Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cayman Islands

On this 31st day of the month, when we are about to bid farewell to August, I'd like to use my current good will and mood and post a few cards before we roll into September...seriously, ever since I've come back from the astronomy camp I've been doing nothing but idle, eat and sleep...and stare at some blank point in front of me...I don't remember when was the last time I felt so apathetic about stuff and life in general...but I think that this anxiety attack last night did get me sober, and got me back on track somewhat...well, the fact I've been all excited about writing and life today is an actual proof...and it does feel good to be back :)

I will give you more insight about the camp in some of the future posts...in a few words for now..it was FREAKING GOOD! They should definitely happen more than just once per year...but the prospects for now are that the next astronomy camp will happen one year from now...well, better something than nothing I guess...

and after a bit of rambling, as it usually goes, lets get down to business...and a great surprise card from the Cayman Islands, sent by Glenn last December..it arrived here in January though...ohh, now this reminded me I haven't really told you the latest stories about my new postman, but I think I've usurped enough of the chit-chat space for this post so, remind me next time :)



the card shows the so-called Seven Mile Beach in the Grand Cayman...I love it cos it is all soft and sandy...the beach at the astronomy camp wasn't sandy...and no, it wasn't seven miles long...but it was just perfect at 9 am when there was just me, myself and I there...and the waves...what more can you ask for?


don't you sometimes think that she is just omnipresent?! though at least these stamps are much much nicer than the ones issued in GB...issued in 2012 in a set of 4 stamps commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Accesion of her Majesty....

thanks a lot Glenn!!

Corsica, France

Corsica...even nowadays, still sometimes my mind first thinks of Italy and not France...probably cos it is somewhat closer to Italy than France...and it is like a perfect piece to add and have the Sicily-Sardinia-Corsica trio..but thing is, when some ideas are so incorporated into your mind, it is really difficult to get read of them...



Here you can see the fortress in the town of Corte, where German prisoners used to be kept during WWI.
Corte used to be the capital of the Corsican independent state during the period of Pasquale Paoli, while nowadays it is considered as a major university town in Corsica.
a cute agriculture-related stamp, issued in 2013, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the International Agricultural Show in Paris


now I also have this map card of Corsica...and your task is to find Corte :)

you notice that the top right corner is torn, no?
but would you believe me if I tell you that it arrived in an envelope and wasn't sent w/s?
yep, you read that right...I know many people collect only cards sent in an envelope, where one of the reasons is that without an envelope they often get damaged during transport...but here is something to burst the bubble...yeah, sorry to disappoint you that no mailing system is damage-proof...

speaking of damaged cards...I received this absolutely gorgeous one from Germany last week..but boy, I don't even wanna think of the torture it has gone through during its journey...I'll show it to you one day :)



btw, managed to find Corte on the map?

Košice, Slovakia

mmmm, been a while since I've posted a Slovakian card, so here comes one...

I was supposed to go to an SOL seminar in Slovakia at the beginning of August...but obviously I didn't...giving myself a number of excuses...and now when I look back, none of them seems relevant...then a friend and I wanted to make a trip to Bratislava...but that failed as well...so for now, Slovakia and I are still not meant to meet...


the card isn't about Bratislava though, but it shows the Chess Square in Košice, the biggest town in eastern Slovakia...and I love it! And if Im not mistaken, this is my only card from Košice so far so that makes me extra happy :D
Funny though, finding information on it was like a mission-impossible...to the point where I started wondering if the card really is from Košice, or Im seeing things wrongly...and I still doubt the correct answer.....



the stamp got a bit torn during its journey...it is a definitive from a set of 11 stamps issued in 2009, representing the Cultural Heritage of Slovakia...if I got it right, this one shows the Premonstratensian Monastery of Virgin Mary in Bina.

Minnesota Wild Rice, USA

ok, one more for today only..



a lovely card sent by Maggie back in 2012....and since that was long ago, Im utterly confused with the words, RAS + swap on the backside, and have no idea in which category it should fit in  *feeling embarrassed* - that's what happens when I take YEARS literally to post some cards...maybe Maggie will remember though and save me :)

the card shows a wild rice field in Minnesota, and as the text on the back says:

The official state grain of Minnesota, Wild Rice, grows naturally in the shallow waters of lakes in the central and northern parts of the state. It is harvested from lakes in the traditional Anishinabe (Native American) way, from canoes.

I absolutely love rice, but I don't think I've ever tried wild rice...now Im curious...



and some summerish stamps :)  two Aloha stamps, with Hawaiian t-shirts, issued in 2012 in a set of 5...and another 2012 stamp from the set of Bonsai Trees, also issued in a set of 5 stamps...this one here shows the Black Pine.

Thanks a bunch Maggie!!

so, that would be all...hope August treated you well and you will leave it with nice memories...and hopefully September will be even better...it's about time to start getting ready for autumn...I just hope we will have an actual autumn, and not the summer-like one...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Egypt

here comes another update..yeah, that's quite soon you may say...well, it is indeed...and it's not like that is a bad thing now, is it? :)
but my fingers feel itchy, my mind feels anxious (in a strange way) and on Friday I am going away for a few days to the astronomy camp, so the next few days would be rather hectic as well, so I thought I'd post something now, otherwise it won't happen until some time next week...if then

just a short disappointing message first...there are NO postcards where I am going...there is actually not even a store or a small market...NOTHING...just houses and a small campsite...we are bringing all the food and even water with us since nothing can be bought there (there is water but it is just not drinkable)

based on the experience from last summer, one can easily survive in such conditions as long as he is well-prepared...and hopefully I will be =)

so, with that cleared up, lets take a look at a few cards for today..

First comes a map card from Egypt...


...and as Maria, the sender says 'No pyramids for you as you asked' :P yeah, I asked for anything but the pyramids cos the majority of the Egyptian cards I have (even though not many) have a pyramid or two on them..so no more pyramids please! And she did a great job here by sending me a map card...my first and only map card sent from Egypt so far! Love it!

a country I haven't yet visited, though I'd love to (when it is not too hot). There were protests and a revolution a few years ago and things got quite scary, but I think dust has settled down by now....well, I think...


the stamp is a definitive issued in 2011 showing a pharaoh

well, may not be entire Egypt shown, but it is a map card...and it is from Egypt, so I thought I'd include this postcard showing the Cairo Subway lines...



not many lines though for a city with over 10 million people..but I guess it works for them...personally I'd like to take that Railway line to Alexandria - though I had a few doubts after watching this video (note just that this is in the opposite direction, from Alexandria to Cairo), but hell, why not...it's gonna be an adventure, that's for sure :D

 

Lviv, Ukraine

I just realized that for today I've picked another country with political unrests and all...not to mention that story about the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine not so long ago..but my choices were surely not intentional with the idea to talk about politics and solve disputes and blah blah...you know I hate that...

here I have two cards related to the Railway Station in Lviv...and, hmm, now before I say a few words about the cards and the stamps, I wanted to mention something else which this card reminded me of...and that is somewhat related to Ukraine and Lviv, and in a few sentences, this train station (no, I haven't been there yet :))

Anyways, there is this book I read recently and really loved it, so just wanted to tell you about it...and its plot is set mainly in Lviv, so this post seemed really appropriate to mention the book as well..even though it is still in Macedonian only, hopefully in the near future it will be translated in a few other languages and will be available to the wider audiences...I highly recommend that you read it...cos come on, how many books can you say you have read by a Macedonian author? hm? =)

the book's name in English is "Gargle", as its equivalent Macedonian translation...you find out why..written by the young and aspiring Macedonian author Igor Stanojoski.
For me it was one of the books that kept my attention throughout its entirety, gave me emotional turmoils, and once I finished it I was in the 'what am I supposed to do with myself now' kind of mood..reminded me of Murakami at times...
Feel free to browse through the website dedicated solely to the book..besides in Macedonian, you can read some sections in English, Polish and Russian....hoping that I've intrigued you somewhat by now, just click on the link below ;-)

http://www.gargara.mk/english/index.html


aaaand now down to the postcards


First comes a card from Vita, showing the exterior of the Railway Station in Lviv.
Built in the Art Nouveau style,  its construction had started in 1899 and has been into service since 1904, handling over 1 million passengers per month! Such numbers always bring to mind OUR railway station..I think it would take a number of years to actually handle that many passengers...the commodity and the reliability of the service is a different story...



and how lovely when someone sending me a train/railway card, attaches some matching stamps...and at least Ukraine isn't short of fantastic train stamps! These two are from the 2010 set of 4 locomotives.


The following card - I received it TWICE! Within a month's distance! (back in 2011)
Yeah, receiving your favourite cards works in a funny way sometimes...you just wait for sooo long to receive some, and then eventually at least two or three people send it to you...but I don't mind it, cos it is just soo beautiful...the stamp-image just gives some additional charm to this one.
UA-99350

One copy arrived from Viktoria as part of  a swap, and another one from Olya as an official....and here you can actually see the interior of the Lviv Railway Station...just so beautiful! And I cant help but wonder where these two trains are going to...


yesss..two train stamps again from the 2010 set...plus one more coming from a set of 8 definitives issued in 2008 - this one is showing a spinning wheel



the other card came with three copies of this definitive, also issued in 2007, showing a kumanet

PS. I still can't possibly pronounce Lviv properly...I just CAN'T!

Sayram Lake, China

yeah, this is like one of the most fantastic and absolutely breathtaking cards from China I have received...EVER EVER EVER...the fact that there is so much blue in it is like a cherry on top!



Received it last year from Di for the Choose a Country RR.
Here you can see the Sayram Lake of Xinjiang.
It is the largest alpine lake in Xinjiang (458 km²) and also the highest(2,070 m).
In the Kazakh language Sayram means 'blessing'.
It is said that it was composed of the tears of a couple of Kazak young lovers. A beautiful girl and a young man were deeply in love. One day, a cruel devil was captivated by the girl's beauty. He captured the girl and confined her to his residence. The girl took a chance to escape, but the devil found out very soon and went after the girl. She was forced to jump into an abyss. Later, her boyfriend heard of this and he was so sad that he jumped into the abyss to be reunited with his lover. Their painful tears flooded into the abyss and formed Sayram Lake
Legends are always nicer than the actual scientific stuff..even though rather cheesy sometimes :)



look at those gorgeous cat stamps!! Issued in a set of 4 cats' stamps in 2013. Love them!!
Next to it is a stamp representing Dai Architecture, issued in 1998 in a set of 4 stamps...and then you have the small green one representing the environment - a definitive issued in a set of 2 stamps in 2002