Friday, September 30, 2011

A Swallows Nest from Ukraine

“Swallow’s Nest” is a castle, built in the late XIX century near Yalta, in the South of Crimea. Situated on the steep cliff right over the sea, it has become the symbol of the South coast of Crimea and one the of the most exciting point of interests of the whole resort.

(upper)  Ukraine. 20th Anniversary of Independence
(down left)  A Kumanets (stoneware for water)
(down right)  Fragments of a glazed tile (kakhlia)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saint Euphemia's basilica in historic Rovinj, Croatia

Saint Euphemia's basilica is a Baroque church and was built in 1736 over the remains of older early-Christian structures.

From a set of three endangered species: the Brown Bear, Eleonora’s Falcon and the Mediterranean Monk Seal.

Sissach, Switzerland

Sissach nestles between two forested hills in the densely populated Ergolztal valley. The town combines an urban character with rural surroundings.

(left) The Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja)
(right) From a set of 4 stamps with endangered animals.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Estrela Basilica: Lisbon's landmark basilica

“This vast neoclassical monument is one of Lisbon's most eye-catching landmarks.

Built in the second half of the 18th century to fulfill a vow by Queen Maria I after she gave birth to a son and heir, it has a huge rococo dome and a façade with twin bell towers decorated with an array of statues of saints and allegorical figures.
A pleasant way to reach Estrela is by taking trams 25 or 28, which stop right outside the basilica.”

centenario do credito agricola

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vietnamese schoolgirls in national costume: Ao Dai

The ao dai is now standard for weddings, for celebrating Tết and for other formal occasions. A plain white ao dai is a common high school school uniform in the whole country. Companies often require their female staff to wear uniforms that include the ao dai, so flight attendants, receptionists, restaurant staff, and hotel workers in Vietnam may be seen wearing it. (source: wikipedia)

From a set of 4 stamps: Animals in Ba Be National Park - May 2011

Burg Are, Altenahr, Germany

Dies mal auf Deutch
“Auf steilem Fels
Die Burg steht auf der felsenzerklüfteten Höhe eines Berges, dessen Ost- und Südseite steil aufsteigen. Stammsitz der Grafen von Are, wurde sie in der ersten Hälfte des 12. Jahrhunderts von Theoderich von Are erbaut, kam im 13. Jahrhundert in kurkölnischen Besitz und erfuhr im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert noch viele Ausbauten.”

Danke, Sabine!

Suomi | Finland

A lake view.

Aurora Borealis or northern lights
The effect is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The oldest and deepest lake: о́зеро Байка́л (Lake Baikal, Siberia)

Lake Baikal is located in the south of Eastern Siberia, in the Buryat Autonomous Republic and the Region of Irkutsk, Russia.

“It would take all the rivers of the world - Volga, Don, Dneper and Yenisei, Ural and Ob, Ganges and Orinoko, Amazon and Thames, Seine and Oder - nearly one year to fill lake Baikal's basin. It would take four hundred years for all the rivers, streams and brooks now flowing into the Siberian lake-sea to perform the task.”

(middle) Regions of Russia. Tambovskaya oblast (Tambov region). Shows the monument to a Tambov man, Nikiforovskiy sugar mill, apples selected by Michurin horticulture institute and river Tsna.

(right) Bridges - Zhivopisnyi Bridge across Moscow River

(below) Sixth Definitives series - Russian Kremlins - Kazan' Kremlin

Kassel, Germany

(1)  Orangerie
(2)  Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
(3)  Kunsthalle Fridericianum
(4)  Stadthalle

The large medieval centre of the city of Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interior of the Al Fadhel Mosque in Bahrain

“Graceful colonnade in Al Fadhel Juma Mosque,  Manama, Bahrain.
Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain.

(left) A charity stamp
(middle) Arab Summit Conference 2003. One from a set of 22(!) stamps.
(right) King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.

THX Sanjay!

Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo Arkikatedra Bazilika

Cathedral-Basilica of St. Stanislaus & St. Ladislaus: The Cathedral of Vilnius. It is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania.

Top right: A matching stamp!

1Lt - THE POLYPHON. A DISK MUSIC BOX, from The Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum

5ct - The church of Antazavė, 1794

10ct - Church of Degučiai, 1757

A fishermen's harbour from Jaffa, Israel

The town of Jaffa has been a port since the times of Jonah and before. Today the picturesque port and old city lie on the southern side of modern Tel Aviv.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Singapore "Marina Bay"

“ Marina Bay – A magnificent view of Marina Bay featuring Singapore’s icon – The Flyer, Helix Bridge and The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort Hotel.”

The Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot is a small (13 cm) mainly green parrot found in forested lowlands from Thailand to Borneo.

Cape Town's harbour, Devils Peak and Table Mountain

Cape Town (Kaapstad) is the seat of the National Parliament. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa. Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a victualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East.

Table Mountain is in the running to become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The Woodland Kingfisher is a tree kingfisher.

Jacob Zuma (12 April 1942) is the President of South Africa.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Polikarpov I-153 Russian WW2 Biplane fighter

The Russian Polikarpov I-153 Chaika (Russian Чайка, "Seagull") was a late 1930s Soviet biplane fighter. Developed as an advanced version of the I-15, the I-153 saw limited service, but fought in the Soviet-Japanese combats in Mongolia.

(left) The Mig-3 was added to Russian armory in 1940. It was the fastest serial fighter plane of the new generation of the Soviet air force.

More than 3 thousand fighters of this series had been produced during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

(right) Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver 2010.

Sztynort Palace

A Polish palace in decay.
Sztynort is a village in northern Poland with a population of 170. Before 1945 the area was part of Germany (East Prussia).


From a set of 4 Meteorological phenomena: Hurricane.

A Concord Coach sent from Idaho

While the various Abbot and Downing companies were most famous for the Concord Coaches, they did manufacture more than 40 other types of horse drawn vehicles. There is even an “Abbot-Downing Historical Society”.


(left) It’s been 100 years since Ray Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500. The stamp depicts an Art Deco-style painting of Harroun in his car, wheels slightly off the ground, streaks of color giving an illusion of speed. Harroun’s average speed in the race was about 75 m.p.h.

(right) The Project Mercury stamp depicts Shepard, the Mercury capsule Freedom 7, and the Redstone launching rocket.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Russian Fountain in Brindavan Gardens, India

Visited by close to 2 million tourists per year, the garden is one of the major attractions near the city of Mysore.

The garden is embellished with vast expanses of well-laid out lawns, diverse kaleidoscopic rows of flowers and above all the amazing site of fountains encompassing a small beautiful lake holding the charm of musical fountain in its center.

Horse stamps commemorating the Kathiawari, Zanskari, and Manipuri breeds. 

The old street of Melaka

“Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca.”


The Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea, is a large wading bird. 

Aurora Borealis from Alaska

Alaska  is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait.

Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire in 1867. The name "Alaska" is derived from the Aleut (Eskimo language) alaxsxaq, meaning "the mainland" .

Aurora Borealis or northern lights. The effect is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.

San Jacinto Monument from Houston, Texas

"In future time, then may the pilgrim's eye see here an obelisk point toward the sky...."
— Anonymous poet

Today, the world’s tallest war memorial stands at San Jacinto—15 feet taller than the Washington monument—honoring all those who fought for Texas's independence.

Grand Teton is the highest mountain in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A postcard from the Republic of South Sudan!

Republic of South Sudan
South Sudan is a landlocked country in East Africa. A referendum was held from 9 to 15 January 2011 to determine if South Sudan should declare its independence from Sudan, with 98.83% of the population voting for independence. South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011.

The postcard itself is not printed or bought in South Sudan. The senders story behind that makes it clear why.

“There is a major problem. Postcards of South Sudan do not exist.

Let me explain the background to a phenomenon like this. Postcards are a product like any other and are sold to meet a demand. Supply and demand. Now most of you are only familiar with countries where there is enough demand for good selections to be offered without giving it a second thought.

Those of you who travel have mostly seen plenty of postcards being sold to tourists. That is because those are countries with tourist industries. Go to a country without a tourist industry and there are no tourists to buy postcards. Consequently no one will produce and sell a product for which there are no buyers.

Some examples of countries with nonexistent tourism industries are; Comoros, Marshall Islands, American Samoa, and Gabon. I think you get the picture. These are countries that no one goes to. So they have no tourism industry. You can add South Sudan to the list.”

The national flag is the same as that used by the rebel army, the SPLA, and consists of horizontal black, red and green stripes, separated by two thinner white bands. The thick stripes represent the black people, their blood and fertile land. White is for peace. The blue triangle at the flag's hoist symbolizes the Nile, and the yellow star inside it the unity of the 10 states.

Currency: The South Sudan pound.

Capital: Juba

John Garang de Mabior (June 23, 1945 – July 30, 2005) was a Sudanese politician and rebel leader. From 1983 to 2005, he led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War, and following a peace agreement he briefly served as First Vice President of Sudan from January 2005 until he died in a July 2005 helicopter crash.

The two stamps are from a set of three stamps, a gift from China to the new country.

THX Henry!

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

красивий Київ - beautiful Kyiv

The former Praha hotel, a monument to Yaroslav the Wise, reconstruction of the Golden gates, and Khreschatyk the main street of Kiev.

International Year of Astronomy (2009)

Fishing in Minnesota at sunset

(the back of the postcard reads) Minnesota. This is a fisherman’s paradise. Minnesota has more miles of shoreline than Florida, California, and Hawaii…combined!

Pixar’s characters: (right) Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995)
(left) the robot WALL•E from WALL•E (2008).


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