28 July 2014

Love Parade

psotcard, germany, kaiser wilhelm memorial church, love parade, techno, festival
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The picture was taken near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, also called "hollow tooth" by Berliners. It was destroyed in 1943, only the tower remained and now servers as a memorial.

The Love Parade used to be an annual techno festival in Germany, normally held in Berlin. In 2010, when it was in Duisburg, 21 people died due to a stampede. That was also the last time the Love Parade was held.

The stamp commemorates the Second Vatican Council of 1962. This is a contrast to the festival which defended homosexuality and free love.

second vatican council, stamp, germany, zweites vatikanisches konzil

25 July 2014

Kok Gumbaz

postcard, kok gumbaz, mosque, blue dome, shaharisabz
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Yes, you have read the correctly. It's the name of the largest mosque of Shahrisabz, a town in southern Uzbekistan, and means "blue dome". Interestingly, the building seems to have one dome more nowadays, as wikimedia suggests. Or perhaps they've torn one down.

The stamp shows a statue of Amir Temur (also known as Timur, Tamerlane), conqueror of large parts of Central Asia in the late 14th century.

stamp, uzbekistan, amir temur, timur, tamerlane


Among all the warm beaches, cards from the very north must feel lost.

postcard, iceland, breiðamerkurjökull, northern lights, glacier
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You can see the beautiful aurora (northern lights) over the glacial lagoon of Breiðamerkurjökull.

The stamp shows the lighthouse Kálfshamarsviti, which overlooks Húnaflói (Huna Bay). If you want to find it on google maps, search for "66°01'00.0"N 20°26'00.0"W". There's a cloud though.
stamp, iceland, huna bay, húnaflói, lighthouse


postcard, guyana, ocelot, all skin teeth nah laff
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This sad looking fellow is an ocelot, living in (the Co-operative Republic of) Guyana.

Backside Text:
"All skin teeth nah laff"
Translation: Flashing a grin is no sign that a person is laughing.
Interpretation: It is not the words, but the meanings and inferences behind them that matter.
- Dem A Seh in Guyana

The butterfly on the stamp is an Orange-barred Sulphur.

stamp, guyana, phoebis philea, orange-barred sulphur

Churches, statues and dead sailors

tallinn, postcard, mermaid, old town, st. olaf's church, rusalka
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This card shows the beautiful old town of Tallinn, including St. Olaf's Church, erected in the 12th century. On the right, you can see the Russalka Memorial, also called "Mermaid". It commemorates the loss of the Russian warship Rusalka, which sank in a storm on 7. September 1983. 177 seamen died.

postcard, tallinn, town hall, church of the holy ghost, old town
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Here's more of the old town, and this is also where it gets a bit tricky. If I'm not mistaken then the building in the lower part of the postcard is the Town Hall. In the upper part, it can be seen on the very right, if you look closely. The tower in the middle that looks very similar to that of the Town Hall belongs to the Church of the Holy Ghost.

The stamp shows a 1 Euro coin. Estonia adopted the currency on 1. January 2011.

stamp, euro, coin, estonia

Sports in the Caribbean

postcard, dominica, national stadium, cricket
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The National Stadium of Commonwealth of Dominica is also called Windsor Park. I hope you understand cricket, otherwise the pictures won't make a lot of sense to you.

And here's a so-called Vincent's Least Gecko. Unfortunately I do not know which person this peculiar name derives from.

dominica, stamp, vincent's least gecko, sphaerodactylus vincenti

23 July 2014


philippines, postcard, el nido, palawan, bangka, outrigger canoe, beach
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This picture was taken in El Nido., a small harbor town in the very West of the Philippines. If you want to take a boat trip, use this so-called Bangka, a type of canoe.

On the left: Hawksbill sea turtle.
Top right: "Mahal kita" = "I love you" in Tagalog. One of the birds even carries a letter!
Bottom right: Purple Firefish.

stamps, philippines, mahal kita, purple firefish, hawksbill sea turtle

We shall [relax] on the beaches!

postcard, mauritius, beach
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For those of you who don't know: The Republic of Mauritius is an archipelago just behind Madagascar, near the island of Réunion. And they've got beaches. beautiful beaches.

The stamp commemorates the bicentenary of the Mauritius Turf Club. If you got tired of all the beaches and want to see some horse racing, then this is the place to go.

stamp, mauritius, turf club

22 July 2014

Stephen III of Moldova

stephen, moldavia, postcard, monument, chișinău
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This postcard shows a monument of Stephen III of Moldavia. He was quite successful in several battles against the Ottoman Empire, founded lots of churches and monasteries and is a national hero of the Republic of Moldova. Unfortunately he got shot in the leg, and some years later a horse fell on that leg. This kind of thing could happen to you back in the days.

I assume that the stamp on the right shows a medieval Moldovan soldier, but I don't have any details. The mansion is located in Sofia, a village in the north of Moldova.

stamps, lei, oştean, sofia, drochia

A night view of Smolensk

smolensk, detskaya stomatologicheskaya poliklinika, night, tower, postcard
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In the background you can see Smolensk Tower. The picture was taken from the roof of Detskaya Stomatologicheskaya Poliklinika, only a few meters away. (google maps link)

The stamps are from the Russian kremlin series. On the left you can see Novgorod Kremlin, on the right, Ryazan Kremlin.

kremlin, ryazan, novgorod, stamps russia, rubles

The World viewed from the East

This card I've gotten from Japan. Unfortunately, I can't translate any of it.

world, globe, map, japan, historical, postcard
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Interesting details: India shrunk heavily and is now as big as Poland. The Baja California peninsula became an independent island - hurray! The Caspian Sea fell over and Australia is melting with  Antarctica, but all in all, it's pretty accurate.

The flower on the left stamp is a dandelion, with a scarab beetle resting on it. The second stamp was issued in 1988 and shows a pagoda inside Kongō-ji temple.

kongo-ji temple, pagoda, stamps, japan, dandelion, scarab beetle

19 July 2014

Surfin' Manama

Doesn't it make you wanna go there? Like, right now?

bahrain, manama, surfer, world trade center
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The building with the two peaks is the Bahrain World Trade Center. If you look closely, you can see three wind turbines between the towers.

The stamp shows Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, current King of Bahrain. He's got a mustache, which is the only upgrade one could get to being a king.

bahrain, hamad bin isa al khalifa, king, fils, stamps