Saturday, August 27, 2011

Finnish Horses

Another official, FI-841812 from Suvi. The weather has been gorgeous the past couple of weeks here - a real summer at last! I would love to go on a horseback ride...

The stamp is from 2010 and features the signature of Maria-Liisa Nevala, director of the Finnish National Theatre.

Warsaw, Poland

Bristol Hotel, Warsaw

This was one of my first official cards from Poland, PL-50052, showing the Bristol Hotel in the center of Warsaw. It was built in 1900 and became the center of the Roaring Twenties in Warsaw. However I couldn't find any interesting scandals or ghost stories associated with it.

The stamp on the left we already found here. On the right is one of a set of four issued in 2009 on the subject of Survivors of the Genocide. This is bishop Ingacy Jeż, who was interned in Dachau concentration camp from 1942-1945.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Krtek: Der Maulwurf und der Adler

Der Maulwurf und der Adler

I got this Krtek from xtlera in one of my vacation RR groups. Read more about Krtek in this post. This card is a scene from the film "Krtek a orel" (Czech), or "Krtek and the Eagle."

Here is the first third of the film.

Der kleine Maulwurf und der Adler 1 von 3 - MyVideo

The stamp, from 2011, shows the Old Town of Regensburg, a UNESCO site.

Jasper, Alberta

Jasper, Alberta

I found this cool map card at a thrift store. Jasper is a Canadian national park, the largest in the Canadian Rockies, in the province of Alberta, west of Edmonton and north of Banff. It is home to glaciers, mountains, hot springs, and waterfalls, along with grizzly bears, moose, elk, mountain goats, pumas, wolves, and pika, some of which you can see on the card. The park was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984 as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. This is definitely a place I would like to visit!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Wind Chimes
JP-173758 from Masa in Tokyo. These are fuurin, Japanese wind chimes, which are hung under the eaves of Japanese houses for summer. Summer weather has *finally* arrived here and today is another perfect Seattle day. I went out for a walk earlier but unfortunately my knee is injured and I can't exercise much. :(

Anyway, the fuurin at JR Mizusawa Station in Iwate Prefecture are listed as one of the "100 soundscapes of Japan," which were selected to represent pleasing natural and cultural sounds in order to promote "rediscovery of the sounds of everyday life" and combat noise pollution. Is it just me, or is that kinda, well, Japanese?

This is from a 2011 souvenir sheet on Peter Rabbit. This one shows Peter meeting Mr. MacGregor.

Toscana, Italy

This card is from the favorites tag. Toscana, or Tuscany in English, is a region in Italy that was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Many historical and literary greats made Tuscany their home, including Petrarch, Galileo, Dante, Leondardo da Vinci, and Puccini. Tuscany is also famous for its wine. I'm not sure about geese, though. ;)

The stamp, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, was issued in January 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
I'll let you guys google that yourselves.

Angkor Wat

My first card from Cambodia. I've known that a card from there was on its way for the past few weeks, and today as I walked up the steps to my house coming home from work, I suddenly remembered and thought maybe it'll be here today, and lo and behold, there it was. I got the biggest smile on my face...

maybe about as big as in this picture

maybe even bigger.

The stamp says 1998, but other than that I don't know anything about it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ostrava, Czech Republic

This post goes out to Misa and Patrick, just married in the Czech Republic. Congratulations!! They are friends of a friend who requested a commemorative post. :)


This is an official that came without an ID and I had to submit a missing ID search request before I could register it. I was trying to decide what card to post to commemorate a wedding and eventually decided on this card because the person who designed the card was obviously very excited about Ostrava, as we should be at a wedding! ;)

Ostrava is the third-largest city in the Czech Republic. The area has been permanently inhabited for the past 25,000 years - wow! Since the 18th century, its main industry has been mining the black coal found in the area, and because of that it suffered heavy bombing in world war two. Mining was stopped after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and now most heavy industry companies are being closed down.

Ostrava has an international music festival every July called Colours of Ostrava. Last year performers included Regina Spektor, the Proclaimers, Afro Celt Sound System, and the Cranberries, and the festival sold out in advance. Looks like this might have to be on my list of music festivals to attend someday!

I can't get a year of issue off the stamp, but the person pictured is Alois Musil, a Czech explorer of the Middle East.

Stamped Card: Koala


This prepaid postcard of a sleeping koala is an official, AU-65188. I figured it was appropriate since I spent a good portion of the day napping and I think my housemate is doing the same thing. I stayed out until 1:30am at a concert last night and I woke up at 5 to see my friend go in the water for a triathlon.

Although people often refer to them as "koala bears," koalas are in fact marsupials, not bears. Their closest living relative is the wombat. They are found in coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia. The word "koala" comes from the animal's name in Dharuk, an endangered Aboriginal language.

Koalas have opposable thumbs on their hands and feet and have fingerprints that are hard to distinguish from human ones (according to wikipedia). They spend most of their time in trees and most of their waking time eating eucalyptus leaves.

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

This official card (BN-1139) came from China in an envelope from a user who later got banned for hacking a way to have his sender address (Brunei) different from his receiver address (China). Given that, I have to wonder if this isn't a hoax card. It certainly looks like a real, commercially-printed postcard, and it has a stamp and a postmark, but it wasn't sent in the mail. I guess he could have gone on a trip to Brunei, bought a bunch of postcards and had them postmark them at a post office, then brought them back to China to send at his leisure... I guess I think that's the most likely scenario. Anyway, I can hardly argue with a written and stamped card from this rare country!

It shows the Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in the capital city of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan. According to the back of the card, "with its intricately ornamented minarets and shimmering golden domes clearly visible along the main route into town from the airport, the Kiarong Mosque, as it is locally known, towers over landscaped terrain dotted with fountains." Tourists who enter the mosque are asked to remove their shoes and wear black robes while on the tour. They are also prohibited from taking pictures of the place of prayer.

Brunei is a little country located on the island of Borneo, surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak except for its coastline on the South China Sea. It is a predominantly Muslim nation and the official language is Brunei Malay.

Brunei isn't a member of the UPU and their postal website only has images of 2 stamps on it, so I can't verify that this is a bona fide postal stamp, but it looks like it to me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Netherlands Kiddie Art


NL-286196 from a primary school class in Steenwijk, the Netherlands. "This year we laern how to speak Englisch. We hope you like our card! We made it ourselvis." Cute! :)

Normal stamp, so I won't post it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Night Train

Night Train
From exmellie for the June 2010 RR. I got to choose this from her offers album and I really like it. She says the piece is called "Night Train," but didn't say who the artist is. Anyone?

Two copies of a racoon from a 2008 issue on wild animals, plus two from a set of garden flowers: tulip and lily.

Finnish Forest

FI-806216 - a nice summer day in Finland, according to the sender. I believe these are birch trees. No idea where in Finland though.

One in a set of 6 Moomin stamps from 2009.

Great Lakes, USA

Great Lakes Tall Ships

It is a good day for tall ships, I think. I got this card from the favorites tag, so you know it is a good one. :) The back of the card reads "Tall Ships with the wind in their sails make a spectacular sight on the Great Lakes waters." The Great Lakes, located in the northeastern United States, consist of the freshwater lakes Superior, Michigan, Erie, Huron, and Ontario. Apparently some Americans refer to them as the "Third Coast," although as a Pacific Coast denizen I have to disagree...

The domestic postcard rate recently increased by one cent, so they issued new stamps in the denomination of 29¢. This is oregano in a set of five herbs.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moscow, Russia

The Ascension Church in Kolomenskoe, Moscow, Russia, is one of the places that I like receiving multiple cards of (as long as the pictures are different, of course). It is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994. Built in 1532, it is one of the earliest tent-roofed churches in Russia, and the earliest extant structure of this town, which became Kolomenskoye, an estate of the grand princes of Muscovy. It was actually built to commemorate the birth of a prince who would grow up to be Ivan the Terrible.

Kolomenskoe, Moscow
RU-182195 from Katya. She writes about walking in the park with her grandmother as a little girl, pretending to be alone on an old planet when there were no people there. Now, however, it is a popular spot and there are always people there, even in her old secret places.

Kolomenskoe, Moscow
From Olga for the UNESCO round robin group.

Kolomenskoe, Moscow
From a different Olga for the June 2010 RR.

So many awesome stamps!!

The two stamps on the right are from a 2004 set of four stamps on wolverines. On the left is an eagle from a 2005 joint issue by Russia and Belarus.

On the right are two stamps from a 2009 set of 4 on "Culture of the Russian People - National Head Dress." The gentleman on the far right is sporting a men's hat from Tver Province in the latter half of the 19th century. The woman in the center is sporting a headdress from Nizhniy Novgorod Province, mid-19th century. The stamp on the left is a painting by M.A. Vrubel called "The Swan Princess." It was issued in 2006 in a set of two (the other was a self-portrait by the same artist).

On the bottom are two definitives, Kolomna Kremlin from 2009 and a rabbit from 2008. Upper right is the EUROPA 2010 issue on children's books. Upper left is the fountain of Nizhniy Novgorod from set of 4 Fountains of Russia.

Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysia

This is by far the most magnificent card I have ever gotten in the Native Plants tag. :) According to the sender, the native plant (bottom right) is called periuk kera, or monkey's pot. This species, Rafflesia keithii, can only be found in Borneo, and it is the state flower of the Malaysian state of Sabah - and the sender has never actually seen it in real life! It has no stems, leaves or roots, as it is an endoparasite, most of the plant growing inside the host vines. The only part of the plant you can see is the flower, which looks and smells like rotting flesh. Yum! (Although I have been watching a lot of Bones lately, even while eating.) Apparently, men sometimes use it as an energy drink or an aphrodisiac...

Moving on.
I'm not sure about the date of issue on the stamps, but I think they are definitives. The one on the left is the ochraceous bulbul (Alophoixus ochraceus) and the one on the right is the spotted dove (Streptopelia chinensis).

Sofia, Bulgaria

This is a combined historic/contemporary cityview of Sofia, the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The bottom part is a watercolor by Josef Oberbauer called "Sofia in 1907."

This is my only card from Bulgaria. Since it doesn't have an ID I think it must be from a private swap, but I don't remember it!

The Bulgaria post website has no stamp information in English. The stamp is dated 2006. Bulgaria is an International Postal Union member, but the 2006 issuing program isn't available on their website. So - another mystery!