Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gustaf III Airport, Saint-Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France, located in the Caribbean. It is the only Caribbean island which was once a Swedish colony for a longer period. Its main town is Gustavia, named after King Gustav III of Sweden.

Gustaf III Airport, located in St Jean, is a very small airport, served by small regional commercial aircraft and charters. Most visiting aircraft carry fewer than twenty passengers. Large planes can’t land on St Barths. So major flights must land at the neighboring island of St. Maarten, where they have a big, modern airport. From there, visitors can jump aboard a ferry or hop on a small plane that can land on St Barths.

In Saint-Barthélemy French stamps are used.
(left) Le Trait du Nord, it’s a type of horse. 
(right) In 2011 France issued a large set of 24 stamps about Festivals and Traditions. This one pictures "La foire aux potirons" (The pumpkins fair).  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Village Meeting of Masai Women, Tanzania

The Masai community lives in Ngorongoro District in northeast Tanzania. They own large herds of cattle, sheep and goats which they follow around seasonally in search of new grazing grounds and water sources. But their livelihood and way of life are under constant threat because the Tanzanian government does not recognize their land-use rights.

Migrating Gnus. In 2009 Tanzania issued a set of 18 stamps about wild animals of Tanzania.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

St. George's Monastery in the Wadi Qelt Valley, Palestine State

Wadi Qelt is a valley located on the West Bank. It contains remnants of settlements, monasteries and palaces. 

One of them is the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George. It is named after St George of Koziba; a monk born in Cyprus 550 AD, who spent much of his life in the Judean Desert.

One from a set of four Christmas stamps, issued in 2010 by the Palestinian National Authority.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The world's largest island: Kalaallit Nunaat | Greenland

Having been ruled by Denmark–Norway for centuries, Greenland became a Danish colony in 1814. Today Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. With a population of only 56,000 it is the least densely populated country in the world.

The name of the country in Greenlandic is Kalaallit Nunaat meaning "land of the Kalaallit", the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people who inhabit the country's western region.

The ice cap or inland ice covers up to 85 percent of Greenland's total area, and extends 2,500 km from north to south and up to 1,000 km from east to west.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Queen of the North Sea: Norderney Island

Norderney is one of the seven populated East Frisian Islands off the North Sea coast of Germany. The entire eastern half of Norderney belongs to the Wattenmeer National Park of Lower Saxony.
Together with the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area its is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

 “Miles of spectacular white sandy beaches, dunes as far as the eye can see and, of course, the ocean...
Close your eyes, relax, open your mind, breath in the wonderful crisp sea air, feel light breezes tickle your cheeks, hear sea gulls cry high above, let waves whisper their lullaby as they break on the shore – all this is Norderney. 

Altstadt Regensburg – a World Heritage Site.

The Seven Sisters, Sussex, England

The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs by the English Channel. They form part of the South Downs in East Sussex, between the towns of Seaford and Eastbourne in southern England.

They are the remnants of dry valleys in the chalk South Downs, which are gradually being eroded by the sea. There are, in fact, eight distinct peaks! There were originally seven, but cliff erosion has led to an eighth sister appearing which has been named Flagstaff Brow.


Port Arthur convict settlement, Australia

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, more than 165,000 convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government. Port Arthur was one of these penal colonies. It is named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land (old name of Tasmania).

Penitentiary (upper part of the postcard)
Now an imposing ruin, the Penitentiary was constructed in 1843 as a flour mill and granary. In 1857 it was converted into a penitentiary, capable of housing over 480 convicts in dormitory accommodation and separate apartments.

Convict Church (lower part)
The timber and stone church, constructed in 1836 is a lasting tribute to its convict builders. Built on high ground to overlook the convict settlement, the church could accommodate over one thousand souls at its services.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lushan National Park, China

Lushan National Park is a well-known tourist attraction located in the south of Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. The national park covers an area of 500 square kilometers and has more than 90 mountain peaks.

Lushan owes its reputation to its wonderful, elegant, steep and spectacular features that embrace ravines, waterfalls, grottoes, rocks and rivulets.

Lushan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


(left) The Xinjiang Ground-Jay. 
(right) The stamp is one out of a set of eight stamps about fish that live only in the South China Sea. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mont Blanc Massif, France

Mont Blanc meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in Western Europe (over 15,000 feet / 4800 m). It is part of the Mont Blanc Massif, one of the most deadly mountain ranges in the world with up to 100 fatalities every year.

A label.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vagator Beach: Goa, India

Goa, a former Portuguese colony, is the smallest state in India and synonymous with tourism. The state of Goa  is famous for its beautiful beaches, churches and temples and its primary industry is tourism.

Vagator beach is located in North Goa. The entire beach is lined with tall palm trees. Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone's throw of the sea.

(left) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891 – 1956)
“Born in a class considered low and outcast. Dr. Ambedkar fought untiringly for the downtrodden. The boy who suffered bitter humiliation became the first Minister for Law in free India, and shaped the country’s Constitution. A determined fighter, a deep scholar, human to the tips of his fingers.”

(right) Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, (1888 – 1970) was an Indian physicist and Nobel Prize winner (1930).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Postcard from Bénin

Benin is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo.

From the 17th to the 19th century the  region was referred to as the Slave Coast due to the large number of slaves shipped to the New World.

After slavery was abolished Dahomey became a French protectorate in 1892. In 1958 it became the République du Dahomey, self-governing within the French community. On 1 August 1960, the Republic of Dahomey gained full independence from France. The country was renamed Benin in 1975. 

The nation is highly dependent on subsistence farming; growing beans, corn, cotton, cocoa and coffee. Tourism is on the increase, especially along the coastal areas, and in the wildlife national parks of the north.

Cardinal Bernadin Gantin (1922- 2008).

The most prominent black African Catholic cleric of modern times once tipped to be pope
The Guardian, Thursday 15 May 2008

Friday, May 3, 2013

Itchan Kala, Uzbekistan

Khiva is an ancient city,located in the southern part of the region of Khorezm in Uzbekistan. It is a unique monument town, completely preserved in the cultural style of the region. In the 10th century Khiva is mentioned as a major trading center on the Silk Road. 

Itchan Kala is the old part of the city. Today Itchan-Kala is open-air museum with more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses. In 1990 the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.


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