Thursday, May 21, 2020

Museums, van Eyke , Ladies and a Beautiful Vista

BLOG # 1462

Still in the Time of Covid

Here we go again.  I'm back after a week or so, with a few cards to have a look at. A couple from Albania and a couple from Belgium. Let's start with this fine view of Valbona. Located in northern Albania, the Valbona Valley National Park is found in the Albania Alps. The park encompasses the Valbona River, mountainous terrain, alpine landscapes, various rock formations and waterfalls.

You know , if Albania, Valbona wasn't on the front of the card, I would have thought it was a card showing a vista from the Canadian Rockies. It could pass for any number of wonderful places in my area. I've had lots of lunches or picnics at places in the Rockies looking like this. But it looks good on Albania.

Indrit used a stamp from 2018. It is 1 of 8 in a set featuring Albanian Art. It's a nice set actually.

Here's the second card from Albania. It shows some ladies from the Zadrima region of the country. The area is know for its rich cultural heritage. It is also known for women's traditional costumes.
Indrit's card shows a couple of the local ladies wearing the traditional women's dress.

The stamps used on this card certainly reflect the traditional costumes I mentioned earlier. They are 2 of a set of 12 issued in 2007 celebrating Regional Costumes of Albania. Even though issued in 2007 they bear a 2006 date.

Check out Indrit's postcard blog called POSTCARD ALBANIA .

Now here's the first of three cards from Belgium. Here, we're looking at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren. Know as the Africa Museum, it was built to showcase King Leopold II's Congo Free State in the 1897 World Exhibition.

Johan used a fine new stamp on his card. It was issued on March 16th and Johan secured a First Day of Issue cancellation. The stamp Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Birth of King Philippe.

Another card from Belgium. This time it's a look at the facade of the Old England department store in downtown Brussels. The building is now the Musical Instruments Museum, renowned for its collection of over 8,000 instruments.

The stamp, issued March 16th, commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Again we have a First Day of Issue cancellation , thanks to Johan.

It's time for the last card of the day. Again it's from Belgium. It's a picture of the Jan van Eyck oil painting  Portrait of A Goldsmith or Man With a Ring. van Eyck was from the County Loon and actively painted in Bruges.

The stamp was issued on March 13th and once again Johan secured a First Day of Issue Cancellation. The shaped stamp has the same image as the postcard. It is 1 of 5 stamps in a very impressive looking sheet of 5 different stamps, all showing paintings by van Eyck.

Be sure to check out Johan's great blo called johan postcards   .

That brings to a close another installment of GemsWorldPostcards. Thanks for cards today go out to Indrit and Johan. Thanks for dropping in, see you again soon.

Once again - Wash your hands, Don't touch your face and Keep your distance. Stay Safe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Omaha, Bischwiller, Blondie and Air Pacific

BLOG # 1461

Still in the Time of Covid

Well the mail has certainly trickled down a lot this past few weeks, cards are getting scarce. Of course a good collector can always come up with a card or two. So I have a few for this time.

Let's start with a card  sent from Arizona but showing a bridge in Omaha, Nebraska. It's the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The 814 m footbridge crosses the Missouri River between Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha. It opened on September 28, 2008.

Leslie used a 2019 Railroad stamp. It is 1 of 3 in a set Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

My second card for today is from France. It's a look at the House of Associations and Culture of Bischwiller, France. It is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Dominique used a stamp from 2015 on this card. It is issued to highlight a yearly Stamp Festival , this one shows a couple dancing the Tango.

Very similar to the couple I saw dancing the Tango in Buenos Aires a few years ago.

Today's 3rd card arrived from Grevenbroich, Germany. The town is situated on the river Erft, about 30 km from both Cologne and Dusseldorf. Isa's card doesn't tell us anything about Grevenbroich or the area but maybe the women of the area are as fine looking as the one on her card.

Isa used a couple of the regular Flower definitives along with a 2019 stamp featuring Emoji.

Well it's not often that my updates don't have a airplane / airline card and today will be no exception. This time it's an Air Pacific B767, registered as DQ-FJC. It's shown in Sydney in 1994.

Air Pacific was the flag carrier of Fiji and was based in Nadi, Fiji. In 2012 the airline was rebranded as Fiji Airways. This aircraft , DQ-FJC is 25.7 years old. It flew for Air Pacific from 1994 to 2012. Then from 2013-2020 if flew for Blue Panorama Airlines of Italy. It is now stored at FCO.

Jean Pierre used a Gandhi stamp from 2018 on this card. It is 1 of 4 issued to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary in 2019, of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

Well I think that's it for this time. Thanks for today's card go out to Leslie, Dominique, Isa and Jean Pierre. If you're reading this , thanks to you.
Remember - Wash your hands, Don't touch your face and stay home if possible. If not - stay 2 meters away from others. Stay safe.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Potpourri of Cards

BLOG # 1460

Still Deep in the Time of Covid

People are still getting sick, people are still dying, people are still off work, people are still inside and when they are not they are still 6 feet apart. Life kind of sucks but at least everyone I know is alive and well. So it's not all bad.

Hey it's postcard time ! It's a bit of a mixed bag of cards today, no real theme that one can follow. So here goes.
First up is a card from Germany. You Are Bluetiful is the theme of the card. It's an advertising card from Eurowings.

Eurowings is a German low cost airline headquartered in Dusseldorf. Here you can see a couple of their aircraft.

Carmelo used a couple of the never ending Flower definitives along with the 2020 Sesame Street stamp. How many of the 6 characters on the stamp do you know by name ?

Next is a card from France.   It's a great look at the Strasbourg Astronomical Clock , located at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It is the 3rd clock on that spot and dates from 1843. Its features include a perpetual calendar , an orrery, and a display of the real position of the sun and the moon and solar and lunar eclipses. Of course the main attraction is the procession of the 18 inch high figures of Christ and the Apostles, which occurs every day half past noon


Dominique used a stamp from 2016  celebrating the life of Georges Charpak, a French physicist who was a Nobel Prize Winner in 1922.

Card 3 is from the U.S.A. It's a state abstract watercolor and which state is pretty obvious if you look at the card. It's all about the image.

Lauren used a number of recent stamps on her card. The left stamp is a Red Pears definitive from 2017. The middle stamp is a Love stamp from 2019 while the right stamp is a Made of Hearts stamp from this year.

Here's another card from France. This time we're looking at the ancient timber framed pharmacy in Bischwiller dating from 1681, during the reign of Louis XIV. The town is 7.8 km southeast of Haguenau, where the sender of the card lives.


           Dominique used an interesting stamp on his card. This triangular shaped stamp was issued in 2015 to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First French Satellite - Asterix.   

Time for a little personal reflection. Times have certainly changed. I am old enough and have collected stamps long enough to remember  when triangle shaped stamps were frowned upon or even laughed at, certainly not collected. Of course there are always exceptions such as the Cape of Good Hope triangles. Latvia, Fiume, Netherlands, Obock, Iceland, Spain, Somalia and New Zealand all issued nice collectible triangles. I have some of them and they look great in my albums.

Many cards in my collection are aiviation and aiplane related. This next one is no exception. The card is from the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills , North Carolina, U.S.A. This reproduced photo , from October 10, 1902 shows Wilbur Wright at left , and Dan Tate helping Orville Wright get a glider flight up and away. We certainly owe a lot to these guys and more. What would these guys think if they could have seen B747s, Concordes, or A380s. Not to mention space flight.

Al used a potpourri of stamps on this card. Let's start with the mostly yellow stamp on the right. It is 1 of 10 in a 2019 set showing Art by Ellsworth Kelly. No offense to Mr Kelly but I looked at all 10 of them and I have to say his art is not my cup of tea. But what do I know ? The large stamp at center was issued in a sheet of 10 in 2004  featuring Pacific Coral Reefs. The top left stamp is a Christmas stamp from 1979. The bottom left stamp was issued in 1931 and it shows President William Henry Harrison. He was the 9th president but he only served 31 days. What can we say about someone who served such a short time ? His term in office is the shortest of any president , he was the first president to die in office, he was the first head of state to have his photograph taken, and his inaugural address was and is still the longest in American history.

This card received a neat 50th Anniversary of Earth Day cancellation, you might make it out on the 2 large stamps.

Final note on this one . I hope Al knew what he was doing. The green Harrison stamp has a face value of .13 cents, but it's actual value to a collector was $4.00 before he stuck it to my card. Now it's valued at .80 cents.

I think that's enough for this time. Thanks for cards go out to Carmelo, Dominique, Lauren and Al .  Great cards, great stamps !

Thanks for dropping in today, I've enjoyed doing this post, hope you have enjoyed reading  it.

Remember  wash your hands, don't touch your face , stay home as much as possible and keep your distance.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Sad Day in Canada - More Death

Blog # 1459

Still In the Time of Covid

Well it's been a tough go here in Canada lately. As if the Covid - 19 , with 3,180 deaths so far , wasn't enough , we had the mass shooting rampage in Nova Scotia just over a week ago , with 22 dead. Now , yesterday we had another 6 dead in  a helicopter crash off the coast of Greece. The 6 were members of the Canadian Armed Forces taking part in a NATO exercise. They were in a CH-148  Cyclone Helicopter. Dead are 4 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and 2 members of the Royal Canadian Navy. Six Heroes For Sure Now Lost.

On a more upbeat note, I  have four cards for today. Two from the U.S.A and one from France and one from Germany.

First up is this card from Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA . It shows Elfreth's Alley, in Philadelphia. This street is the oldest street in the United States, continuously inhabited since the 1690's.  Jeremiah Elfreth and members of his family bought most of the properties in the early 1700's . There are 32 houses on the street which were built between 1703 and 1836.

Mike & Ashley used a couple of recent stamps. The left stamp is from 2017, a definitive of Red Pears. The middle stamp, from 2020, is 1 of 10 Flowers - Wild Orchids. The stamp on the right , is 1 of 12 in the Wild & Scenic Rivers set issued in 2019.

It's good to hear from Mike & Ashley again, it's been a while.Their cards are always a great source of recent U.S. stamps, not that I would remove them from the cards of course. 

Surprise, surprise, here's another card from Mike & Ashley.This is a card showing MSC Divina, a ship they were on a few months ago. I'm sure they feel lucky to have completed their cruise before the pandemic  struck. 

All three stamps on this card were issued in 2019. On the left is Ernie, 1 of 16 stamps issued to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Sesame Street TV Show. THe middle stamp is 1 of 4 in a set Celebrating State and County Fairs. The right stamp is 1 of 4 showing Military Working Dogs. 

WE jump over to France for our next card. It's a look at the Cite de Carcassonne. This is a medieval fortress or citadel in the French city of Carcassonne. 

Dominique used a stamp from 2018 celebrating the Life of Suzanne Noel (1878-1954) She was a French Surgeon.

And the final card is from Germany. It's a look at the sights of Hamburg, the second largest city in the country.

Andrea used a Flower definitive along with the Peanuts stamp from 2018.


So ends another update. Thanks for today's cards go out to Mike &  Ashley, Dominique and Andrea. 

Remember : wash your hands, don't touch your face and stay home if you can.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Covid and Planes

BLOG # 1458

In the Time of Covid

Hey there, here's a few cards that arrived in the last couple of weeks. Since we are in the Time of Covid, I'll start with a Covid related card and then it's 3 Aviation/ Aircraft related cards.
This first card arrived from Germany. It reads  " Regards from Covid Break 2020 " . Originally it read Spring Break, but now in these unprecedented times, Covid Break makes sense.

This card is from Meelis and he used a number of stamps. The two copies of the Numeral stamp were issued in 2012. The left stamp is from 2019, issued to highlight Endangered Animals and in this case the Harbor Porpoise. The stamp on the right celebrates German Television Legends- Dinner for One from 1963.

Meelis, good to hear from you again, it has been a while .

AS I mentioned earlier the next three cards are aviation related, not everyone's cup of tea I'm sure but I hope you stick around.
First up is a Qantas Airbus A380 registered as VH-OQG. This aircraft is 10.7 years old, it was delivered to the airline in Dec of 2010. It is now stored . Qantas first A380 commercial flight was on 20 October 2008 from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Jean Pierre sent this card from Cocos Islands. The left and middle stamps are from a set of 4 issued in 1984. They Commemorate the 375th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Cocos Islands. The right stamp, a nice Aviation themed stamp is 1 of 4 in a beautiful Aviation Minisheet of 4 issued in 2017.

This next card is an airport shot. It's a night look at Kansai International Airport. This airport is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, 28 km southwest of Osaka, Japan. It opened on 4 September 1994. One of its 2 terminals, Terminal 1 is the longest airport terminal in the world with a length of 1.7 km.

Here's the stamp Jean Pierre used when he posted this card at Narita.

Now here's the final card for this time. Another fine Aircraft / Airline card. It's a Japan Airlines B747 registered as JA8088. This jumbo was delivered to JAL in February of 1992. It was in service until March 2011 when it was stored. In October 2011 it entered service with Atlas Air.

This time Jean Pierre used a Flower stamp.

So ends another postcard update. Thanks for cards this time go out to Meelis and Jean Pierre.

Remember what we're in the middle of, wash your hands, don't touch your face, and stay home. Stay safe.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Two Cards From Jean Pierre

BLOG # 1457

In the Time of Covid

Hey everyone, there's not much mail on the go these days, but I do have two cards for today.
First is this card from Australia. It shows part of the White Cliffs Opal Field mine in New South Wales. This is the country's first commercial opal field and dates back to 1889.  White Cliffs is the only place where "pineapples" occur; they are a pseudomorph of Glauberite or Ikaite crystal clusters, where crystals are substituted by precious opal. This results in an object where the appearance and dimensions look like crystals, but the original mineral has been replaced by opal. They are extremely rare and valuable.

Jean Pierre sent a pre-paid postage card suitable for delivery anywhere in the world. It was sent on Mar 12th of this year. 

The card itself though has been on the go for quite a while as you can see on the front . It is adorned with an Opal stamp from 1995. It received a First Day of Issue on 5 April 1995 at Lighting Ridge. Lightning Ridge is where one might find black opals as opposed to the white opals of White Cliffs. A set of 2 stamps was issued in 1995 to celebrate the country's Semi-precious Stones Industry. 

My second card for today is a nice looking Aircraft / Airline card . It shows an All Nippon Airways B777 at Tokyo Haneda in 1995. This aircraft , JA8197, is 24.6 years old. It was delivered to All Nippon in October 1995. It has been stored at Mojave , California since 23 Auguest 2016. 

This is another card from Jean Pierre and here's the stamp he used. 

Well that's it for this time. Thanks Jean Pierre for the cards. I have two more cards on hand so I should be back here in a couple of days. Remember now - Wash your hands, don't touch your face and stay home. We're all in this together. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Royal Tongan, Etihad Towers and Fiji Airways

BLOG # 1456

In the Time of Covid

In these unprecedented times , when so many people are dying, postcards are pretty far down the list of things that matter. But for those of us still well, and stuck indoors, maybe we can find a little distraction in them. Although travel is pretty much at a standstill worldwide, I guess a postcard can still be a little getaway and give us a few minutes of joy  in a day mostly filled with news that's not all that uplifting.
So with that in mind, let's travel today to Fiji and United Arab Emirates.
My first card this time is from Fiji but it shows a Royal Tongan B737, pictured at Nuku'olofa in June of 2000. Tonga and Fiji are 805 km apart. This aircraft ZK-NAF is 37 years old and has seen service with a number of carriers. It first flew with Air Malta in 1983, then saw service with Air New Zealand in 1994. It  was with Royal Tongan in 1999 and Sierra Pacific Airlines in 2001. Finally in 2018 it was with AVIATSA  where it is still active. 37 years is a long time for a B737- 200 series. The company I started my career with , Eastern Provincial Airways , flew 737-200s way back in 1974, when I started.

Jean Pierre used 2 stamps on this card which was posted at Nadi International Airport.
The left stamp, issued in 2013  is a semi-postal with the extra 10 cents going to the Paralympic Committee. The stamp is 1 of 4 issued for the 2012 London Paralympic Games. The stamp on the right is 1 of 4 in a set of Great Sea Reefs, issued in 2017.

A great card for my Aircraft / Airlines Postcard Collection.

Today's second card shows the Eithad Towers in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
This complex of five towers house offices, apartments and a hotel. Constructed between 2006 and 2011, the towers run from 54 floors in tower 3 to 74 floors in tower 2.

Dominique used 1 of 2 stamps issued in 2019 for The 48th National Day.

My last card for this time is another Aircraft / Airline card from Fiji. This time it's a Fiji Airways A330 shown landing at Toulouse in Feb of 2013. This aircraft F-WWKD is 7.1 years old and joined Fiji Airways in June of 2013.

Jean Pierre use 2 stamps again. On the left, from 2019, 1 of 5 in a set Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Morris Hedstrom Ltd. The stamp on the right is from a 1983 stamp, 1 of 4 in a Flowers set.

Well, that's it for this time. Thanks to Jean Pierre and Dominique for the cards. Thanks for dropping in today, and I'll be back again when some cards arrive in the mailbox.

Once again -  Be safe, stay safe.  Wash your hands, don't touch your face and stay in side as much as possible.