Saturday, 28 February 2009

Frankenstein's Curse from Wales

Along with this splendid view of the City Hall in Cardiff Steph sent me, on 24 February 2009, an unexpected continuation of the series of the "Carry On" and "Hammer Horror" films on stamps, begun in my previous post about Dracula's letter from Great Britain. Now it is Frankenstein's turn, again in a movie starring Peter Cushing, and directed by Terence Fisher in 1957. "No-one Who Saw It Lived to Describe It!"

Friday, 27 February 2009

Postcard from Indonesia

A postcard showing Jakarta's downtown, sent from the city of Semarang on 7 February 2009 and received on 17 days later, with an impressive set of 4 different stamps.

The Rp 1,000 is a 2001 greeting stamp from a series of six, presented in my earlier post about Indonesia. The gastronomy stamp of Rp 1,500, issued on 6 July 2008, (150,000 sets) shows sate bandeng - "this kind of food is grilled using champ made from bamboo trunk. Sate Bandeng is made of crushed fresh milkfish meat by releasing its bones then inserted back into its skin so it looks like a whole fish. This food is served as a side dish of rice."

Next to it is one of the three Indonesian stamps issued on 10 January 2009 (300,000 sets) in commemoration of the year of ox, and the last stamp is part of a series dedicated to the issues of global warming and protection of the enviroment, issued on 5 June 2007 in 200,000 copies, showing icebergs and floating ice.

Thank you, Shinta:-)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Lighthouses, eurocoin and Fondation de France... from France!

Another great cover from the inimitable Eric from Lyon! Featuring the brand-new Fondation of France stamp with the special cancellation of the day of issue from Lyon (5/2/2009). This foundation, with its goal "to help organisations to realise philanthropic, cultural, scientific and general interest projects", was established on the initiative of General De Gaulle and André Malraux 40 years ago...

And there is more... two lighthouses taken from a sheet of "Le Coin du Collectionneur" series (second installment), issued on 12 November 2007: Cap Frehél lighthouse (northern Brittany) and L'Espiguette lighthouse (Department of Gard)...

... and a euro coin stamp with the map of the EU member countries and a part of the sheet showing an old map of Europe, issued on 1 July 2008, at the very beginning of the French EU Presidency (which has been followed by the current Czech presidency).

Thank you, Eric, for this treat!

Cover from Brazil no. 2 - aromatic

Received today after 23 days of travelling from Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a surprise in the form of an aromatic sheet of 4 stamps issued on 1 August 1999. The quartet of RS 0.51 stamps is printed on recycled paper impregnated with the smell of burnt wood (it really smells like that). The goal of the issue was to remind people of the danger of forest fires threatening Brazilian national parks. In the stamps there are pictures of an anteater, a flower, a leaf and calcined tree-bark. In the centre there is a map of Brazil.

The other two stamps are self-adhesive definitives from 2002 featuring trumpet and scouting paraphernalia.

Thank you, Cristina.

Postcard from Spain no. 2

This postcards shows a fantastic view of the pond and gardens at the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Fernando and Isabel) in Córdoba, Andalucía, a World Heritage Site since 1984.

And the stamps made me happy too, as they are part of a series initiated this year of Spanish provinces, with their maps and flags (including the flag and the national emblem of Spain). The two regions featured here are Cantabria and Euskadi (Basque Country) in the north. "A" tariff corresponds at the moment to 32 eurocent (postage for sending a normalised letter of up to 20 grams within Spain).

A similar series is now issued in the USA, Italy, Russia, etc.

Gracias, David!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Postcard of Maine, USA

There is a definite tranquil charm emanating from this summer morning postcard of Muscongus Bay, Round Point, Maine...

It was sent on 29 January 2009 from Manchester, New Hampshire, and bears three stamps makingup the postage 94 cents for Europe - this year's Lunar Year stamp with an image of an ox (issued on 3 January 2009, as a second installment in a series started last year), and another 42c stamp in the Love series, this one issued on 16 June 2008, the third stamp shows an American clock from 2003.

Thank you, Dulcey.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Wooden churches cover from Russia

Another beautiful cover with a sheet from Alexander, from the city of Astrakhan. It was sent on 10 February 2009 and reached me in 6 days. The Kizhi Pogost is an ensemble of wooden churches, chapels and houses on an island on Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia.

On 31 July 2008 the Russian post issued, in 100,000 copies, this souvenir sheet featuring the most significant buildings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site: the 22-domed Transfiguration Church (1714), the smaller, 9-domed Intercession Church (also known as the "winter church") built in 1764, and the belltower which was built in 1874. Fantastic!

I covered a similar topic here.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Postcard from Lithuania no. 2

A postcard sent from Klaipeda, Lithuania, on 6 February 2009 and received 6 days later. It shows the famous Curonian Spit (in the municipality of Neringa, in the west of the country), a 98 km long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The dune is a World Heritage site shared by Lithuania and Russia.

The single 2.15 lt stamp was issued on 27 June 2008 for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (print-run 300,000). Thank you, Anna.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Cover from Mauritius

Another older cover from the 1990s, sent in December 1998 from Rose Hill in Mauritius. The Rs 8 stamp is part of a 5-stamp series dedicated to the 400th anniversary of Dutch landing in 1598 and shows a picture of the landing fleet taken from an ancient map. The last stamp in the series is a souvenir sheet of Rs 25.

About the other 4 Rs stamp issued in 1994 I could not find any information, only that it shows a fern tree and bears the text: Protection of the Enviroment.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Postcard from Slovenia no. 2

Another nice postcard from Slovenia, sent from Ljubljana on 5 February 2009 and received 4 days later. The picture shows the oldest Slovenian town of Ptuj (23,000 inhabitants), situated in the north-east of the country, with a castle from mid-12th century overlooking the Drava River.

The 23 eurocent stamp is part of an ongoing series dedicated to national costumes. The 2009 addition was issued on 30 January and features wedding costumes from the Bela Krajina region, used in the first half of the 19th century. The two nice definitives were introduced on 1/1/2007 with the appearance of euro, and show "Flowers of Slovenia", in this case: 2 eurocent - Moehringia tommasinii, and 10 eurocent - Pulsatilla grandis. Interestingly, all the stamps were printed in Prague.

Thank you, Leonardo:-)

Monday, 16 February 2009

Joint-issue from France

Another great letter from France! Sent on 6 February 2009 from Lyon Bellecour (with a nice postmark) and received 3 days later. The se-tenant stamps issued on 23 June 2008 are a joint project of the French and Brazilian postal administrations and show the French Mer de Glace and the Brazilian Serra do Aracá in the Amazonian Forest. The 85 eurocent on the French part cover postage to Brazil, and the 55 eurocent on the Brazilian part cover postage to France. The Brazilian counterpart was issued two days earlies, with facial values of RS 2 for both stamps.

Thank you very much, Thomas!

Postcard from Spain

A postcard from Valencia, Spain, showing la Lonja de la Seda (The Silk Exchange), built between 1482 and 1533, a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture, since 1996 inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The self-adhesive stamp, issued on 11 February 2008, is part of a project to help in the fight against gender violence, mentioning the telephone number 016 where victims and witnesses can call their testimonies. Sent on 9/2/2009, received on 12/2/2009. Gracias, Margarita!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Cover from Estonia no. 2

A flowery cover received on 1 October 2008 from Laagri, near Tallinn in Estonia. The 4.40 EEK flower stamp was issued on 26 October 2005 on the occasion of the Mothers' Day (print-run 410,000); the costumes stamp with the same nominal value is part of an ongoing series dedicated to Estonian folk costumes and shows dresses from the Tartu County (issued 9 October 2003, in 500,000 copies). The smaller definitive with the Estonian coat of arms of 20 senti is from 1995 (4,975,700 copies printed).

Thank you, Kristi for this lovely letter:-)

Postcard from Costa Rica no. 2

This postcard from Costa Rica reached me in only 10 days. It shows the map of the country with its major beaches, and I guess that for every inhabitant of a landlocked country somewhere in central Europe it must look like a paradise...

The larger stamp of 155 colones was issued on 8 June 2007 as part of the UPAEP project (Unión Postal de las Américas, España y Portugal with its seat in Montevideo, Uruguay). The theme for 2007 was Educación para Todos (Education for All). This Costarican stamp shows an illustration from a textbook of the Cabécar language, spoken by some 4000 persons in Costa Rica.

The smaller stamp of 10 colones was issued in 2002 and along with 4 other stamps commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Panamerican Health Organization.

Thank you, Shirley!