Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloweén

It's Halloweén once again. Since I am new to this area, I can only wonder how many little kids will knock at my door this evening. Hopefully we have enough treats for them all. Here is what the area near our place looks like for tonight.

My first card for today arrived from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It gives us a look at some of the newer buildings , or as the card says, the New Faces of Dubai.

This is another card from Fati, who was in Dubai after work in Syria. The stamp was issued in 2007 and is 1 of 4 in a Falcons definitives set.

One of the Jack-o-Lanterns in the area.

My next card arrived from Ankara, Turkey, but shows Ortakoy Mosque in Istanbul.  Ortaköy Mosque, officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus. it was built between 1854 and 1856. Notice the vast suspension bridge crossing the Bosporus strait, connecting Asia and Europe in Istanbul, the only city to span two continents.

This card comes compliments of Leslie, who blogs about her postcards at the postcard blog !   . 
Leslie used a wonderful souvenir sheet of 1 that celebrates protected nature areas and national parks. It was issued this year.

Here's another wonderfully carved pumpkin from the neighborhood.

Card number 3 is from Taiwan. It highlights a Temple fair and Zhong Kui, a figure of Chinese mythology. He is said to be a vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings. Quite appropriate for Halloweén, I guess . 
His image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, as well as in places of business where high-value goods are involved.

Unfortunately I don't know the sender of this card , but it arrived with 2 flower definitives and what I believe to be a really wonderful stamp. It is 1 of 5 in a beautiful set  celebrating the Quing Dynasty featuring Birds. It would be a great set to have in one's collection.

Time for another pumpkin, I think.

This is the last card for this time. It's from Hamamatsu, Japan. The city of about 800,00 people is located in western Japan on the Pacific coast. Hamamatsu is famous for musical instruments and is sometimes called "The City of Music ". Yamaha, Kawai and Suzuki are all headquartered in the city. The card shows a 1950s  music themed painting from the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Emiko used a couple of Flower topical stamps.

One more pumpkin for you.

And a final one.

That's it for pumpkins and postcards today. Thanks to Fati, Leslie and Emiko for their cards. Thanks to the pumpkin carvers , they did an excellent job. This is the last update for October , see you in November.
Take care.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rainy Day Blog # ???

It is a rainy day here on Vancouver Island, so a good day to get in another blog update. Let's have a quick look at what's on tap today. I have 4 cards from Dominique, 2 sent from Germany and 2 from France. I also have a card from Belgium, sent by Johan  and a card from Iran , sent by David. I will end off  with a card from Newfoundland, Canada, sent by Bob. It is the latest card in my Collection of Newfoundland Towns Postcards.

So let's get to it, starting with Dominique's cards. This first card is from Dresden, Germany. Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The city's population is just over half a million.
This card shows what appears to be a mosque but was built as a cigarette factory. It is called the Yenidze, and was built between 1907 and 1909 and is used today as an office building.

 The first stamp of the day was issued this current year and showcases Stolzenfels Castle.

Card # 2 comes from Colmar, in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. The town considers itself to be the "capital of Alsatian wine" . This may be because the town is one of the driest in all France. I think this card shows a nice relaxing boat tour around town.

The stamp on this card is 1 of 6 in a 2013 multi-sheet featuring Television Pioneers. This particular stamp shows Catherine Langeais , a French television actress and presenter.

Now it's back to Germany again , Thuringia in the central part of the country in fact. The card shows the cell of Martin Luther, located in Wartburg Castle . This is where he translated the New Testament into German.   In 1999, UNESCO added Wartburg Castle to the World Heritage List .

 This card arrived with the 2013 stamp celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge.

Dominique's last card for today shows Chateau d 'Urtubie in Saint Jean de Luz, in the Basque region of France. When you visit here, you'll find 6 centuries of history welcoming you. Looks like a great place to spend a few days.


The large stamp on this card highlights Boulogne-sur-Mer, in northern France. It was issued this current year.

This next card is a copy of an original postcard dating from World War I . It received its special cancellation in Aarschot.  1914 - 2014 , 100 Years Later- have we really learned anything about war ?

Johan used a 2014 Great War stamp highlighting Dinant,  a Walloon city and municipality located on the River Meuse in the Belgian province of Namur, Belgium. It is around 90 km south-east of Brussels.

Now from Belgium , it's on to Iran or Islamic Republic of Iran.  David's card shows a part of the Hundred Column Palace in Persepolis, Shiraz, Iran. Persepolis was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritages Sites in 1979.

David used a Persian Alphabet definitive stamp along with a large World Child Day stamp from 2013 on this card.

Now it's time for my newest addition to my Towns of Newfoundland Postmarked Card Collection. This time it's Point Leamington.  Point Leamington is a small community of about 620 people located north of Botwood and Grand Falls-Windsor. The town is located on the shores of Southwest Arm. It's a great place to visit if one likes hunting or fishing or just relaxing. It's where you can find one of the best licensed salmon rivers in Newfoundland. Bob's card shows St. Andrew's United Church at over 100 years, the oldest church in the town.

Bob's card arrived with a Young, Wild Animal definitive from 2013. It is 1 of 4 in the set.

And  so ends another update. I want to thank Dominique, Johan, David and Bob for all these fine cards.  Catch me here again soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another Bunch of Great Cards

                                             CANADA STANDS STRONG TODAY


Yes, it's time for another blog update and I have 8 great cards on the desk for this time. I don't know if I'll get them all in but we'll see how it goes.  I was away in Calgary for 5 days, so that explains some of my absence. I couldn't miss my little grand-daughter's 4th birthday. We had a great time with Ryann and our other grand-kids.

Now it's back to cards. First up is a card from Horsens, Denmark. Horsens is a Danish city in east Jutland. It is the site of the council of Horsens municipality. The city's population is 55,884 and the Horsens municipality's population is 85,662. Horsens lies at the end of  Horsens Fjord in eastern Jutland and is approximately 200 km (120 mi) from Copenhagen . One of the largest cultural events in Denmark is the annual European Medieval Festival on the last Friday and Saturday in August. The town centre of Horsens is transformed into the largest medieval market town in Northern Europe with activities and entertainment for families and children of all ages. Hans Jorgen's card gives a look at some of the local buildings .

Hans Jorgen used a superb selection of postage on this card. A beautiful souvenir sheet of 4 on the left and a block of 4 on the right. Both with perfect socked on the nose cancels. One doesn't see that too often these days. The souvenir sheet was issued in 1986 for HAFNIA 87, a World Philatelic Exhibition. The stamps on the right are definitives .

Today's second card comes from Iraq, not a country we see much mail from. When we receive mail from there, it makes for a good day. This Greetings From Iraq card shows a couple of scenes and such.

David used a 2014 Iraq Votes stamp. It is 1 of 3 in the Elections set. Don't forget to check out David's fine blog highlighting his many travels. You can access "Postcards A World Travelogue " here .

While looking at the Elections set , I noticed Iraq issued a really nice Aviation set for the 70th  Anniversary of ICAO. A set I'll have to try and add to my collection.

My next card arrived from  Ohrid, Macedonia. Ohrid is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and the seat of Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country with over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002.
In 1979 and in 1980, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO . In fact, Ohrid is one of only 28 sites that are part of UNESCO's World Heritage that are both Cultural and Natural sites. At one time it was said that  there were 365 chapels within the town boundaries, one for every day of the year. Today this number is significantly smaller.

Ana's card shows a good view of Samuil's Fortress. This  is a fortress in the old town of Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. It was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire during the rule of Samuil in the middle-ages.

The stamp used is from a Christmas / New Year set of 2 issued in 1998.

Be sure to give Ana's postcard blog a look, too. You won't be disappointed. It's called "My World of Postcards " and it's  here .

About 4 years ago, I was promised a card from Ohrid, but it never arrived . It was to be sent by my head waiter on a cruise I was taking. He assured me he would send it, and maybe he did, but as I said it never arrived. So I am glad to have this one from Ana.

Now for a card from Prague, Czech Republic. The card is titled  "Wings for the Republic (1945 ) ". I wish I could say I know the significance of the postcard, but truly I don't. Maybe someone will enlighten me with a comment.

Meelis had the card postmarked at Sberatel / Collector Fair 2014, the largest meeting of collectors in Central and Eastern Europe. It was held in Prague from September 3rd to 5th.  The stamp is a Painting stamp from a 2013 set of 3.

Now we have to fly back across the Atlantic for my next card, to LAX or Los Angeles. The card may say LAX but it was actually mailed at O'Hare Airport  in Chicago. Apparently , mailboxes  are quite scarce inside LAX. 

Leslie , who pens the blog "the postcard blog ! " arranged for this card to be sent to me. Her blog can be found  here . She arranged with her Dad for this card. The stamp is a 2014 Global Forever stamp featuring Sea Temperatures.

Malaga in southern Spain is where my next card originated. Málaga is a state and a municipality, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. On Jean Pierre's card we can see a map of the area along with a few of the sights.

Jean Pierre used 2 stamps from 2013. On the left is a stamp celebrating the 150th  Anniversary of the Barcelona-Sarria Railway.  On the right is 1 of 4 stamps featured in an Endangered Marine Life multi-sheet.

That's 6 of the 8 cards on the desk , so I think I'll call it a day. It's always good to have a few cards remaining to start the next update. Hope you enjoyed reading today.  Drop by again soon. Thanks for cards going out to Jean Pierre, Leslie and her Dad, Meelis, Ana David and Hans Jorgen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dale's Cards

I'm back again and so soon. First of all , Happy Thanksgiving , yes it's Thanksgiving Day here in Canada . A day of being thankful for what one has and the bounty of the previous year. We celebrate it by spending time with Family, feasting on turkey and often with weekend getaways. A Good day all around but not so for turkeys. I could put up a few Thanksgiving themed postcards but have decided against that this year. It's regular postcards for today.

As the title of today's update reads, these are all going to be from my brother Dale. They arrived  from Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Copenhagen.  So you can see, he does get around.

We'll start with the Rio card. This one arrived mid August. It''s an official FIFA postcard. In addition to the usual Rio scenery , the card also has the Official Emblem of the 2014 FIFA World Cup which was held in Brazil. Dale wrote that the city was crazy - wild with people, excitement and traffic !

Most of the cards I receive from Brazil have small uninteresting stamps and this one is no exception. It's too bad too, as I know Brazil issues nice, large and interesting stamps, as I see them in my online stamp catalogue. But for whatever reason they never seem to be available at local post offices down there. The stamp used here is 1 of 4 issued back in 2009 to celebrate postal service. Even for such a celebration, the stamps were boring. Don't get me wrong , I'm not saying this is a problem only in Brazil - Canada is just as guilty. Just try buying a nice stamp here and 9 times out of 10 , they are no longer available. But the small uninteresting ones are always available. Why do you think this is ? Sorry for my little rant there, here's the stamps Dale used.

My second card is from The Netherlands - Amsterdam and shows Dam Square.  Dam Square, or simply the Dam, is a town square in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Its buildings and frequent events make it one of the most well-known and important locations in the city. The dam's main square became a "national" square well known to nearly everyone in the Netherlands. It has frequently been the location of demonstrations and events of all kinds, and a meeting place for many people. The National Monument in the center of the square was added in 1956.

I'm not one to talk as you might well know, but I believe what I just ranted about Brazil stamps applies to the Netherlands stamps too. I guess I'll leave it at that. This is 1 of 5 International Rate stamps showing Dutch Symbols, issued this current year.

We're off to Saint Petersburg next. Here we see The Church of the Resurrection or ( Church of the Spilled Blood ). This Church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883  and  progressed slowly and was finally completed in 1907.

It's quite obvious today is not going to be a banner stamp day. Need I say more, I think not ?  Here we have 2 of 12 definitives showing the buildings and architecture of The Kremlin.

After St. Petersburg Dale traveled on to Helsinki, Finland and his next card shows us the Central Railway Station in that city.  The station is used by approximately 200,000 passengers per day, making it Finland's most-visited building.The station building was inaugurated in 1919. It was chosen as one of the world's most beautiful railway stations by the BBC in 2013.

Well what do we have here ? Another case of Inconsiderate Defacing , this time from Finland. So it's not just something that happens in Canada, as I mentioned in my Tuesday, October 7 blog.  The stamp is 1 of 3 in a 2013 Fruits set. 

Pen cancels - how I hate you.

Denmark is next with this Greetings From Copenhagen card. Copenhagen is the capital and most populated city of Denmark, and second largest in Scandinavia, with an urban population of 1,246,611 and a metropolitan population of 1,975,361.  It was founded as a Viking village in the 12th century.

Now , finally stamp-wise ,  we have 2 stamps on this card.  Both are definitives, not that there is anything wrong with that.

There you have it, one more update. Thanks to Dale for all these cards.
See you again soon.