Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kyrgyzstan, Belgium, Turkey and More

This is an update of the cards that I received on Friday. First is a card from Kyrgyzstan. On the front it shows a yurt. A yurt is a portable felt covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure used in Central Asia. The card was issued by The Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association. The card was sent by Amber West, a Peace Corp volunteer in Kyrgyzstan.She dated the card Oct 22, 2008 but it was postmarked Jan 09, 2009. When it was from Oct to Jan, I know not. Amber used 4 stamps, 2 different face values, issued in 2008 .

Next up is a card from Belgium. Sent by Johan, he says " Just a little card from my country Vlaaderen for your collection". Now I'm not one to make political waves or points in this blog, but from what I can gather, Vlaanderen is the Flanders region or the norther state of Belgium. Correct me if I'm wrong. The picture on the card shown Diksmuide, a city in the Flemish province of West Flanders. Three stamps were used on this card. Two are from a 2004 sheet of 12 featuring motorcross. The other stamp is from a 20065 set of 6 bird stamps.

Now a card from Turkey. It is the result of a private swap with Gaye Kural. She lives in the capital of Istanbul, a city of 14 million. The card shows a picture of a painting by E Tolunay of whom I know next to nothing. Unfortunately Gaye did not use any postage stamp on the card. Perhaps none was available at the post office. In its place is a paid postage meter stamp. Not quite what I like to see on my postcards.

The final card is from Japan. It shows the 5 story Pagoda of Itsukushima Shrine. The card was sent by Satomi who lives in Toyota City. No doubt named after the famed Toyota car. The stamp that Satomi used is from a 2007 set of 5 fruit and flowers issue.

That's it for the postcards today. I just want to report on my postcard activity for January. In the month of January I received a total of 33 postcards. But, I only increased my country total by 1, and that was Tajikistan. Also, during the month I sent a total of 34 postcards out to 23 different countries. Hopefully I will add a few more new countries next month, since that is the whole idea behind GemsWorldWidePostcards.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Card From Alert

Today I received three postcards. By far , the most interesting is from my own country, Canada. It is actually from Alert, Nunavut, Canada. Alert located at 82 degrees 28 minuets North 62 degrees 30 minuets West, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world. Alert can be found at the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, approximately 817 km from the geographic North Pole. Interestingly from April 8 to September 5, there is no night time, just daylight. Alert is made up of Canadian Forces Station Alert, an Environment Canada weather station, a Global Atmosphere Watch laboratory and Alert Airport.
The card itself needs no explanation- Canada and The Canadian Flag, what more can I say? Both the front and the reverse of the card have been stamped " From The North Pole". Also on the reverse is a symbol denoting CFS Alert, circled by these words " World's Most Northerly Weather Station- Next To The Pole". Thanks to The Canadian Forces for this card.
Another card is from the United States. It was sent by Postcrosser Julie who lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The Finger Lakes are a chain of lakes in west-central New York. The lakes mainly are linear in shape , each lake is on a North-South axis. The card shows a pretty tranquil scene entitled Amish Country. Julie says there are several Amish families in the area and that they make great neighbours.
The final card today is from The Netherlands. it was sent by Helene, also a Postcrosser. She lives in Den Helder, a city in The Netherlands. It is home to the country's main navel base.The card shows some typical Dutch things- flat land, flowers and windmills.

That's all for today. I have a feeling that my Alert card is one that is not seen too often. If any reader has received a card from Alert, I would love to hear from you about how you received it and when.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Third Togo Card along With France

This is just a short update today. It will show the two postcards that I received on Friday. First is a card from Togo. It is my third postcard from this African nation. It was posted in Sotouboua by Nikhil Patil , a Peace Corp volunteer. Sotouboua is a prefecture and town located in the Centrale Region of Togo. The stamp that Nikhil used is from a 2007 set of 3 marking 20 years of Aids research.

The second and final card today was posted from France. The sender is a Postcrosser named Mik. Mik says the card is from France, printed in Italy and should remind me of India. I guess the tiger on the front should do that. There are 2 stamps on the front of the card. Both are from the 2008 set of 13 definitives featuring Marianne. They are quite wonderful and I think , the best Marianne stamps to date. But that's just my opinion, I'm sure there are many out there who will disagree with me here. On the back are 2 stamps from 1990. The one on the right celebrates the Centenary of Labour Day.

As I mentioned , this is a small update. Thanks for tuning in.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Numerous Cards and Stamps

I know that I haven't been around much lately. I guess my excuses include, I'm busy, not a lot of cards, too many hockey games to watch and limited access to my computer. That should all change starting next week with 100 percent computer access. Anyway, on to the cards that I have for this update. First is a card from Australia. Actually it is a Maximum card and was sent by Eric Bruth of the blog My Philately. Eric is on vacation in Australia. The card shows Walpa Gorge, Northern Territory. The stamp also shows Walpa Gorge with a First Day of Issue date of 3 March 2008. The reverse of the card shows that it is a prepaid postage card for delivery worldwide. The stamp was issue 03March2008 with a first day postmark from Halls Gap. Halls Gap is a town in Victoria, Australia, about 3 hours drive from Melbourne with a population of 281 in 2006. Thanks to Eric for this card. It's good to know I'm still on his list.
The next car is from Pori, Finland. Pori is a city of 76000 on the west coast of Finland. This one was sent by a Postcrosser who used one of those , what I call, live action stamps from 2008. This one looks to be for some form of extreme skiing.
Next up is a card from Taiwan, ROC. It is from a long time reader of this blog, Wu Wei Yi. The card shows the first National Flag of the Chinese Republic. It also shows Yuan Shih K'ai, the First President of the Chinese Republic. The flower stamp on the left was issued in 2007 , 1 of a set of 4 and the others are from 2008, issued for the Inauguration of the 12th president.Thanks Wei Yi.
Now for a card from Singapore. Singapore is an island micro state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It is one of four remaining city-states in the world. Singapore is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. The card shows the Central Business District from the 1980s. Karen sent the card and shew says that Singapore is a great place to live- clean, green and safe. She used 2 stamps , the one on the left is from 2001 , 1 of a set of 9 definitives, featuring fish. The stamp on the right is from 2007, 1 of a set of 7 featuring birds and animals. My stamp shows the Stork-billed Kingfisher.
That's it for cards today , but I want to show just one stamp from another card. It is from Finland and was issued 08 Nov 2008. It is a Christmas stamp and is classified as a transparent stamp. Finland Post reports that it was printed on a special film and is believed to be the world's first transparent stamp. They also say that the card or envelope the stamp is affixed to will tint the stamp with its own colors. Quite interesting . I would like to see them used on a number of different colored envelopes.
That is my update for today. I promise to be a more frequent blogger next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Ascension Island, Amber Inclusions, and Sasquatch

Today was another banner day at the mailbox. In all seven postcards arrived . Four are from Postcrossers in Lithuania, The U.S.A. and Finland. The other three cards are all from Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The 3 Ascension cards and another one that I wrote about in my last update , are all from Elaine Arms of the Ascension Island Travel Agency. Thanks very much Elaine for these wonderful cards. The first card shows a view of Comfortless Cove, on Ascension Island. This is where in the 1830s through 1860s , it was the place of quarantine and inevitable demise for fever victims from ships which had come from the west coast of Africa. The stamps on this card include one showing the Travellers Palm and the other is 1 of 4 , 2008 Christmas stamps.
The second card is a picture of the famous Green Turtle , on Long Beach, Ascension Island. The stamp also shows the Green Turtle and some of its eggs.
The last Ascension card shows Sisters Peaks and Two Boats Village, on Ascension Island. The stamp on this one is from 2008 and features King Henry III and The Tower of London.
The card from Lithuania shows a piece of Baltic Amber with a Bush cricket embedded in it. This is called an Amber Inclusion. Baltic Amber was created between 40 to 50 million years ago. Simultaneously amber inclusions were created. Thanks to amber inclusions , we are able to learn about the world millions of years ago. The species found in amber are extinct but most have a modern counterpart in the current world. The stamp on this card was issued in 2008, 1 of a set of 3 featuring famous people. In this case it is Antanas Maceina, 1908-1987, a Lithuanian philosopher, theologian, educator and poet.
My last card today is from Tes in Port Orchard, In Washington state. It shows Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, an alleged ape-like creature. He purportedly inhabits forests , mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Sasquatch is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The scientific community considers Sasquatch to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoaxes. Whatever he is , he is not one I would like to meet on a quite trail in the woods.
That is my update for today. I can only hope for another seven cards tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ascension Island , India and France Cards

I have three postcards to show in today's update. 'The first one shows a picture of Green Mountain on Ascension Island. Green Mountain is a common name for The Peak on Ascension. It's elevation is 859 m . Ascension is located in the South Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately , I can not make out the name of the sender of this card. The stamp is from a set of 12 definitives, issued in 2008 , featuring animals, fish, turtles, birds, reptiles and eggs. A nice card from a far off place. It is just my second card from Ascension Island.
The next card is from India, but one wouldn't know it from looking at it. It shows Changi Airport in Singapore. Changi is a pretty busy airport, as of April 2008, approximately 4340 weekly flights operated , by 80 airlines, to 116 cities in 59 countries. In 2007 the airport handled a record of 36,701,556 passengers. Kamran sent this card and used 4 copies of the same stamp. I wasn't able to locate any information on this stamp with regard to its date of issue. It shows Dr B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956), an Indian jurist, social worker and constitutionalist. Born as an untouchable, he fought to eradicate caste based bias in Indian society.
The final card today is from France. It pictures a summer evening on the main beach in Royan.
Royan is a famous seaside resort in the southwest of France. It has a population of around 19,000. Marianna sent this card and used a very simple stamp, but a classic French stamp, never the less. It is a definitive , issued in 2008, one of a set of 13, featuring Marianne. Marianne is a national emblem of the French Republic, an allegory of Liberty and Reason. Just a beautiful classic stamp, in the long line of Marianne stamps. Not all stamp collectors like or collect definitives , but I actually enjoy collecting them .
That is today's update, I'm off to a hockey game tonight between The Calgary Flames and The St. Louis Blues of The National Hockey League.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tajikistan - My First New Country of 2009

Well my country collection increased by one today. It now stands at 210. I received a postcard from Tajikistan, making it 210 different countries from which I have now received a stamped and mailed postcard. The card was sent around the middle of December by David H, who lives in the city of Khujand. The card shows a couple of Folk Masters carving some wooden bowls, pots and spoons. Tajikistan is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and the People's Republic of China. It became an independent country in 1991 and has its capital at Dushanbe. As mentioned my card is from Khujand, the 2nd largest city of Tajikistan. It is situated on the Syr Darya River. The city's population is around 150,000. David used 4 stamps, 2 face different. The 3 stamps on the left are from a set of 6 definitives issued in 2007. The stamp on the right was issued in 2005 and is from a set of 12 featuring different fruits. Thanks David.
This now completes the Asia part of my collection. But there is still a big world out there. Depending on what list one uses for completeness, I figure that I still have 46 more countries to go. But as I like to say , 210 is not bad .

One other card arrived today. It is from People's Republic of China and was sent by Postcrosser Jessie. It pictures a bronze statue of a turtle and a snake . I don't know what else to say about it except if the turtle takes one more step, it probably won't matter anymore. Jessie used a number of fine stamps. Starting from the left are 2 stamps, labels or stickers. I could not locate any information about them . They do not show any country name , at least in English and they also do not show a value. Any reader who may know something about these two items, feel free to let me know. The center stamp was issued in 2002 and is from a set of 6 featuring Zhu Da paintings. The next stamp was issued in 2007 , 1 of a set of 4 , featuring the architecture of historical city views. The last stamp, on the right , also was issued in 2007 and is from a set of 6 featuring scenes from the Beijing Opera. Thanks Jessie for this card.

All in all a good day. Any day that I receives a new country postcard is indeed a good day.
Thanks for reading, and leave a comment if you want.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not A Great Update

Well it's not going to be a great update today. Just 2 cards and really there is nothing special about either. The first one is from Finland and shows a large bell atop a winter garden scene. It was sent by Veronica, a Postcrosser . The text on the card is in Swedish , God Jul och Gott Nytt Ar, and translates as Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. Why a card from Finland is in Swedish is a bit of a mystery to me . Thanks Veronica. The other card is from The U.S.A. It too was sent by a Postcrosser, Elyse from Seattle. It shows a few trees, devoid of leaves, with just a few red berries and some light snow on them. I may be wrong, but this looks like a photo , not a postcard. Feels like a photo in fact. Thank s to Elyse. Both cards had common stamps , both of which I have showcased in the past.
A slow week for postcards so far.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009's First Postcard

My first postcard received in 2009 is from Austria. It was sent by a Postcrosser. There is not much to say about the card except that it is a Christmas card styled postcard. I think the most interesting part of the card is the lack of a postage stamp. It has a Austria Postage Paid handstamp with the value of 1.40 .I wonder what the reason for this would be. Did the post office run out of stamps ? Were they too busy to sell a stamp ? Either way, I don't particularly like it. As a collector, I think all mail should have a stamp.
Your comments on this are welcome.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Post of Year 2009

Happy New Year! How to start off this year? I guess to show the last few postcards from 2008. I have 5 to show from Finland, Poland, Togo and 2 from Germany. First up is Germany. The first card is from a new reader of my blog, Volker Kachele of Stadland , Germany. Volker has a wonderful photography website at . It's worth a visit. The card shows a summer beach scene . It is called Sehestedt and is located at Jadebusen. It is on a bay of the North Sea in the north of Germany. The card has 2 stamps , both of which I have detailed before. Thanks Volker for this and keep reading my blog.
The other card from Germany was sent by Nika, who is a Postcrosser. The card shows Laveshaus, built by G.L.F.Laves in Hanover, Germany. Nika used 2 stamps from 2008. The larger yellow one commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ernst Christoffel. The other commemorates the 125th anniversary of the start of Drachenfelsbahn, the railway line in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. Thanks Nika.
Now for a card from Togo. It is my second card from this African nation. It is a city view of Lome, Togo. The card is from 2 U.S. Peace Corps workers there, Kara & Drew. Thanks guys for this great card. Two stamps were used . The stamp on the left is from 1999 and shows a portrait of Bella Bellow. Bella was one of Togo's greatest and most famous singers. Her career was cut short when she died in a car crash in 1973 at the age of 27. The other stamp is from 2007 and commemorates 20 years of the world wide fight against aids. It is 1 of a set of 3.
The card from Poland shows a number of views of Wigry. Wigry is a National Park in the North East part of Poland. Thanks to Joanna, another Postcrosser for this card. Joanna used 2 stamps , including a 2005 stamp showing a church in Sieradz. Sieradz is a town on the Warta River in central Poland. The larger stamp on the right is a 2008 Christmas stamp.
The final card , from Finland shows Helsinki's southern harbour with The Helsinki Lutheran Church on the left. Pino used one of the 2008 , what I like to call , live action stamps , in this case down hill skiing.
Thanks to all for these postcards. As always , your comments are welcome.