Monday, March 31, 2014

Cyprus | Painted churches in Troodos: Assinou Church

The Painted Churches in the Troödos Region are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Troödos Mountains of central Cyprus. The site comprises ten Byzantine churches and monasteries all richly decorated.
Assinou Church is an early 12th century church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with frescoes of the 12th century and later periods, considered to be among the finest examples of Byzantine mural painting in the island.

(right) Organisms of the Mediterranean marine environment - Sea Anemone

Thx Steve!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Greetings from Curacao! A postcard from the West Indies

Curacao's beaches are its best-kept secret. The best beaches are not the long, expansive patches of sand found in other islands, but rather smaller, more intimate beaches found in secluded inlets, called "bocas" in Papiamentu. 
Part of a large set of fish stamps: Cocoa Damsel fish. These fish can be found in the Western Atlantic & Caribbean region growing up to 13cm in length.

Freewinds is a Caribbean cruise ship.  Its home port is Curacao.

Thx Cheryll!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sofia | София, capital of Bulgaria

Sofia is the capital and, with a population of around 1.4 million people, the largest city of Bulgaria.

This fine bronze statue portrays the Russian Tsar Alexander II on horseback and is a gesture of gratitude to the Russian Tsar and his troops who finally liberated Bulgaria in 1878 from Ottoman rule. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rabat | الرباط, capital of Morocco

Rabat, meaning "Fortified Place" is the capital and fifth largest city of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000. The city is located on the Atlantic coast in the north-west of Morocco. The capital was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012.
On the postcard can be seen: Mausoleum of Muammad V, Hassān Tower and the Roman Ruins of Chellah in the outskirts of Rabat.

Mohammed VI (21 August 1963) is the present King of Morocco.

Monday, March 24, 2014

From the heart of Africa: Burundi

Thank you David for sending this postcard from Burundi! The kid on this postcard is probably just enjoying a swim but the picture reminded me of the messages about the floods in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura.
Batteurs royaux et danseurs du Burundi. A group of traditional musicians from Burundi and dancers that perform complex percussion music. Their performances are a part of ceremonies such as the coronation of a new king. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya

Masai Mara is known as one of Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserves, situated in southwest Kenya and is part of the northern section of the Serengeti National Park. The reserve is named in honor of the Masai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area.

It is globally famous for its abundance population of the big cats (lions, leopards and cheetahs), and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.

Kenya celebrated 50 years of Independence in December 2013.

Thank you very much David!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan

The Intercontinental hotel is located in western Kabul, Afghanistan. It is one of Kabul's best-known hotels and is popular with Westerners. The hotel was assaulted by suicide bombers in June 2011, resulting in at least 21 deaths including the attackers and severe damage to the hotel. The attack was claimed by the Taliban.
A few days ago there was an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul. A hotel popular with Westerners and wealthy Afghans.

(right) In 2007 Afghanistan issued a set of three stamps themed national unity.

Mirwais Khan Neeka (1673-1715) was an influential tribal chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns from Kandahar, Afghanistan. He founded the Hotaki dynasty that ruled a wide area in Persia and Afghanistan from 1709 to 1738. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

From the Switzerland of Pakistan: Kalam Swat

Swat is a valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Kalam is a village along the upper reaches of the Swat River in the Swat Valley.

Swat was a princely state in the North West Frontier Province until it was dissolved in 1969. It's natural beauty of high mountains, green meadows and clear lakes has earned Swat a reputation as "the Switzerland of Pakistan.”
(left) 75th death anniversary of Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 1938) was a philosopher, poet and politician in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Samarra | سامَرّاء Archaeological City, Iraq

Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq, located on the east bank of the Tigris, 125 km north of Baghdad. Once it was one of the largest cities of ancient times. Today Samarra has one of  the largest archaeological sites in the world.

The postcard pictures the Mosque of al-Mutawakkil. Built in 849 and for a long time it was the largest mosque of the Islamic world. It continued to be used until the end of the 11th century.

In 2013 Iraq issued a set of four stamps about camels.

Thx Ahmed!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Catching a big wave on Oahu's famed North Shore

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands but the most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu, the state capital, is on Oahu's southeast coast. The island is home to about 950,000 people.

“If there is such a thing as a perfect wave, you’ll likely find it on Oahu’s North Shore. The big, glassy winter waves of this legendary surf mecca attract the best surfers in the world, while summer waves are far smaller and more gentle – all of which makes the North Shore the perfect surf spot for beginners and veterans alike.”

A machine label.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Santo Domingo: capital of Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic.  Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation.

Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The postcard pictures Calle Arzobispo Meriño or, in English, Meriño Archbishop Street which is located in the Colonial Zone.

In 2012 Dominican Republic issued 5 sets of souvenir sheets, each with 10 stamps depicting Carnival Masks.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Artilleria hill lift in Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaíso is city and major seaport in Chile. The city has lot of hills and in the past to make it easier to get to the top, some lifts were placed in different areas to carry people up.

This is one of those and it's called Asensor (lift in English) Artilleria. The lift was inaugurated in 1893 and still transports visitors up and down the hill of the same name.

A 1995 Christmas stamp and the stamp on the right is a special one. At first glance I thought it was a rocket or something. But in fact it is the lift that was used a few years ago to rescue 33 miners in the San Jose mine.  Thx Ruben!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Pyramids of Meroe in Begrawiya, Sudan

Sudan is a country in Africa, bordered by Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, CAR, Chad and Lybia. Sudan was the largest country in Africa until 2011, when South Sudan separated into an independent country.

The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than two hundred Nubian-style pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. This site is found 200 km or so north of Khartoum and it hosts the largest selection of pyramids found in Sudan. 

The site has been inscribed on the UNESCO Whs list: the archaeological sites of the island of Meroe. The pyramids near Begrawiya is one of the three separate sites that make up this inscription.  

International Women's Day 2014, Masaai women in Tanzania

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. 

Women's equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.
Located in the heart of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which surrounds the Ngorongoro crater, one can find one of the most vivid and proud cultures on this planet: the famous Maasai.

Whereas women all over the world are nowadays in a process of empowering themselves, Maasai women are clearly inferior to the man and have little opportunity for advancement without help.

Read more here:

(left) 350th death anniversary of Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)
(right) Diana, Princess of Wales (1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Orient Bay | Baie Orientale St Martin but sent from Sint Maarten

A view of the Orient Bay, a popular beach on the French side of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean. The only beach on St. Martin with a large number of beach bars and restaurants directly located on the beach.     

Orient Bay, or in French "Baie Orientale", sweeps around a blue cove, facing east, as the name suggests. The 2 mile long, white powdered sand beach is protected from the Atlantic waves by a reef, and the bottom has a very gradual slope.

(left) One more from the Department of Tiny Stamps. Very small stamp picturing St Maarten Harbour.  

Thx Olga!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Canary Islands map

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

This paradisiacal group of islands, which enjoys a wonderful climate with a constant mild temperature through all the year, consists of 7 larger islands and a few smaller ones. Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro are the largest islands.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

No Man's Land on the island of Tobago

Tobago is located in the far South of the Caribbean Sea. The smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

No Man’s Land is a stretch of sandy beach lapped by the most kaleidoscopic waters you will ever see. It is located just off the paradise shores of the Island of Tobago.

The area is accessible only by boat, making it  popular destination for Island boat tours and snorkeling. There are no permanent settlements and it is void of commercialization. It truly is a no man’s land. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rabinal Achi festival, Guatemala

This weekend the annual Carnival started. I thought it would be an appropriate time to show this card.

The card was sent from Guatemala and pictures the Rabinal Achí play. The origin of this old Maya drama dated back almost 500 years. Since colonization of Guatemala in the sixteenth century it has been performed every year on 25 January.

(left)The  450th Anniversary of Jesus Nazareno de Candelaria

(right) 75th Anniversary of the Half Marathon Max Tott. One of the most traditional runs in Guatemala, and one the most challenging, almost all the way is uphill or downhill.


Free counters!

Total Pageviews