Monday, September 30, 2013

How to transport things on your head in Tanzania


Postcard
Carrying on the head is a common practice in many parts of the world, as an alternative to carrying a burden on the back, shoulders, and so on. People have carried burdens balanced on top of the head since ancient times, usually to do daily work. Tanzania is no exception, anything can be carried on the head, from a few coins to a bar of soap to a whole tree.

But why is it that we only see women carrying thingson their head?

Stamps
Butterflies of Tanzania stamp. The Dusky Friar is a common butterfly in many African countries.

Paphiopedilum Gilda or Lady’s-Slipper orchid (mind the beetle in the lower right corner).   

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ayia Kyriaki Church, Pafos, Cyprus



Postcard
Pafos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus. The town is included in the Unesco WHS list.
The Panagia Chrysopolitissa or Ayia Kyriaki church was built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest Early Byzantine basilica on the island.

The church is surrounded by Roman ruins and old mosaics. Within the compound one can see St. Paul's Pillar, where, according to tradition, Saint Paul was bound and beaten for preaching Christianity.

Tatev Monastery, Armenia


Postcard
The Monastery of Tatev is a 9th-century Armenian monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the Tatev village in southeastern Armenia. The main monument is the Church of Pogos and Petros (Peter and Paul) built in 895-906. The card only shows a detail of Tatev Monastery. So you can’t see the breathtaking complex and surroundings.
 
The monasteries of Tatev and Tatevi Anapat and the adjacent areas of the Vorotan Valley is on the WHS Tentative list.

Stamp
The Armenian alphabet has 38 letters. In 2012 Armenian Post issued the first set of 7 letters.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Monastery of Gračanica, Kosovo


Postcard
Medieval Monuments in Kosovo is a World Heritage Site consisting of four Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries: Dečani Monastery, Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, Our Lady of Ljeviš and Gračanica Monastery.
 
The monastery in the village of Gračanica (near Pristina) is one of Kosovo's best religious monuments. It was built in 1321 by the legendary king of Serbia, Milutin Nemanjic.

Stamps
(left) Issued by UNMIK in 2007, Monumental Art –Architecture. UNMIK is the officially mandated mission of the United Nations in Kosovo. In 2001 UNMIK started issuing its own postage stamps.

(right) In 2012 the local Kosovo government issued three stamps picturing water resources lakes. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Postcard from Wallis and Futuna


Postcard
Wallis and Futuna is a French overseas territory since 1961. Located about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand somewhere in the middle of Tuvalu, Fiji and Samoa. The three main islands of Wallis and Futuna are Uvea, Futuna and Alofi with a total population of 12,500.

The first Europeans to arrive in the islands were Dutch explorers in the Futuna Islands in 1616 (Cornelius van Schouten and Jacob le Maire). But the island was named after English navigator Samuel Wallis, who discovered it while sailing the HMS Dolphin in 1767.

The postcard shows the tiny islet of Fenua Fo'Ou.

Stamps
The stamps are cancelled in Mata-Utu, the capital of Wallis and Futuna. 

Thx a million David!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Virgin Gorda Baths, British Virgin Islands


Postcard
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, part of the British West Indies, located about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. There are about 60 islands in the BVI, many of which are uninhabited. Virgin Gorda is the third largest of the Virgin Islands, which measures eight and a half square miles. 

The Virgin Gorda Baths are one of BVI’s most famous landmarks. The Baths consist of numerous great boulders, creating caves, tunnels, sea pools and grottos. It is one of the main tourist attractions on BVI.

Stamp
Charles Wesley (1707 – 1788) was an English hymn writer who wrote over 5500 hymns. In January 2008 BVI issued a set of three stamps for the 300th anniversary of his birth in December 2007.

Thx Meg! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Pearl of the Pacific: Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia


Postcard
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific. Bora Bora is one the islands that make up French Polynesia. A major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts, located about 265 kilometers northwest of Tahiti.

“A gorgeous island, with lush scenery, stunning lagoons and an idyllic motu, this place is now believed by many to be one of the last tropical paradises on earth.” 

Stamp
A 2011 stamp to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tahitian cultured pearl. In 1961 the activities started to grow cultivated pearls in French Polynesia.


Thx!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the heart of Polynesia: American Samoa


Postcard
Right in the heart of the South Pacific, to the north of Tonga and 3700km south-west of Hawaii, lie the five islands and two atolls of American Samoa. An unincorporated territory of the United States, not to be confused with the Independent State of Samoa.

Five of the main islands are volcanic, with rugged peaks, narrow coastal plains and fringing reefs. About 64,000 people live in American Samoa and Pago Pago is the capital city.

It is believed that there was at least an 800 year history of contact with Fiji and Tonga, before the Samoan islands were "officially" discovered by Dutch Explorer Jacob Roggeveen in 1722. Who did little more than naming the islands and sail away.

Stamps
US stamps can be used in American Samoa.


Thx David!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A herd of Przewalski's horses in Mongolia


Postcard
Przewalski's horse is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse. First described in the late 19th century by Russian explorer N. M. Przewalski, the horse once freely roamed the steppe along the Mongolia-China border. Never again seen in the wild, Przewalski’s horses have since been kept and bred in captivity and have recently been reintroduced in Mongolia.

Stamp
From a set of 4 stamps: Wild Animals, the Yak (2011).


This postcard travelled a very long time to reach its destination (my home). Well, Mongolia is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and about 10 days ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Mambo Msiige, Stone Town, Zanzibar


Postcard
Zanzibar is a small tropical island about 20 miles off the coast of east Africa. As a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government. The capital of Zanzibar is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.

The Mambo Msiige is a building located in Stone Town. It was built around 1850 by a wealthy Arab resident and the name means 'do not imitate'. Plans for Mambo Msiige to be turned into a multimillion dollar five star hotel almost led it to be dropped from the WHS list.
 Thx Steve!

This postcard travelled over 4 months to reach its destination (my home). Well, Zanzibar is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and about 10 days ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011!

The map of Cape Verde


Postcard
Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean. More than 500 kilometres (350 miles) off the coast of Western Africa (near Senegal and The Gambia).

Cape Verde consists of two groups of islands:
-         - the Barlavento Islands (windward islands) : Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista; and
-         - the Sotavento Islands (leeward): Maio, Santiago, Fogo, Brava.

The islands are of volcanic origin and while three of them (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation.

Stamp
In 2012 Cape Verde issued four stamps about antique objects; a Cape Verde wash basin.


This postcard travelled over a year to reach its destination. Well, Cape Verde is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and about a week ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blue Lagoon Lighthouse, São Tomé e Príncipe


Postcard
Farol da Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon Lighthouse) is located at the north coast of the island of São Tomé.
São Tomé is one of the islands in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, and of the Republic’s total area of 1001 km², takes up 854 km² of this. It is located about 300 kilometres west of Gabon in the Gulf of Guinea.











Stamps
The back of the postcard is almost a postcard in itself, covered almost entirely with the minisheet and the two butterfly stamps.



This postcard travelled almost 5 months to reach its destination. Well, Sao Tome is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and about a week ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The royal palaces of Abomey, Benin


Postcard
The royal palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people between the mid-17th and late 19th centuries. The site of the royal palaces is located in southern Benin, near the town of Abomey, formerly the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dahomey.

Stamp
Bernardin Gantin (1922 – 2008) was a prominent Beninese cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tukuls from Ethiopia


Postcard
Tukuls: a cone-shaped mud hut, usually with a thatched roof, found in eastern and northeastern Africa. Tukuls are the typical housing for southern Ethiopia, a simple and basic but useful home for many Ethiopians. About 85% of its 90 million inhabitants live in rural and remote areas.

Did you know that Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the rest of the world? The time difference goes back to 1582, when the rest of the Christian world adopted the new Gregorian calendar. However, Ethiopia kept the old Julian calendar.

Stamps
Definitive stamps Menelik Bushbuck (2002) and Critically endangered species: the Black Rhino. 

This postcard travelled almost 4 months to reach its destination. Well, Ethiopia is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and a week ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A postcard from Mauritania


Postcard
The back of the postcard reads “Nouakchott, Mauritanie 2006”.
Mauritania is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Western Sahara (controlled by Morocco), Algeria, Mali and Senegal. The capital and largest city of Mauritania is Nouakchott. Arabic is the official language but most of the population also speak French.

The official name of Mauritania is the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Since independence from France in 1960, Mauritania has been an Islamic republic. Islam first spread southward into West Africa, including Mauritania, with the movement of Muslim traders and craftsmen.
Stamp
Poissons (or fish) du Banc d’Arguin, Requin tisserand (or Spinner shark)
The Banc d'Arguin, a World Heritage site, is a Nature reserve near Nouakchott.   


This postcard travelled almost 14! months to reach its destination. Well, Mauritania is far away, but….. there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and a week ago I found appr. 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Images du...Gabon


Postcard
Gabon is a country located on the west coast of Central Africa. It is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. The population is estimated at 1.5 million people. The capital is Libreville (free town).

Over 80 percent of Gabon is tropical rain forest. A common plant is the Hibiscus, a genus of flowering plants. Traditional medicine is still widespread in Gabon. Here we see a local medicin man(N'ganga) in Oyem, a town in northern Gabon. The Ogooué (or Ogowe) is the principal river of Gabon. The pirogue (a type of canoe) is still an important way of transportation.

Stamp
Spathodea campanulata, is commonly known as the Fountain Tree or African Tulip Tree and is native to tropical dry forests of Africa. 

It took almost 10 months for this card to reach its destination. Well, Gabon is far away, but….. there is another reason for this delay. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and some days ago I received 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcard since 2011! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mzee holding a stick of sugar cane in Pangani, Tanzania


Postcard
The back of the postcard reads “Swahili coast ‘Mzee’ holding a stick of sugar cane”.

Pangani is a town in northeast Tanzania near the Swahili coast. The Swahili Coast is an 1,800-mile stretch of Kenyan and Tanzanian coastline. ‘Mzee’ basically means “old person” , but is also a title of respect for an older person.

Stamps
The bird stamp was issued in 1997. The Cactus Wren is a species of wren that is native to the southwestern United States. It nests in cactus plants.

It took almost 4 months for this card to reach its destination. Well, Tanzania is not around the corner, but….. there’s another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and some days ago I received 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Postcard from the Pacific: Samoa


Postcard
Samoa Islands is an archipelago covering over 3,030 km2 in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia. The islands have two jurisdictions, the independent country of Samoa in the western half of the islands, and the territory of American Samoa comprising the islands to the east. 

Dancing, singing and music play a big part in Samoan culture. Samoan dance, like their music, stems from the desire to reflect every emotion through art. Siva is a Samoan word for dance. The Siva is also a particular dance performed by women using graceful hand movements to act out an everyday activity.
Stamps
(left) In 2007 Samoa issued a set of 12 stamps picturing churches of Samoa. This one pictures Malua Theological College.

(right) A $2 overprinted millennium stamp. 

It took almost 17 months for this card to reach its destination. Well, Samoa is a looong way but…there is another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and some days ago I received 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011! 

Thx Rod!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Territoire des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF)


Postcard
The Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (T.A.A.F.) is an overseas territory of France.

It consists of Kerguelen (a group of volcanic islands), St. Paul and Amsterdam islands (located north of Kerguelen), Crozet Islands (located south of Madagascar), Adélie Land (the French claim on the Antarctica continent) and the Scattered Islands (located around the coast of Madagascar).

The Marion Dufresne is a multipurpose vessel. It serves as a supply and logistic vessel for the French sub-Antarctic islands and as an oceanographic research platform on the world’s oceans.

Stamp
Issued in 2011: The 90th anniversary of the Birth of Pierre Bignon, 1921-1990.
The stamp cancellation reads ‘Alfred Faure Crozet’. The Crozet Islands are uninhabited, except for the research station Alfred Faure.


It took almost 7 months for this card to reach its destination. Well Crozet Island is a looong way but…there’s another reason. Our local mailman decided not to deliver all of the mail, but save some in his garage. He was caught recently and some days ago I received 60 postcards in my mailbox. My missing postcards since 2011! 

Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada



Postcard
Banff National Park, Canada's first national park, consists of 6,600 square kilometres of unparalleled mountain scenery nestled in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies. Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park.

Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which interlock and make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site. These four parks are Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. The World Heritage site also includes three British Columbia provincial parks that adjoin the four national parks: Hamber, Mount Assiniboine and Mount Robson.

Stamps
In 2007 and 2009 Canada post issued many low value definitives, depicting insects.
The Titanic stamps were issued in 2012 to commemorate 100th anniversary of Titanic sinking. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mount McKinley, Alaska


Postcard
Mount McKinley, named after the 25th President of the United States, is North America's tallest peak. It elevation exceeds 6,194m and is also known as "The Great One" or Denali.

Little planes are common in Alaska. Locals like to say there are more planes than cars, even though that isn't completely true.

Alaska does, however, have the highest ratio of plane owners to residents: about 11,000 registered flyers, out of more than 600,000 people. Flying in a small plane is the most efficient way to get around the country's largest state.

Stamp
A global forever stamp.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Evening rainbow, Fiji Islands

Postcard
The heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with 333 tropical islands that are home to happiness. Beautiful sunsets are a common feature in Fiji, bringing a tranquil conclusion to the day.
Stamp
In 1995 Post Fiji issued a set of eight stamps depicting Land Birds Of Fiji. This one is a 40c overprint picturing a Mangrove Heron. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Al Msaylha Citadel, Lebanon


Postcard
The Al Msaylha castle is a fortified place that stands alone on top of a detached rocky spur in the center of the Nahr el-Jaouze river valley. It is the only one of Lebanon's castles to stand at the pinnacle of a sharp peak, like fairy tale castles in story books. 







Stamp
Lebanese singer Nouhad Wadi Haddad, known as Fayrouz (1935), the Jewel of Lebanon.

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