Friday, 17 March 2017

Switzerland: 200th Anniversary of the Bicycle

The first verifiable claim for a practically used bicycle belongs to German Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany. Drais invented his Laufmaschine (German for "running machine") of 1817 that was called Draisine (English) or draisienne (French) by the press. Today, 200 years later, the bicycle is seen as an efficient and highly ecological means of transport that enhances the quality of life. Like in many other countries Bicycles are very popular in Switzerland, too. Swiss Post celebrates this event with a set of two different Stamps (CHF 1.00 Draisine and CHF 1.00 Modern Bicycle).

200th anniversary of the bicycle (full set) - Issued: 02-03-2017

Many thanks to Hansjürg for this great cover!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Germany: Town Musicians of Bremen

Like every year the german post issued a stamp series dedicated to Welfare. This year's Welfare Stamps Theme is "Town Musicians of Bremen". It is a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster (or hen), all past their prime years in life and usefulness on their respective farms, were soon to be discarded or mistreated by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together. They decide to go to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there.

The Set of welfare stamps includes three different motifs out of this fairy tale: 1.  „Freunde treffen“ (70 Cent + 30 Cent), 2. "Der Überfall" (85 Cent + 40 Cent) and 3. "Im Neuen Zuhause" (145 Cent + 55 Cent).

Charity Stamps - Town Musicians of Bremen (full set) - Issued: 09-02-2017 with Special First-Day of Issue Postmark

Thursday, 9 March 2017

France: "Coeurs Balmain"

Since the year 2000 the French Post issued a series of heart-shaped stamps. In the past, luxury designers like Lanvin, Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent have been selected to design the annual heart-shaped stamp, and this year, Balmain's Olivier Rousteing has been recruited.

Valentine's Day "Coeurs Balmain" (full set) - Issued: 20-01-2017

Many thanks to Eric for this great Cover!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Gibraltar: John Lennon & Yoko Ono

My first covers from Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 and shares its northern border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.

The stamps are showing John Lennon and Yoko Ono on their Marriage on 20th March 1969 in Gibraltar. John Lennon said: "We chose Gibraltar because it is quiet, British and friendly (...)".

I sent another cover to Gibraltar in October 2016 but the postmark was not very clear:

John Lennon - Issued: 20-03-1999

Monday, 20 February 2017

Germany: The Girl with the Wine Glass

The Girl with the Wine Glass (Dame en twee heren) is a painting by Johannes Vermeer from 1659-1660. Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. The Painting can be seen in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig, Germany.

Treasures of German Museums - Paintings (from a set of two) - Issued: 02-01-2017 with special First Day of Issue Postmark

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Kenya: African Safari

Some days ago I received my first card from Kenya. Officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa and a founding member of the East African Community (EAC). Its capital and largest city is Nairobi. It is bordered by Tanzania to the south and southwest, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 sq mi), and had a population of approximately 48 million people in January 2017.

Kenya has considerable land area devoted to wildlife habitats, including the Masai Mara, where blue wildebeest and other bovids participate in a large scale annual migration. More than 1 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras participate in the migration across the Mara River.The "Big Five" game animals of Africa, that is the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant, can be found in Kenya and in the Masai Mara in particular.

African Fish Eagle (from a set of 9) - Issued: 00-00-2014

Many thanks to Ramona for this great card!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

USA: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is said to be a founding member of the Justice League, demigoddess, and warrior princess of the Amazonian people. In her homeland, she is Princess Diana of Themyscira, and outside of her homeland, she is known by her civilian identity Diana Prince. Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, with his wife and co-creator Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and artist H. G. Peter. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986. In 2016 The U.S. Postal Service celebrates Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with a set of four stamps.

The 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman (from a set of four) - Issued: 07-10-2016 with Special First Day of Issue Postmark

Many thanks to Eric for this great Card!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Germany: Reformation 500th Anniversary

On October 31, 2017, Martin Luther’s recorded posting of the 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberger church castle celebrates its 500th anniversary. The Protestant Reformation, often referred to simply as the Reformation (from Latin reformatio, lit. "restoration, renewal"), was a schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther and continued by John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and other early Protestant Reformers in 16th century Europe. Martin Luther is widely acknowledged to have started the Reformation with his 1517 work The Ninety-Five Theses.

The Luther Bible - Issued: 02-01-2017 with sSpecial Cancellation

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Singapore: Flag of Singapore

A happy (belated) New Year to everyone. This is my first Post in 2017 and it comes with a nice card from Singapore. It shows the national flag of the country. The national flag of Singapore was adopted in 1959, the year Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire. It was reconfirmed as the national flag when the republic gained independence on 9 August 1965. The five stars on the flag stand for democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

Festivals (from a set of 8) - Issued: 19-10-2016

Many thanks again to Vivian for this card!

Monday, 26 December 2016

Greenland: Christmas Card from Santa Claus Post Office

This nice Christmas Card comes from Greenland. It got one of the new Christmas stamp from Greenland and a special postmark from Santa Claus Post Office. Greenland Post Service uses this postmark only during the period 1st – 30th December 2016.

Christmas (from a set of two) - Issued: 17-10-2016

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Antarctica: Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station

I received this special cover yesterday. It took a long way from Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is a United States scientific research station at the South Pole, the southernmost place on the Earth. The station is located on the high plateau of Antarctica at an elevation of 2,835 metres (9,301 feet) above sea level and is administered by the Division of Polar Programs within the National Science Foundation under the United States Antarctic Program (USAP).

The original South Pole station, now referred to as "Old Pole", was constructed by an 18-man United States Navy crew during 1956–1957. It was then moved and rebuilt in 1975 as a geodesic dome 50 meters (160 feet) wide and 16 meters (52 feet) high, with 14 m × 24 m (46 ft × 79 ft) steel archways, modular buildings, fuel bladders and equipment.

The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Scientific Station is the southernmost habitation on Earth. It is continuously inhabited. Its name honors Roald Amundsen, whose Norwegian expedition reached the Geographic South Pole in December 1911, and Robert F. Scott, whose British expedition of five men reached the South Pole about one month later (in January 1912) in a race to become the first person ever to reach the South Pole. All of Scott's expedition perished during the journey back towards the coast, while all of Amundsen's expedition returned safely to their base on the seacoast of the continent.

3x Go Green (from a set of 16) - Issued: 14-04-2011
+ added at the South Pole Post Office (i guess) a special stamp with great cancellation!

This is also my 300th Post - many thanks to all for sending me nice cards and covers! Keep it up! ;)

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Germany: Christmas Stamps

As every year the German Post issued two christmas related stamps. The first one shows a scene of the Hortus deliciarum (Latin: Garden of Delights). Its a medieval manuscript compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace, better known today as Mont Sainte-Odile. It was an illuminated encyclopedia, begun in 1167 as a pedagogical tool for young novices at the convent. It is the first encyclopedia that was evidently written by a woman. The scene shows the "Annunciation to the shepherds".

Christmas - Issued: 02-11-2016 with special Postmark from Engelskrichen

The second stamp shows a very famous part of the christmas tree decoration. The bauble is one of the most popular Christmas ornament designs, and they have been in production since 1847. The german town of Lauscha in Thuringia is known as "Home" of the Christmas Baubles because of its traditional  glassblowing.

The stamps was planned to be issued on 2nd November, but because of some misspelling on the stamp it was issued on 30th November.

Christmas - Issued: 30-11-2016 with special first day of Issued postmark

Saturday, 3 December 2016

USA: President Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to be elected to office and the first president born outside the contiguous United States. In 2009 Obama was named the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. After being re-elected in 2012, President Obama is currently serving his second and final term, which will end in January 2017. He will be succeeded by Donald John Trump.

Stamps: (from left to right)
The White House - Issued: 18-10-2000
2x The 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman (from a set of four) - Issued: 17-10-2016

Many thanks to Eric for this great card!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Tristan da Cunha: Return-to-Sender from Tristan da Cunha

Some weeks ago, I received my Cover back from Tristan da Cunha. Tristan da Cunha is the name of both a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) from the nearest inhabited land, Saint Helena, and 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) from the nearest continental land, South Africa. As of September 2016, the main island has 265 permanent inhabitants. Meanwhile, the other islands are uninhabited, except for the personnel of a weather station on Gough Island.

Tristan da Cunha is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. This includes Saint Helena and equatorial Ascension Island, some 3,730 kilometres (2,318 mi) to the north of Tristan.

I sent my cover on April 21st 2016 and it arrived back after 198 days on November 5th.

Definitive Issue - Flowers "Narcissus sp." - Issued: 02-01-2006

Sunday, 27 November 2016

France: The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Verdun

The Battle of Verdun (fr: "Bataille de Verdun"), fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, was one of the largest and longest battles of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies. An estimate in 2000 found a total of 714,231 casualties, 377,231 French and 337,000 German, an average of 70,000 casualties a month; other recent estimates increase the number of casualties to 976,000, with 1,250,000 suffered at Verdun during the war. The Battle of Verdun lasted for 303 days and became the longest and one of the most costly battles in human history.

Inside the cover I found this sheet with the stamp on it and the First-Day-Cancellation and a mint stamp:

The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Verdun - Issued: 29-05-2016

Many thanks to Roland for this great Cover!

Germany: The 125th Anniversary of the Birth of Otto Dix (1891-1969)

Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.

The 125th Anniversary of the Birth of Otto Dix (1891-1969) - Issued: 02-11-2016 with Special Postmark

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Russia: Elista

Elista (Russian: Элиста) is the capital city of the Republic of Kalmykia, Russia with a Population of 103,749. It is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by a plurality of the population. It has become well known as an international center for chess. Its former President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is the head of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). As you see on the cards, the town center has a number of renovated public parks focused on the main square, boasting statues to both Lenin and the Buddha.

5x Definitive Issue. Kremlins "Pskov Kremlin" (from a set of 12) - Issued: 01-10-2009
2x Definitive Issue. Kremlins "Kolomna Kremlin" (from a set of 12) - Issued: 01-10-2009

Thanks to Olya for sending me the cards in an envelope!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Switzerland: Valle Verzasca

The Valle Verzasca is a valley in the Locarno district of the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland. It comprises the municipalities of Mergoscia, Vogorno, Corippo, Lavertezzo, Brione, Gerra, Frasco, and Sonogno. As of 2004, the total population of 3,200. Mergoscia is at the geographical center of the Ticino, and none of the passes out of the valley cross cantonal or national borders. The valley is formed by the Verzasca River and is situated between the Leventina and the Maggia and culminates at Pizzo Barone. On the stamp you can also see the "Ponte Romano" also called "Ponte dei salti" which crosses the Verzasca river in Lavertezzo. After its partial destruction occured in 1868 it has been reconstructed in 1960.

Tourism - Swiss Countryside "Valle Verzasca" - Issued: 08-09-2016 with Last-Day-of-Use Postmark of Concise

Many thanks again to Hansjürg for this great cover! 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

USA: Unalaska, AK

Unalaska is the largest city of the Aleutian Islands. The city is in the Aleutians West Census Area, a regional component of the Unorganized Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The population was 4,376 at the 2010 census, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska is the second-largest city in the Unorganized Borough, behind Bethel.

I printed the state Flag on the cover. The flag consists of eight gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and Polaris, on a dark blue field. The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major which symbolizes a bear, an animal indigenous to Alaska.

3x Go Green (from a set of 16) - Issued: 14-04-2011

Monday, 7 November 2016

Belarus: Minsk

Minsk (Belarusian: Мінск) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Nyamiha rivers. In 2013, it had a population of 2,002,600. On the card you can see from left to right a View of the City at night, the Independence Square, the Station Square "Gates of Minsk", the General Post Office and the Trinity Suburb.

Edible Mushrooms (from a set of 8) - Issued: 10-09-2013

Many thanks to Vera for this nice card!

Germany: Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a city situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. The fifth-largest town in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2011, over 149,000 people lived in the city. On the main picture of the card, on the stamp and one the postmark, you can see the The Karl Theodor Bridge (German: Karl-Theodor-Brücke), commonly known as the Old Bridge (German: Alte Brücke). It is a stone bridge crossing the Neckar River. It connects the Old City with the eastern part of the Neuenheim district of the city on the opposite bank. The current bridge, made of Neckar Valley Sandstone and the ninth built on the site, was constructed in 1788 by Elector Charles Theodore, and is one of the best-known landmarks and tourist destinations in Heidelberg.

Tourism - Germany's Most Beautiful Panoramas "Heidelberg" - Issued: 05-09-2013

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Norway: Jan Mayen

Finally, after over half a year of waiting, my cover from Jan Mayen, Norway arrived. Jan Mayen is a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean and a part of Norway. It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers. It has two parts: larger northeast Nord-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide isthmus. It lies 600 km (370 mi) northeast of Iceland, 500 km (310 mi) east of central Greenland and 1,000 km (620 mi) west of the North Cape, Norway.

The cover was canceled with the updated Jan Mayen-Postmark on its First Day (01.04.2016)

Tourism - Oslo Viking Ship Museum (from a set of 3) - Issued: 28-04-2014

♁ 71°00′N 8°30′W

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. Gardens by the Bay is part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. The park is quite popular, with 6.4 million visitors in 2014, and it had its 20 millionth visitor in November 2015.

50 Years of National Day Parade (from a set of 6) - Issued: 08-08-2016

Thanks again to Vivian for this great card!

Singapore: Marina Bay

Marina Bay is a bay located in the Central Area of Singapore surrounded by the perimeter of four other planning areas, the Downtown Core, Marina East, Marina South and Straits View. The area surrounding the bay itself, also called Marina Bay, is a 360 hectare extension to the adjacent Central Business District. On the left side of the card you can see Marina Bay Sands. Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay built by the South Korean company Ssangyong Engineering and Construction and completed in 2010. The resort includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-metre (1,300,000 sq ft) convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000 m2 (800,000 sq ft) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340-metre-long (1,120 ft) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150 m (490 ft) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 m (220 ft).

Definitives - Vanishing Trades (from a set of 4) - Issued: 26-11-2014

Many thanks to Vivian for this nice card!