Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Card From HELL

Hell, you read it right. I couldn't resist. That's right , I received 2 cards yesterday, one from Hell and the other from Germany. Where is Hell anyway, one might ask ? Well , apparently it is in The Cayman Islands. Hell, Grand Cayman is a very , very small town named for a group of short, black, limestone formations in the northwest of Grand Cayman. There are many versions of how Hell received its name, but they are generally variations on "a local official exclaimed, "This is what Hell must look like". Regardless of how it first came to be called Hell, the name stuck. It features a red hell themed post office from which you can send " postcards from Hell". The Hell post office opened in 1962. The card was sent from The Devil's Hangout, Hell, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Thanks to Mel from Hell. Mel used a 2008 Land Crab Stamp.

The other card from Germany, was sent by blogger Igor. It shows a Malev B737 . Igor knows that I collect Airline Postcards and as he often does , he came through again. Malev Hungarian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Hungary. Based at Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, it is the principal Hungarian airline and flies to 50 cities in 34 countries. This card will be a great addition to my Airline Postcards collection. Thanks Igor. Two new 2009 stamps were used on the card. The one on the right is 1 of a set of 4 celebrating Universal Post. The other stamp commemorates Golo Mann ,1909-1994, a German historian, essayist and writer.

That's today's update. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday's Card - Russia

Just a short update to show the only card that I received on Friday. Just getting around to it now as we had company for the weekend, plus a birthday party. The card is from a Russian Postrcrosser, named Olga who lives in Veliky Novgorod. This is the oldest town in Russia, dating back to 859. It celebrates 1150 years this year. Its name means The Great New City or The Big New City. Located between Moscow and St. Petersburg it had a population of 216,856 in 2002. It was added to the Unesco World Historic Sites list in 1992 for the Historic Monuments of Novgorod. The card shows a statue of Jupiter in The Jupiter Hall , located on the ground floor of the New Hermitage, the building designed by the architect Leo von Klenze, in the mid 19th century. Olga used 2 1998 definitives, from a set of 11 and also a 2008 issue , 1 of 3 in a souvenir sheet issued for archeology. Thanks Olga for this.
That's all for this time, hopefully there will be lots of cards in the coming week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Cards- Austria and Alaska

Two cards for today's update. They come from Austria and Alaska, USA. The Austrian card is from Edna C, who I assume has read this blog and sent a card. She sent a very nice card, it shows the palace of the Austrian Emperor. Schonbrunn Palace , containing 1440 rooms , a park and a zoo, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. It was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1996. Edna used a First Day of Issue stamp, and a special postmark, available only at the palace on March 20th. The stamp commemorates Schonbrunn Palace, also. The flower definitive , 1 of 3, was issued in 2007. Thanks Edna for this great card and stamp. Keep reading my blog, ok.

The second card , from Alaska, pictures a participant and his dogs , as they race in The Iditarod Race. As I was reading this card, my wife who was passing by, just happened to say , that's a really nice card, and I agree . It's a great picture. The Iditarod is a race over 1150 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dogs. Add to that temperatures far below zero , winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, long hours of darkness and you have The Iditarod, The Last Great Race on Earth. The card is compliments of Kris from Fairbanks, often know as Postcardkris of the blog, Post Card Images:100 years of Life, Love and Mystery. Thanks Kris.

That's about it for today. More tomorrow, hopefully.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday's Postcards

Hello blog readers. I just have 2 postcards to blog about today. They are from Finland and The Netherlands.
First let's have a look at the Finnish card. It was sent by Maija, a university student from Helsinki. The card shows the Finnish national Museum. Quite an impressive looking building. It was constructed between 1905 and 1910 and opened to the public in 1916. With its granite facade and decoration, the building is one of Finland's most significant national-romantic works of architecture. Maija used a 2003 stamp, which according to her, glows in the dark. I certainly believe her, but I will confirm this later tonight. It is 1 of 5 values in a souvenir sheet featuring lighthouses and safety at sea. Just a wonderful stamp and I certainly wouldn't mind having the souvenir sheet in my collection. Thanks Maija.

The Netherlands card shows the Molen De Kat, located in Zaadam, Netherlands. It is a working windmill that one can visit and learn how paint is made. Only the storehouse is left from the original De Kat, so in 1960 the top part of another mill was laid on the foundation. The mill is again grinding materials such as chalk to make pigments for paint in the traditional time honoured way. The stamp on the left is from 1975 and was issued to celebrate Amsterdam's 700th anniversary. The smaller stamp on the right was issued in 2004 and is 1 of a set of 2, with an I shape Phoshor bar. If any reader knows the meaning of the red lettered stamping just below the left stamp, leave a comment.

That is it for today. Comments ?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last Update for the Week

I have just 3 postcards left from the week. They are from Denmark, The USA and Austria. All were sent by Postcrossers. First let's look at the card from Denmark. It shows an interior view of Voergaard Castle. Voergaard , located in Eastern Vendsyssel, surrounded by Denmark's broadest moat, is one of the finest and most well-kept renaissance castles in Denmark. The castle has an extensive and unique collection of European art, including works by Goya, Rubens, Raphael and El Greco. It also holds personal belongings of Napolean I , Lousi XIV and Marie Antoinette. Sent by Nate, the card has 3 stamps, 2 of which are long running definitives and the 3rd stamp , on the right, was issued 2007 honoring Victior Borge (1909-2000).It was 1 of 4 honoring Great Danes. Borge was a Danish comedian, entertainer and pianist. He was affectionately know as the Clown Prince of Denmark and the Great Dane. I saw Borge perform many times on television and was never disappointed in his performance.

Now for the card from the U.S. It was sent by Rick and shows the State Capitol and surrounding buildings in Olympia , Washington. Rick used 3 different stamps, including an older 10 cent Skylab stamp. Also used was the 2009 Lunar New Year stamp and from 2008, a stamp celebrating Vintage Black Cinema.

And finally the last card is from Linz, Austria. Linz is the 3rd largest city in Austria with a population of 240,000. It is located in north Central Austria. Chris used 2 definitive stamps from 2007, featuring flowers.

Thanks again to nate, Rick and Chris.
That's all for the day and the week. As always , your comments are welcome and appreciated. Let's hear from you and you and also you .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three cards - USA -Finland-Argentina

Hello again.Three cards to highlight today. First a card from the U.S., California in fact. The card shows and tells us a lot of information about California. We learn the State Flower, the State Slogan, the State Bird and see the State Flag. Not bad for a single card . This card is from a Postcrosser and she used 3 wonderful and very recent stamps. The Edgar Allan Poe stamp on the left was issued Jan 16th of this year. Poe was an American poet and short story writer, best known for mystery and the macabre. His works include The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pitt and the Pendulum and The Premature Burial, all quite scary I'm sure. The middle stamp , issued Jan 8th is the Year of the Ox stamp for 2009. The stamp on the right was issued Feb 21st and commemorates civil rights pioneers. It is from a pane of 6 different stamps inscribed as follows: Civil Rights Pioneers, The courage of these men and women, leaders of the struggle for African-American civil rights , energized a movement that spanned generations. The pane, which is quite striking is designed to resemble a photographic montage. The stamp on my card commemorates Medgar Evers ( 1925-63) and Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-77).Evers was president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership and later a field secretary in the NAACP. He was assassinated in his own driveway. His murder was not solved until more than 30 years later. Hamer led black voting registration drives in Mississippi. She is known for the quote " I am sick and tired of being sick and tired". The pane of 6 is one that I would certainly love to have in my collection.

The card from Finland , also sent by a Postcrosser, Riitta, shows a number of children frolicking in winter scenes. Scenes that are duplicated in many Northern countries, certainly Canada . Riitta used 3 stamps, the one on the left , from 2008 , issued in a set of 6 featuring water and landscape views. A little difficult to see from the small stamp, but when viewed from the set, it is quite nice. The middle stamp, issued in 2002, is from a set of 2 X 5 values featuring flowers. The last stamp , from 2005 was issued in a souvenir sheet of 4 , showing aspects of golf.

The last card for today is another card from Ushuaia, Argentina. Of course we all know that Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The card has a beautiful picture of Ushuaia, between the Beagle Channel and the Fuegian Andes. The 1,318 meter high rocky formation known as Olivia Mount is a symbol of the end of the world's landscape. The card bears 5 of the same stamp, showing a beautiful view of Buenos Aires. Thanks to Martin Guardamgna of The Hotel Tolkeyen for this great card. This makes a number of cards that I have received from Ushuaia, 3 or 4 I think. I am still awaiting a card from Puerto Williams , Chile - the southernmost Town in the world. So come on all you readers from Puerto Williams, jump on the bandwagon and send me a card. Have your town and its claim to fame included in my collection. I'm also hoping for a card from Punta Arenas, Chile, the southernmost city on the South American continent.
I'm sure they will arrive, it's just a matter of time and that is something I have lots of.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Cards, One New Country

Today's mail brought me two postcards. One was from Germany, a result of my participation in Postcrossing. The other is from Anguilla, new country # 212 of my collection. Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The island's capital is The Valley and it's population is approximately 13,500 inhabitants. The postcard shows some scenes from a past Anguilla Summer Festival. The festival is held during the first 10 days of August. It is the island's cultural showpiece. Its main events include beauty pageants, a Calypso Monarch competition, musical performances and a Parade of Troupes, in which costumed teams of dancers perform in the streets. The card was sent by Trudy Nixon , Executive Director of The Anguilla Hotel and Tourism association. Trudy used a stamp from a 2003 set of 12 definitives featuring past sailing ships. The ship on my stamp is the Rose Millicent. The set of 12 is just beautiful and one that I would love to have in my collection.

The German card is from a Postcrosser. The card features Mannheim. Mannheim is a city in Germany with a population of around 330,000 persons. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar. Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its central area is laid out in a grid pattern much like many North American cities. The city's symbol is der Wasserturm ( the water tower ) which is pictured on this card. The stamps used are from 2007 and are flower definitives.

A small update today, but a good one. Any day that I add a new country to my collection is just a great day. Just 54 to go.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back From Vacation , Part 2

Three postcards today, the last that arrived while I was in Cuba. They are from Spain, Singapore and Malaysia. First up is Spain. The card shows a number of scenes from Menorca. Menorca is a small island located in the Mediterranean Sea and belonging to Spain. With a population around 88,000, many tourists from all over the world visit during the summer for sun, sand and relaxation. The card is from a fellow Postcrosser, Susie who has visited this blog. Susie used 2 stamps from 2007. The vertical stamp on the left is 1 of a set of 6 featuring different architecture. The one on the right is 1 of 2 featuring aspects of science.

Singapore is where the next card is from. It is a card showing The Singapore Flyer. The Flyer is the world's tallest observation wheel.It reaches 42 stories and has a total height of 541 feet. It was opened on 01 March 2008. The card is from Edmund Ong who has a blog called eD@HoMe and you can find it at http://ednfen.blogspot.com . Edmund used 2 really nice stamps . The smaller one on the left is from 2001 and is 1 of a set of 9 featuring fish, in this case it is the Pearlscale Butterflyfish. The other is from 2007 , 1 of a set of 10 definitives showing flora and fauna. This one is the Yellow Rumped Flycatcher.

The last card shows a beach scene from Manukan Island. It is located in Tunku Abdul Rahman park. Caroline of Sabah, Malaysia sent the card. She too, has a blog called Carol PostCrossing Journey at http://carolpostcrossing.blogspot.com . Give her a look also. The stamps she used are quite new, 2009.

Thanks Carol, Edmund and Susie.
That's all for today, I am finally caught up , after the week away. Now I will just sit back and await more cards in the week ahead.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back From Vacation

Hello again, it's been a while. I returned from Cuba late Thursday evening. Wasn't up to an update yesterday. Had a good , relaxing time with lots of sun, sand and drink. I found a small, old one room post office in Varadero . It was about 8 by 10. I found a lot of Cuban stamps dating back the last 20 years or so , for sale . I also sent off a few postcards and a few covers to some of the bloggers that I have had contact with since starting this blog. I sure hope they arrive . On my return I found 13 postcards and 2 covers in my mailbox. I won't be showing them all , just some of the more interesting ones , and it may take this update and another one tomorrow to get through them. First up today is a small card from Ushuaia, Argentine. Ushuaia is of course the southernmost city in the world. The card shows some musicians playing, overlooking Ushuaia. The card is from the International Festival of Ushuaia. The 5th Ushuaia International Festival will be taking place from April 25th to may 9th, 2009. The world famous Moscow Symphony Orchestra will headline the event. The festival takes place in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, Argentina.
Unfortunately, a stamp was not used, but a postage label was and that was good enough to get it to me.

Next is a card from a very tiny place, Sark, Channel Islands. Sark is a small island in the southwestern English Channel. It is one of the Channel Islands, is a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and as such is a British crown dependency. Population runs about 600. This card is from Elizabeth P, the proprietor of La Sablonnerie Hotel on Sark. The card shows a few scenes of the hotel and the quiet life on the island. Elizabeth used 3 nice stamps from a set of 10 issued in 2007, by the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Now for a card from Cancun Mexico. It shows Tucancun Beach, in front of The Barcelo Hotel. Cancun is a coastal city in Mexico's easternmost state and is located on the Yucatan Channel that separates Mexico from Cuba. Cancun has grown from nothing in 1970 to a city of 600,000 with 4 million visitors arriving each year on an average of 190 flights daily. The card was sent by Shelley and Kevin, who were certainly enjoying themselves . Lots of sun, sand and drinks. A wonderful large format stamp from 2007 with a great postmark was used.

Finally a card from Malaysia. Sent by Shi Wen, a Postcrosser, it shows the Orang Utan. Sometimes referred to as , Man of the Forest, Orang Utans are found only in the island of Borneo and are an endangered species fully protected in Malaysia.

Thanks to Shi Wen, Shelley & Kevin, Elizabeth P and the Ushuaia Festival for these great postcards.

More tomorrow. Am off to watch The Calgary Flames play The Toronto Maple Leafs , but unfortunately just on tv.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mauritania, New Country # 211

March is starting off just great. Yesterday I received a number of postcards including one from Mauritania, new country # 211 in my collection. That leaves just 55 to go. Mauritania , officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in northwest Africa. It borders the Atlantic Ocean, Senegal, Mali, and Algeria. It also shares a border with the Morocco - controlled Western Sahara region. It's capital and largest city is Nouakchott, on the Atlantic coast. Mauritania gained its independence from France in November of 1960. One doesn't see much mail from this far off land. The front of the card shows Mheirth Oasis . Yates Moon of the blog Moon in the Desert sent this card . She is a peace Corp Volunteer in Mauritania. The stamp is from 2008 but I couldn't find any more information about it.

Next is a card from Slovenia. It is a card of the town square and town hall of Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital. A Postcrosser by the name of Katja sent this card. The stamp is one of a set of 17 flower definitives issued in 2007.

Now a card from Japan. It shows Maiko Girls worshipping at Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto. Another Postcrosser, named Yuko sent this card along . The stamp is from 2009.

The 4th card is from Finland. It shows a typical winter scene along with some husky dogs and snowmen. Need I say it again, a Postcrosser named Camilla sent this card and she used a stamp from a souvenir sheet of 5 issued for Valentine's. Camilla lives in Ahtava in western Finland.

The final two cards today are from Ireland and Austria. The Irish card shows An Teach Beas ( The Small House), a pub in Clonakilty , County Cork. Being in Clonakilty is like stepping back in time and seeing life as it was in the late 1940's Ireland. Clonakilty is famous as the birthplace of Republican leader Michael Collins and Henry Ford and both are commemorated in the town. Iva sent this card and used a 2008 stamp, one of a set of 3 featuring wild flowers.

The last card, from Austria shows Stift Melk, an Austrian Benedictine abbey, located above the town of Melk, overlooking the river Danube. It was built between 1702 and 1736 by architect Jakob Prandtauer. The card was sent by another reader of my blog, Earney. She has her own postcard blog called Postcard Journey Around The World at www.earneygerhard.blogspot.com . Give it a look see. She collects map cards , so one is on the way to her. She used a 2007 stamp from a set of 5 definitives featuring flowers.

Since this is March , here is a summary of my postcard activity for February. I received 33 postcards and sent 23 . Of the 33 received , there were 2 new countries , Guyana and Guam.
So not a bad month all in all.

To end off here, let me say that my next update will be on March 13th, Friday the 13th. I am off tomorrow morning for a week of sun, sand and lots of mojitos in Cuba. Hopefully my mailbox will be overflowing with postcards on my return. And, I'm sure some lucky souls will be getting a postcard or a cover from Cuba in a few weeks.