Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Last of November and November's Last

Yes, it is the last of November and so today's update will be November's last one. I only have three cards for today they are three good one. First up is a card from Bangkok, Thailand. It came as a surprise , another card from a reader of this blog. Jobbo's card shows Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.  The Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.The main building houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue, is in a standing form, about 66 centimetres (26 in) tall, carved from a single jade stone ("emerald" in Thai means deep green colour and not the specific stone).  Except for the Thai King, no other person is allowed to touch the statue. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year, corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons, an important ritual performed to usher good fortune to the country during each season.

Jobbo must have went out of his way putting stamps on this card. It is adorned with 5 large, wonderful , different stamps. Let's have a look at them. Top left is a stamp issued in 2011 commemorating 100 Years of Thai Boy Scouts. Bottom left is a 2012 stamp honouring Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, founder of the modern Thai education system.  It is 1 of 4 in the set.  Continuing left is a stamp celebrating Rotary and it was issued in 2001. Next is a stamp from a sheet of 8 issued in 2014. The sheet featured Masks. A very nice sheet . An equally nice sheet of Masks was also issued in 2013. The last stamp , on the right is 1 of 6 in a mini sheet of Paintings featuring Queen Sirikit. Another equally  attractive sheet.

Jobbo did a great job sending a wonderful card with an outstanding selection of fine attractive stamps. It's what every card wants to receive. I may very well start collecting  the stamps of Thailand, as a result of this card. 

Wonderful card # 2 is next and it also arrived with a selection of great stamps . It's from Gibraltar and is only my 3rd card from The Rock.( And I don't mean Newfoundland here )  Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean.The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. It reaches a height of 426 metres and is made of limestone. 

Jean Pierre's card shows the city area populated by just over 30,000. Here we have 2 large attractive stamps , each with its own circular cancellation . Exactly what a stamp and postcard should get, but rarely does. On the left is a 2012 stamp celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. It is 1 of 4 in the set. On the right , is 2013 stamp celebrating Gibraltar's membership in the UEFA, Wunion of European Football Associations.

Today's final card comes from France. It shows the Dolder in Riquewihr, in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. Riquewihr looks today more or less as it did in the 16th century. It is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France. The Dolder was built in 1291.

Dominique used a 2014 Joint Issue with China stamp. It is 1 of 2 in the Rivers set.

That's today's three cards. Thanks to Jobbo, Jean Pierre and Dominique. Jobbo, glad you're enjoying my blog. Keep reading.
See you again soon, in December. Take care. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Few Cards , Covers and a Unique Souvenir Sheet

Hello again, here I am back again with update # 610. As the title of today's entry says, I have a few cards, a few stamped covers and a souvenir sheet , to have a look at . Let's start with a card from Ireland.
It brings greetings from County Galway, a county in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Population of the area is just over 250,000. David's card shows a directional sign for Galway, along with 2 of the locals. On the back of the card is a little slogan or title. It reads "Black and White, Left and Right. See Ewe Later". I think that sums up the card quite well. 

 David used 2 stamps on his card. On the left is a self adhesive definitive from this year featuring a Wren. I believe there are 8 in the set. On the right is a stamp celebrating the birth of Thomas Osborne Davis , in 1814. Davis was an Irish writer, poet and chief organiser of the Young Ireland movement. Davis believed that it was not blood that made a person Irish, but the Willingness to be part of the Irish nation. Sadly, Davis died at the young age of 30.


My second card for this time is a fine addition to my Airlines/Aircraft on Postcards Collection. This time it's a JAL DC-10.   Japan Airlines or JAL used the DC-10 ti fly medium to long distance routes. The aircraft featured three engines, one under each wing and one at the base of the vertical fin. Dc-10's carried up to 380 passengers. Between 1971 and 1988, 386 DC-10 aircraft were delivered.  The DC-10's last commercial passenger flight took place in February 2014.

This card flew in from Singapore. It arrived in an envelope loaded with lots of stamps.  Ben 's stamps include, left to right , a 2010 stamp celebrating Festivals. It is 1 of 8 in the set. Then we have a 2014 stamp highlighting Vanishing Trades. Shown on the stamp is a Kachang Putel Seller. That is a white paper cone filled with nuts. Then , top right is another 2014 stamp featuring Sang Nila Utama and a lion. Legend says that Prince Sang Nila Utama was hunting on the east coast of Sumatra when he sighted the white sands of the distant island of Tumasek. He decided to cross the sea to explore the island. Midway to the island he met with a heavy storm and his boat was in danger of capsizing, to save his boat he ordered his men to throw everything overboard; finally he had to even throw his heavy crown into the sea, whereby the storm immediately subsided. Upon reaching the shore of Tumasek, he sighted a regal animal he had never seen before; his advisor told him the animal could be a singa (lion in Sanskrit). The prince was sufficiently impressed by his sighting and decided to settle on the island, renaming it Singapura or Lion City. The Bird stamp was issued in 2007 , 1 of 10 in a set of Flora and Fauna definitives.

Greetings from Belarus is next. Alexandra , who reads this blog sent this card along. She says she found my blog by chance. Now that she has, I hope she continues to read it.

The stamps on this one are 5 of the 12 in a set of definitives showing Buildings. They are self adhesives.

Now for that special item I mentioned at the end of my last update. It's a souvenir sheet from Switzerland. A uniquely styled and designed souvenir sheet. On September 4th of this year , Swiss Post issued a souvenir sheet "Record" complete with a soundtrack. It's shaped like a turntable record player from 1961.  And, believe me it really is a real record. I put it on my record player, turned it on and was treated with a brass band version of the Swiss national anthem. Here it is , what do you think ?

Zdenka , who has sent a couple of postcards before, sent this special sheet in an envelope adorned with 10 different Swiss stamps from 2009, 2012 and 2013. I'm not going to write about each stamp, other than show them , but would like to mention the 2009 stamp showing an airplane. It is 1 of 3 in a set issued for the 50 Years of the Swiss Museum of Transport. It's another stamp for my Aviation Stamp Collection.

So there it is . Thanks to David, Ben, Alexandra and Zdenka for these great cards, covers and souvenir sheet. Take care. See you soon. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

More Than Seven Years Ago Today

Hello readers, here I am with an update again today. It's been over 7 years now that I have been blogging here on Gem's World Postcards . I first went live here on Nov 13, 2007 and today's update is # 609. That's cause to celebrate, I think. I certainly never dreamed  way back then that I'd still be doing this in 2014 and looking ahead to 2015. But there it is. It's all good.

But I could never have reached this far without a lot of support. I have to thank All who have sent me so many postcards over the years. You know who you are, so take a bow. Thanks to my readers and to all who have left comments , I love reading them. I hope everyone can still join me here and help me get to at least 10 years. That doesn't seem that far away now.
Once again I say, "Thanks everyone ".

Now it's back to cards. Today's entries come from Australia, France, U.S.A., another from France, Serbia and Switzerland. Let's start with the card from Switzerland. On this first card we can see a couple of views of Schwyz, Switzerland.   The town of Schwyz is the capital of the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland. The Federal Charter of 1291 or Bundesbrief, the charter that eventually led to the foundation of Switzerland, can be seen at the Bundesbriefmuseum, it is currently exhibited at the archives of the Swiss Charters of Confederation in Schwyz. Also on the card is the Catholic Parish Church of St. Martin.

This is my 2nd card from Zdenka. On this one she used 2 fine stamps from 2012. On the left is one commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the William Tell open - air theatre in Interlaken. Then on the right is a stamp marking the 500th Anniversay of the William Tell play in Altdorf.

Next up is a card from Belgrade, Serbia, the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. A number of old buildings and towers are shown on Ana's card, with the Old Palace , housing the City Assembly of Belgrade in the lower right.

Ana used a stamp from a really nice set of 4 Cats and Foxes ( Predators ) issued this year. Between stamps 2 and 3 was a Tab, which could easily be confused for a stamp.


Don't forget to check out Ana's great postcard blog called "My World of Postcards ". You can find it right here .

The Paris Opera is the subject of my next card which arrived from Paris. It is the primary opera company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV.

This is a card from Johan. He used a stamp from a set of 12 celebrating the New Industrial France. Johan was able to secure a First Day of Issue Cancellation on this one, with a special and unique cancel from Paris on 24-10-14.


Be sure to give Johan's postcard blog a look here.

Now for a Lighthouse card from the U.S.A. These are lighthouse of Casco Bay in Maine. Casco Bay  is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine U.S.A. The city of Portland sits along its southern edge . A number of lighthouses including Portland Head Light are seen on the card. Absent from Lynne's card is Pocahontas Light at Echo Point, the smallest lighthouse registered with the U.S. Coast Guard , standing at just 6 feet.

Lynne, a former Postcrosser from Liberty used the 2014 nondenominated ($1.15) Sea Surface Temperatures Global Forever stamp issued April 22nd. This was the 2nd U.S. Global Forever Stamp.


Here's a card from Lille, France.Lille is a city in the North of France. It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in France after those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated in French Flanders, near France's border with Belgium. Lille is an important crossroads in the European high-speed rail network. It lies on the Eurostar line to London (1:20 hour journey). The French TGV network also puts it only 1 hour from Paris, 35 minutes from Brussels and other major centres in France such as Marseille, Lyon, and Toulouse further away.  Lille has many famous citizens past and present including Louis Pasteur and Charles de Gaulle.  Dominique's card shows a typical restaurant or cafe called Estaminet where one might order chicken with French cheese and French fries.

France issued a beautiful Souvenir Sheet of European Capitals ( in this case Vienna ) , this year,  and this is one of the stamps in that sheet. Certainly a sheet that would look good in my collection. 

Today's final card comes from Down Under, Sydney, Australia. A place I hope to check out in March. Giraffes in front of the Sydney Opera House. Not sure I'll see that though. The Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. It was officially opened on 7 October 1916. The Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals of 340 species .

Postcrosser Lady Demelza used 1 of 3 stamps in a 2014 National Parks Issue. This one highlights Alpine National Park in Victoria. Another nice set of stamps.

So ends update # 609. Another good one. Thanks for the cards going out to Zdenka, Ana, Johan, Lynne, Dominique and Lady Demelza. If  you have any comment about this update, be sure to leave it. Take care and see you next time. I have a little something special to show you next time. Cheers .  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Please See My Adjusted Address

Hello everybody. I'm here with a few cards again. I say a few, because to be honest, cards have trickled almost to a stop. But I'll go with what I have. But first, a little maintenance on my address. If you look to the left, you'll now see just my P.O.Box , without any street number or street name noted. It seems that Canada Post only wants me to use P.O.Box 967, so I have adjusted my address to read as follows :

P O Box 967
Parksville, B.C.
Canada, V9P 2H1

Can I please ask all my postcard friends to note this small but important change, to keep Canada Post happy. It's keep me happy too, because I'll get more mail, and that means more postcards.

Okay, now for a few cards that I have received. They come from France, New Caledonia, Belgium and another from France.   My first card arrived from Narbonne,in southern France. It lies 849 km  from Paris and was once a prosperous port, and a major city in Roman times, but  is now located about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Arnaud's card shows a couple of the sights of Narbonne. \

Arnaud used a 2013 Marianne definitive from a set of 14.

Arnaud hails from Toulouse and writes that he reads this blog even though he is not a postcard collector. He just, in his own words, wanted to send me a piece of France. Thank you for that and please keep reading.

My second card for this time comes from New Caledonia. Strangely this card arrived on 10 Nov , the same day I booked my next trip and where am I going , but to New Caledonia along with a few others places on the way. Now that the cat's out, yes I'm going to Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu this coming March. Sounds like a good cruise to me. Did someone say postcards from the underwater post office in Vanuatu ? Oh yes, back to my current card. Jean Pierre's card shows a Big heart in the middle of the mangroves.

Jean Pierre used a number of fine stamps. In the middle is a definitive issued in 2009. It is 1 of 4 in a Birds set. The 2 large stamps were issued in 2012 and are 2 of 4 in a Tourism set.


This next card was issued by a medical laboratory  or pharmaceutical producer and shows their idea of bacteria and  virus. I guess one might consider the card a little appropriate in the time of Ebola.

Dominique's card arrived with a 2013 Heritage of France stamp showing the House of Georges Clemenceau.

Now it's time for today's final card. It comes from Belgium and shows a Rene Magritte painting from 1960.  René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. The painting on the card is entitled La Poitrine.

Johan used a stamp picturing the same Rene Magritte painting as is shown on the card. It is one of 10 in a 2014 set of Rene Magritte stamps featuring his different paintings.  

I do believe Mr Magritte wore a bowler hat , hence the bowler hat cancellation.

Be sure to visit Johan's postcard blog by going right here .

Thanks for postcards going to Arnaud, Johan, Dominique and Jean Pierre.  That's the update for this time, so I guess I can sign off now. Take care.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cards From Jean Pierre

Well it's Nov 5th again, Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. If you don't know this occasion, see my Nov 5th, 2013 update. Sadly, I don't expect to see any bonfires around this area. But I always like to celebrate the day by mentioning it.

Today I have a number of cards that were all sent by Jean Pierre. The first card is a multi view from the United Arab Emirates. The  Emirates is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran.  Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates. . The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al- Khaimah, Sharjaj , and Umm al-Quwain. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. On this card we can see the Jumeirah Mosque, the Shaikh Zayed Mosque and the Central Market in Sharjah.  Jumeirah Mosque is a mosque in Dubai City. It is said that it is the most photographed mosque in all of Dubai. The Shaikh Zayed is in Abu Dhabi,  and is considered to be the key for worship in the country. The Central market was built in 1978 and has over 600 shops.

This card was postmarked at the Sharjah Central Post Office. The stamp on the left was issued in a set of 3 in 2013 featuring the Oryx. An attractive stamp from an attractive set.  The stamp on the right is 1 of 6 in a 2011 set featuring Winter Plants. I guess all countries have different concepts of winter.

This second card is from Sharjah, postmarked at the Sharjah Central Post Office and bears U.A.E stamps. The card gives us a look at various heritage sites. At top left is the Ajman Museum.

This late 18th-century fort served as the ruler’s residence until 1970 and also saw a stint as the police station.

 Again we have 2 great stamps on this card, also. On the left is a stamp issued in 2012 for the World Energy Forum.  It is 1 of 4 in the set. Then on the right is a 2014 stamp issued for Zayed Humanitarian Day.

Jean Piere's 3rd card is another Sharjah view, but was postmarked in Ajman. A neat view looking in to shore.

Here's another of the Zayed Humanitarian Day stamps along with a 2013 stamp celebrating the 50th year  of the U.A.E. 1st National Bank. There are 4 in the set.


Jean  Pierre's last card for this time is from Andorra, showing a panoramic view of the Pas de la Casa. This is a ski resort , town, and mountain pass in the Encamp parish of  Andorra, lying on the border with France. . The pass marks the watershed of the Pyrenees, being the only point in Andorra where water drains into the Atlantic Ocean.

 Jean Pierre used a 2014 stamp from Andorra French Post  showing the UNESCO WHS Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley in Andorra. It was added to the WHS list in 2004. 

Well there you have it. Thanks going to Jean Pierre for all the cards. Don't forget, leave a comment if you have on. Take care, see you back here soon.