Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Postcard showing Notre-Dame Cathedral in the eponymous capital of Luxembourg. Construction began in 1613 and is a noteworthy example of late Gothic architecture. It was made a cathedral in 1870 and remains the only cathedral in the country today. Part of the City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications World Heritage site.

This is a card I sent myself while on short holiday in Luxembourg and I must say that out of all the places I've ever been, Luxembourg had by far the worst postcards.  They all seemed to want to out-Photoshop each other using as many effects as possible (rainbow shadow gradient drop bevel Comic Sans!) with the most heinous photos ever developed at the local drugstore. It really took a lot of hunting to find this relatively innocuous one!

Left stamp features Grand-Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte Concert Hall. Joséphine-Charlotte was a Belgian princess who then married the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and is mother to the current Grand Duke, Henri. Stamp on the right features the headquarters of Luxembourg Bank and Savings Union and the Adolphe Bridge in front of it, spanning the Pétrusse River and its steep river valley.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Albania II

Postcard showing the Citadel of Berati, a town in central Albania famous for its historic architecture. In fact, it was one of the two towns spared by former dictator Enver Hoxha's modernisation campaigns and, as such,  has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the other spared city, Gjirokastra. The Citadel was founded by Illyrians in the third century BC on the site of an even earlier fortress!

Previously featured sttamp of Osum Canyon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Canada – Alberta VI

Postcard from Drumheller, in central Alberta, in Western Canada. Card shows "the world's largest dinosaur", a replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex four times life size. Drumheller and its surrounding countryside, which includes the World Heritage site, Dinosaur Provincial Park, is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. Forty dinosaur species have been discovered here and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums across the globe.

Many thanks to friend Paul who was on holiday in Alberta!

Stamp used were the previously featured Arctic hares, from a series on baby animals.

French Southern and Antarctic Lands – Terre Adélie

Postcard from Terre Adélie, the French claim in Antarctica, showing a group, or a "waddle" as they are known, of emperor penguins. Emperor penguins are the largest penguin species, with an average height of 1.2 metres. Their diet consists primarily of fish, but can also include crustaceans and squid. In hunting, they can remain submerged up to 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 metres!

Stamp of DC4 plane from a 2012 series of six showing the evolution of transport in polar areas. DC4s were initially produced during World War II and continued to be used in civilian service through to the 1960s.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

United States of America – District of Colombia

Postcard showing the two airports of Washington, D.C. On the left, the larger Dulles Airport (IAD), whose main terminal building, pictured here, was designed by celebrated Finnish architect, Eero Saarinen, in 1958. Ronald Reagan Airport (DCA), pictured on the right, is the older of the two, having opened in 1941. It is also smaller, handling mostly short- and medium haul domestic flights.

Many thanks to friend Kate who what in Washington for a holiday.

Average, bland postage label.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Woohoo! Following hot on the heels of Kurdistan is another new country to add to my list, also courtesy of Oliver who was travelling in Yemen on holiday. Many, many thanks to him. Card shows some traditional buildings in the capital city of Sana'a. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and, at an altitude of 2,300 metres, is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. The Old City of Sana'a is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its distinctive and unique architecture, most notably its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns.

Two somewhat older stamps, from 1995 and 1996 respectively. Left stamp features a caracal, a common desert and savannah animal ranging throughout Africa and the Middle East, in promotion of the World Environment Day (I think) on 5 June. Stamp on left features Old Sana'a.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Card from the American territory of Guam in the North-West Pacific. The island has become a popular winter holiday spot for Japanese, Koreans and Chinese looking for a spot of beach and sun. Card shows Tanguisson Beach and Two Lovers Point in the background. There are various permutations of the legend of Two Lovers Point, but in essence two star-crossed lovers, persecuted in life, tie their hair together and jump off the high cliff face to stay together in eternity.

Guam, and all other US territories, use the United States Postal Service rather than issuing its own stamps. Stamp shows Acadia National Park, the oldest national park in the United States east of the Mississippi, created in 1919. I thought it rather amusing that the special Canada/Mexico rate still applies to mail sent from Guam, even though they are several thousands of kilometres away, whereas mail sent to nearby Japan uses the standard international rate.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Postcard from Mali showing a traditional Dogon village in the Bandiagara Escarpment. The Dogon are an animistic people who refused to convert to Islam when other peoples in West Africa did so. Consequently, they were persecuted and targeted by slave raiders. In response, the Dogon began building their communities into the sides of the easily defensible escarpment and were able to preserve the many unique aspects of their culture. Part of the Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) World Heritage site.

Many thanks to Katie, who was on holiday in Mali.

Stamp on left features a sanctuary door from the Senufo people in southern Mali held at the National Museum of Mali. Stamp on the left features a Fula woman. The Fulani are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist, trading people, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of Sahelian Africa, with a substantial population in Mali.