Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall 2016

Well the leaves are turning yellow, many have fallen and the weather seems to have changed for Fall. This will be the first update for Fall.  I have a number of great cards again this time, so let's start with a card from Bruges, Belgium. Bruges is the capital and largest city in West Flanders. The historic city centre is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO since 2000. On Johan's card we see The Belfry of Bruges, a medieval tower, 83 m high and leaning about a metre to the east.

Johan used a very recent stamp, issued on 22nd  August , celebrating the sport of Para-Equestrian at the Rio Olympics.

Be sure to check out Johan's fine postcard blog right here .

Next is a bird's eye view of Dubai Marina. This district in Dubai, is an artificial canal city , built along a 3 km stretch of the Persian Gulf. The development is inspired by the Concord Pacific Place development along False Creek in Vancouver , Canada.

David used a couple of stamps from 2013. On the left is a special commemorative marking the 10th year of the Dubai International Film Festival. The larger stamp on the right commemorates 50 Years of Postal Service in Abu Dhabi. It is from a set of 4.

Have a look at David's great postcards and travel blog , here .

Now it's a card France, showing the statue of Joan of Arc, or the Maid of Orleans.

Dominique used a 2015 stamp celebrating St. Martial de Lestards Church.

Sorry , not a great scan of that one.

Here's another card sent by Jobbo, this one from Vientiane, Laos. It's a fine look at the Patuxai, a war monument in the centre of the city, which was built between 1957 and 1968. Often called the Victory Gate or the Arc of The Triumph of Vientiane, it is dedicated to all those who fought in the struggle for independence from  France.

Jobbo used great stamps as always. On the left is a stamp from 2008, 1 of 4 in a set featuring Bees. On the right is a stamp celebrating the ASEAN Economic Community. Both nice stamps but unfortunately they ran into the infamous stamp defiler. The only cancellation received was a black marker or crayon strike. And I thought that only happened in Canada. More on that  later.

I recently went out to Banff for a short visit and as always , I always send a few postcards , both to myself and to others. All 3 that I or My Lovely Teena sent to me , met with the stamp defiler. All 3 were eventually marked out with a black or green crayon. This happened after I personally handed the cards in at the Banff Post Office and asked the clerk to hand cancel all the cards for me. He said no problem and I even watched as he cancelled them. What good was that I now ask ?
Back to the cards now.
This card , sent by My Lovely Teena is a really nice card. It's one of those thin wooden cedar cards that one finds every now and then.  The picture on the front is a classic Canadian snapshot. Members of an old time Canadian hockey team. By the flags flying in the background, I think this could be a team from a World Hockey Championship from days gone by. A wonderful card indeed.

Teena used one of the recent Haunted Canada stamps. The scary set of 5 was issued on September 8 . The stamp on the card shows the Phantom Bell Ringers of Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island.

The 2nd card from Banff is a 3D card with a number of scenes from Banff National Park - mountains, lakes, snow , a train and the Banff gondola. Hopefully the scan will show the 3D effect.

Another of the Haunted Canada stamps appears on this one. This time it's the Lady in White of Montmorency Falls.

And finally today's last card, showing 2 Bighorn Sheep. Two beautiful animals indeed.

One more Haunted Canada stamp. Here we have the ghost of a well-dressed Edwardian lady , who often shows up at the century old Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre in Toronto.

As you can see all three met up with the dreaded stamp defiler. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not that surprised this happened in Canada, as it's long been a problem here. I just wasn't sure that it happened abroad. I see some cards from away and they have perfect cancellations , it just makes one wonder what the problem is here . I know a good, clear cancellation is the farthest thing from the mind of Canada Post and its workers. Their only job  is to move the mail and keep it moving, and the hell with collectors.
Pardon my little rant there.

Today's thanks for cards go out to Johan, David, Dominique, Jobbo and My Lovely Teena.

There it is , another update and a few random thoughts thrown in on cancellations. If you have any thoughts on the stamp defiler or have experienced his work, leave a comment and let the world know .
Take care and enjoy the Fall.

Friday, September 16, 2016

To The Zoo and Beyond

Well it's been 10 days, so it's definitely time to get back at it. So let's get going. First we're off to the Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest in the world, it opened on 21 July 1843. The card shows two giraffes , head and shoulders above everyone else.

This is my first swap with Gerda. She has a great postcard blog at My Postcard-Page .  Her card arrived with 2 wonderful and large stamps featuring Animals In Danger. They are part of a very beautiful set of 5, issued this year.

My next card is from Ahmedabad , India. The card shows Gandhi and a group of his supporters and followers.

This is a card from David and his recent trip to India. He used a Miniature Sheet containing one stamp that was issued on Aug 15, Independence Day in India. The sheet is also inscribed Tourism in India.

The next card for today arrived from Estonia. We can see a couple small boats near Vosu, a small village of about 335 people located in north central Estonia.

This is ship mail, a card sent by Meelis from the M/L Superstar, a ferry operating between Helsinki and Tallin.  Meelis used the large 2016 Year of the Monkey stamp .

  Now , a card from France, this one shows the Governor's Palace in Metz, a city with a 3,000 year history. Metz has a lot going on - the Saint -Stephen Cathedral with the largest expanse of stained glass windows in the world ,  the Basilica of Saint Pierre-aux-Nonnains  - the oldest church in all of France and its Opera House - again the oldest in France. The Govenor's Palace was built between 1902 and 1904. It is the former palace of the commander of the XVI corps of the German Army.

Dominique used a stamp from 2015 on this card. It celebrates the life of Martin Nadaud, a former member of the Parliament of France.

Who's up for a sunrise near Taiwan. That's the image of this next card. That's all I got on this one.

Star sent this card and used this stamp.

Here's a Marilyn Monroe card that I haven't seen before. It arrived from Belgorod, Russia. Darla wrote that it was a small town, even though it has a population of over 350,000. It is located just 40 km north of the border with Ukraine. Oh yes, back to the card. Marilyn Monroe, call her what you will, she had a number of names. Often called Norma Jeane Baker, she was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926. The American actress and model died on Aug 5, 1962 at the young age of 36.

Darla used 2 stamps, the triangle stamp was issued in 2013 and is from a set of 4. The 2nd stamp was issued in 2016 and is entitled National Cuisine.

My next card features the Bolshoy Obukhovsky Bridge , the newest bridge crossing the Neva River in Saint Petersburg . It is the only bridge the Neva which is not a drawbridge. It opened on Dec 15, 2004 and is 2,824 meters in length.

Postcrosser Karina used a stamp from 2014 featuring The Medal for the Defense of Sevastopol ( 1941-1942 ) . I wonder if today's soldiers got a medal for the illegal invasion and occupation of Sevastopol  and other parts of Ukraine in 2014.

Just to show that I'm not political ( at least not often ) on my blog here's another card from Russia. It's not Marilyn Monroe this time but Katharine Hepburn. She was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. Hepburn won 4 Academy Awards for Best Actress. They were for Morning Glory in 1933, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner in 1967, The Lion In Winter in 1968 and On Golden Pond  in 1981. She also was nominated 8 other times for that award.

WE have 3 stamps on this card to look at. On the top( you might want to tip your head a little for this one ) is a Modern Art stamp from a set of 3 issued in 2013. In the middle is a Contemporary  Art stamp from 2011. There were 6 in this set. The bottom stamp is from 2002, 1 of a set of 3 , celebrating the History of Customs.

There it is , another bunch of great cards. Thanks for these cards go out to Gerda, David, Meelis, Dominique, Star, Darla,  Karina, and Larisa.  
Thanks for dropping by and do come by again soon. Take care. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

After Labour Day

Hello again, belated Labour Day wishes to all you workers out there. Here in Canada Labour Day is a holiday observed as part of a long weekend and as such Canada Post did not operate yesterday, so no new mail since last Friday. But a good collector always has a few cards on standby for holidays. So that's what you get today - good cards from good places , all with good stamps.

Let's start with a card from David, from his latest trip to Somalia. On his card we can see a part of the city of Mogadishu, the capital and most populous city in Somalia. A few years back Mogadishu was considered perhaps the most dangerous capital city on Earth. I'm not sure if that label still applies , but I would bet it's close.

Now we postcard collectors all know that there is no operating postal service in Somalia, so no this card was not mailed from Mogadishu. But thanks to David's efforts , it received a Mogadishu Somalia Post postmark on Aug 10, 2016 , right in the Mogadishu General Post Office. The stamp on my card was even bought there, it seems the post Office is gearing up to reopen in early 2017. Staff has even been trained in Djibouti for the big day. But of course even after all that David still had to take the stamped and postmarked cards back to Ireland and distribute from there. This is as good as it gets at the moment for mail from Somalia.

Now the stamp , it was issued in 1995. It's 1 in a set of 5 celebrating the Centenary of Film.

A nice looking  set of stamps actually.

Now it's another card sent by Jobbo, this one is postmarked Vientiane, Laos. On this card we see the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, located approximately 300 km north of the capital. Luang Prabang consists of 58 villages , of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. The Royal Palace was built between 1904 and 1909.

Jobbo used a fine selevtion of Laos stamps including this first one , a new addition to my Aviation/Aircraft Stamp Collection. It shops a Sopwith Camel from a 1996 set of 5 Aircraft stamps issued for Capex'96 - the World Philatelic Exhibition held in Toronto , Canada in June of 1996. The middle stamp is 1 of 3 issued in 2008 celebrating Cotton. Over on the right is a definitive from 1984 depicting the Flag of Laos.

One further note on stamps and Laos. Jobbo wrote that Vietiane's only philatelic shop, Paboukham & Sons has closed its doors. Philatelic shops are hard to find these days , just about anywhere. Sad news indeed.

Here's a card just to see who's still awake. It's certainly not spring time any longer, but I guess any time is string time. This is a swap card from Carla in Italy. I send her U.S. state map cards and she sends me whatever she wants. Works for me.

Carla used a recent stamp issued on 27 June of this year. It celebrated Juventus, Italian Football Champs since 2012.

Now let's have a look at three cards from Johan in Belgium. A nice Aviation related card featuring Ostend-Bruges International Airport. The airport, located just 5 km south southwest of Ostend and 25 km from Bruges is served by Freebird Airlines, Jetairfly, Tunisair and Tailwind Airlines. Johan's card shows an older prop aircraft, maybe a DC-3,  at sunset flying over the field.

This card arrived with a new 2016 Para-cycling stamp and a fine Rio inspired Genk postmark. The stamp celebrates the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup held in Ostend.

   Johan's second card is a picture of Rik Wouters 1912 oil on canvas " Lady With Yellow Collar " .  You can see this painting at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

A beautiful large stamp on this one. It's an image of a Rik Wouters self portrait with cigar, painted in 1914. It's postmarked with a special Rik Wouters 1882-1916 cancellation .

Here's number 3 from Johan. It's a cover showing The Blue Lotus, for many readers the most frightening of all the Tintin adventures.

The stamp is 1 of 5 issued to celebrate 70 Years of Tintin Magazine.

Be sure to check out Johan's fine postcard blog right here .

Today's final cards are both from Nigeria. In my more than 10 years of collecting postcards, they are  just numbers 2 and 3 from Nigeria. So they are welcome additions to the collection.

The first one shows scenes from the Masquerades in Calabar, Nigeria. Masquerades of the Efik people is one of the oldest traditional and cultural events throughout Africa. Its roots are deep in traditional religion. It is full of chants, songs and dances and symbolizes the return of ancestors who come out occassionally to give messages from the spirit world to their people.

Bruce , who was visiting from South Africa, sent this card from Abuja, the capital city, a new planned city built mainly in the 1980s. Bruce used 2 stamps from 2010 , both of which commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom.

Now for Bruce's second card. It's a little older card dating from 2003, issued by the Nigerian Postal Service. The card was issued to highlight the  Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Abuja in December of 2003. On the card we see traditional dancers from Yoruba Land, Nigeria.

Bruce used a 2010 Hologram stamp issued to highlight the Argungu Fishing Festival. Even though classed as a hologram stamp, the only hologram on it is the square imprint at the right side, but it really doesn't shown anything in the hologram.

There you have it, another update on the blog. Thanks for today's cards go out to Bruce, Johan, Carla, Jobbo and David. Please come by again soon and if you have anything to say about this update, just leave a comment. Cheers.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Yes , September

It's September indeed. Time to get back on the blog. Today I have cards from Thailand, France, Germany and Luxembourg. Maybe even a few others if things move along well.

On to the first card. Here we see Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand. Wat Arun , known locally as Wat Chaeng, is one of the most stunning temples in the city. Even though it's known as the Temple of Dawn, it's just as stunning at sunset. So you won't go wrong , whenever you visit.

As always Jobbo used another fine selection of stamps. On the left is a stamp from a set of 6 issued in 1987 celebrating King Bhumibol's 60th Birthday Anniversary. The middle stamp, issued in 1990 shows a Royal Palace. The stamp on the right is from 1994 and shows the Mekong River Bridge.

Here's another one from Jobbo, sent from Thailand. It's the Royal Family this time.

Speaking of the Royal Family, the back of this card is festooned with stamps featuring the Royals.

Card # 3 is from France. It's a great picture of Pierres Noires
(Black Rocks ) Lighthouse in Brittany, France. It was built between 1867 and 1871 and has been automated since 1992. I guess lighthouse keepers these days are as scarce as hen's teeth.

Dominique used a stamp from 2015 commemorating 70 Years of Social Security.

This second card from Dominique is from Luxembourg. Shown is Henri the current Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He has reigned since Oct 7, 2000.

Dominique used a 2015 SEPAC stamp. SEPAC is the Small European Postal Administration Cooperation.

Well, that's all for this time. Thanks for cards going out to Jobbo, and Dominique.  I'll be back again soon, drop by for another installment of GemsWorldPostcards. Cheers.