cards. The USS Philadelphia , a U.S. Navy nuclear class high speed attack submarine is seen churning along on the surface. The 360 foot, 6,900 ton vessel was launched on October 19, 1974 and decommissioned on June 25, 2010.

Here is Kate's 2nd card. It gives us a look at the SR/71 Reconnaissance Aircraft. Before I go any further , let me say that the photo is courtesy of the United States Air Force. I think the photographer could have moved slightly to the right and included both engines. The SR/71 served with the USAF from 1964 to 1998. Of 32 aircraft built, 12 were destroyed in accidents. None were lost due to enemy action. The Blackbird as it was commonly called was an advanced , long range, mach 3+ reconnaissance aircraft. It operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface - to- air-missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outrun the missile. It's top speed was around 3,530+ km/h. It landed quite fast too, requiring a parachute at the rear to slow it down. This plane brings back memories for me from 1974-1978. I was living and working at Goose Bay , Labrador and the U.S.A.F. operated an airbase there at Goose Air Base. I seen the SR/71 up close, I seen them land and I seen them take off. Take off was best, using just a small amount of runway, they lifted off and went straight up like a missile. Out of sight in seconds. Those were the days.
That's 2 great cards , Kate. I'm showing the stamps from both cards together. On the sub card we see a 1993 Joe Louis stamp and 2 of 4 Space Projects stamps issued in 1992. On the SR/71 card we have a 1994 issued Winter Olympic stamp, 1 of 5 in a set and the remaining 2 of 4 Space Projects stamps from 1992.

I think that's about it for this time. I still have 4 cards left , but I'll save them for next time. I'm calling it a day or a night , what ever it might be. Thanks to all for their cards. Take care and enjoy the coming week.