Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Cover from the Czech Republic

Received today a domestic letter featuring two nice stamps. The 10 Czk commemorates the Beijing Paralympic Games and was issued on 18 June 2008 in 1,500,000 copies. The cartoon stamp is actually an illustration by Josef Lada of one of the most celebrated Czech novels, the Good Soldier Švejk (1923) by Jaroslav Hašek. The stamp was issued on 10 September 1997 in 3,350,000 copies.

Postcard from Mexico no. 3

Another great postcard received from Mexico on 9 March 2009, and sent on 23 February 2009 from Aguacalientes, C.P. 20001 - Administración Hospitalidad. The card shows a night view of Mexico City. The stamp of 6.50 Mexican pesos was issued on 19 February 2009 and shows a stylised mask typical for the Carnival in Veracruz (print-run 200,000). Thank you, Alessia.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Postcard from Australia

A lovely postcard received on 16 March 2009 from Australia (unfortunately, the post office did not cancel the stamp), showing a view of the Mungo National Park in New South Wales, a part of the Willadra Lakes Region, UNESCO World Heritage Site, incorporating 17 dry lakes and containing the remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains discovered in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest known human to have been ritually cremated.

The fine photographic stamp of 1.35 AUD was issued on 3 March 2009 and shows the Grose River Gorge in New South Wales, from the International-post-only series Fabulous Australia.

Thank you, Alison!

Cover from Spain no. 2

Another cover from Spain, this time sent from Madrid on 9 March 2009 and received 2 days later. The stamp was issued on 2 April 2009 in the series "Architecture" with 5 other fabulous pieces. This breathtaking skycraper called Torre Agbar, 144 metres tall, was opened to public in 2005 in Barcelona. It is a work of the French architect Jean Nouvel, who claimes that it was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air; and it is science fiction come true.

Thank you, Carmen!

Postcard from Turkey

My first postcard from Turkey, showing a few views of the capital of Ankara and the statue of Ataturk, sent on 27 February 2009 and received 6 days later.

The large stamp of 60+10 kurus with the Turkish flag was issued on 13 July 2007 and commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Turkish Coast Guard (print-run 100,000). The smaller stamp is part of a series of current definitives dedicated to the provincial capitals, and a shows a painted view of the city of Tokat, in the province of Tokat in north central Turkey.

Kalbimdesin means you are in my heart.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Cover from Thailand no. 1

My first cover from Thailand featuring an actual stamp (I have already received some Thai covers, but always with the label only). The letter was sent from Bangkok on 26 February 2009 and reached me 12 days later. The 5 baht stamp issued on 6 February 2009 shows a white rose signifying purity, friendship and tranquility (print run: 1,600,000). The fairly nice label covers the postage of 33 baht.

Thank you, Charlie.

Postcard from Great Britain no. 2

Another great postcard sent from Wales (on 11 March 2009). This time showing the historic town of Aberystwyth in the county Dyfed (pop. 11,000), a centre of education and a principal stronghold of Welsh culture.

The lovely 50p stamp was issued on 10 March 2009 in the series Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution and features Josiah Wedgwood who pioneered the industrial production of ceramics in the 18th century.

Thank you, Phillippa:-)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Cover from Brazil no. 3

Another nice cover from Brazil, received on 9 March 2009 and sent on 16 February 2009 from Brasília/BSB (maybe the airport?). There are 3 self-adhesive (and impossible to soak off;-)) definitives from the series dedicated to various trades (sapateiro and costureira) plus a trumpet (and scouting) stamp I have already commented in one of my earlier posts. The larger commemorative stamp was issued on 8 September 2007, in 1,020,000 copies, in the project UPAEP, with the theme Education for All. The stamp bears the logo of ProInfo (Programa Nacional de Informática na Educação) and celebrates the distance learning using computers.

Thank you, Claudinei!

New Czech stamps - March 2009

A trio of new Czech stamps, issued today, on 18 March 2009. The 10 CZK Easter stamp is the work of my favourite Czech illustrator and graphic artist Adolf Born. The stamp puts together the classic articles of the Central European Easter in the country - hares and decorated eggs - in a nice humorous combination. Print run: 8 million.


Two large engraved stamps in a series dedicated to the Oriental art from the collections of the National Gallery in Prague. The 18 CZK stamp (rate for sending a postcard or a letter up to 20 grams outside Europe) is connected to China and features the Immortal Lu Tung-Pin or Lǚ Dòngbīn (呂洞賓), revered by Taoists, depicted here as a Chinese mandarin with a miraculous blue sword. The 24 CZK stamp is connected to Bali, Indonesia, where this scene from the Sanscrit epic Ramayana was painted in the 1920s.

Print-run: 148,000 each.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Postcard from Lithuania no. 4

A fantastic mapcard of Lithuania with all its regions and districts and their coats of arms, received on 9 March 2009 and sent 5 days earlier from the city of Kaunas. As a bonus one of the stamps reproduces one of the coats of arms... The stamp with the emblem of Pakruojis was issued on 21 February 2009 in 500,000 copies along with two other stamps in the ongoing series dedicated to the coats of arms of Lithuanian towns and cities. This one shows a "black arch bridge on the golden background over which there is a red shield with golden wind mill. The town distinguishes from others by its wind mills and a unique arch bridge in Lithuania, therefore these images were used in the emblem of Pakruojis."

The green church belltower self-adhesive definitive of 50 ct - the belfry of the Tryškiai Church - was issued on the same day in February 2009 in 500,000 copies (the same stamp was also issued two years ago on 2/1/2007). The same goes for the other self-adhesive definitive showing the church of Degučiai, issued on 5 January 2008 (this version) and also this year on 21/2/2009.

Thank you so much, Kristina!

Cover from Poland no. 2

When spending a day in the south-east of Poland last week I sent myself from the town of Krosno this letter with two recent Polish commemorative stamps of 1.45 Polish zloty. The left stamp is dedicated to the 1950s-1960s TV comedy show called Kabaret Starszych Panow, and was issued on 30 October 2008 in 450,000 copies, the other stamp was issued on 4 January 2009 (print-run of 640,000) and commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille. There is a label attached with a text in the Braille script. The third definitive stamp is from 2001, from a series dedicated to Polish manors.

Postcard from Italy (via USA)

A postcard of the UNESCO listed Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) and the town of Atrani in the province of Salerno in the south of Italy, presenting a breathtaking scenery and allegedly one of the best car-rides in the world.

Even if the postcard bears a US stamp it was sent from Italy, from an American military base in Naples, with the identification FPO AE 09626 (Fleet Post Office, Armed Forces Europe). Sent on 23 February 2009, received on 6 March 2009. The airmail definitive was issued in 2008. Thank you, Kristi for this interesting card!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Postcard from Latvia

A great castle card from Latvia, sent from Riga on 4 March 2009 and received two days later. The picture shows the front of the Birini manor house northeast of Riga, constucted in the 1850s.

The castle stamp is related to the town of Cesis, and was issued together with three others on 7 April 2006 in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of its founding.

Thanks, Jura!

Cover from India

My first cover from India, sent registered on 26 February 2009 from Mangalore. It reached me in 11 days. The Czech Post attached its own registered label on the front.

I find the stamp very special, as it is another scented stamp in my collection, after the Brazilian burnt wood this sheet with the elephant wood-engraving smells of sandalwood, and it is a very pleasant aroma. The sheet was issued on 13 December 2006.

Thank you, Raghavendra!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Postcard from Spain no. 3

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Another fine postcard from Spain, this time showing a lesser known, but still very interesting town of Estella (Lizarra in Basque), located in the province of Navarre, southwest of Pamplona. Estella, with 13,000 inhabitants, lies on the Camino de Santiago (St James' Way) and is a truly historic place full of Romanesque architecture.

The larger self-adhesive Christmas stamp was issued on 3 November 2008 along with another stamp of 31 eurocent. The painting is by J. Carrero and is called Maternity. The Juan Carlos definitive from 2008 is part of the latest (5th) basic series of definitives begun in 2007.

Thank you, Sonia!

Cover from Macedonia

Back from a week of travelling in east Slovakia and southeast Poland...
From a huge of pile of delivered mail I first pick up this first cover received from Macedonia. It was sent on 6 February 2009 from Skopje and received 11 days later. All the stamps have face value of 11 denars. The larger commemorative stamp issued on 15 December 2007 shows Tose Proeski, a Macedonian pop star and "Elvis Presley of the Balkans", who died in a car crash in Croatia in 2007 at the age of 26.

The two definitives of Skopje and Ohrid are part of a series issued on 4 December 2008 showing major and important Macedonian cities and towns.

Thank you Ana:)