Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to transport charcoal in Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by South Sudan, Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. The country, also known as the pearl of Africa, has great diversity in wildlife, vegetation, landscapes and cultures. Uganda I home to about 31 million people.

On the postcard we see a charcoal truck. They tend to be a burden for Uganda traffic.   

Police in Luweero have impounded 16 heavy trucks for overloading.
Paul Okongo, the officer in charge of traffic in Luweero district oversaw the trucks each loaded with more than 100 bags of charcoal towed to Luwero central police station. The traffic chief said that the charcoal trucks have increasingly become a menace on the highways.
He described it as unacceptable for trucks to load charcoal way beyond the edges of their containers. He said trucks carrying charcoal with some of the sacks bulging out of the trucks obstruct traffic and are likely to cause harm to other road users.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Mosi-da-Tunya | Victoria Falls, Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Zambia is natural haven for a great deal of wildlife.

A paradise for animal lovers, the country offers some of the best sanctuaries and natural parks of the world, within its boundaries. There are in total 19 national parks.

Zambia has 17 waterfalls, the largest of which is Victoria Falls. It is the largest waterfall in the world: a 1708 meters wide water curtain. The local people call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya" -- the smoke that thunders!

The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site.
The Blacksmith Plover, a bird found in southern Africa and eastern Africa. It has a wide range of habitats including shorelines of inland waters, wet pastures and tidal flats in bays and lagoons.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Leh Palace in Ladakh, India

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state under Indian administration. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. One of the three regions in Jammu and Kashmir Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet".

Leh Palace was built in the 17th century as a royal residence for King Singe Namgyal. The palace overlooks the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh, modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. 

(left) Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984) was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics during the second half of the 20th century.

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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas. The islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are home to 30,000 full time residents, and welcome more than 200,000 tourist annually.

In 1962 the Turks & Caicos became a British Crown colony and still is one today.

The name of the country comes from these earliest inhabitants: Taino and Lucayan Indians. Turks is a reference to the indigenous Turk’s head cactus and Caicos is from the Lucayan term “caya hico” meaning string of islands.

The Margarita Murex, is a species of sea snail.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Phoenician Harbour, Lebanon

Byblos was the ancient Phoenician port city of Gebal (called Byblos by the Greeks) on the coast of the Mediterranean sea in what is, today, Lebanon. 

The name Byblos is Greek; papyrus received its early Greek name (byblos, byblinos) from its being exported to the Aegean through Byblos. Hence the English word Bible is derived from byblos as "the (papyrus) book".


Friday, March 22, 2013

Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano, Tanzania

Oldoinyo Lengai means "Mountain of God" in Massai language. It is a steep around 2900 m high volcano located in the East-African rift valley in northern Tanzania, near the Serengeti National park. It is the only active volcano in the world that erupts natrocarbonatite lava.

The volcano had big explosive eruptions with fatal effects for the Masaii tribe living close to the volcano. Today many Masaii families live around the volcano and most of the younger generation have certainly forgotten that the holy mountain of the Masaii tribe can cause death and distruction. 

(left) 350th death anniversary of Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)
(right) Princess Diana

Kourion Archaeological Site, Cyprus

Cyprus, the third largest island of the Mediterranean, and standing on the border of the Eastern and Western worlds has always captured the interests and attentions of more powerful outside forces. Over the centuries, the island has been ruled by the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Byzantines from the ancient world.

Kourion is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island. Noted particularly for its magnificent Greco - Roman Theatre, Kourion is also proud home to stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors and an early Christian Basilica among other treasures.
2012 issue about London Olympics.

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Australia’s Gold Coast is an endless playground of entertainment and adventure, because fun comes in all types and styles. It is a promise of big smiles and warm memories in a spectacle of golden beaches, legendary theme parks, iconic rainforests, and lively entertainment.

The Gold Coast is a coastal city located in the South East of Queensland, Australia. The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The Gold Coast is today still a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, its high-rise dominated skyline and nightlife.

From a set of five stamps about Australia’s most popular native baby animals. The Dingo is Australia’s native dog. But unlike other dogs it does not bark.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Città del Vaticano | Vatican City

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. 

Joseph Ratzinger, born April 1927, was elected to the papacy on April 19, 2005, upon the death of Pope John Paul II.  In February 2013, at age 85, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be resigning on February 28, 2013—becoming the first pope in 600 years to step down from his post.


Vatican City State has issued four stamps with the image of an angel raising the pavilion (“umbraculum”) of the Apostolic Camera, the work of Italian artist Daniela Longo. The use of these stamps as postage is only available during the Sede Vacante, ending with the election of the new Pope.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Postcard from Liberia

Liberia is located on the west coast of Africa. Liberia means "land of the free" and refers to the nation's origin as a colony of free blacks repatriated to Africa from the United States in the early nineteenth century.

Thousands of freed American slaves arrived during this period. Leading to the declaration of independence of the Republic of Liberia in 1847. 

Samuel Kanyon Doe (1951–1990) was the 21st President of Liberia. A civil war began in December 1989. Doe's forces were defeated, and in September 1990 he was captured and executed.

Milky Waterfall | Abkhazia

Abkhazia is a disputed territory, located in the western part of the Caucasus, on the Black Sea coast. Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia.

This status is recognized by only a few countries:  Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. According to most countries it is part of Georgia.

Abkhazia has beautiful and serene landscapes. This waterfall is called “Milky” because the water is white like milk. This postcard was sent from Russia.

In 2012 Russian Federation issued a series of 6 stamps about Russian contemporary art. This stamp pictures a painting by Alexey Sukhovetsky.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Floating Market in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

A floating market is a market where goods are sold from boats. The Kuin River in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, is an age old river that functions as a market for traders.

The traders deal with each other while on top of their vessels, which are known as ‘jukung’. The market starts getting busy just before sunrise.

Two stamps out of a set of 8 stamps. A joint issue with Malaysia, issued in 2011.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A postcard from Kiribati

Kiribati is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere in the middle between the islands of Hawaii and French Polynesia.

The Republic consists of thirty three atolls and islands, spread across approximately a third of a million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, of which 21 islands are inhabited. Kiribati’s Fanning Island and Kiritimati (Christmas Island) are perfect spots for surfing.  

Kiribati is believed to be one of the first nations to get lost because of rising sea levels due to climate change. Therefore the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the population to Fiji.

One out of a set of 12 bird stamps, issued 2008:  the Black-tailed Godwit.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Koh Phi Phi beach Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Leh is an island of the Phi Phi archipelago, in the Andaman Sea. It belongs to the Krabi province of Thailand.

The island consists of a ring of steep limestone hills surrounding 2 shallow bays, the Maya Bay and Loh Samah. Maya Bay is a popular diving spot. It has become the main tourist attraction since The Beach was filmed here in 1999, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

A matching stamp. From a set of 10 stamps about tourist spots: Ao Maya (Maya Bay).

Friday, March 8, 2013

El Salvador: La Ruta de las Flores

Ruta de las Flores, or the ‘Flower Route’.
The name of this 40km stretch of western El Salvador comes from the plentiful wildflowers that grow along the road.

The route essentially covers a handful of small, attractive colonial towns along around 40km of winding, relatively quiet road. One is the town of Juayúa. On the left you see the Santa Lucia Church. On the right Juayua Waterfalls.

Two 2006 issues. International year of desertification (left) and 75 years of TACA Airlines.

Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Germany

The ancient harbor town, a centre of international trade since the Middle Ages and the “Queen of the Hanseatic League“, has been on UNESCO’s List of World Cultural Heritage Sites since 1987.

Lübeck’s old town is built on a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides, and houses more than 1000 of the finest examples of Northern German brick Gothic architecture.

In the front you see the Holstentor (the Holsten Gate) and on the right the Salzspeicher (salt storehouses). And in the back the St Petrikirche (Church of St Peter).

balloon flower

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vietnam ancient town of Hội An

Hoi An is an ancient town in Vietnam that used to be a 16th century merchant trading port named Faifo. The town is a special example of a traditional trading port in South-East Asia which has been completely preserved: it is the only town in Viet Nam that has survived intact in this way. It was fortunate to escape the destruction caused by the wars

In 1999, UNESCO formally recognized Hoi An as a World Heritage Site.

A machine label.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Monastery of St. Antoine from the Qadisha Valley | Lebanon

The Qadisha Valley is hidden within a deep valley amidst rugged and desolate mountains.

Within the mountainous interior, ancient monasteries and churches provide a moving testament to Lebanon’s religious communities. Historically, the Qadisha Valley was virtually inaccessible to conquering armies, and therefore  it served as a refuge for the Middle East’s persecuted religious minorities, such as the Maronites.

Sites of significance include the red-roofed Monastery of St. Antoine in Koshaya, which was built into a cliff side and is surrounded by trees.

The Qadisha Valley is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From a set of stamps celebrating Lebanon’s cultural heritage: Lebanese singer and actress Sabah (1927).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tanzania's Masai Traditional Dancing

The Maasai are semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They own large herds of cattle, sheep and goats which they follow around seasonally in search of new grazing grounds and water sources.

Traditionally the Maasai have always been a proud and independent tribe. They did not cultivate the land and depend on a cash economy as many of those around them did, rather they lived off the blood, milk and meat that their cattle provided them. 

The Maasai warriors perform “the jumping dance” or “adumu” to mark the “Eunoto” (the coming of age ceremony of the Maasai warriors).

(left) 350th death anniversary of Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)
(right) Wild Animals of Tanzania (2010 issue): Elephants.

Santa Lucia, Honduras

Honduras has a lot of colonial towns, most of them are really beautiful, peaceful and quiet. Santa Lucia is such a town located in the mountains near Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.

The towns main church was founded in the 1500's.


Friday, March 1, 2013

From the Venice of America: Ft Lauderdale Beach

The City of Fort Lauderdale is situated on the southeast coast of Florida, centrally located between Miami and Palm Beach. Fort Lauderdale is named for a Second Seminole War fortification built on the banks of New River in 1838. In that year, Major William Lauderdale led a detachment of Tennessee Volunteers south along the east coast of Florida to capture Seminole agricultural lands and battle the elusive Indian warriors.

A  Global Forever, self-adhesive stamp, issued 2013. The Global Forever stamp offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world. 


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