Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Season Hiatus

                                Attention to all readers of Gem's World Postcards

 Please be advised that I am taking a hiatus from writing and updating this blog for the upcoming holiday

season. I will return with all new postcards and stamp updates starting around the 7th of January 2016.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all those that celebrate this coming holiday season, a Very Merry

Christmas indeed. And, if you are not celebrating , have a great couple of weeks anyway. Cheers.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Another Rainy Postcard Day

Well what can I say ? The title of this post says it all. It's another of those wet, rainy, windy, dreary days.
Only good for postcards and stamps. So that's what I write about., and that's why you're reading. So, here they come.
I want to start this update with this spectacular British Airways Concorde postcard. It's aircraft G-BOAF , it was aircraft  # 216 in the BA fleet and the 6th Concorde in the fleet. Her maiden flight was on 20 April 1979 and she was delivered to British Airways on 9 June 1980. This aircraft's final flight was on Now 26, 2003 and that was also the final flight ever for a Concorde.


This is another card from Jean Pierre. While the card is a great souvenir of Concorde, the special cancellation on the stamp is another special aviation related item. First the stamp - it is 1 of a set of 6 issued in 2012 showing Charles Dickens characters. This one is Captain Cuttle from Dombey and Son. . Now for the cancellation. It celebrates the Farewell To Flight ofRoyal Air Force Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558. This Vulcan was the last airworthy aircraft of its type still flying. It flew a national tour on October 10th and 11th of this year. Then a final flight before it was grounded was flown on October 28, 2015. XH558 was nicknamed The Spirit of Great Britain and is now preserved in taxiable only condition at Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport.  Just exactly what the 4 Dec'15 date signifies, I'm not sure.
On a personal note - back in the late 1970s I lived in Goose Bay, Labrador, home of Goose Air Base. The Royal  Air Force had a Detachment stationed there and as a result I often saw Vulcans up close, so to speak. To this day , Vulcan XL361 can be seen  in a static display in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, as the town is now called.

My next card is from Solnechnogorsk, Russia, 65 km northwest of Moscow. The card is of a Lady and her Horse. A Russian lady and an Arabian horse, I've been told.

Svetlana used a nice large stamp from this year. It commemorates 150 Years of the Leningrad Zoo.

Here's the final card for today. It comes from Tel Aviv, Israel and is a 1940 view of the Valley Train. The Valley Train was a historical railroad in Palestine running along the Jezreel Valley. Inaugurated on October 14, 1905 it operated until 1948.

Daniel used a nice selection of stamps on his card. There's a couple of small definitives on the left. In the middle is a stamp commemorating the Israel Museum, 1 of 3 in the set, issued in 2015. On the right is a stamp also from 2015 from a Rivers set. This one shows the Kziv River.

There you have it. Another update completed. Thanks for cards go to Jean Pierre, Daniel and Svetlana. Thanks for dropping by, come back again soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

One More Rainy Postcard Day

I wrote a short time ago that it was raining , pouring I believe I wrote, well ditto again today. Pouring rain, and quite windy - so another good day to be inside blogging postcards and stamps. So let's get to it. First up is a card from Thailand. It shows an old time picture of some folks from Siam. Then on the top is the first set of stamps of Siam, issued on August 4th, 1883. These stamps are Scot #s 1-5 and are valued at $116.00 USD in Mint , unused condition. In Used condition they are valued at $117.00 USD. The black stamp on the far left, Scott # 1 is valued at $10.00 Mint or Used. Not a bad price actually. Now I have a collection of Scott # 1 stamps from around the world, but I don't yet have the  one shown here. Maybe someday. Now, here's the card.

This is another card from Jobbo. His first stamp , on the left, was issued in a set of 4 for the Bangkok '83 International Stamp Show. All  4 of them are mail related.  The one shown has a number of mailmen collecting  mail from a postbox at different times in the past. The stamp on the right is 1 of 10 in a definitive set , all showing Coastal Landscapes.


My second card is from China. On it we see the Xiaoshang Bridge at Linying, a county of Henan, China.

This is a prestamped postage paid postcard, sent by a PostCrosser over that way. The prepaid  postage  shows an image of the bridge, exactly as on the front of the card. The other stamps, the 3 on the left at least, are from 2014. They are from a set of 4 called Network.

This next card also is of a bridge, this time one in The Netherlands. It is the area of the intersection of the Keizersgracht and Leidsegracht canals. The Keizersgracht is also known as the Emperor's Canal, named after Emperor Maximilian of Austria. It is 31 meters wide and digging started in 1612. In winter it becomes a skating rink , much like the Rideau Canal in Canada's capital city, Ottawa. There are certainly a few interesting places along the canal. There is the three Greenland Warehouses, dating from 1620. These are the only warehouses in the city with step gables. There is also Rode Hoed or Red Hat, dating from 1629. Let's not forget the House with the Heads, built in 1622. It's named after 6 heads that stick out of the gable and they represent Apollo, Ceres, Mercurius, Minerva, Bacchus and Diana. There is also HomoMonument - commemorating the 70,000 gays and lesbians who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Lots to see along there for sure.
The Leidsegracht Canal , named after the city of Leiden, was built in the second half of the 17th century and runs parallel to Leidsestraat. This may not be the most interesting street, it is however , it is the most well known street in all Holland.
This seventeenth-century Canal Ring area was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 12010.

A PostCrosser by the name of Els sent this card along. The stamp, a new one to me ,  was issued this year and  is an international rate stamp.It is  one of six in a souvenir sheet entitled  " Borderless Netherlands- USA Popculture."

Now to end  this update , here's a little pin-up from Russia. The card says her name is Julia - I guess that is supposed to explain it all.

Anna used a large triangle shaped stamp that was issued this year. It is from a set of 4  showing Porcelain Tiles . Anna also used 1 of those Animal definitives which have been on the go quite a while now.

Well there you have it. Another one in the books. Thanks for cards go out to Jobbo, Els , Anna and an unknown in China. Take care and drop by again.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's December, I Know

It is December , the 6th of in fact, and I'm just getting the first  blog update up and running. As I said a short time ago, cards have been a little scarce of late. I received a number of cards over last week so I figure it's time. It's also a good time to be inside, it's pouring rain today, just as it did yesterday. The forecast for this coming week calls for rain, rain and more rain. Perhaps I should ask Santa for a boat this year.

Now it's on to postcards. Let's start it of with a card from France. It shows Les Invalides, a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. France held its national day of mourning at this site to remember the 130 victims killed in the recent terrorist attacks in the city. It was the first time France honoured civilians,  in this temple to the French military.  

Dominique used a 2015 stamp issued for the Spring Philatelic Exhibition in Paris.

Today's second card arrived from Moscow , however it actually shows a landing at Helsinki Airport in Finland. Helsinki - Vantaa Airport is the main international airport in Finland, with about 16 million passengers using it in 2014. Located in the city of Vantaa, it serves as the hub for Finnair. The airport is served by 27 scheduled airlines, 11 charter airlines and 11 cargo airlines. Vantaa Airport was originally built to accomodate the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki.  

Lena wrote that she bought this card while travelling in Finland. She used two fine, large stamps, one from 2007 and one from 2012. The upper left stamp was issued to commemorate Khakasia's affiliation with Russia. The Russian republic of just over 500,000  people is located in the southwestern part of Eastern Siberia. The large whale stamp is from a set of 2.
Lena also saw fit to attach an old USSR aviation related stamp. She wrote that she found it in her father's stamp collection. It was issued in 1969 and shows an IL-62 aircraft. Hope her Dad is not one of my blog readers.

Next we have a card from Portugal showing a typical yellow trolley  in Commerce Square, one of the most majestic squares in Lisbon.

Maria posted this card in Estoril, a coastal town of about 27,000 with a great beach. My Lovely Teena and I visited the area way back in 1978. I guess lots have changed since then. Maybe it's time to go back.
Maria used a stamp from a set of 3 that was issued in July of this year. The set featured traditional Portuguese boats. Shown on the stamp is a boat called Canoa da Picada. The stamps are part of a common issue of the Postal Union for the Mediterranean featuring the logo of EUROMED POSTAL, which indicates cooperation between the Postal Union for the Mediterranean.


There you have it, I'll leave it at 3 cards this time. If the rain continues tomorrow, maybe I'll get another update in then. Take care. Thanks for cards go out to Dominique, Lena and Maria. Cheers.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Last One For November

Well it's just about over , November I mean. This update is number eight for the month, so all in all , a pretty good month here on the blog. Here's a few postcards to end of the month . First up is a map of the Minsk underground. The 37.27 kilometre metro , which opened in 1984, consists of 2 lines. There have been two incidents involving the Minsk metro. On May 30th, 1999 , 53 people were killed in a human crush. A severe thunderstorm caused way too many people at a concert to seek shelter in the underground. A sad ending to the concert, indeed. The other incident happened on April 11th, 2011 when 2 lone wolf terrorists set of a bomb at the main station killing 15 people. Both of the terrorists were apprehended and subsequently executed in March of 2012.

A PostCrosser living in the western Belarus city of Grodno sent this card along. She used a 2014 stamp celebrating Belarus's UNESCO Membership.

Today's second card arrived from New York but it highlights Oceanside, California. Oceanside is a coastal city of just over 167,000 located on the California South Coast. It is just south of Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton. The card is a nice picture of the Oceanside Pier, a wooden pier measuring 596 metres. The first Oceanside pier was built in 1888. At least 4 have been destroyed by heavy storms. The current pier was built in 1987 at a cost of $5 Million.

Diane from Sag Harbor, N.Y. sent this card. She used a 2013 Christmas Floral Wreath Forever stamp. We've all seen it many times in the past, so I'll skip showing it this time.

One more thing with reference to Oceanside. There's another Oceanside out there. The area of Vancouver Island that I live in is called Oceanside. It's the eastern side of the island and is comprised of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, Coombs and French Creek. So take that Oceanside , California. You're not alone. Sadly, we don't have a nice pier like they do , though.

Now it's time for another aviation related card. A good blog should have at least one in every update. Here we have a card from the Czech Republic showing Jan Kaspar and his Blieriot XI.  Kaspar ( 1883-1927 ) was a Czech aviator who made his first successful flight  on 16 April 1910. It covered a distance of two kilometres. His most famous flight took place on 13 May 1911. He flew from Pardubice to Velka Chuchle, a distance of 121 km and the flight lasted 92 minutes.

Andra used a 2011 Z rate Definitve stamp featuring Architecture.

 Posted in Ostrava, the 3rd largest city in the Czech Republic.

A card from Adelaide, South Australia is next. Yolanda's card gives a view of the city along with Adelaide Oval. Adelaide has a population of 1.3 million and was listed in the Top 10 of the World's Most Liveable Cities in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. The Oval is home to cricket and Australian Rules Football. It also has hosted rugby, soccer and many great music concerts. Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, KISS, Madonna and Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson , Elton John, Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters have all performed there, among others.

Yolanda used a current 2015 stamp featuring a Custom Made Road Bike. It is 1 of 5 in a all Bikes set.

We've made it . The last card for today is next and it comes from Malaysia. It's a view of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Tower with it's lights ablaze at night.


Jean Pierre used 3 fine stamps on his card. The stamp , top left, is 1 of 7 in an agriculture set. The other two were issued last year in a set of 10 showing Museums.

Thanks to all the card senders. Can't do it without you all or at least guys like you.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Three Card Post

Here we go with another post, a three card posting for today. Cards are from France, Germany and The Netherlands. First up is a card from Nantes, a city on the Loire River in the Upper Brittany region of Western France. The city was named " the most liveable city in Europe " in 2004. It is often called the Venice of the West, owning to its position on the river delta of the Loire, the Erdre and the Sevre.

Dominique used a recent 2015 stamp celebrating the Belgian Government in Exile 1914 - 1918. There were 2 stamps in the set and also a souvenir sheet was issued .

Card 2 shows an old photo from 1863. It is a picture of Alexander Munro and his wife. Munro was a British sculptor. What's most interesting about the photo is the photographer - Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , perhaps better known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll. He was an English writer, mathematician, Anglican Deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. One more interesting thing about Dodgson - he wrote and received as many as 98,721 letters according to a special letter register which he devised.

This card is from Annette, a German PostCrosser. She used a flower definitive along with a 2014 Stamp Day commemorative celebrating the Lindau Messenger, a transport service operating between Lindau and Milan.

The last card for this time is another addition to my always growing Airline / Aircraft Postcard Collection. This time it's a KLM Boeing 747, just a beautiful aircraft. This 747 is just over 23 years old, having its first flight on September 16, 1992.  Today, November 26th,  PH-BFO operated into or out of Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Seoul. There are a number of beautiful photos of this aircraft on the website. There's also a great take-off video of it on You Tube.

Ingrid , who lives in Zwoll used a new 2015 International Rate definitive.

Sorry, but this stamp doesn't scan too well. The light grey colour makes it a little difficult t see.

So another update is in the history books , so to speak. Thanks for cards  going out to Annette, Dominique and Ingrid. I'm on a bit of a roll this month, should get in at least 1 , maybe 2 more updates, before December.  Take care. Enjoy your cards and stamps or whatever else makes you happy.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Card # 4000 Has Arrived

Well, it's here. Card number 4000 of my collection has arrived and it's from Germany. But just to keep the suspense going a little longer , I have 2 other cards to show before # 4000 is revealed. All 3 cards today arrived from Germany. Amazingly, all 3 were written out on the 14th of November.
First is this card showing Naumburg Cathedral. Naumburg is called the cathedral city on the Saale and is nearly 1000 years old. The cathedral itself dates back to the 13th century.


Peter. a Postcrosser from Camburg, a small town of around 3000 , just 13 km southwest of Naumburg used the often seen Ludwigslust Palace stamp. It's been featured here many times, so I think no need to do it again.

My second card arrived from Siegen, a city of just over 100,00 people located in the southern part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Siegen has a  number , 3 in fact , of life size bronze cow sculptures , as seen on this card. What you don't see on the card though, is the herdsman and his dog, also cast in bronze. They are located just behind the cows.

Irmgard used a number of definitives on her card along with a really nice commemorative from this year. It celebrates 150 Years of Maritime Search and Rescue Service.

O K now we can have the drum roll. Here is the 4000th card in my collection. It arrived from the city of Mainz, Germany. Mainz is the capital of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was founded in 13 or 12 BC.  The city is famous as the home of the invention of the movable-type printing press. The first books using movable type were manufactured in Mainz by Johannes Gutenberg in the early 1450s. Gutenberg was born here and died here. Sadly , I don't see any Gutenberg Bible or any book  for that matter on the face of the postcard. The lady is using a phone though, another quite important invention.

Neli, another PostCrosser in Germany , who is originally from Bulgaria, used a 2015 stamp featuring the Baltic Sea Bodden Landscape.

Well there it is , the end of another update and the arrival of card 4000. Thanks today going out to Peter, Irmgard and Neli. Thank for dropping by and we'll be back here again real soon. See you all then.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cards Number 3995, 3996 and 3997

Hello once again. If you dropped by expecting to read about card # 4000, you're just a tad early. I , too,  thought it might be here by this update, but it was not to be. Maybe next time. So let's move on to cards that I do have , not something that I don't. Cards 3995 and 96 are both from Thailand and card 3997 is from Australia.
Let's have a look at this first card. It's an old time picture of the General Post Office in Bangkok. It dates from the 1880s  I do believe. It was torn down in the 1980s to make way for an ugly concrete bridge. Such is progress I guess. This is a nice card though, I have a small collection of cards showing post offices and this one now adds to it.

Jobbo used a fine selection of post office related stamps on this card. In fact all 3 of the stamps  used show the old General Post Office as shown on the postcard. On the left is a stamp , issued in 2014, to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of The Postal School, in addition it shows the old General Post Office in the upper right of the stamp.  The middle stamp is 1 of 2 issued in 1983 showing the old General Post Office as it looked in 1883. The stamp on the right is 1 of 5 issued for THAIPEX 89. All 5 of them showed a postbox and a Post Office. The one on my stamp again shows the old General Post Office.

This next card is again mail related. It shows mail being offloaded from a boat. Thailand's network of canals and rivers made boats an obvious means of transporting mail.

This is another card from Jobbo, so my collection of  Thailand stamps continues to grow. On the left is a commemorative celebrating the 72nd Anniversary of Kasersart University. It was issued this year. The smaller stamp on the right is a definitive  from 2012 showing Panyi Island.

That brings us to today's final card. A Maximum Card from Australia. Now, I'm not a collector of maximum cards but I have received a few over the years, and mostly from Australia. Many people collect them though, so I guess they do have their place. This one celebrates the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. On September 9th of this year she reached her milestone of 63 years 216 days, making her the longest reigning British monarch. . The stamp , which is exactly like the postcard, is from a set of 5 .

This card is from Maria , a  PostCrosser from down under.  So thanks to Maria and to Jobbo for today's cards. So still looking for # 4000, maybe Monday or Tuesday of next week. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three Postcards From Three Collectors

Well hello again. It's good that you dropped by . Enjoy today's update. I  have 3 cards for this time. Each is from a great sender of cards , but just as importantly each is from a great collector as well. Two of the three have fine postcard blogs, similar to this one, but that's not to say this one is fine.  Today's cards arrived  from Sri Lanka, Serbia and France.

Let's start with Sri Lanka. This is a great train card and I know there are a few train card collectors out there. To top it off, it's loaded with train stamps, how good is that ? The card shows the Viceroy Special going through the tea plantations near Colombo. The steam locomotive in question is called "the Sir Thomas Maitland " and is 75 years old and the only steam locomotive still in operation in Sri Lanka. The Viceroy operates with 2 observation cars and a restaurant car.


Ravindra used 4 beautiful train stamps. They are the complete set of 4 issued in 2011, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Viceroy. Two of the stamps even show the Viceroy Special. Sri Lanka Post also issued a wonderful souvenir sheet of 1 showing  the train, but it's a fairly high priced stamp. The other stamp , there on the right, celebrates 100 years of Carey College, a private Baptist school.

Ravindra collects Lighthouse postcards , Train postcards and Lighthouse stamps. You can see his lighthouse blog  here .

My second card for today is from Belgrade, Serbia. It's from a Postcrossing meet-up that was held in Belgrade on Oct 31st.  It was the 4th  meet-up in Belgrade. The card is from Ana, but was also signed by 6 other Postcrossers.

Ana used a stamp depicting Old Toys. It's 1 of 2 in the Europa issue for 2015. What's surprising about the toys on this stamp, is that I can remember both my sons playing with toys exactly like these , and now they're both in their thirties.

Ana's postcard blog is called "My World of Postcards " and it's located right  here .  Ana hasn't been active on her blog for a number of months but it still has lots of great cards and stamps that are worth a look.

Now for the last card of today. It's from Paris and gives us a look at the Luxembourg Palace. Constructed between 1615 and 1645  it has served as a former royal residence, but is now the meeting place for the French senate.

This is another card from Jean Pierre, one of many he has sent over the years. Looks like he picked this one up at the 69th Autumn Philatelic Exhibition , held in Paris from Nov 5th to 8th. Jean Pierre's card has a special Nov 5th cancellation from the exhibition  so I guess this is a First Day of Issue of sorts.

There you have it, a short but sweet update. Thanks to Ravindra, Ana and Jean Pierre. Great cards all around. Thanks for reading, be back again in a couple of days. Cheers.
There were cards numbers 3992, 3993 and 3994 that I have received todate. Perhaps in my next update I might be able to report on number 4000, who sent it, where it arrived from , etc. A milestone card for sure.