Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day 2014

Today is Boxing Day here in Canada. The Christmas rush has passed, today is a day to relax, and nothing relaxes more than postcards. So, here's a few cards to relax by.

My first card comes from China. The card was bought in the old town of Lijiang, a city in the Northwest of Yunnan province. It is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Old Town of Lijiang. It was added to the List in 1997.

The card shows what appears to be a scene from a market. Li , who lives in Inner Mongolia sent this card. This is an autonomous region  of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country, bordering Mongolia and Russia. Its capital is Hohhot. Li used 2 stamps on this card, a Bird stamp and a Fish stamp. The Bird stamp is a 2002 definitive from a set of 3. The Fish stamp is from a set of 8 issued in 1998 to bring attention to the upcoming  22nd Universal Postal Union Congress in Beijing in 1999.

Card # 2 arrived from Rockville, Maryland, located some 20km from the subject of this next card, Washington, D.C. On it we see the Lincoln Memorial. It honours the 16th President of the United States. This figure of Lincolm, sitting in contemplation, is 19 feet high and weighs 175 tons. It's a very impressive monument and one I saw first hand a number of years ago.

This is a card from a Postcrosser named Evan. He used the 2013 Global Forever self adhesive stamp showing Ocean Currents. A fairly common stamp these days.

Dusseldorf is up next. According to the card, this is what Dusseldorf looked like about 100 years ago. It would be interesting to see a recent postcard showing a view from this same spot. I'm sure there would be lots of changes.

Ralf used 2 Flower definitives along with a 2012 Train stamp. It celebrates 125 Years of Narrow Gauge Railway Service in the Harz., the highest mountain range in Northern Germany. 

Here's a card from Ukraine, giving us a look at hollow-tree beehives, dating from the late 19th century. Also on the card , behind that fence, is The Church of the Resurrection in the village of Kysorychi. It was built in 1784.

The stamp used here is a definitive from a 2008 set of 13 Handicrafts.

You can see a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this card from South Korea, a country that I haven't received a whole lot of cards from .   This one is of Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, part of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This palace complex was added to the WHS list in 1997.

Jienn Yoo used a 2011 Flag stamp here.

There you have it, my Boxing Day update. Very relaxing indeed. Thanks for today's card go out to Li, Evan, Ralf, and Jienn Yoo, and all you reading this. Let me know what you think. Take care and with luck I'll be back again before the New Year. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas To One and All



It's Christmas Eve 2014 - Merry Christmas To One and All

Once again as Christmas Day is just about upon us, I want to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow postcard collectors , cover and stamp collectors and bloggers , along with all my readers a very Merry Christmas. My Christmas wishes for all of you are again summed up in the 3 Christmas stamps issued by Canada Post in 2007. Hope , Joy, and Peace. What more could we ask for ?

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year , Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee , Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo ,Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo, Mele Kalikimaka me Ka Hou'öli Makahiki Hou.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Another December Update

Hello again, I'm back with another update. Four cards this time. Two from Nepal and 2 from Malaysia.  The Nepal cards were a surprise, but I guess all cards are really a surprise. But what I mean is that the sender Chiayu is a first timer sending me cards. This first card shows us Kathmandu Durbar Square,  the plaza in front of the old royal palace of the then Kathmandu Kingdom. The Kathmandu Valley area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1979. The square is  the center of important royal events like the coronation of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1975 and King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah in 2001.

 I'll show the stamps after this second card. It's another card sent by Chiayu. This one shows a couple of the erotic temple carvings of Kathmandu. Apparently,  erotic carvings in temples are normal in Kathmandu valley. All over Nepal on the roof struts of temples are richly detailed carvings, sometimes plain wood, sometimes colorfully painted and often of what westerners would consider an erotic nature. So if you're not 18 , you might not want to look at this next postcard. 

Now Chiayu, who lives in Taiwan, but was visiting Nepal, sent these cards in an envelope. Here are the 5 stamps that arrived on the cover. 

Let's start at the top and work down. Stamp # 1 was issued in 1994 , 1 of a set of 4 Personalities stamps. This one shows Balaguru Shadananda , a religious leader. Then we have another Personalities stamp from a 2013 set of 4 . This one shows Dr Dilliraman Regami, a Nepalese Freedom Fighter, Historian and Philanthropist.  The 3rd and 4th stamps , issued in 2011 and 2013 respectively , show Nepalese Temples. The bottom stamp, from 2006, celebrates Nepal's 50 Years of Universal Postal Union membership.

As a long time stamp collector and now a postcard collector of more than 8 years, I can safely say one doesn't receive or even see mail or stamps from Nepal all that often. So when something arrives from over there, it's great. 

Now, today's first card from Malaysia, is a fine addition to my Aircraft/Airlines on Postcards Collection. It shows a Malaysia Airlines B777.  Let's not forget that it was 2 Malaysia B777s that were lost this past year. MH370 disappeared back in March with 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard. That plane has yet to be found.  Then in July MH017 was shot down over Ukraine with a lost of 283 passengers and 15 crew.  That's 537 lives gone in a blink. Here's the postcard sent by Jean Pierre from Kuala Lumpur. 

It's really great when an aviation postcard arrives with an aviation related stamp. Jean Pierre used a 2011 100 Years of Aviation stamp showing an Airbus A380. It is 1 of 3 in the set. 

The second card from Malaysia, also sent by jean Pierre, gives a great view of the city of Kuala Lumpur. You can see the KL Tower and the world renowned Petronas Twin Towers. 

On this card Jean Pierre used a newer 2014 stamp . It is 1 of 10 in a Museums set of Hidden Treasures. 

Little interesting thing about this cancellation is the special handstamp just under the regular cancellation. It says Malaysia Day 01.12.14 . I read that as December 1, 2014 . The funny thing is that all my research shows that Malaysia Day is held on 16 September every year. Who knew ? 

Anyway, that the update for this time. Thanks to Chiayu and Jean Pierre for their cards. Take care and see you again soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One More December Post

It's been well over a week since I was last here. I said last time that updates this month would be few and far between. Looks like I was right. Excuses I have none other than I flew out to Calgary for a week , got back Monday evening. Found a few cards in the mailbox so here I am. There were 3 cards from Thailand and 1 from Zambia, all with wonderful stamps as you will see in a bit.

Let's do Thailand first. This is a card from Jean Pierre and it shows Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. This temple , built in 1782 ,  is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Back on Nov 30th I updated another card showing this temple and wrote a fair bit about it. Check it out if you want to know more.

Jean Pierre used a fine selection of stamps here. The large stamp on the left is from a set of 4 issued on Nov 20th of this year showing Thailand's Navy ships. The ship shown here is His Thai Majesty's Ship Chakri Naruebet. Ship # 911 was commissioned on March 20, 1997 and was the first Helicopter Carrier of the Thai Royal Navy. The small definitive stamp in the center shows King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is 1 of 6 issued in 1988. The final stamp on the right is one issued in 2012 celebrating the 50th birthday of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Here's a second card from Thailand, this one showing Wat Chai Wayyhanaram .
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya Historical Park, Thailand, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, outside Ayutthaya island. It is one of Ayutthaya's best known temples and a major tourist attraction. Constructed in 1630 the temple's name literally means the Temple of long reign and glorious era.

This is Jobbo's second card to me. As he did with his first, he again used an outstanding selection of Thai stamps, 6 this time. So let's get to them. On the top left is a stamp issued in 1996 . It is 1 of 5 in a set to mark the Golden Jubliee of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on June 9th, 1996. The next stamp , to the right, is 1 of 4 issued in 2009 honouring Prince Bhanurangsi. Next is a stamp showing King Pradjadhipok who reigned from 1925-1935. Below that is a stamp from 2002 showing a temple. It's from a set of 4. The far right stamp was issued in 2004 and shows Queen Rambhai Bharni. Finally, the stamp in lower left , issued in 2001 celebrates the Centenary of the Police Cadet Academy.  

Jean Pierre's second card gives us a couple of views of Suvarnbhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, also known as Bangkok International Airport, is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. The other is Don Mueang International Airport. Suvarnabhumi was officially opened for limited domestic flight service on 15 September 2006, and opened for most domestic and all international commercial flights on 28 September 2006 .
It is currently the main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways and Orient Thai Airlines. 

More great Thai stamps arrived on this card. On the left is another of the Golden Jubilee stamps from 1996. In the middle is a  2014 stamp showing Don Mueang International Airport. Over on the right is a 2011 stamp celebrating Buddhist Monks. There are 5 in this set. 

 That 's 3 great cards from Thailand, with a total of  12 wonderful and large Thai stamps. Add in the 5 stamps on Jobbo's first card and I have added 17 stamps to my Thailand collection. Not too bad at all. I am surely going to collect the stamps of Thailand as a result.

 Now let's fly approx 8500km to Livingstone, Zambia , where my last card for today, arrived from.
 Livingstone was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British Colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It is named after David Livingstone, the British  explorer who was the first European to explore the area. Bruce's card shows a great view of the falls and surrounding area.

 Bruce used a stamp showing some building., but I wasn't able to locate any info about the stamp itself. And you know of course, I hate saying that. I tried everything, but to no avail. That's the way it is sometimes I guess. 

Anyway, here's the stamp, perhaps one of you readers will have better luck and maybe let me know something about the stamp. I hope so. 


There you have it, another update in the books. Thanks for the cards go out to Jean Pierre. Jobbo and Bruce.  Don't forget, if you have any comments , be sure and leave them. Love reading them. Should get a couple more updates in before Christmas, but it is getting busy, so one never knows. Take care.  Later.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yes, I Know It's December

Yes, it is December and has been for almost a week now, it's certainly time for an update. I best get one in now , as I don't know how often I'll get back on here this month. I just know December , this year, is going to be extremely busy , so postcard updates may be few and far between. Be that as it may, today is today and I have 2 cards to blog about. One is from Switzerland and the other is from France.

Let's start with the card from Switzerland. The card gives us a look at some scenery around Meilen and also a look at the ferry that operates between Meilen and Horgan, across Lake Zurich .  Meilen is a municipality in the district of Meilen in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland. Meilen dates back more than 4000 years. Locals have unearthed coins from Roman times ( 1st to 3rd century ) . The church shown on the front dates to a chapel of the 7th century. The current church was built in 1493. 

Zdenka sent this card and used 2 stamps that would be of interest to collectors of Animal topical stamps. On the left is a stamp from 2013. This stamp , which shows a Goat and a Dog , celebrates 500 Years of the Canton of Appenzell in the Swiss Confederation. The stamp on the right is a Europa issue from 2010 celebrating Childrens Books. It also shows 2 Goats.


The second card for today came from Dijon, France. Dijon is a city in eastern France, capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region. The city of Dijon holds an International and Gastronomic Fair every year in autumn. With over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, it is one of the ten most important fairs in France. Dijon is also famous for Dijon mustard which originated there in 1856.

This is another card from Dominique. The stamp used is 1 of 4 in a 2014 souvenir sheet showcasing European capitals, all 4 in this sheet celebrate Vienna.

Well, that's it for this time, short and sweet. As I mentioned a short time ago, cards arriving in my mailbox have dwindled to a trickle.  I'm not sure of the cause, maybe something to do with my move, maybe I don't send enough out, maybe I'm no longer on many peoples radar, I don't know, but it's hard to blog about postcards when the mailbox is empty more often than not. But, as someone once said - " It is what it is " .

Thanks for today's card going out to Zdenka and Dominique.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Last of November and November's Last

Yes, it is the last of November and so today's update will be November's last one. I only have three cards for today they are three good one. First up is a card from Bangkok, Thailand. It came as a surprise , another card from a reader of this blog. Jobbo's card shows Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.  The Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.The main building houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue, is in a standing form, about 66 centimetres (26 in) tall, carved from a single jade stone ("emerald" in Thai means deep green colour and not the specific stone).  Except for the Thai King, no other person is allowed to touch the statue. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year, corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons, an important ritual performed to usher good fortune to the country during each season.

Jobbo must have went out of his way putting stamps on this card. It is adorned with 5 large, wonderful , different stamps. Let's have a look at them. Top left is a stamp issued in 2011 commemorating 100 Years of Thai Boy Scouts. Bottom left is a 2012 stamp honouring Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, founder of the modern Thai education system.  It is 1 of 4 in the set.  Continuing left is a stamp celebrating Rotary and it was issued in 2001. Next is a stamp from a sheet of 8 issued in 2014. The sheet featured Masks. A very nice sheet . An equally nice sheet of Masks was also issued in 2013. The last stamp , on the right is 1 of 6 in a mini sheet of Paintings featuring Queen Sirikit. Another equally  attractive sheet.

Jobbo did a great job sending a wonderful card with an outstanding selection of fine attractive stamps. It's what every card wants to receive. I may very well start collecting  the stamps of Thailand, as a result of this card. 

Wonderful card # 2 is next and it also arrived with a selection of great stamps . It's from Gibraltar and is only my 3rd card from The Rock.( And I don't mean Newfoundland here )  Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean.The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. It reaches a height of 426 metres and is made of limestone. 

Jean Pierre's card shows the city area populated by just over 30,000. Here we have 2 large attractive stamps , each with its own circular cancellation . Exactly what a stamp and postcard should get, but rarely does. On the left is a 2012 stamp celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. It is 1 of 4 in the set. On the right , is 2013 stamp celebrating Gibraltar's membership in the UEFA, Wunion of European Football Associations.

Today's final card comes from France. It shows the Dolder in Riquewihr, in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. Riquewihr looks today more or less as it did in the 16th century. It is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France. The Dolder was built in 1291.

Dominique used a 2014 Joint Issue with China stamp. It is 1 of 2 in the Rivers set.

That's today's three cards. Thanks to Jobbo, Jean Pierre and Dominique. Jobbo, glad you're enjoying my blog. Keep reading.
See you again soon, in December. Take care. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Few Cards , Covers and a Unique Souvenir Sheet

Hello again, here I am back again with update # 610. As the title of today's entry says, I have a few cards, a few stamped covers and a souvenir sheet , to have a look at . Let's start with a card from Ireland.
It brings greetings from County Galway, a county in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Population of the area is just over 250,000. David's card shows a directional sign for Galway, along with 2 of the locals. On the back of the card is a little slogan or title. It reads "Black and White, Left and Right. See Ewe Later". I think that sums up the card quite well. 

 David used 2 stamps on his card. On the left is a self adhesive definitive from this year featuring a Wren. I believe there are 8 in the set. On the right is a stamp celebrating the birth of Thomas Osborne Davis , in 1814. Davis was an Irish writer, poet and chief organiser of the Young Ireland movement. Davis believed that it was not blood that made a person Irish, but the Willingness to be part of the Irish nation. Sadly, Davis died at the young age of 30.


My second card for this time is a fine addition to my Airlines/Aircraft on Postcards Collection. This time it's a JAL DC-10.   Japan Airlines or JAL used the DC-10 ti fly medium to long distance routes. The aircraft featured three engines, one under each wing and one at the base of the vertical fin. Dc-10's carried up to 380 passengers. Between 1971 and 1988, 386 DC-10 aircraft were delivered.  The DC-10's last commercial passenger flight took place in February 2014.

This card flew in from Singapore. It arrived in an envelope loaded with lots of stamps.  Ben 's stamps include, left to right , a 2010 stamp celebrating Festivals. It is 1 of 8 in the set. Then we have a 2014 stamp highlighting Vanishing Trades. Shown on the stamp is a Kachang Putel Seller. That is a white paper cone filled with nuts. Then , top right is another 2014 stamp featuring Sang Nila Utama and a lion. Legend says that Prince Sang Nila Utama was hunting on the east coast of Sumatra when he sighted the white sands of the distant island of Tumasek. He decided to cross the sea to explore the island. Midway to the island he met with a heavy storm and his boat was in danger of capsizing, to save his boat he ordered his men to throw everything overboard; finally he had to even throw his heavy crown into the sea, whereby the storm immediately subsided. Upon reaching the shore of Tumasek, he sighted a regal animal he had never seen before; his advisor told him the animal could be a singa (lion in Sanskrit). The prince was sufficiently impressed by his sighting and decided to settle on the island, renaming it Singapura or Lion City. The Bird stamp was issued in 2007 , 1 of 10 in a set of Flora and Fauna definitives.

Greetings from Belarus is next. Alexandra , who reads this blog sent this card along. She says she found my blog by chance. Now that she has, I hope she continues to read it.

The stamps on this one are 5 of the 12 in a set of definitives showing Buildings. They are self adhesives.

Now for that special item I mentioned at the end of my last update. It's a souvenir sheet from Switzerland. A uniquely styled and designed souvenir sheet. On September 4th of this year , Swiss Post issued a souvenir sheet "Record" complete with a soundtrack. It's shaped like a turntable record player from 1961.  And, believe me it really is a real record. I put it on my record player, turned it on and was treated with a brass band version of the Swiss national anthem. Here it is , what do you think ?

Zdenka , who has sent a couple of postcards before, sent this special sheet in an envelope adorned with 10 different Swiss stamps from 2009, 2012 and 2013. I'm not going to write about each stamp, other than show them , but would like to mention the 2009 stamp showing an airplane. It is 1 of 3 in a set issued for the 50 Years of the Swiss Museum of Transport. It's another stamp for my Aviation Stamp Collection.

So there it is . Thanks to David, Ben, Alexandra and Zdenka for these great cards, covers and souvenir sheet. Take care. See you soon. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

More Than Seven Years Ago Today

Hello readers, here I am with an update again today. It's been over 7 years now that I have been blogging here on Gem's World Postcards . I first went live here on Nov 13, 2007 and today's update is # 609. That's cause to celebrate, I think. I certainly never dreamed  way back then that I'd still be doing this in 2014 and looking ahead to 2015. But there it is. It's all good.

But I could never have reached this far without a lot of support. I have to thank All who have sent me so many postcards over the years. You know who you are, so take a bow. Thanks to my readers and to all who have left comments , I love reading them. I hope everyone can still join me here and help me get to at least 10 years. That doesn't seem that far away now.
Once again I say, "Thanks everyone ".

Now it's back to cards. Today's entries come from Australia, France, U.S.A., another from France, Serbia and Switzerland. Let's start with the card from Switzerland. On this first card we can see a couple of views of Schwyz, Switzerland.   The town of Schwyz is the capital of the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland. The Federal Charter of 1291 or Bundesbrief, the charter that eventually led to the foundation of Switzerland, can be seen at the Bundesbriefmuseum, it is currently exhibited at the archives of the Swiss Charters of Confederation in Schwyz. Also on the card is the Catholic Parish Church of St. Martin.

This is my 2nd card from Zdenka. On this one she used 2 fine stamps from 2012. On the left is one commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the William Tell open - air theatre in Interlaken. Then on the right is a stamp marking the 500th Anniversay of the William Tell play in Altdorf.

Next up is a card from Belgrade, Serbia, the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. A number of old buildings and towers are shown on Ana's card, with the Old Palace , housing the City Assembly of Belgrade in the lower right.

Ana used a stamp from a really nice set of 4 Cats and Foxes ( Predators ) issued this year. Between stamps 2 and 3 was a Tab, which could easily be confused for a stamp.


Don't forget to check out Ana's great postcard blog called "My World of Postcards ". You can find it right here .

The Paris Opera is the subject of my next card which arrived from Paris. It is the primary opera company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV.

This is a card from Johan. He used a stamp from a set of 12 celebrating the New Industrial France. Johan was able to secure a First Day of Issue Cancellation on this one, with a special and unique cancel from Paris on 24-10-14.


Be sure to give Johan's postcard blog a look here.

Now for a Lighthouse card from the U.S.A. These are lighthouse of Casco Bay in Maine. Casco Bay  is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine U.S.A. The city of Portland sits along its southern edge . A number of lighthouses including Portland Head Light are seen on the card. Absent from Lynne's card is Pocahontas Light at Echo Point, the smallest lighthouse registered with the U.S. Coast Guard , standing at just 6 feet.

Lynne, a former Postcrosser from Liberty used the 2014 nondenominated ($1.15) Sea Surface Temperatures Global Forever stamp issued April 22nd. This was the 2nd U.S. Global Forever Stamp.


Here's a card from Lille, France.Lille is a city in the North of France. It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in France after those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated in French Flanders, near France's border with Belgium. Lille is an important crossroads in the European high-speed rail network. It lies on the Eurostar line to London (1:20 hour journey). The French TGV network also puts it only 1 hour from Paris, 35 minutes from Brussels and other major centres in France such as Marseille, Lyon, and Toulouse further away.  Lille has many famous citizens past and present including Louis Pasteur and Charles de Gaulle.  Dominique's card shows a typical restaurant or cafe called Estaminet where one might order chicken with French cheese and French fries.

France issued a beautiful Souvenir Sheet of European Capitals ( in this case Vienna ) , this year,  and this is one of the stamps in that sheet. Certainly a sheet that would look good in my collection. 

Today's final card comes from Down Under, Sydney, Australia. A place I hope to check out in March. Giraffes in front of the Sydney Opera House. Not sure I'll see that though. The Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. It was officially opened on 7 October 1916. The Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals of 340 species .

Postcrosser Lady Demelza used 1 of 3 stamps in a 2014 National Parks Issue. This one highlights Alpine National Park in Victoria. Another nice set of stamps.

So ends update # 609. Another good one. Thanks for the cards going out to Zdenka, Ana, Johan, Lynne, Dominique and Lady Demelza. If  you have any comment about this update, be sure to leave it. Take care and see you next time. I have a little something special to show you next time. Cheers .