So here comes another update...with a brand new country!!
and maybe it is not so hard to guess that it comes as a surprise from the world-traveller known as JP..I really wish i had the chance to visit at least half the places he had visited...esp since they are all so rare and exotic!
At least for now ill find consolation in the cards he sends me...and hopefully one day ill get the chance to pay it back :)
well St Barthelemy is an overseas collectivity of France (these overseas territories can be really status-confusing).
It is a volcanic island fully encircled by shallow reefs and has an area of 21 km².
It is the only Caribbean island which was a Swedish colony for any significant length of time; (Guadeloupe has also been under Swedish rule only briefly, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars - Im mentioning Guadeloupe coz of something later)
The language, cuisine and culture, however, are distinctly French.
Im not sure which place is exactly shown on the card...my guess is that is Gustavia (the island's capital, named after the Swedish King Gustav III) ...but then again, the airport (which you can see in one of the pictures, should be in St. Jean...so it might be that too...since I do not have a confirmation on this, ill leave it as a guess for now)
well, whichever place this shows, it is a lovely card and a fantastic addition to my collection...crossing out a country i scarcely hoped i would cross out from the list :)
All thanks to JP!
and now here come the stamps (just like French Guiana, St. Barth also uses French stamps). The butterfly one is just awesome and was issued in 2010 in a set of 4 stamps, with this one showing the Morpho menelaus (its colours are just lovely!). The other stamp was issued in 2009, in commemoration of Aimé Césaire, a French poet, author and politician from Martinique, one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature.
now the whole deal with the stamps is actually the cancellation...coz it bears both the names of St. Barth and Guadeloupe....which is somewhat illogical to me....so I copied the following extensive info from Glenn's blog...I hope he doesnt mind..but often I go there to check for info on some stamps, if he has them featured...and I think that regarding this issue, the info, left in the comments, is really explaining the whole thing...
France is divided into 27 régions, similar to provinces in Canada but with less power. Each région is divided into a number of départements, similar to counties, but with considerably more status than in Canada.
The overseas régions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion and, since last year, Mayotte are small enough to only be made up of a single département each.
Until 2007, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin were administratively a part of the Guadeloupe région/département, when they voted to split away from Guadeloupe and become separate .
At the time, they were granted distinct postal codes (977xx and 978xx respectively), but for some reason La Poste doesn't want to play along and continues to apply Guadaloupe's 971xx postcode to these islands.
So, in summary, your "Saint Barthélemy - Guadaloupe" postmark should have stopped being used in 2007, but wasn't. :-)
I told you these overseas territories are complicated :)