19 December 2014

Quick, comrade! Get in the car!

postcard, russia, robeda trading house, monument
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Backside: "Owners of the Pobeda Trading House in front of the monument to Peter I. 1912"

Left stamp: Triumphal Arch of Moscow, erected to commemorate the victory over Napoleon
Middle stamp: Crater lake of the Maly Semyachik volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula
Rights stamp: Russian foodstuff. The machine makes tea, the pancakes are called blinchiki. The rings could be baranka. There's also honey and caviar. Delicious!

triumphal arch of moscow, maly semyachik, kamchatka, baranka, blinchiki

17 December 2014

Yaqona Ceremony

Last week I've received this card from Fiji, it traveled almost 4 months to reach me. And it was a rough ride, too, but I'm very glad that it arrived after all.

postcard, fiji, kava, tanoa
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Backside: "Also referred to as kava, this ceremonial drink is made from the crushed root of a plant of the same name. Very little reason is required for the yaqona bowl (tanoa) to be brought out and drinks offered to all present. It also, however has an important place in formal meetings and ceremonial occasions."

The bird on the left is a Scarlet Robin (or possibly a Pacific Robin). On the right, you can see a Mangrove Heron fishing.

scarlet robin, mangrove heron

15 November 2014

Les îles du Salut

Not to be confused with the independent country Guyana.
French Guiana is further East, and spaceport of the European Space Agency ESA.

postcard, french guiana
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The pictures are from the Islands of Salvation near the coast of French Guiana. I'm also attaching two pictures of the envelope, which I find particularly pretty:

french guiana, envelope

french guiana, envelope

All the stamps you can find in French Guiana are French, too, and the Euro is used as currency. Here, you can see Marianne, a national symbol of France. At least I think it's here. Hope I'm not confusing her with Marlène or Marie, she would be furious.

stamp, france, french guiana, 20g

10 November 2014

Republic square

postcard, armenia, yerevan
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Here you can see government building of Armenia, to be found at Republic square in Yerevan. It used to be called Lenin square and even featured a large statue of the communist politician, which was later replaced by a TV monitor. The clock you can see on the tower is 4 meters wide. Amazing!

The symbols are letters from the Armenian Alphabet, Ը and Ճ.

stamps, armenia, alphabet, Ը, Ճ

Mountains and tits

postcard, andorra
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A beautiful view of Escaldes-Engordany, second largest town of Andorra. This country is located in the Pyrenees mountains, between France and Spain. On the left of the picture, you can already see parts of Andorra la Vella, the capital. The building in in the middle with the pointy blue tower
Centre Termolúdic Caldae, a spa.

I've also received some Eurasian blue tits (cyanistes caeruleus). They look hot.

stamp, andorra, cyanistes caeruleus, eurasian blue tits

A Winter View

postcard, Russia, kremlin
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This is the kremlin in Penza, a town of half a million inhabitants, some 600km southwestern of Moscow. The picture was taken in 1913 and you can see the town's kremlin on it. A year after that, the Russian Empire got involved in World War I. Four years later, two revolutions turned the country upside-down, leading to a civil war and, ultimately, the foundation of the Soviet Union.

More pretty kremlins can be found on the stamps.
On the left: Kazan Kremlin.
On the right: Ryazan Kremlin.

kremlin, kazan, ryazan

Gamcheon Culture Village

postcard, south korea, busan
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This is Gamcheon, a village near Busan, the second largest town of South Korea. The village is quite famous for its curious looks and some movies were shot there. You can read a more detailed report about this place here.

06 November 2014

Piazza del Plebiscito

postcard, italy, piazza del plebiscito
click to enlarge
This beautiful card is from - you may have guessed already - Napoli. The piazza del plebiscito sees a lot of visitors particularly at nighttime. The church with the large cupola on the right is called San Francesco di Paola. You can see the Mediterranean Sea in the back and the Vesuvius would be on the left if the card was even wider.

The stamp is from the national instruments series and shows the launeddas, a Sardinian woodwind instrument.

stamp, italy, europe

Petronas Towers

postcard, malaysia, kuala lumpur, suria KLCC
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 "Suria KLCC, the podium block of PETRONAS Twin Towers, houses a shopping complex, art gallery, a petrol-science centre and the PETRONAS Philharmonic Orchestra Hall."

 The left stamp shows Rambutan (nephelium lappaceum), a plant similar to lychee. On the right, you can see two lotus flowers.

lotus, rambutan, nelumbium nelumbo, nephelium lappaceum

09 September 2014

Talafofo Falls

postcard, guam, talafofo river
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Backside text:
Talofofo Falls, Guam's favorite waterfall, provides a refreshing swimming spot at the end of a one-hour hike up the banks of the Talofofo River.
It seems that the hike there is the fun part of the falls.

As you know, Guam uses US stamps, this one showing the Liberty Bell.

stamps, guam, usa

07 September 2014

National Museum of History

postcard, moldova, chișinău, capitoline wolf
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Here's the National Museum of History of Moldova (Muzeul Național de Istorie a Moldovei). The wolf statue in the small picture is one of five copies of the Capitoline Wolf in Rome that Italy gave to Romania during the 1920s.

The stamp shows a painting of the birth of Christ, also exhibited in the National Museum.

birth of christ

Séga Dance

postcard, mauritius, beach, danse du séga
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Sega music is very popular in Mauritius. Here's an example:

Glaciers and a golden statue

postcard, kyrgyzstan
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To be frank with you, I've got no clue who that guy is. Clearly he had a soft spot for gold and peculiar hats, but that's all I know for now. If you have more information, please enlighten me.

I think the stamp shows a yak, although it has got no horns. A female perhaps?


These stamps show the Tian Shan mountain ranges.
From left to right, from top to bottom:
1. Ak-Say Glacier
2. Kotur Glacier
3. Semenovsky Glavier at Khan Tengri mountain
4. Zvezdochka Glacier at Jengish Chokusu mountain
5. North Inyltschek Glacier
6. South Inyltschek Glacier, both also at Khan Tengri mountain

khan tengri, jengish chokusu, inyltschek, kotur, ak-say

A Mountain View

postcard, macedonia, mountain
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Behold the mighty mountains of Macedonia! The village that can be seen in the valley is called Velebrdo.

The stamp commemorates the 50th anniversary of the World Meteorological Organization.

world meteorological organization, 50 years

Rock-cut church

postcard, ethiopia, biete giyorgis, lalibela
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This is the Church of Saint George (Bete Giorigis), one of eleven monolithic churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia. They're quite astonishing structures, all built below ground level and dating back to the 12th century. And they are a UNESCO world heritage site nowadays.

postcard, ethiopia, jugol
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This is one of the five Harar Gates, part of a city wall (the "Jugol") from the 16th century that was not destroyed until this very day.

Left: Debre Damo is a monastery and the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia and may only be visited by men. If that's no crazy enough for you, imagine that is can only accessed by making one's way hand over hand along a rope (see picture). It is unrecorded weather Abuna Aregawi, the founder of the monastery, was a keen mountaineer.
Right: Tragelaphus seriptus meneliki, the Menelik's Bushbuck.

menelik's bushbuck, debre damo, monastery, abuna aregawi

Free State of Fiume

postcard, croatia, fiume
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In this postcard, you can see the Port of Rijeka, in Croatia. it used to be part of the tiny Free State of Fiume (previous town name of Rijeka) that existed between 1920 and 1924. After World War I, it was a buffer state between Italy and Yugoslavia. During its short existence, the free state saw various different governments, but finally became part of Italy.

Međimurje County is a region in Croatia, sometimes called Hortus Croatiae, "the flower garden of Croatia". Thus the motive.

međimurje county, flower, garden

06 September 2014

Stone Chariot

india, postcard, vittala temple complex
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The stone chariot is part of the Vittala Temple Complex. It is in fact a shrine that looks like a chariot, and it used to be a bit taller, the top of the vehicle has been destroyed. Anyway, it's made from granite so you couldn't drive away with it - unless you have very, very strong horses.

These peculiar creatures are Lutrogale perspicillata, smooth-coated otters.

smooth-coated otters, lutrogale perspicillata

Big Rock Falls

postcard, belize
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Backside text:
"Belize, land of adventure. Big Rock Falls, hidden in the Pine Ridge mountains, yet accessible by a scenic walk."

Top: House of Culture Museum, Belize City. The finest colonial structure of the country, by architect Sir Christopher Wren, who also planned famous St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
Bottom: Nohoch Che'en, an archaeological reserve in Belize, consisting of a network of limestone caves.

nohoch che'en, archaeological reserve, limestone caves

05 September 2014

Beaches of Grenada

postcard, beach, grenada
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postcard, grenada, beach
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The beaches are most populated during tourist season which is in July/August because of the carnival, and in November/December, when it's winter.

postcard, grenada
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I'd love to know what kind of fruit he's cutting with his machete.

On the left: Seicercus montis, the yellow-breasted warbler. (what a cute name)
On the right: Justitia longmana, or Longarm Spiny Lobster. Couldn't find a wiki article for this, probably because I'm stupid.

yellow-breasted warbler, seicercus montis, longarm spiny lobster, justitia longmana

Yaks and Sandalwood

postcard, india, yaks, barley
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Yaks used to be my favorite animals back when I was a kid. Perhaps I just liked the letter "y", which occurs only rarely in the German language. Backside text:
"Life in Ladakh
Ladakh (Land of high mountain passes) is a region of india in the northern Jammu and Kashmir state that lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the great Himalayas to the south. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influence by Tibetan culture.
The people are self-sufficient, resilient and exceedingly content. The harsh encironment greatly limits what can be grown. Barley is the staple crop. Seen in the picture are yaks tied around a pole in series walking in circles to separate barley grains from the chaff."

The stamp smells slightly of Sandalwood. It also has an interesting texture.

sandalwood, smell, elephant, texture

The face of Uganda

uganda, postcard, people
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Naturally, not all people in Uganda are women and boys, but at least these few are. If some of you have more information on the clothing, I'll be glad to add it here.

The stamp shows the Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple of the Sikh religion, in Amritsar, India. It commemorates the Sikh centenary celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda.

stamp, uganda, golden temple, amritsar


postcard, czech republic, marienbad, mariánské lázně, health spa
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Mariánské Lázně (in German: Marienbad) is a spa town in the Czech Republic. The pictures show the health spa, particularly the main cast-iron colonnade.

The stamp honors Josef Bican, the famous Czech-Austrian football player. After World War II, he refused to play for Juventus Turin because he feared the Communists would come to power in Italy. Instead, he decided to stay in Czechoslovakia - how ironic!

stamp, austria, czech republic, football

04 September 2014

Steam locomotives

switzerland, postcard, lucerne
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Want to take a ride on the Seetal railway line? Better don't expect those classy steam locomotives, they use modern trains by now. And the timetable is 101 years old so you better don't rely on it.

The stamp is part of a series that commemorates the foundation of the Swiss Air Force. You can see a couple of F-5 fighter jets.  They're part of the Patrouille Suisse, an aerobatic team of the Air Force.

switzerland, stamp, helvetia, F-5, air force