Thursday, June 9, 2016


In honour of this blog's sixth birthday, a blast from the past! This card from the archives was sent to me by my Mum when my postcard collection was really in its infancy, just a handful of cards tacked up to my bedroom wall. My Mum, well-travelled lady that she is, has contributed considerably to my collection, and I can never thank her enough for taking time out of her holidays to track down stamps, cards and errant post offices to indulge my postcard folly. Merci bien, maman!

Card shows Harrismith Beach on the southeast coast of Barbados.

Stamp on the left commemorates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Barbados Museum in 1933. Stamp on the right from the 1989 definitive set of 16 features Centrosema virginianum, or wild pea, a common vine throughout most of the Americas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Postcard showing Sultan Ahmed Mosque and the Sea of Marmara beyond. It was built between 1609 and 1619 by Sultan Ahmet I, who decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul to reassert Ottoman power following losses in Central Europe and Persia. It incorporates some Byzantine Christian elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. Part of the Historic Areas of Istanbul World Heritage site. Many thanks and teşekkürler to my Mum for sending this to me while on holiday.

Stamp on the left is the 1998 definitive of Kemal Atatürk, seen as the founder of modern Turkey (and a first-rate Dracula impersonator, by the looks of it). Stamp on the right is from a 2000 set of four about crocuses, and features the snow crocus, Crocus chrysanthus. It is native to Turkey and the Balkans and flowers very early in the spring, often pushing up through the snow.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Multiview postcard of Malta, showing the country's namesake Maltese Cross, the harbour of capital city Valetta, with fortifications forming part of the City of Valletta World Heritage site, and some traditional wooden fishing boats. Thank you and grazzi ħafna to friend Sam who went to Malta to visit relatives.

Stamps are from a 2002 set of four on endangered species, showing seahorses of the Mediterranean. Shown are the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus, and the short-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, both of which live in the waters around Malta.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ross Dependency

My second attempt at getting a card from Ross Dependency, with a pretty spectac payoff with this card of an explorer from the 1910–1913 Antarctic Expedition sledding past a glacier in front of Mount Erebus. Mount Erebus is the most southerly volcano in the world and, despite it’s remote location, is regularly studied by the nearby McMurdo and Scott research stations on nearby Ross Island.

This completes my collection of Antarctic postal agencies. It's the first complete continent in my collection! Perhaps not the greatest feat when there are just four postal agencies for the continent (Australian Antarctic Territory, British Antarctic Territory, French Antarctic and Southern Lands, Ross Dependency), but my first continent nonetheless! :-)

Quite interestingly for avid postcards nerds like myself, it would seem that the postcard actually did make it all the way to Antarctica, judging by all the extra expedition stamps that made it on to the card. — Ross Dependency is New Zealand’s Antarctic territory. In the past, Ross Dependency post was all processed in Christchurch, on mainland New Zealand, and was never sent for processing in Antarctica. Even if the mail was actually send from an Antarctic research base, post was sent to Christchurch (and cancellation stamps would say “Christchurch”). Now, the cancellation says “Ross Dependency” and has come along with stamps from New Zealand’s Scott Base. Colour me one happy postcard camper!


Postcard of Tbilisi city centre, capital of Georgia, a country that shouldn't have been that hard to add into to collection – I've had Armenia and Azerbaijan for years – but has eluded me until now. Many thanks and მადლობა to friend Andy who was in Georgia on holiday. Card shows a part of the Tbilisi Historic District site on Georgia's Tentative List for World Heritage, and the undulating green Bridge of Peace that links the old and new parts of the city.

Stamp is from the 2012 Europa series promoting tourism and features the Gergeti Glacier on Mount Kazbek, one of the highest in the Caucasus Range.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

This card shows Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque – originally known as Saint Nicholas's Cathedral – in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. It was consecrated as a Catholic cathedral in 1328 and was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire captured Famagusta in 1571. It remains a mosque to this day. The building strongly resembles Reims Cathedral and its Rayonnant Gothic style is quite rare outside of France.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has eluded me for quite a long time, so a massive "thank you" is due to Rosaleen and John, my better half's mother's neighbours, who took time out of their holiday and looked past our very tenuous connection to send this card to me. And another big thanks to Annette for talking me up to the neighbours and arranging for this card to be sent. I'm forever grateful to you all.

Information about Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus stamps is rather hard to come by. Beyond saying that they were released in 2015 and, quite clearly, feature a dog, not much more I can add. Cute dog though.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Happy World Post Day! World Post Day is celebrated every year on 9 October, to commemorate the foundation of Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Bern.

To celebrate, a postcard of Nærøyfjord, a branch of Sogne fjord, the largest fjord in Norway and the longest in the world. The fjord is quite narrow and picturesque – said to be the inspiration for Arendelle in Frozen. It is part of the West Norway Fjords World Heritage site. Tusen takk to my Mum for sending this card to me on her recent cruise of the Norwegian coast.

Permanent rate stamp from 2013 set of six featuring tourism activities. Pictured is whitewater rafting on the Sjoa River in Central Norway.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Postcard of Paramaribo, the capital of South America's only Dutch-speaking country. It's also home to nearly half of the entire population of the country. The city was founded in 1603 and switched between Dutch and English control several times in its early history. The historic inner city of Paramaribo is a World Heritage Site (although I'm not entirely sure that is pictured here). Many thanks and dank je to Sherwin for swapping with me!

Stamps on the left are from a 2008 set of five on local birds. Pictured is a white-necked jacobin, Florisuga mellivora, a large hummingbird common to northern South America. Stamps on the right feature another hummingbird found in Suriname's jungles, the grey-breasted sabrewing, Campylopterus largipennis. From the 1977 definitive set.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Postcard of a site that needs hardly and introduction, Machu Picchu. Built by the Inca around 1450 and abandoned around the time of the Spanish Conquest, it is now one of the New Seven Wonder of the World and a World Heritage site. Muchas gracias to my Mum for sending this to me while on holiday in South America.

The stamp, issued in 2009, commemorates the National Archaeology, Anthropology, and History Museum of Peru. Founded in 1826, it is the largest and oldest museum in Peru and covers the entire human history of the country.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cambodia III

Postcard showing the National Museum in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The Museum was open in 1920 by the French colonial government and houses the world's largest collection of Khmer art. It was shut and abandoned during the Khmer Rouge period from 1975 to 1979. When it was reopened, the roof had rotted in places and it housed a huge colony of bats which were only able to be completely removed over the course of some 15 years.

Stamp issued in 2001 commemorating the 80th birthday of then King Sihanouk.