Sunday, June 29, 2014

One More June Update

Hello again postcard people. Here is another June update. My first card arrived from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It's a multi- view card showing the Burj Al Arab Hotel, The Palm, sand dunes and a couple of locals ( camels) .

This card arrived as a bit of a surprise. It is from Fati, a PostCrosser , from Germany. She just recently traveled to Dubai , where she is starting a number of months of travel. Fati earlier sent a correspondence saying I could expect a number of postcards from her over the coming months. Sounds like music to my ears.  Fati used a 2013 stamp , 1 of 4 in a set , that commemorates the 10th Year of the Dubai International Film Festival. 

My next card shows and is from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. The view on this card shows just how large and  important a port it is.

I've had this card from Bruce for quite a while now, almost a year. Just getting around to showing it . Bruce was attending the International Congress of Vexillology  in Rotterdam. Vexillology - I had to look that one up  for sure !  It's the study of the history , symbolism and usage of flags, or any interest in flags in general. Who knew ? Bruce, I guess that makes you a vexillologist or a vexillophile.
Bruce used a 2011 Environment  stamp, 1 of 2 self adhesives in the set.

Here's  a card from Strasbourg. Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin d√©partement. Dominique's card gives a look at Strasbourg Cathedral. Construction started on it in 1015 and ended in 1439. Today it is the sixth-tallest church  in the world and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.

Dominique used a 2013 stamp featuring Bernard de Clairvaux, a French abbot.

Now a card from a PostCrosser in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Amersfoort is a municipality and the second largest city of the province of Utrecht in central Netherlands. The city is growing quickly but has a well-preserved and protected medieval centre. The city celebrated its 750th birthday in 2009. The card shows the Koppelpoort. The Koppelpoort is a medieval gate in the  town .  Completed around 1425, the gate combines land- and water-gates, and is part of the second city wall of Amersfoort, which was constructed between 1380 and 1450.

Martine used a small selection of stamps, 2 regular postage and 1 semi-postal. The center stamp, the semi-postal,  was issued in 1984 , 1 of 4 featuring Comic Strips. The surtax was in support of Child Welfare. The stamp on the left was issued in 1993 , 1 of 3 in a Butterflies set. The stamp on the right, also issued in 1993 commemorates the 75th Anniversary of Wageningen University .

 And the final card for this time is from China. On it we see visitors walking in Chengde Mountain Resort. The Mountain Resort in Chengde or Ligong, is a large complex of imperial palaces and gardens situated in the city of Chengde in Hebei, China. In December 1994 the Mountain Resort was listed by UNESCO on its list of World Heritage Sites.

 Wei used 2 stamps on this postcard. On the left is 1 of a set of 3 issued in 2012 featuring Merchant Trade. The stamp on the right, also issued in 2012, is some sort of Lottery Stamp. Not quite sure of the details on this one.


That's it for this time. Thanks for cards go to Wei, Dominique, Bruce, Fati and Martine. Thanks for reading and with luck I should get one more update in before July rolls in. Take care.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Three cards

Hello again. I'm back with 3 more cards . The first one is a shaped postcard, in the shape of a London Bus.  The London Bus is one of London's principal icons, the red rear-entrance Routemaster being recognised worldwide. Although the Routemaster has now been largely phased out of service, with only two heritage routes still using the vehicles,the majority of buses in London are still red and therefore the red double-decker bus  remains a widely recognised symbol of the city.

Now I'm not one to talk but doesn't that chap sitting in the window seat on top look like Charles, The Prince of Wales. I'm not sure how this will scan , but if you click on the image, you might see some resemblance. I didn't know the Royals took the bus !

David , who recently visited London sent this card along. Be sure to check out his great Postcard and Travel Blog here.  He used a regional definitive , along with a new 2014 stamp highlighting the British movie "A Matter of Life and Death ". It is from a set of 6. The definitive was issued for England.

This second card arrived from Scotland. It shows a painting called '" Wild Blue Flowers " , a watercolour by Sophie Appleton.

Joan, a PostCrosser from Scotland, used a couple of the Machin definitives along with a 2013 Butterfly stamp. It is from a set of 10 .

Here's a card from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The church has been called "one of the most endearing" of the city's landmarks.It was  built over the course of several decades in the first half of the 20th century. The church building is topped with an elaborate crown, "allegedly designed to resemble a tiara worn by Carlota, one of Emperor Maximilian's mistresses".

This one arrived with 2 copies of the 2013 Friendship Day stamp. I do believe Friendship Day is the Mexican equivalent of Valentine's Day. 

That's the end of another fine update. Thanks for cards go out to David and Joan. Take care now and be sure to come back again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer's First Update

Summer has officially arrived and with that , it is more difficult to spend time here on the blog. I want to be outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine, but GemsWorldPostcards must go on. My cards for today come from France, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland and Mexico.
Let's start with France. It's another Airline postcard for my Airlines and Aircraft Collection. This time it's an  Air Liberte MD-83 at Orly Airport. Air Liberte was founded in France in July of 1987.  It mainly operated to destinations in European and Mediterranean holiday resorts, however it had some intercontinental routes.The airline experienced some ups and downs ( no pun intended ) and despite government aid, was forced to declare bankruptcy in August 2002. During its 15 year history , Air Liberte operated a number of different aircraft types, including A300s, A310s, ATR42s, B737s, DC-10s, MD-82s and the aforementioned MD-83s.The particular aircraft shown , F-GHEB, was stored in 2009 after seeing service with Air Liberte, Khors Air, Daallo Airlines and Aeropostal.

Fabienne used a number of wonderful stamps including a great Aviation Stamp from 1980. It commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the First Non-Stop Paris to New York flight, in 1930. The pilots were Dieudonne Costes and Maurice Bellonte and it took them 27 hours and 18 minutes. The small stamp in the middle is a 2013 Marianne definitive, 1 of 14 in the set. The stamp on the right , also from 2013 , is 1 of 4 Fashion stamps in a set. Fabienne collects UNESCO World Heritage Site postcards and has a wonderful blog about them  here .

My second card today arrived from Charleroi, Belgium. It's a city  located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.. Heavy fighting  took place in this area during World War I due to the city's strategic location on the Sambre. Johan's card shows some of the equipment of war used in and around Normandy  in 1944 during World War II.

Johan used a recent World Cup of Hockey stamp. The 2014 Hockey World Cup was held from 31 May to 15 June 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. To us Canadians that's one strange looking hockey stick, though. I know , I know , Field Hockey , right ?  Be sure to check out Johan's great postcard blog right here .

Here's a card from Denmark. My fourth one actually. I haven't received very many cards from there, four in eight years. I should be able to do better than that, don't you think ? This card gives us a look at the Horsens Theatre, built in 1909. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1992.   Bob Dylan, Madonna and The Rolling Stones have all given concerts in Horsens. The city, which was founded in the 12th century , has a population of approximately 56,000 is about 200 km from Copenhagen.

This is a card from Hans. This is a case of first contact. I guess he read this blog and decided to send a postcard. If that is the case, thanks Hans and check your mail in a week or so. Hans used a nice selection of stamps. On the left is a recent 2014 stamp, 1 of 2 in the Norden set. In the center are a number of Wavey Line definitives. Interestingly these Wavey Line stamps have been issued since 1905. The last 2 stamps on the right are 2 of the Hans C. Andersen issue from 2012.

I think that will do for this time. I had 2 more cards set for this time , but the sunshine is calling me out. It's just too good  to be inside here typing this out. 
See you again soon.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Birthday Post

No, it's not GemsWorldPostcards birthday, it's not PostCrossing's birthday, but it is my birthday. Yes, on this date, June 20th  , a number of years ago I happened along. That's one way of putting it, I guess. So  I try to get this post written before my family arrives to help me celebrate.

My first card today is from France. It shows cave art from Lascaux.  Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac. The art is over 17,000 years old and in 1979, Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

 Jean Pierre wrote that Lascaux II was a wonder of nature and history. His stamp is one issued for the 100th Anniversary of the First World War .

My second card arrived from Belgium, and is postmarked Charleroi. Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. By January 1, 2008, the total population of Charleroi was 201,593 . Johan's card is a bird's eye view of Antwerp, the second most populous city in Belgium, after the capital  Brussels. I do believe that is the Cathedral of Our lady, in the center of the picture. This is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site added in 1999 under the official name of "Belfries of Belgium and France ".

 Johan used a couple of the new Belgian stamp celebrating the World Cup now taking place in Brazil. Take note of the special soccer ball cancellation. Pretty cool.

A Book of Trains , the 1951 book by W.J.Bassett-Lowke and F.E.Courtney is up next. It arrived from the Netherlands. The book explains to young people early forms of human transport, railways, types of locomotives and signalling, streamlining, and other railway matters. That is  Stephenson's Rocket  in yellow, alongside Coronation 6220  in red.

Lotte  used 2 Netherlands stamps, the left one was issued in 2012 and the other in 2013. The left stamp commemorates 60 Years of the Madurodam in the Scheveningen district of The Hague. It is 1 of 10 in a m/sheet. The second stamp , also 1 of 10 in a m/sheet shows Windmills.

That brings to a close this update. Thanks for cards going out  to Jean Pierre, Johan and Lotte. Take care and come back again soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Cards

Hello again, postcard people. It's time for another look at  a few postcards. Today's cards are from Germany, France, Portugal, Finland and the Netherlands. Let's start with the Netherlands. I like receiving postcards showing postboxes so Heidi decided to send just that. Here's a posttbox in Holland. It looks a little high for the young lady using it, but it appears  she manages.

Heidi used 3 stamps, 1 postage and 2 semi-postals. The stamp on the left was issued in 1983 with the surtax going to the Red Cross. It is 1 of 4 in the set. The center stamp, also from 1983 , and also from a set of 4 had its surtax going to cultural and welfare institutions. The final stamp, on the right was issued in 1985 , 1 of 3 in a set.

My next card is from Helsinki, Finland. It shows one of the trams in the city. Seija wrote that there are about 125 trams , 10 tramlines and around 400 tram drivers , and she has been one  for 34 years.

Seija used a 2012 self adhesive stamp showing Bottenhavets National Park.

A TAP Portugal A320 is flying in next. This aircraft  CS-TNK is 14 years old, having its first flight on 24Mar 2000. Long gone are the days I flew on Tap back in the 1970s on a B707.  Another fine card for my Airlines and Aircraft Postcard Collection.

Ana's  stamp is from a set of 3 issued in 2011 featuring Children's Paintings.

Just two more cards to go, so stay with me.

Johan sent this next card from Godewaersvelde, in the north of France.  Godewaersvelde is located in northern France along the Belgian border and is in the heart of  Flanders, less than half an hour from Lille, and Dunkirk. The population is quite small with around 1900 people in 2006. On Johan's card is Het Blauwershof, a tavern of which the building dates back to the 19th century. At one time a blacksmith shop operated here.

Johan's choice of stamp is from 2013. It commemorates the 50th Anniversary of France's biggest International Agricultural Event, held in Paris. Traditionally there is just one mascot for the show, but for the 50th there were 7 mascots as shown on the stamp. It is usually just the cow, but this time they added a donkey, dog, goat, ram, pig and a horse, all riding on the back of the cow.


I guess we've all heard the expression, "road to nowhere " , well this next card maybe shows the" tracks to nowhere ". The card arrived from Germany, so I guess the track is really going somewhere in that country. Jasmin wrote that she finds parallel tracks quite hypnotizing. I can go along with that.

Jasmin used a couple of regular Flower definitives , which we're all familiar with by now.

Well that's it for this time. Thanks to Heidi, Seija, Ana, Johan and Jasmin for there cards. It really is wonderful receiving all these cards in the mail. It sure makes going to the mailbox interesting. Take care, drop me a comment is anything strikes your fancy.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th and a Full Moon

Well it's Friday the 13th and with a full moon tonight, be careful out there.  Could be a good night to stay in and look at, sort or send postcards.
My first card today arrived from Germany, however it is a multi-view  card of Tunisia. Fati sent the card just to let me know the many countries she will be visiting in the next 6 months and to tell me to watch my mailbox. It's great that she still remembered me as we haven't had contact for a number of months. I want to thank her and yes, I'll certainly be watching my mailbox.

Here's the stamp that brought the card. It was issued in 2013 and is 1 of 2 in a Joint Issue with South Korea.

Card # 2 arrived from Portage, Michigan, U.S.A. It's a card from the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 
The Air Zoo is a highly charged, multi-sensory atmosphere that goes beyond anything you've ever seen. It's like no place else on Earth!
Voted the "Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners" and "Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family" three years in a row, the Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-Motion Flight Simulators, RealD 3D/4D Missions Theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities. This one-of-a-kind aviation attraction brings to life the story of flight, from the Wright Brothers to Neil Armstrong.
The Air Zoo holds many historical and rare aircraft, including the world's fastest air-breathing aircraft, the SR-71B Blackbird. Many of its antique planes are airworthy. Among its other attractions are a 180-degree theater that projects a 4-D simulation of a B-17 bombing mission during World War II; and a flight simulator  of a rocket trip to Mars, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets, a stunt biplane, a hot air balloon. Sounds like a really great place to spend a day.

 Even though this card arrived from the States, it is actually from Leslie in Ankara, Turkey. She arranged for it to be sent from Michigan. Three definitives were used, one from 2003, one from 2007 and the $1.00 Wisdom stamp from the American Culture series.

The next card arrived from Spain and highlights Hondarribia, a town situated on the west shore of Bidasoa river's mouth, in Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain. The town has an ancient old quarter with walls and a castle. There are two sections of town that are of special interest to the traveler , One - the Old City- With its medieval walls still intact, the historic part of town is home to the castle of Charles V, Zuloaga Palace, and Casadevante Palace. Two-  La Marina - full of multicolored houses and their resident fishermen, along San Pedro and Santiago Streets.

On the left Dominique used a 2011 stamp from a set of 4 highlighting Civic Duties. The other stamp, from 2013 celebrates Equal Salaries for Men and Women.  Both are self adhesives.

An update without an aircraft or airline just wouldn't seem right, so here's a KLM  Royal Dutch Airlines , Douglas DC-10. My regular readers might remember , or might not, that I wrote about the end of the DC-10 era back on Feb 25,2014. Check out that update if you want to know more. This DC-10 arrived from Prague, Czech Rep.


This is another card compliments of Meelis. This card arrived with a nice 2013 Helicopter stamp. It is half the set with the other stamp showing a ship. We also have a couple of definitives.

Now the final card for this time. It comes from Novosbirsk, in western Siberia, Russia.  The city is  is the third most populous  in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg and the most populous city in Asian Russia , with a population of 1,523,801 (2013 est ). The city is located in the southwestern part of Siberia on the banks of the Ob River and is informally known as the "Capital of Siberia." Novosibirsk,is a relatively young city,  founded in 1893. On the card is a Russian train.

Uliana used a 2012 definitive and a 2013 Flora stamp, a self adhesive.

That is my update for this time. Hope you enjoyed reading. Thanks go out to Uliana, Meelis, Dominique, Leslie and Fati. Take care, see you all next time. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Switzerland, A Viscount, Germany, a B737-500, Wulingyuan, Royal Scot, a Basque Cross and a Dutch Postbox

Hello again postcard people. It certainly time for another blog update. As you can see from the title of this update, it's a real mixed bag.
Let's start with the Swiss card. It comes from Richterswil, a small town of just over 13,000 people. It is located on the shore of Lake Zurich, about 25 km from Zurich.

Gustav , a Postcrosser , who lives in Richterswil contacted me sometime ago for a postcard swap. This is the result. He used a couple of nice stamps on his card. On the left is a stamp from 1975. It features the dirigible airship the Ville de Lucern. On the right is a 2014 stamp celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Pilatus Railway.

Here's a real oldie, an Air Zimbabwe Viscount.   The Vickers Viscount   was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 , the first such aircraft to enter service in the world. Iit used a new form of propulsion, the turboprop engine, replacing the conventional piston engine.  It became one of the most  successful and profitable of the first post-war transport aircraft with  445 Viscounts built for a range of international customers.  This air to air picture of VP-YNC was taken around 1980 from an Air Zimbabwe B707. This Vickers Viscount was scrapped in Harare in 1984.

This card didn't travel through the mail as such, at least not on its own steam. It arrived in an envelope, but the card does have a stamp on it. Bruce used an aviation stamp, one of the last Rhodesian stamps issued. It has a Vickers Vimy airplane on it, 1 of 6 in the 1978 set., celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Powered Flight.     

Now we're off to Tubingen, Germany. Tubingen is a town in central Baden-Wurttemberg, 30 km south of Stuttgart. On Melanie's card we see one of the historic buildings along Ammergasse in the centre of Tubingen.

Melanie used 2 of the common Flower definitives along with a 2014 Easter stamp. If is 1 of 2 in a set.

A Lufthansa Boeing 737-500 , aircraft D-ABIH is flying in next, from Helsinki, Finland . This airplane had its first flight on 28 January 1991 . Still a great looking aircraft. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, commonly known as Lufthansa, is the flag carrier of Germany and also the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of overall passengers carried and fleet size. It operates services to 18 domestic destinations and 197 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe using a fleet of more than 280 aircraft.

Sirpa, who lives in Hameelinna in the southern part of Finland used a 2012 stamp on her card. It is 1 of 6 self adhesives in a m/s of Spring Blossoms.

My next card gives a fine look at the Imperial Brush Peaks in Wulingyuan, China.
Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hunan Province, China designated in 1992. It's noted for more than 3,000 quartzite sandstone  pillars and peaks across most of the site, many over 200 metres (660 ft) in height.  

The exact same view on the card is the subject of the prepaid postage stamp on this card. Then, to make up the international rate, Gao used a 1999 stamp. It is from a set of 6 featuring the Putuo Mountains. You can see both here.

The Royal Scot is up next and right on time.
The Royal Scot was a British named express passenger train that ran between London and Glasgow, the length of the West Coast Main Line (WCML). For many years it departed from both ends at 10:00 . It first ran in 1862. The locomotive shown on the card is called the City of Lancaster ( Duchess Class ). The image on the card is 1 of 5 stamps issued in 1985 featuring Famous Trains and commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway.

 Dan used a Machin definitive and a 2013 stamp featuring the works of Jane Austen.  The set of 6 was released on the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.

Now I have a card featuring a Basque Cross. The lauburu or Basque Cross has four comma-shaped heads. It's a very old symbol used by a lot of cultures from the far east to the pacific and by a big part of Europe.

Dominique used a 2011 Biodiversity in the Oceans stamp on this card. 


I think that's about enough for this time. I had one more card but I'll leave if for next time. Thanks for cards going out to Gustav, Bruce, Melanie, Sirpa, Gao, Dan and Dominique. Take care and drop a comment if you have one.