Thursday, April 26, 2012


This postcard, which arrived really quite mangled, shows the Prince's Palace of Monaco, the official residence of the Monagesque royal family built atop a rocky crag jetting into the azure Mediterranean Sea. Constructed in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. Unlike other European monarchs who built luxurious, Renaissance and Baroque palaces over the centuries, the Grimaldi's have used the same royal residence for more than 700 years.

A stamp commemorating the centenary of the Monte Carlo Golf Club, which, given the extremely limited amount of available land in tiny Monaco, is actually located several kilometres beyond the borders of the Principality. The second stamp commemorates the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament, which, given the extremely limited amount of available land in tiny Monaco, is also held outside the borders of the country!

As I continue adding to this blog, I've noticed an inordinate number that I've sent from islands. Islands have been fascinating to me since I was very young, so I've decided to add and "Islands" label.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Canada – British Colombia II

Postcard featuring Science World in Vancouver, which started life as the Expo Centre for Expo 86. Expo 86 was a World's Fair held in Vancouver with the theme "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch", which coincided with Vancouver's centennial. It was the second time that Canada held a World's Fair, the first being Expo 67 in Montreal during the Canadian Centennial. It was quite a popular fair with over 20 million visitors, one of whom was a wide-eyed 7 year-old me who was very over-awed with all the different countries and peoples who were represented there.

A set of two permanent domestic rate stamps commemorating the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Singaporean postcard showing the Baba House, a demonstration project to promote Singapore's built heritage run jointly by the National University of Singapore and Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority. The building was built in the 1860s and was home to a wealthy shipping magnate. It exudes the architectural and artistic richness of houses from the period. Singapore's distinctive built heritage was largely ignored and fell into decline in the post-War period, so the Urban Redevelopment Authority began a project of sensitive restoration of showcase buildings which would encourage wider appreciation of and protection  for these beautiful old buildings.

The Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, is a large kingfisher living in the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia that eats fish, frogs, crabs, rodents and young birds. The stamp is from a 2007 series featuring flora and fauna of the island.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Tioman Island lies off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. The densely forested island is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot. It's also a popular beach resort and its beaches were used in the movie South Pacific as Bali Hai. Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rainforest is a strictly enforced nature reserve.

Thanks to Kate, who was holidaying there!

The stamp depicts a green-winged pigeon, (Chalcophaps indica), also known as also the common emerald dove. It is a widespread resident breeding bird in tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and northern and eastern Australia. 

And a special congratulations to collector Glenn who just received a card from Equatorial Guinea, surely one of the most difficult countries from which to receive a card. Way to go!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

French Southern and Antarctic Lands – Crozet

The Roche Percée off the coast of Possession Island, which is part of the subantarctic Crozet Archipelago, located halfway between Madagascar and Antarctica. The island is an important breeding site for seabirds and is also home to the French research station, Alfred Faure, which is where the card was postmarked. Alfred Faure is visited a few times a year by an oceanographic research vessel that delivers supplies and rotating crews of scientists, so this card had quite a journey to get there and back to me!

Set of two stamps from a series featuring minerals found in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands territory.

United States of America – Texas

A vintage postcard of the Fort Worth Stockyards, a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, that opened in 1866 as a livestock market. The city of Fort Worth was often referred to as "Where the West Begins", and it became a vital transshipment point for western cattle after the arrival of railroads.

Thanks to Jennifer who was visiting and can indeed confirm that Fort Worth lives up to its Wild West heritage!

Permanent rate stamps issued in 2011 showing, very obviously, the American flag and the Statue of Liberty.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Canada – Québec

This card shows Quebec City's famous Château Frontenac, the Haute-Ville (Upper Town), and the Saint Laurence River beyond. Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608, making it one of the oldest settlements in Canada. It is the only North American city to have preserved its city walls, and is a part of the Historic District of Old Québec UNESCO World Heritage site as one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city. The Haute-Ville, built on the top of the well-protected cliff of Cap Diamant, became the religious, administrative and military centre of the city, while the Basse-Ville (Lower Town) was populated with merchants and craftsmen, whose work was often linked to the river.

Thanks to Paul who was visiting.

Permanent rate stamps from 2007 featuring a Odontioda Island Red Orchid, about which I could find no information. Somewhat strange, then, that Canada Post would use it for their permanent rate stamp.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Senegal multiview showing a traditional millet granary on stilts and the bridge to Fadiouth, an island made largely of clam shells; home to both a large Muslim and Christian population and birthplace of Senegal's first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, who was also a famed writer, poet and post-colonial theorist.

Two stamps from a series on local pottery, one featuring a drinking jug and the other a water tankard. The centre stamp features a woman from the Fulani ethnic group that lives throughout many parts of West Africa.

Canada – Alberta

Mount Rundle overlooks the town of Banff in Banff National Park and is a popular hiking spot, as reports my stepmother who went there to do exactly that. Banff N.P. is a part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site, one of Canada's 15 inscribed sites.

Definitive international rate stamp of a baby polar bear, featuring Canada's unfortunately rather awful electronic cancellation stamp. Given the declining fortunes of the postal service, you'd think they could at least put a bit of effort into making it look nice for all those people who actually do care.


Bangtao Beach on the west side of the Thai resort island of Phuket is where some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts are located. Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history, although now of course derives most of its income from tourism. The name Phuket is apparently derived from the Malay word bukit that means "hill", as this is what the island appears like from the sea. Thanks to Kate who was visiting. 

Mu Ko Similan National Park is an archipelago of nine islands in the Andaman Sea, not far from the coast of  Phuket, actually. It is one of the world's top diving destinations.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Cuban flags flying in Havana during National Day celebrations. Also, somewhat unexpectedly, a Guatemalan flag flying on the right.

A 2010 stamp from a series about cultural diversity and tourism, here featuring the town of Las Tunas in western Cuba.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Deir el Kamar is a village in south-central Lebanon that was the residence of the governors of Lebanon during the Ottoman period. It is notable for its numerous historical buildings, and also as the birthplace of many well known personalities, such as artists, writers, and politicians. 

Big thanks to Couchsurfer Hicham for sending me my first postcard from Lebanon!

Fayrouz is a Lebanese singer who is widely considered to be the most famous living singer in the Arab World.


The white rhinoceros consists of two subspecies, the southern white rhino, which is relatively common, and the northern white rhino, which is critically endangered and is thought to be extinct in the wild due to poaching, habitat loss and ongoing conflict in its central African habitat. I actually have some stamps of the northern white rhino on a postcard from Côte d'Ivoire from a while back.

My mum reported  that she did indeed see white rhinos on her safari, but missed out on snagging the "Big Five" during her safari due to overly-elusive leopards. Thanks again for the card!

Stamp commemorating Botswana's 2011 census. As you can see, Botswana's population has nearly tripled since the first census in 1964, and it has one of the youngest populations in Africa, with a median age of just 21!