Monday, August 30, 2010

Malta, Brazil and Germany Cards

Hello again, here we go with another postcard update. My cards today are from Brazil, Germany and 3 from Malta.First up is the Brazil card. It shows the oldest public market in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This city of just about 1.5 million is the southernmost capital city of any Brazilian State. The central Public Market was opened in 1869. Lucia, who lives in Porto Alegre , sent this card along. She used 3 wonderful stamps. The stamp featuring grapes was issued in 2009 and is 1 of a set of 10 fruit stamps. The stamp on the right was issued in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics. It is 1 of a set of 4 . The stamp with the bird , issued 2009 , is part of a multi-sheet of 6 all showing birds. This is a beautiful multi-sheet and one that I certainly would welcome in my collection.

The next card is from Germany and is compliments of Igor. He always come through with an aviation related card for me. This ones shows a Fokker F27 Friendship, a turboprop airliner designed and built by the Dutch company Fokker. Igor again used 2 stamps honoring Elly Beinhorn and again it is a First Day of Issue card. I mentioned this stamp in my previous update. See it for more information.

Today's 3rd , 4th and 5th cards come from Malta. All 3 are from Brian B who lives on Malta. We did a private swap, and hope to do more. Card # 1 shows the fortified city of Valletta as seen from across the Grand Harbour at night. Valletta is the capital city, with a population of just over 6000, however the urban zones bring the population up to over 300,000. The city contains buildings dating from the 16th century and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. On this card Brian used definitive stamps from a 2009 set of 17 different values, featuring money, art, coats of arm, ships, archeology and others.The second card from Malta features The Azure Window. This is a natural arch in the Maltese Island of Gozo, featuring a table-like rock over the sea. It is approximately 50 meters high and one of nature's unforgettable sculptures. It is on the list of candidates to be one of the seven natural wonders of Europe. It is currently ranked 11th . On this card Brian used 2 more nice stamps from 2007 and 2008. The left stamp is 1 of 2 issued for Events , in this case , the 25th anniversary of the Youth Football Association. The right stamp is from a set of 4 featuring door knockers.

The last card shows the Blue lagoon in Comino. This lagoon has incredibly crystal clear water and is an ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. Comino is a small island between Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean Sea. Looks like an ideal place to hang out for a week or so. It measures just 3.5 square km and has a permanent population of between 4 and 8 residents. Comino has been featured in the movies Troy and The Count of Monte Cristo. Both stamps used on this card are from the large 17 values set of definitives issued in 2009.
My thanks today go out to Brian, Igor and Lucia.
Comments as usual are welcome.
see you again soon.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Great Postcards - Wonderful Stamps

Today's update consists of 5 great postcards and the wonderful stamps that brought them to me.
The 5 cards are from Great Britain, China, Germany, Bulgaria and Lithuania.My first card today is from Wales, in Great Britain. Mia , a Postcrosser sent this card along. The card is of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Railway Station. Obviously, the railway station with the longest name in Great Britain. The name means- St. Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of St. Tysilio with a red cave. The name is often shortened to Llanfair. Llanfair is best known for its name , the longest place name in Europe and one of the longest in the world. Mia used a Machin definitive along with 1 of a set of 6 , issued in 2009 , featuring mythical creatures.
The next card is from China and shows a Hutong. A hutong is a small narrow street or alley most often seen in Beijing. I remember seeing a story on television about hutongs during the Beijing Olympics. Rachel used 3 of a set of 6 , 2007 stamps celebrating Beijing Opera.
Since all my regular readers know that I especially collect postcards with aircraft on them , along with aviation related stamps, this next postcard fills both requirements. Igor sent this card , as he has quite often, sent aviation themed cards. This card shows a Focke-Wulf FW 200 Condor in August 1938. I believe it is commemorating a record flight of the Condor flying Berlin-New York-Berlin. Igor used 2 of the recently issued , on 12 August, stamps featuring Elly Beinhorn and her plane.
That makes it a First Day of Issue card.

Now we have a panoramic view of Sofia, the city. Jean Pierre , a frequent contributor , sent this one along. He used 2 stamps from a 2010 souvenir sheet of 5 , featuring military leaders. A very nice souvenir sheet, one which I wouldn't mind adding to my collection.

Today's final card comes to us from Kaunas, Lithuania. Inga , a Postcrosser, picked up this card in Kaunas , where she is studying. Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania. It is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris. As a result of its location the city has a total of 34 bridges and viaducts, including Vytautas the Great Bridge, the one pictured on the postcard. Originally completed in 1930, it suffered major damage during the Second World War. A new bridge was rebuilt in 1948. Inga used a really great stamp from 2009, celebrating a sailing regatta. The stamp was issued with a tab on the right, which Inga included on the card.
That brings us to the end of another update. As I mentioned earlier, some really great stamps were found on these cards. Thanks to Mia, Rachel, Igor, Jean Pierre and Inga for today's cards.
If you want to comment on my blog, go for it. I always enjoy the feedback.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Mixed Bag of Cards

Today's cards come from a number of countries. Taiwan, Canada, China, France, and Germany. Themes include trains, aircraft, landscapes , UNESCO WHS and history. So here we go.

The first card for today comes from Taiwan, Republic of China. The card shows the Alishan forest Railway. Ana, I'm sure you would like this one, but perhaps you already have it in your collection. The Alishan Forest railway is an 86 km narrow gauge railway running up to and around the mountain resort of Alishan in Chiayi County, Taiwan. Taiwan's government has listed the railway as a potential World Heritage site. However, politics will most likely intervene and so it is unlikely to be recognized as a WHS anytime soon. The main line runs from the city of Chiayi, elevation 30m, to Alisham, elevation 2216m. The line was built in 1912. I have ridden on narrow gauge rail lines and they can be a bumpy ride. The card is from Taita, a Postcrosser. She used a 2004 stamp , from a set of 3 featuring flowers and plants.Card number two is from Canada. I actually don't receive many cards from Canada, so it is nice when one arrives. This one will be a great addition to my aircraft and airlines on postcards collection. The card is shows a Handley Page Dart Herald in the livery of Eastern Provincial Airways. Eastern provincial is where I started my airline career back in 1974. This 1950s turboprop aircraft entered service with Eastern Provincial in the early 1960s. The date of the postmark on this card, 2010-08-17 makes this a First Day of Issue card. The stamp was officially issued August 17th with First Day of Issue in Cupids , Newfoundland, Canada. Sadly, my card was not postmarked in Cupids, but it's still a great card. The stamp celebrates the founding of the birthplace of English Canada. In August 1610, Bristol merchant John Guy arrived in Cupids, Newfoundland, then known as Cuppers Cove. That marked the start of British overseas expansion by establishing the first English settlement in what would become Canada and one of the earliest permanent European settlements in North America.

Our next card is from Shanghai, People's Republic of China. On this card we can seen the Wulingyuan scenery of Yunqing Terrace. This card , from yet another Postcrosser, dates from 1998. The card is a post paid card with a preprinted stamp on it. Note , the picture on the cardis the same as that on the stamp.

A card from Jean Pierre of France is next. It is from Carnac, on the south coast of Brittany, in north-western France. Carnac is famous as the site of more than 3000 prehistoric standing stones. Time frame for these stone erections is around 3300 BC. Jean Pierre says Carnac could be on the UNESCO WHS list by 2012. Let's hope so, as I will already have the card. Jean Pierre used a 2010 stamp celebrating 50 years of African Independence of 14 countries.
Card number 5 comes to us from Regensburg, Germany. This city in Bavaria is located at the confluence of the Danube and regen Rivers. The large medieval center of the city is a UNESCO world heritage Site. Regensburg, one of Germany's oldest towns, dates backt to the Stone Age. Need I say it's also from a Postcrosser. She used 2 great stamps from this year. They are a set of 2 designed by Udo Lindenburg, themed on his songs, Andrea Doria and Sonderzug nach Pankow.

Finally our last card is again from Taiwan, Republic of China. It is from Wu Wei Yi, a frequent contributor to this blog, but who I haven't heard from for quite a while. It's good to have him on board again. The card tells the history of Taiwan , in that it shows the regimes in Taiwan from 1912-2010. The red dot from 1912-1945 represents the rule of Japan. The blue represents the Kuomintang of China and the green represents the DPP, Democratic Progressive Party. The stamps , from left to right are as follows. The left stamp was issued in 1985 and is 1 of 2 in a Peace set. The small stamp in the center was issued in 1996 and is 1 of 4 in a definitive set of fruits. The top right stamp from 2007 and shows a museum. The tiger stamp is from 2010 and celebrates The Year of the Tiger. I quite like this stamp.
Thanks to all who sent cards used in this update. I wouldn't have much to update without your contributions. See you soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Mixed Bag of Cards

I guess I'm one day late, it's Tuesday and not Monday. My cards for today are just cards, no theme, no new countries, just cards. But , that's what this blog is about, so I'm happy.

Card # 1 is from Croatia. It was sent by Roberto a Postcroser living in Pula. Roberto says Pula is 3000 years old and famous for the buildings built by Romans. One of these building is pictured on the card, it is the Pula Amphitheatre Arena. It is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers preserved. It was constructed in 27 BC-68 AD. Roberto used 4 large stamps, 2 from 2008 and 2 from 2010. The 2 on the left, from 2008 are from a set of 5 featuring textile folk art. The 2 on the right are from a 2010 set of 3 featuring fruits. Thanks Roberto.Card # 2 is from Cayman Islands. The card shows an early morning beach scene in The Cayman Islands, B.W.I. The seafan attached to a coral rock , I think , would be a rare find. Sea fans are nocturnal sea animals that look more like plants than animals. Lisa of Christopher Columbus Condominium sent this card and she used a 2008 stamp from a set of 5 celebrating The Darwin Initiative. This one shows a Land Crab. Thanks Lisa.

Card # 3 , from Great Britain. Anna, another Postcrosser, living in The Yorkshire Dales, sent this card along. Anna's card shows Malham Cove, a curved crag of limestone formed after the last ice age. The crag is 80 metres high and 300 metres wide. Anna used a 67p Machin definitive , not shown. Thanks Anna.

Card # 4 , another St. Vincent card. Pictured on this card is Troumaka Bay and Falls of Baleine. The falls is on the northwestern tip of St. Vincent and is 18m high. The card is blank so I can't say who it's from. I do know though, they used 2 great stamps. I don't know the issue dates but as you see , they are great stamps just the same.

That's all folks , for this time. catch you next time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Grenadines of St. Vincent

Today's update is all about The Grenadines of St. Vincent. I have received five postcards , one each from Union Island, Mayreau, Bequia, Canouan and Mustique. All islands of The Grenadines. St. Vincent issued stamps for The Grenadines as early as 1974, however specific stamps for specific islands of The Grenadines appeared as follows : Union Island 1984, Bequia 1984, Mustique 2003, Canouan 2003, and Mayreau 2006. At least this is what my reasearch shows, if you know otherwise , I am happy to hear from you. I already had postcards in my collection from Bequia and Canouan , but they are franked with St. Vincent stamps. So my mission was to try for cards from St. Vincent , but franked with stamps from each of The Grenadines. These stamps would actually be the first stamps of each place in my collection. So it would be a two fold mission, first stamps and postcards franked with those stamps. I contacted many people and groups , businesses and others on the specific islands and the result was always the same- we don't have specific stamps for the islands. I would go back and say yes, you do and show them scans of the stamps. The next reply would always be , well I never saw these stamps, they are never for sale here. I don't really know the politics involved here and really don't care. I'm just a stamp and postcard collector. So moving on- I found a contact in St. Vincent and have received the five postcards , each with a stamp or stamps of the five Islands of The Grenadines. These are the cards for today.
Union Island- Union Island is located in the south Eastern Caribbean , 90 km southwest of Barbados. It is the southernmost island of the Grenadines. The island's population is around 3000 and the two main towns are Clifton and Ashton. This multi view card shows aerial views of (top left and clockwise) Tobago Cays, Palm Island, Union Island and Mayreau. On the card are 3 great Union Island stamps. The stamp on the left is from 2002 and is a WWF issue featuring a shark. The other stamps were issued in 2006 and are 2 of 4 featuring Columbus.
Mayreau- Mayreau has a population of around 200 and is the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines. The population is centered in Old Wall Village and it is only accessible by boat. The card shows Indian bay and Young Island, located on the south coast of St. Vincent. The Mayreau stamp was issued in 2008 and celebrates the America's Cup.Bequia- Bequia is the second larges island in the Grenadines. It has about 6000 people living there. This card shows four areas of Bequia ( top left and clockwise ) Ravine Bay, Admiralty Bay, Princess Margaret Bay and Friendship Bay. The stamp was issued in 2004 and is 1 of 4 celebrating Columbus.
Canouan- Canouan is located in the heart of the Grenadines. This 3 sq mile island is surrounded by small bays and coves, white sandy beaches and one of the Caribbean's largest coral reefs. The island's only village is Retreat Village and has a population of about 2000. This card shows The Botanic Gardens in St. Vincent. The Canouan stamp is from 2004 and is 1 of 4 featuring Butterflies.
Mustique- Even though it is part of St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Mustique is a private island. The island is owned by the Mustique Company. A population of around 500 live in the villages of Lovell, Britania Bay and Dover. On this card you can see, same direction, Tobago Cays, Petit St Vincent, Morpion and again Tobago Cays. The stamp used is from 1 2003 set of 4 , featuring birds.
As I mentioned earlier, I already had received postcards from Bequia and Canouan . So with the 3 new additions of Mustique , Mayreau and Union Island, I can knock three more off my list. These will be # 239, 240 and 241.

That's it for today and this week. See you again on Monday. I hope this update is not too confusing, it's a little blurry even for me. I am happy to move on to some other countries or entities. Stay tuned.