Friday, August 16, 2019

Arches, Planes, Venus and a Democracy Monument

BLOG # 1416

Hey there again. I'm back with another selection of cards from the top of the desk. Once again no particular order, only as they lay on my desk.

Let's start with a card from the Kingdom of Lesotho. Bruce's card shows Sehlaba-Thebe Arches , part of the rock formations in Sehlabathebe National  Park, Lesotho's first national park. 

Bruce used a couple of the Flower Definitives from 1997 along with a stamp celebrating  Lesotho Postal History. It is one  of a set of six issued in 2016.

 My second card shows a 2009 oil on canvas by Liz Maw called  Venus From Hell. It can be found in the Auckland Art Gallery.

Kitty used a 2019 commemorative stamp showing a Colin McCahon painting. It is 1 in a set of 5.

Time now for a card from Thailand. Jobbo's card shows the Democracy Monument , located in the centre of Bangkok. It was commissioned in 1939 and stands  24 m high. It commemorates the 1932 Siamese coup d'etat which led to the establishment of constitutional monarchy. 

Jobbo used a great selection of stamps as he always does. My Thailand stamp collection has increased immensely since Jobbo started sending cards. Of course they remain on the cards, not in my album. Let's look at these 4 stamps, from left to right. The current King is shown on this 2018 definitive, 1 of 12 in the set. Next, from 1994, 1 of 4 highlighting Thai Heritage Conservation Day. Then a Bird stamp from a set of 4 Water Birds issued in 1997. Lastly, from 2004 , 1 of a set of 4 Boats.

Here's a new addition to my Aircraft / Airlines on Postcards Collection. A Condor Airbus A 300 B 4.  The A 300 is / was  a wide-body medium range twin engine jet. It was introduced in 1974. A total of 561 were built , however very few remain flying. Only Iran Air and Mahan Air currently operate them for a total of 11.  The aircraf t on this card, D-AIBF was operated by Condor, starting in 1979. It also saw service with Orion Airways, Britannia Airways, and Iberia. It was finally scrapped in 1999.

I never flew on an A 300, and I guess I never will now. Too Bad !

Ilona used a couple of stamps on her card. On the left, from 2012, a stamp commemorating the 1100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kaiser Otto the Great in 912. The top right stamp is from 2011, showing a Glider over the Wasserkuppe. And of course, the proverbial Flower definitive from Germany.

What's this ? Another Aviation themed card, Who would have thought ? This card shows the history of Airbus at Toulouse, Airbus Headquarters. There's a couple of early aircraft, a Sud Aviation Caravelle, The Concorde, An Airbus A 300-600ST and the  big one th3 Airbus A380.

Jean Pierre secured a Toulouse cancellation on his card and used a 2019 Flower stamp.

There you have it. Another blog in the books, so to speak. Thanks for these cards go out to Jobbo, Bruce, Kitty, Ilona and Jean Pierre.
As always , great cards and great stamps. It doesn't get much better than that.
Take care, thanks for showing up and we'll get back here soon.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Lot of Mooing Going On

BLOG # 1415

Time for another blog with some great cards. Let's start with a card from Alderney, Channel Islands showing a fine herd of Golden Guernsey cows. Apparently Golden Guernseys are the only cow breed that isn't modified genetically to produce larger amounts of milk.

Jean Pierre used a nice Alderney Souvenir Sheet and a single stamp on this card. The souvenir sheet was issued in 2015 to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The single stamp appears to be from Guernsey but I wasn't able to find any information on it.

Next up is a card showing Track 1, of a train station perhaps somewhere in The Netherlands, since that's from where the card arrived .

Joke used 4 stamps on this card. Let's look at them from left to right. First , from 2005, is 1 of 4 in a Nature Parks Souvenir Sheet. The middle stamp is from 2003 and is 1 of 10 in a sheet commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Vincent Van Gogh. On the right, from 2001, 1 of 6 in a Comics set. The lower stamp is also from the Comics set.

This next card arrived from Sri Lanka. We can see a part of Horton Plains, a National park and protected area in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. The Central Highlands have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.  The sheer precipice of World's End is a major tourist attraction of the park.

Ravindra used a stamp from 2017. It is 1 of 2 stamps in a Souvenir Sheet celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea.

Belgium is up next - a card showing the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. Construction on this building started in 1352 and was finished in 1521. The belfry of the cathedral has been  part of the Belfries of Belgium and France  UNESCO WHS since 1999.

This card is compliments of Johan. He used a 2019 bird stamp from a Souvenir Sheet of 2 different National Birds stamps. It is a Europa issue.

Nice bird shaped cancellation with First Day of Issue.

That Belgian card was so nice , here's another. This time it's Kasteel van Horst or Horst Castle, a Flemish Renaissance castle in Holsbeek. Some say a castle here dates to the 11th century, but most certainly Horst Castle dates to the mid 14th century. There have been many owners over the centuries but now the castle stands empty and has for over three hundred years. Today you will find a visitor's centre, a heritage shop and a cozy cafe.

Gerda used a great selection of mostly stamps from the 1980s.
The far left stamp is a semi-postal from 1984 . The theme of the set of 3 is Children. The middle top stamp, from 1985, is a Europa stamp , celebrating European Music Year. The bottom middle stamp is from a 1991 set of 5 Tourism stamps. The top right stamp , from 1986, is 1 of 4 celebrating Famous Personalities. In this case it Maurice Careme, Belgian Poet. Now for the last stamp, it was issued in 1982 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Cardinal Cardijn.

It's time for the last card of the day. It's from Thailand and shows the Stone Figure Statues located in Wat Pho, Bangkok.
Wat Pho is also the home of the Reclining Buddha and houses the largest collection of Buddha images in the country. 

Jobbo used 2 stamps, both issued in 2018. The larger stamp on the left is 1 of 4 in a set celebrating the 135th 
Anniversary of the Thai Postal Service. The smaller stamp is a definitive , from a set of 20 featuring the King.

Well, we've come to the end of another blog. Thanks for today's cards go out to Jean Pierre, Joke, Ravindra, Johan, Gerda and Jobbo.

I should be back here soon, be sure to come by again. Take care. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Back From Away Blog

BLOG  # 1014

 It's been a while , as the title says, I'm back . My Lovely Teena and I were on a visit to the great island of Newfoundland, just off Canada's east coast. It's only 5739 km from here in Airdrie. We went to visit family, and take in a few tourist attractions. We visited a wonderful beach ,  visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visited a lighthouse, went whale watching, and saw tens of thousands of puffins, murres and  kittiwakes. We even visited Signal Hill National Historic Site on a clear day and could almost see England -- not really , just kidding.

Of course while away postcards continued to arrive in my mailbox. I now have lots to work with. Here is the first selection of them in no particular order, other than the order they are now in on my desk.

First up is this card from  the Algarve, Portugal. A beautiful view of the beach and cliffs in Olhos de Agua. Brings back some memories , my wife and I visited the Algarve way back in 1976.

This is a card from Johan, who was visiting the area. He used a stamp from 2017. It is 1 of 4 in a set of Traditional Desserts of Portugal.

My next card is from Texas, U.S.A. Here we see a Texas Longhorn, a popular symbol of that state. The horns can have a spread of over six feet. I wouldn't want that chasing me down a back alley.

Bruce from South Africa was attending a congress in the states and sent me this card. He used a round global forever stamp from 2017. It features a succulent plant known as the echeveria.

By the way Bruce - congratulations on your award winning paper.

Now as I said, in no particular order - here is a photo by Sara Saudkova. It's called " Love Letters " and the lovely miss is tearing them all up. And she looks happy doing it. I know, not everyone tears up their love letters in the nude but I'm sure she had a good reason.

Slavo, a Postcrosser from Bratislava sent this card. He used 2 stamps, the top one is from 2019 and was issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Union of Slovak Philatelists. The bottom stamp, from 2011, was issued for Stamp Day 2011 and shows an Historical Mailbox.

Next it's an inside picture of Chateau de Chambord. This impressive building was started in September of 1519. It has over 400 rooms, almost as many fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is one of the most recognizable  chateaux in the world. Over 700,000 people visited  in 2007.

Dominique used a 2018 stamp featuring a race car,  the Alpine  Renault.

Just a couple more cards to go for this time.  This next one is from Sweden.   Here's a view of Stockholm's Strom at Sunset. It's the innermost part of Saltsjon, a bay of the Baltic Sea.

Jean Pierre used 2 stamps on his card. They are 2 of 3 in a souvenir sheet issued in 2010 showcasing The Art of Engraving. It is a Joint Issue with Ireland.

Here`s today`s last card. Actually it`s from Sweden , also.  This one shows the Swedish Royal Family.

Jarmo used 4 great stamps and got wonderful cancellations at the PostMuseum in Stockholm. The 2 larger stamps on the left were issued in 1983, in a set of 4 for Stockholmia 86. The Bird stamp is from 2018, 1 of 10 in a Winter Birds set. The far right stamp , from 2002, is 1 of 8 issued highlighting Motorcycle Sports.

That ends this first blog after my recent trip to Newfoundland. Thanks for these cards go out to Slavo, Dominique, Johan, Bruce, Jean Pierre and Jarmo.

There will be more great cards and stamps next time, so be sure to show up. Take care.

Friday, July 19, 2019

No Blog Blog

Gems World Postcards is currently on hiatus.Will return again soon.

Friday, July 5, 2019

You Name It Blog

BLOG # 1012

Hello again, well it's a good day to be inside blogging. It's pouring rain and 10 C. Even the ducks on East Lake are hunkered down.

I have a half dozen or so cards to showcase today. Three of them arrived from France and all three were sent by Jean Pierre. So those are the ones I will start with.

Card # 1 - A Century of Aviation in Toulouse. Here you can see a few of the many aircraft types developed by Airbus whose main office is located in Toulouse.

Jean Pierre used a 2019 Commemorative stamp issued on 24 June. It shows the Fountain of the Four Valleys in Marcadieu Square, Tarbes.

Card # 2 - A fine look at Ingres Museum located in Montauban, a commune about 50 km north of Toulouse.

A stamp from 1999 was used on this card. It was issued to highlight Photography of Sculptures.

Card # 3 - This one arrived from Poitiers, a city in western France.
It's an evening time look at Notre-Dame la Grande, often said to have the most beautiful Romanesque facade in the world. The church was built in the second half of the 11th century and inaugurated in 1086. It's facade can be read like a book as it tells the stories of the Bible.

This time we have a Flower Commemorative, from a set of 5 issued in 2019. The set is called Endangered Flora and the stamp shown  features the Violet of Rouen.

Just a note - That last card was the 5,500th card I have received since I started this collecting gig.

The next three cards are from India, Cameroon and Sri Lanka  , three pretty cool places to get a postcard from .

Card # 4 - Here's the impressive statue of Jain monk Bahubali. It is 57 ft high and carved from a single piece of rock. It was built in 981 A.D. and is one of the largest free-standing statues in the world. When Bahubali became a Digambara Monk he discarded his clothing for the rest of his life. Even today Jain monks still walk around naked.

Nagi sent this card along and used a 2018 stamp, 1 of 2 in a Tourism set of Holiday Destinations.

Card # 5 - I don't get many cards from Cameroon, this is only my second. The first arrived back in 2011, so it's good to get another.
 Sadly I don't know who sent it, it just says " warm greetings from Cameroon " on the card. You can see three distinct areas of the country on the card, the North, the Coastal area and the West.

Cameroon is one more of many of the countries that has issued Round Stamps in the last 15 years or so. The stamp on this card is from a set of 2 issued in 2015. It celebrated the Monument erected for the 50th Anniversary of Independence and Reunification.

Card # 5 - The last card for today. It's the Tuk Tuk from Sri Lanka. A cheap common mode of Transport in the country. Good for short distances and great open space so one can see all around. 

Ravindra used 3 stamps.
The top one  was issued May 17 of this year for the State Vesak Festival. The other 2 are - on the left , from 2013, a stamp celebrating Dr Tissa Abeysekara. He was a actor, director , and filmmaker. The bottom right stamp was issued in 2019 and celebrates International Thalassaemia Day.

That's all for this time. Thanks for today's cards go to Jean Pierre, Nagi, Ravindra and that someone in Cameroon.

I started this blog yesterday, July 4th , but never finished . It's now July 5th , the rain has stopped and today , this morning , the 107th Calgary Stampede kicked off with over 300,000 people lining the parade route. Lots of horses, lots of cowboys, lots of marching bands, and lots of shouts of  " Ya Hoo " . The start of 10 days of fun, pancake breakfasts, rodeo, bull riding , chuckwagon races and dressing up like cowboys and cowgirls , even if just for a day or two.
Take care.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Post Canada Day 2019

BLOG 1011

Hello again - time for a few more of the great cards I have received lately. But first , a little housekeeping from my last time here - Blog 1010. There were two stamps, 1 from Singapore and 1 from Taiwan that I knew nothing about, Well it seems that Barbara was able to fill in the blanks on these 2 stamps. Here is the info I was missing.

The 40c Singapore stamp is part of a series of 10 stamps themed " Tourism and Culture " from 1990. The stamp in question features Jurong Bird Park.
The Taiwan stamp is themed " Ancient Chinese Engravings" featuring a Bird on a Branch ( a red billed Blue Magpie ) . This 1991 1 NT$ stamp is a reprint of a 1995 stamp that has a value of 2.50 NT$ .

There you have it. Big thanks going out to Barbara.

I'll start today with something not often seen on my blog - a couple of cards from Canada. Yes , I do get a card from  Canada every now and then. This first card is of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls at sunset. Niagara Falls, you can't beat that.
It is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate. I'm not sure what list if any Niagara Falls is on in regard to Wonders of the World, but let me tell you, when you are standing next to this falls and you feel the mist, and hear the roar, you will know you are are in the presence of A Wonder of This World. I rest my case.

Deb & Bill are the senders of this card. They just had a short vacation in the Niagara Falls area. The stamp is 1 of 6 in the From Far and Wide set issued in January of this year. This one shows Athabasca Falls  in Jasper National Park. This falls is fed by the Columbia Icefield and is 23 metres high.

Here's the second card from Canada. It is the Canadian span of the multi- spanned Thousand Islands International Bridge. The American maintained series of 5 bridges connects northern New York with southeastern Ontario. Built in 1937 and crossing the St. Lawrence River , it spans the U.S. Canada border in the middle of the Thousand Islands region.

A new reader of my blog ( at least new to me )  sent this card from Kingston, Ontario. Michael used a wonderful display of stamps. The Block of Four are semi-postal stamps and were issued for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. The other 2 stamps are from 1969 and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight in 1919. Michael's card is postmarked 2019-06-19 . He missed the 100th Anniversary of this momentous event by just 4 days as aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown took off from Lester's Field, St. John's, Newfoundland on June 15th, 1919 and landed in Clifden, Ireland less than 72 hours later.  The landing wasn't perfect by any means but it was a non-stop flight.

Michael , welcome to my blog and I hope you continue as a reader.
My only question to you is " Where do you find old stamps such as these , today ? "

The first non-Canadian card today is from Manila, in the Philippines. It 's a bird's eye look at Roxas Boulevard, the waterfront promenade in the city. It is 7.6 km in length and dates from the 1910s.

Jobbo used 3 Flower stamp from 2018. It is from a set of 4 definitives.

Here's a card from Uberlingen, Germany, an old city dating back to Roman times, on the northern shore of Lake Constance near the border with Switzerland. Dominique's card shows part of the 2 km long promenade that ends at the new health resort, opened in 2003, the Bodensee Therme. The city has established itself as a major tourist destination, especially for those interested in health cures.

The city received international attention in July 2002, but not the kind any city would want. On the night of July 1, 2002 a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev TU-154 and a DHL B757 collided in mid air over the city at about 30,000 feet. All passengers and crew, a total of 71 on both planes , were killed.  Then a year and a half after the crash, on Feb 24, 2004 the air traffic controller on duty at the time of the collision, was murdered in an apparent act of revenge by a Russian citizen who had lost his wife and two children in the accident.

Dominique used 2 copies of the 2019 Endangered Animals stamp featuring Harbor Porpoises.

Here's an interjection of a personal note. Yesterday , July 1st was Canada Day. I was too busy enjoying the day to be inside blogging, so let me take this opportunity to wish all my Canadian readers and all Canadians at home and around the world, a very belated HAPPY CANADA DAY. We have much to be happy for .
Let's do Tim's sometime .

I have two Russian cards to have a look at next. I often complain about the same old Russian stamps arriving on cards. Not the case this time. Both cards arrived with large and great looking stamps.

An impressive looking bridge , all lit up at night is the focus of this first card from Russia. I don't have any idea of the location of or the name of this bridge. Perhaps someone knows and will leave a comment.

Ludmila used 4 outstanding stamps on her card. Let's start with the top left stamp. It is 1 of 3 in a set issued in 2004 showing parts of or items in the Amber Room of the State Museum. Also to be noted is that this set is embossed or has a raised pattern.
The bottom stamp is a Europa Bridge stamp from 2018. The other two stamps are part of a set of 4 Bridges stamps issued in 2008.

The second card from Russia arrived from Saint Petersburg. Here's an old time train engine for all the train / railway card people out there.

Elena and Julia sent this card with a stamp from 2019, commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the Discovery of Marcial Waters by Peter The Great in 1719.

So ends another blog update. Thanks for cards this time going out to Deb & Bill, new reader Michael, Jobbo, Dominique, Ludmila and Elena & Julia. See you again soon.