Friday, 17 September 2010

Postcard from Slovakia no. 6

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A postcard which we sent ourselves this August during our stay in Slovakia, showing a part of the town of Vysoké Tatry (the municipality of Starý Smokovec). Vysoké Tatry (the High Tatras) are the highest mountain range in Slovakia (part of the Carpathian Mountains). The town of Vysoké Tatry was created artificially in 1947, and it is not a true town, but a conglomerate of separate and different settlements (originally separate villages), whose only common feature is that they are the main tourist resorts in the mountains. There are three cadastral areas and fourteen municipalities (the coats of arms of four of which are shown in the postcard, together with the coat of arms of the whole town).

The 33 eurocent Easter stamp was issued on 27 February 2009, in two forms, as a classic stamp in a sheet of 50, and in a booklet - my stamps is taken from there. The 10 eurocent stamp is a definitive showing a part of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Sedmerovec – Pominovce (issued on 1 January 2009), and the engraved T2 50g stamp (2nd class, up to 50 grams, currently corresponding to 40 eurocent) is a fantastic piece of art featuring an illustration by Einar Turkowski taken from the book ‘Es war finster und merkwürdig still’ (‘It was dark and eerily quiet’). The stamp commemorates the Biennial of Illustrations (competition of original book illustrations for children and youth) held in Bratislava. The reproduced illustration won the competition in 2007 (Grand Prix) and the stamp was issued on 14 August 2009, in 4,000,000 copies.

Cover from Serbia no. 2

A cover sent on 8 September 2010 from the town of Senta in northern Serbia, with a nice stamp reproducing the painting “The Young Woman in Pink Dress” (1930) by Paja Jovanovic (1859 - 1957), an important artist of the Serbian and world academic realism. The stamp was issued on 6 April 2009 (along with two others in an art series) on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the painter's birth. Thank you, Dunja!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Postcard from China no. 5

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Today I received this nice postcard with an aerial view of the city of Guangzhou (Kanton or Kuang-čou in Czech), the third largest city in China, the capital of Guangdong Province, located on the Pearl River.

The back side of the card has a printed stamp with the same view as on the front, and a large 300 fen stamp issued on 17 November 1994 in a souvenir sheet on the occasion of the 4th Congress of All-China Philatelic Federation held in Beijing on the same day. The stamp bears the marking 1994-19 (1-1).

Thank you, Jimmy!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Cover from Latvia no. 6

A brand new cover received from my friend Oleg, from Riga, Latvia, with two stamps with my favourite topics! The stamp with the Latvian flag was issued on 4 May 2010 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence in 1990, and the other stamp appeared on 23 August 2008 in the ongoing series called "Latvian fairytales". This one is called "The Silver, Golden and Diamond Horse", and part of its text is printed on the tab above the stamp (in Latvian). Thank you, Oleg, my new cover and the Krtek card will fly to you next week.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cover from Italy no. 10

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Another surprise from the unrivalled Giovanni. The splendid Alfa Romeo Giulietta stamp (with a coupon from the "blocco mosaico") issued 20 March 2010 in the series "Made in Italy", commented earlier here. This time the stamp has been cancelled by a special postmark used in a mobile post-office at the Rho-Pero Fair (Province of Milano) on 26 June 2010. There is also a 5 eurocent self-adhesive definitive to cover the rest of the international postage, cancelled by a normal hand stamp.

Grazie mille, Giovanni!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Cover from Estonia no. 4

A cover sent on 13 June 2010 from Tallin with a great souvenir sheet commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Estonian National Opera, opened in 1906 as a professional theatre called „Estonia”, founded by the directors and actors Paul Pinna and Theodor Altermann. The stamp on the left features costume designs for Evald Aav's opera “Vikerlased” (Vikings), with music of the same opera forming the background of the souvenir sheet; the ballerina Helmi Puur in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake figures on the right-hand stamp. Issued on 27 March 2006 in offset, in 70,000 copies.

Thank you, Elina!!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cover from Sweden no. 1

A cover sent on 18 April 2010 from Stockholm, with two stamps from a series of five (four self-adhesives in a block and one separate stamp) dedicated to allotment gardens and the joys of summers, issued on 26 May 2005. Thank you, Minna:)

Cover from Lithuania no. 1

A cover received in July 2010 from the historic town of Trakai near Vilnius. The great stamp, issued on 3 July 2010, commemorates the 600 anniversary of the Battle of Žalgiris, one of the most important historical events of Lithuania and one of the largest battles, which took place in the Medieval Europe. It took place on 15 July 1410 between the Teutonic Order and the joint forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland led by the King of Poland Jogaila and the Grad Duke of Lithuania Vytautas. In the history of Poland, the Battle of Žalgiris is known as the Battle of Grunwald and in Germany and other Western countries it is known as the Battle of Tannenberg (info courtesy of the Lithuanian Post). Print-run: 300,000.

Thank you, Yuri!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Postcard of the Big Cypress Swamp in Florida, USA

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A postcard showing the Big Cypress Swamp in the Everglades National Park in southern Florida, one of the US UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consisting of subtropical wetlands designated as one of only three wetland areas of global importance.

The two first class (44c) stamps are taken from a set of ten stamps with homeless pets photographed for a project called Animal Rescue issued on 30 April 2010. Another one is here.
Thank you, Erin!

Cover from Italy no. 9

Another surprise from Giovanni! This year's Inter Milan stamp PLUS a special postmark used in Florence on 13 June 2010, commemorating 2nd Grassroots Football Festival on the youth level which stresses the importance of having a large base of footballers on the community level. Of note is also the new small Italian self-adhesive definitive of 5 eurocent.

Grazie, Giovanni, come sempre:)

Friday, 3 September 2010

Postcard from Australia no. 2

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A fantastic postcard received today from Western Australia, showing three views from around Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough: Sugarloaf Rock, the lighthouse and a beautiful sunset. The lovely pictures are accompanied by equally lovely stamps, hand cancelled at Perth Mail Centre on 30 August 2010. The stamp on the left shows The Indian Pacific train from a series called Great Australian Railway Journeys issued on 7 May 2010, the stamp in the middle was issued on 6 April 2010 on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, and the self-adhesive stamp on the right is part of a series from 25 May 2010 dedicated to Australian World Heritage Sites and shows Purnululu National Park. The other stamps present Kakadu National Park, Gondwana Rainforests, and Tasmanian Wilderness.

Interestingly, the withdrawal from sale for these stamps is set for 30 November 2010, apparently an Australian specialty.

Thank you Heather, for this perfect card:)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cover from Ukraine no. 2

Another nice cover received in July from Irina in Kyiv... with two pretty train stamps issued on 22 September 2009 in the ongoing series "Locomotive Engineering in Ukraine", showing engines of the series 2TE 121 and VP 41, both with the nominal value of 1.50 hryvnia; the other two stamps from this 4-part series shown below. There is also a portrait stamp of the Pope John Paul II, issued on 15 June 2001 in commemoration of his visit to Ukraine on 23 - 27 June 2001, 3 hryvnia. The pictorial envelope commemorates the painter ("maljuvalnitsja" - I hope I read and translate the Cyrillic correctly:) Yavdokha Poshivaylo (1910 - 1994).

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Postcard from Tuvalu

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The other day I was lucky to receive this nice postcard from the remote Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean showing Funafala Lagoon in Funafuti, as part of a project organised on the occasion of Earth Day called "Send Tuvalu to the world", consisting in sending 422 postcards to all over the world sharing thoughts of local students about Tuvalu. A special stamp was made for this purpose, with the text "40th Anniversary Earth Day" (which fell on 22 April 2010). More about this interesting environmental issue is here.

Cover from Finland no. 7

Two colourful and cheerful 0.80 euro stamps on this great cover from Finland, sent from the town of Mikkeli on 4 May 2010, the very day these stamps were issued, in the EUROPA project, this year with children's books as the main theme. The fantastic illustrations are by Leena Lumme. Thank you, Liisa:)