Monday, April 30, 2012

A hidden paradise from Philippines: Lahos Island

Lahos Island is found in Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur, which is dubbed as the Philippine's hidden paradise. The island is distinctively beautiful because it has two beaches. The shore is hugged by superb white sand and amazing karst limestone formations.

The name of the island was derived from the word “Lahos” or “Laho” which means “vanish in English because the beach usually disappears during high tide.

Caramoan hosted many season of TV series “Survivor”.

A Triton Trumpet and a Copper-band Butterflyfish.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A postcard from Cape Verde


“At the cross-road of the three continents that border the Atlantic, there is an obligatory stop in the middle of the ocean, the Archipelago of Cabo Verde.”

Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. The islands are of volcanic origin. Its six inhabited islands, located more to the West, are characterized by their mountainous landscapes, whereas the remaining three are distinguished by their long sandy beaches.

From a set of 4 stamps about great navigators (2006): Francis Drake

A postcard from the Canary Islands: Tenerife

The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara.

Belonging to the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a unique volcanic island which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Home to the dormant Mount El Teide volcano, this ancient island gives visitors a chance to explore the area's lunar like landscapes and experience the stunning natural beauty that surrounds it.

Atento a la conducción!
The National Traffic Department runs regular campaigns to create awareness among drivers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A postcard from Madagascar: the Island of Nosy Be

Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique. It is the world's fourth-largest island.

Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896. Independence follows in 1960, under the new name of the Malagasy republic.

Nosy Be is an island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Nosy Be is Madagascar's largest and busiest tourist resort.

Nosy Be is an island paradise rich in fauna and flora, a scuba divers promised land with an extensive coral reef system housing creatures & corals from all over the Indian ocean.

(left) From a set of 8 stamps about flowers: Asteropeia amblyocarpais, a plant endemic to Madagascar.

(right) Solar Eclipse Africa 2001: On June 21, 2001 a total eclipse of the Sun darkened the continent of Africa.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A postcard from the Kingdom of Tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga is a sovereign state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.  A group of more than 170 islands spread over an area of the South Pacific roughly the size of Japan. Tonga is the last Polynesian monarchy.

George (Siaosi) Tupou V, King of Tonga died 18 March 2012 at the age of 63. He is succeeded by his younger brother, Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata. He takes the title King George Tupou VI.

George Tupou V was crowned king of the small Polynesian nation in August 2008. He took over after the 2006 death of his father, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, who had ruled the small Polynesian nation since 1967. 

(left) From a large set of definitives about birds:  A red shinging parrot.
(right) A Wahoo-fish

Thx Rod!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A postcard from Wales: Conwy Castle

Unesco whs United Kingdom

Conwy Castle is a castle in Conwy, on the north coast of Wales. It was built between 1283 and 1289  during King Edward I's second campaign in North Wales. The castle is part of UNESCO World Heritage site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd". 

“Conwy castle is a gritty, dark stoned fortress which has the rare ability to evoke an authentic medieval atmosphere.”

Stirling Castle, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally. It is located in Stirling, Scotland.

Atlantis Hotel in The Jumeirah Palm Island, Dubai

The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago created using land reclamation. It is one of three islands called the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) which extend into the Persian Gulf, increasing Dubai’s shoreline by a total of 520 kilometres.

Atlantis, the Palm is a five star hotel resort at Palm Jumeirah.

Falconry is the upkeep of falcons. It is a very valued tradition in the UAE.

Jelenia Góra | Deer Mountain, Poland

Jelenia Góra is a city in Lower Silesia, south-western Poland. Prior to the end of the Second World War the city was German and known as Hirschberg. The name of the city means "deer mountain" in Polish, and German.
(source: Wikipedia)

From a large set of definitives about manor houses: Dwór w Janowcu k(oło) Puław = Manor in Janowiec near Puławy (2001)

Craigdarroch Castle from Victoria B.C. Canada

Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria is an imposing Victorian mansion completed in 1890 for Robert and Joan Dunsmuir, Scottish immigrants who made their fortune from Vancouver Island coal.

Robert Dunsmuir died in 1889, just months before his majestic Craigdarroch Castle was completed.

(left) From a set of two stamps in honour of February's Black History Month: Irene Davis Desmond.

“With her husband, they travelled the province expanding their businesses of barbershop and hairdressing salons. One day in 1946 when she developed car trouble in New Glasgow, she decided to go to the movies while it was being repaired. She bought her ticket and took a seat on the main floor unaware that, in New Glasgow, tickets sold to blacks were for the balcony only and the floor was reserved for whites. She refused to go to the balcony and eventually the police were called and she spent the night in jail. She was charged with defrauding the Government of Nova Scotia the difference in tax between a ground floor and balcony seat, which amounted to one cent. She was also fined $20, which she paid, but she decided to fight the tax evasion charge. No-one admitted that the theatre had a racist seating policy and that Viola was black. In 2010, a posthumous pardon was granted to Viola Desmond, the first ever such pardon granted in Canada, and the Government of Nova Scotia made an official apology.”

(middle) A stamp to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

(right) To celebrate Year of the dragon 2012.

A postcard from Thonon-Les-Bains, France

Thonon-les-Bains is a town in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Thonon-les-Bains is perfectly located to offer a complete range of activities on the banks of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Alps: Swimming, outdoor activities, shopping, visits, hydrotherapy, mountains, culture, landscapes etc. This multi-facetted destination is surrounded by beautiful nature, a lake, mountain, city and countryside.

Marianne is a symbol of Republican France. A Marianne is a bust of a proud and determined woman wearing a Phrygian cap. She symbolises the attachment of the common citizens of the revolution to the Republic - Marianne is liberty, egality and fraternity.

Cedars of Barouk | الباروك, Lebanon

Barouk 48km from Beirut is a village in the Chouf District of Lebanon

“In the modern-day Lebanon the legendary cedar is still revered and remains prominent in the minds of all Lebanese. The cedar features on the national flag, the national airline, Government logos, the Lebanese currency and innumerable commercial logos. It is the feature of books, poetry, post cards, posters and art. The Cedars of Lebanon are truly an important part of the cultural heritage of the people of Lebanon.”

The Arab League is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia (Middle East).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Iraqi Kurdistan: The Jalil Al Khayat Mosque in Erbil | هه‌ولێر

Mosque architecture in Kurdistan has two primary influences: Iranian and Ottoman. Ottoman architecture is the architecture of the Ottoman Empire which emerged in Bursa and Edirne in 14th and 15th centuries.

The Jalil Al Khayat Mosque is the largest in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan region.

From a set of four stamps, Red Crescent.

“The Red Crescent is an internationally accepted symbol that stands for emergency assistance, and is simply another symbol for the commonly known Red Cross.  In fact, the full name of the "Red Cross" is "International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies"

A Bontoc Wedding Dance from Phillipines

Philippine folk dance has a long and diverse history. Each region in the Philippines features its own folk dances, originating from the precolonial era to the time of the Spanish occupation from the 1500s until the late 1800s. Most of these Filipino folk dances tell stories about historical happenings, ways of life, cultural influences and religious customs.
Bontoc comes from the word buntuk, which means mountains and refers to the people of Mountain Province. Today, many of the Bontoc cultures and traditions are rarely practiced and slowly disappearing.

(left) a Marmorated Cone
(right) a Polyclad Flatworm

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Moldovan Monument: The Candle of Gratitude

The monument is built on the rocks over the Nistru River. It is considered as a very special work of art for another reason. It is built in the memory of the cultural monuments in Moldova that were destroyed in the past.

This national monument was the brain child of a famous Moldavian classical writer Ion Durta. This man always had a deep respect for the tradition and culture of Moldova. He wanted to pay homage to their ancestors who worked so hard to preserve the Moldavian culture.

“Time stands still when it passes through this monument. It is a silent witness of many hopes and agonies, dreams and hard works of many past generations.”

(left) Art: paintings of flowers, "Flowers" by Mikhail Statnii
(right) Pre-printed, The Candle of Gratitude
(bottom right) from a set of 6 definitives, Moldovan buildings

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Desierto de Atacama | The Blooming Atacama Desert from Chile

Nov 8, 2011  “VALLENAR, Chile — The world's driest desert is covered in flowers after the wettest winter in decades. Some 200 species of flowers are bursting from the sand after five times the annual rainfall in just one month “
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is one of the driest deserts in the world.

200 Bicentennial group: Free and United.

The Bicentennial Group is a multilateral body created to promote and organize the joint commemoration of the independence process developed in the Americas 200 years ago.

Chile celebrates 200 years since start of independence drive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oyster and Pearl Fountain from Doha, Qatar

The State of Qatar is situated on a peninsula projecting into the Arabian Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia to the south. Prior to the discovery of oil, the Qatari economy was largely based on pearl fishing. Qatar is now one of the richest countries in the region, thanks to the exploitation of large oil and gas fields since the 1940s.

The oyster and pearl fountain is located on the Corniche of Doha, the capital city of the state of Qatar.

From a set of four stamps. Doha, Capital of Arab Culture 2010.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Postcard from Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest. The country's capital is Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Upper Volta was renamed Burkina Faso in 1984.

(left) The "Pics de Sindou", a sandstone formation outside of Sindou.
(right) “Séance de don de sang” (blood-donation)


Friday, April 6, 2012

A Postcard from the nature isle of the Caribbean: Dominica

Dominica is a state, situated in the West Indies also called the Caribbean. Sometimes it is confused with Dominican Republic. Dominica is an island in the middle of the Caribbean chain of islands. On the North is the French island of Guadeloupe and on the South another French island - Martinique.

The island was discovered by Columbus on Sunday, the 3rd of November 1493 and was named after this day (in Latin "Dominica" means "Sunday"). Before that there lived Indians - Arawaks, who were later forced out by more militant Indians - Caribs. The Caribs still live on Dominica and are the last natives of the Caribbean Islands.

Many springs and small crystal clear rivers with waterfalls flow from mountains, covered with wild tropical vegetation. They form wonderful natural pools and lakes. Native people say, that the number of rivers equals to the number of days in the year - 365. Because of its great natural beauty Dominica is known as the "Nature isle of the Caribbean".

Vincent's Least Gecko is a gecko found in the Caribbean, on the islands of Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.

THX Jenny!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Expedition Südsee: a postcard from French Polynesia


“One of the greatest thrills of expedition cruising is turning up on some of the most out-of-the-way locations. Hapag-Lloyd's Expedition Südsee is one of those rare itineraries where many of the seldom, if ever, visited locations are included. 

One day out from our embarkation point, Papeete, and we're tying up at a tiny wharf at theport of Fare on Huahine, the smaller, somewhat forgotten neighbour of Bora Bora in the Society Islands of French Polynesia.”

Read more about the senders adventures on this cruise from Tahiti to Fiji on 

French Polynesia is an overseas country of France. It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group.

Thx Rod!

The French Court of Auditors celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Postcard from Pafos, Cyprus

Pafos, a small charming harbor town, on the west of Cyprus, which has been, during certain times in antiquity, the capital of Cyprus, has a history which goes back literally thousands of years.

Pafos is famous for its remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs of exceptional architectural and historic value.

Europa stamps 2010 Cyprus: Children books.

Dormition Cathedral

The main temple of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – Assumption Cathedral (Uspensky Cathedral) is located in the centre of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.This temple, one of the most ancient in Kievan Rus, has a special place in the life of Orthodox Church and in native culture. Its creation started a new stage in the history of Old Russian architecture and icon-painting.

In 1941 durng WWII, the temple was destroyed and was renewed only in 2000.

From a set of four stamps about Ukrainian fine arts (2011): a Tobacco Pouch.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Minsk Railway Station Square

Minsk Railway Station Square (1953). Its referred to as Stalinist architecture, a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, between 1933 and 1955.

From a set of 5 stamps, wild animals (2008): a Hare (right) and a Forest Marten (left).


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