Monday, May 30, 2011

Altai Mountains, Russia

Altai Mountains
This gorgeous card is from Siguanea for the favorites tag. It's one of the giant cards - 21cm by 15cm! And sooooooo pretty. The back of the card says "View of the North-Chuysky Ridge from Sagandu." The Altai are located in central Asia, with parts of the range in Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. The name comes from the Mongolian words for "gold" and "mountain," and the area is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site under the name "Golden Mountains of Altai." It is critical habitat for the endangered snow leopard and Altai argali, a wild sheep; however, in a 2009 incident, several Russian VIPs were killed in a helicopter crash here during an alleged poaching expedition.

The large stamp on the right is a 2009 commemorative from a set of 4 on the subject of "National Head dress." This one comes from middle of XIX century (honestly, I'm not clear on what century that would be), Moscow district. On the left are two definitives from 2009, Zaraisk Kremlin on the bottom and Moscow Kremlin on the top.

Yunnan, China

I got this card from ConEtoiles for the favorites tag. It shows the typical life of native women of the Yun-Gui plateau in Yunnan province. I wasn't able to find any info about the people who live there, though. Maybe everyone is thinking that I purposely picked cards I don't have to write much about, but I didn't know that there wasn't any information to find related to this card until after I chose it to post. Maybe it's just as well. I feel weird and not really patient to do a lot of research this morning...

It came in an envelope, so no stamps to show.

Dubai, UAE

This card showing the Madinat Al Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab is a private swap from Lea. Madinat Al Jumeirah is a complex containing a hotel, shopping area, and cafes and restaurants, and Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel. Lea wrote that Madinat Jumeirah is her favorite place in Dubai, great in the winter when it is cold enough to sit outside. Apparently right now in Dubai at 10:36pm it is 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Wow. Here it is still around 55 degrees... still waiting for summer to show up... or even spring...

Two definitive stamps from 2009 showing birds of prey. Plus an Arabic air mail sticker.

Dutch Horses

From Annerie for my vacation RR group from last month's trip to Portland. That was the trip where I ended up wandering around downtown Portland in the evening looking for some dinner, and trying not to cry in public. I passed a homeless person sitting in a doorway. Instead of asking me for money, he said "Take care. You look like you have a lot on your mind."

Well, something good came of that weekend, because I like this card a lot. The horses look so peaceful in their field in the sun.

She used great stamps. Two (left and middle) from 1988, and one from 1990 (right). The middle one says "200 Jaar Australie" and on the map of Australia "Nova Hollandia." The one on the right says "Hoofdkantoor Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV Groningen." Can anyone explain them?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Great Ocean Road, Australia

AU-105212 from Gaby.
I'm posting today because I need something to cheer me up - and boy, do I wish I was there instead of here.

The Great Ocean Road stretches 243km between the cities of Torquay and Warrnambool on the southeastern coast of Australia. One of its main attractions are the 12 Apostles - 45-meter-high stacks of limestone that have been worn away at the Victoria coastline. The lighthouse pictured is Cape Otway Lighthouse, in continuous operation since 1848. This area is responsible for more shipwrecks than any other part of Autralia, and they even have shipwreck tours.

Stamp of koalas from 2009, one in a set of four Bush Babies.

I could go for that curling up in a ball and sleeping, too.

But... some days are like that, even in Australia.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Heidelberg, Germany

I got this card from China in an envelope for the favorites tag. Go figure...

Heidelberg is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemburg. The card shows the Old Bridge over the River Neckar. Heidelberg also boasts the oldest public library in Germany (built 1421). And, as the city escaped bombing in WWII, it became and remains host to a large U.S. military base. I don't know about you, but that kind of makes me feel sick, especially when I think about the map of U.S. military bases I saw in the book Island of Shame. Sometimes I am really ashamed to be American. :(

However, it's a beautiful card! Looks like a great place to take an early-morning walk. Not that I am one to get up early if I don't have to. :P

Friday, May 6, 2011

Year of the Rabbit, Singapore Philatelic Museum

I guess you could call this a private swap of sorts. Every year the Singapore Philatelic Museum has an exhibit based on the lunar new year symbol, and they invite people to send them postcards showing that year's symbol to display in the exhibit. For every postcard they receive during the month of February, they will send a postcard in return. Last year I didn't have any tiger postcards, but this year I had a rabbit card. I have a few other cards from Singapore but I had a terrible time getting a STAMPED card from there. I had two postage-paid ad cards as officials (and those kind of annoy me), and then I had a private swap with someone, and honestly, my only request was that the card be written and STAMPED, and then it came with a postage label instead of a stamp. Grr. I started to wonder if Singapore even issued stamps. Well, they do!

Nice ones:
Like this stork-billed kingfisher issued in 2007 as a 'flora and fauna definitive'.
And it even has a lovely Singapore Philatelic Museum postmark! ^_^

Minnesota, USA

I got this card from my aunt almost exactly a year ago. It shows tulips in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Arboretum consists of more than 1000 acres of gardens and natural landscapes and more than 5000 different kinds of plants. "Everything was well-watered by the rainstorm, including us," my aunt wrote. April showers bring May flowers, right??? Well it's still raining here.

Three definitives - one puma and two Tiffany Lamps. Now the postcard rate is 29¢...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

The 2,700-meter Iguaçu Falls are located in Iguaçu National Park on the border between Brazil and Argentina, dividing the Iguaçu River into its upper and lower portions. It was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986.




The park is home to a multitude of animal and plant species, including giant otter, ocelot, American tapir, and capybara. Capybara are true R.O.U.S. However, there is no recorded Fire Swamp in the park.

Gratuitous capybara picture:

This stamp was issued in 2008 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese royal family to the shores of Brazil. Apparently there was a feast...?

This polar bear comes from a set of two on Protection of the Poles and Glaciers, issued in March 2009.

Two stamps from the series Professions, manicurist and seamstress, issed 2006 and 2005, respectively.


From Masito for one of my vacation RR groups. He writes that the Alpabfahrt "is a traditional celebration at the end of summer, when it becomes too cold for the cows to stay in the mountains." So they get all dressed up and come down to their stalls in the flatlands. Apparently this tradition is still well practiced today. Here is a video from last summer's Alpabfahrt:

A stamp of a red kite (Milvus milvus) from a set of two birds of prey issued in 2009.
Switzerland has really nice cancellations.