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!

Monday, 17 October 2016

USA: Harvard University

Harvard University is a private, Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 1636, whose history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities. Established originally by the Massachusetts legislature and soon thereafter named for John Harvard (its first benefactor), Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Harvard's alumni include eight U.S. presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 335 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars.To date, some 150 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists and 13 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or staff.

The card shows the the Logo and the Motto of the University which is "Veritas" and means "Truth".

from the left:
State Flags "Nevada" (from a set of 5) - Issued: 23-02-1976
Eid Greetings - Issued: 10-06-2016
Mount Rainier National Park - Issued: 02-06-2016
American Design "Silver Coffeepot" - Issued: 16-03-2007
American Toleware - Issued: 31-05-2002

Many thanks to Arnold for this great Card!

Spain: Bilbao

Bilbao is a municipality and city in Spain, a major city in the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. It is the largest municipality of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and the tenth largest in Spain, with a population of 353,187 in 2010. Bilbao is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum of contemporary art, designed by Frank Gehry and opened on 19 October 1997.

Protected Fauna (from a set of 3) - Issued: 18-07-2016

Many thanks to Jaime for this card!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Belgium: Antwerp

Antwerp (Dutch: Antwerpen, French: Anvers) is a city in Belgium, the capital of Antwerp province in the region of Flanders. With a population of 510,610, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people, which is second behind Brussels. The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century. The city also hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics.

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)  - Issued: 25-06-2012

Thanks Sabrina, Michael and Niklas for this nice card!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

UK: Eilen Donan Castle, Scotland

Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Donnain) is a small tidal island where three lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland. A picturesque castle that frequently appears in photographs, film and television dominates the island, which lies about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the village of Dornie. Since the castle's restoration in the early 20th century, a footbridge has connected the island to the mainland.

The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century, the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions led in 1719 to the castle's destruction by government ships. Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap's twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins produced the present buildings.

with matching stamp:

Universal Mail UK - Scottish Icons (from a set of 5) - Issued: 07-2013

Thanks to Roswitha & Gerhard for this card!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Chile: Return-to-Sender from Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas (or Sandy Point in English) is the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. The city was officially renamed Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to Punta Arenas. It is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south.

Located on the Brunswick Peninsula north of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas was originally established by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony to assert sovereignty over the Strait. During the remainder of the 1800s, Punta Arenas grew in size and importance due to the increasing maritime traffic and trade traveling to the west coasts of South and North America. This period of growth also resulted from the waves of European immigrants, mainly from Croatia and Russia attracted to the gold rush and sheep farming boom in the 1880s and early 1900s.

Since its founding Chile has used Punta Arenas as a base to defend its sovereignty claims in the southernmost part of South America. This led, among other things, to the Strait of Magellan being recognized as Chilean territory in the Boundary treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina. The geopolitical importance of Punta Arenas has remained high in the 20th and 21st centuries because of its logistic importance in accessing the Antarctic Peninsula.

I sent this cover on 13th May and it arrived back after 148 days on 8th October, unfortunatly with a lost/stolen stamp.

The 500th Anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law - Issued: 07-04-2016

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Switzerland: New Swiss Definitive Stamps (Swiss Railway Stations)

On 8th September 2016 the Swiss Post issued a new set of definitive stamps with the theme of “Swiss railway stations”. The series will replace all definitive stamps by 2018. Brig, Lucerne, Bellinzona and Geneva are the first to be featured.

Bellinzona railway station (Italian: Stazione di Bellinzona) serves the city of Bellinzona, in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland. It is on the Swiss Federal Railways' Gotthard line.

Swiss Railway Stations "Bellinzona" - Issued: 08-09-2016

UPDATE 08-10-2016:

Some days ago I received another cover with two other stamps of this definitives series.

The left one shows Brig railway station. It is an important railway junction in the municipality of Brig-Glis (French: Brigue-Glis), in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. Opened in 1906, it is adjacent to the northern portal of the Simplon Tunnel, and is served by three standard gauge lines and two metre gauge lines.

The right one shows Lucerne railway station (German: Bahnhof Luzern). It is a major hub of the rail network of Switzerland, in the city of Lucerne in the canton of Lucerne. It is a terminal station serving domestic and international traffic on several rail lines, and is situated in a city centre and waterfront location on the south side of Lake Lucerne.

left: Swiss Railway Stations "Brig" - Issued: 08-09-2016
right: Swiss Railway Stations "Lucerne" - Issued: 08-09-2016

Many thanks to Hansjürg for these nice Cover!

Friday, 23 September 2016

France: The 300th Anniversary of the Battle of Denain

The Battle of Denain was fought on 24 July 1712, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. It resulted in a French victory under Marshal Villars against Austrian and Dutch forces under Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Mini Sheet Stamp shows a picture of Marshal Villars leads the French charge at the Battle of Denain. A picture from 1839 by Jean Alaux.

left: Chinese New Year "Year of the Tiger" - Issued: 15-01-2010
right: Minisheet The 300th Anniversary of the Battle of Denain - Issued: 12-05-2012

Many thanks to Jean for this nice Cover!

Germany: Siegen

Siegen is a city in Germany, in the south Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is located in the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein in the Arnsberg region. The university town (18.600 students in the 2013–2014 winter semester) is the district seat. In 2015 the city population was about 103.000. On the card you see St. Nicholas’ church (Nikolaikirche) with its coronet, the city’s landmark.

Lighthouses "Staberhuk" (from a set of two) - Issued: 07-07-2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Canada: University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo (commonly referred to as Waterloo, UW or UWaterloo) is a public research university with a main campus located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The institution was established on 1 July 1957 as the Waterloo College Associate Faculties, a semi-autonomous entity of Waterloo College, then an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario. he university is co-educational, and as of 2016 has 30,600 undergraduate and 5,300 postgraduate students.

Canadian Photography "Grey Owl" - Issued: 13-04-2016

Many thanks to Nancy!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

France: Calvi (Corsica)

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the Italian island of Sardinia. Calvi is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on Corsica. Calvi is also the capital of the Arrondissement of Calvi, which contains, besides the Canton of Calvi, three other cantons: L'Île-Rousse, Belgodère, and Calenzana. According to legend, Christopher Columbus supposedly came from Calvi, which at the time was part of the Genoese Empire. Because the often subversive elements of the island gave its inhabitants a bad reputation, he would have been expected to mask his exact birthplace.

Marianne (Blue) - Issued: 04-09-2015

Thanks to Ramona for this nice card!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

USA: "Star Trek" 50th Anniversary

Exactly 50 years ago, on 8th September 1966, a science fiction television series called "Star Trek", debuts on NBC in the United States with its first episode, titled "The Man Trap". Since that Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon for decades. But did you know that after three seasons the original series was canceled in 1969 because of poor ratings? However, today the Star Trek franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics and addicted millions of so-called "Trekkies". Like Canada earlier this year, the US Postal Service commemorates this with special series of four stamps issued on 2nd September 2016. 

I'm very lucky to receive these nice cards today. They show two of the main characters of the series. First, Mr. Spock (played by: Leonard Nimoy) and second Captain Kirk, aka: James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk (played by: William Shatner)

left: North American Wildlife (from a set of 50) - Issued: 13-06-1987
right:  "Star Trek" 50th Anniversary (from a set of four) - Issued: 02-09-2016

left: North American Wildlife (from a set of 50) - Issued: 13-06-1987
right: right:  "Star Trek" 50th Anniversary (from a set of four) - Issued: 02-09-2016 

Many thanks to Eric for these great Cards and Stamps with Cancellation on First Day!