12 December 2011

Cover from Bangladesh

I received today this wonderful cover from a friend in Bangladesh. You can´t see on it any marking because this picture was made before she sent it :)

To mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore India, Srilanka and Bangladesh issued commemorative postage stamps on 7 May 2011. On this blog you can see more about Rabindranath Tagore stamps. 
The 3 roses were issued on 11th february 2010 and are part of a set of 13 stamps. See them all here:


The other 2 stamps illustrate Coins of Independent Sultans of Bengal (1st series) issued on 21 July 2011.
Not too much info on the Internet about these items :(

18 September 2011

Railways from Brasil

I can´t wait to get these stamps from Timothy :)
So, here it is my post for Viridian´s Sunday Stamps: Brasil 2007, Transportation.

The first stamp 1,40BRL shows a subway train from the Historical Heritage Department Train Museum.

The second one, 1,45 BRL illustrates the "Baroneza" locomotive. The "Baroness" was the first steam locomotive in Brazil and transformed into unique cultural monument by the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage, first circulated in April 30, 1854, attended the Imperial entourage when it opened EF Petropolis a stretch of 14.5 km between Maud and Fragoso, founded by Irenaeus Evangelista de Souza, Viscount and Baron of Maua.

The last one 1,60BRL is The Bonde de Santa Teresa Tram The Santa Teresa Tram is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, connecting the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of downtown. It is currently maintained mainly as a tourist attraction, and is nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a national historic monument in 1988.

Title: Transportation
Date of Issue: July 6, 2007
Country: Brazil

Source: http://www.wnsstamps.ch/en/stamps/BR027.07
Denominations: 1,40 1,45 and 1,60 BRL

17 September 2011

South Africa 1983 Locomotives

I have chosen for today Steam Locomotives from South Africa. These stamps were issued in 1983.

Due to lack of time and because I don´t want anyone to get bored with details, I am only leaving here a link to a comprehensive website, where those interested can find out more about these stamps and South African locomotives in general:


08 September 2011


Today I have received some beautiful stamps from Jordan. Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea. Over half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. However, the western part of Jordan consists of arable land and forests.The capital city is Amman.
My stamps come from Abu Nusair. Yes, there are also railways, as you will see in another post, but I thought to share some other stamps too. The issue consists of 4 variation and a miniature sheet about touristic destinations, more exactly ruins of ancient cities and places. Fascinating.

So let´s see in more detail what we have here:
10 p.stamp shows Ajlun Castle
The marvels of nature and the genius of medieval Arab military architecture have given northern Jordan two of the most important ecological and historical attractions in the Middle East: the sprawling pine forests of the Ajlun-Dibbine area, and the towering Ayyubid castle at Ajlun, which helped defeat the Crusaders eight centuries ago.
Ajlun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin's generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajlun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun. Ajlun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria; it became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who, unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.

20 p.stamp shows Amman
Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the World. The city's modern buildings blend with the remnants of ancient civilizations. The profusion of gleaming white houses, kebab stalls with roasting meat, and tiny cafes where rich Arabian coffee is sipped in the afternoon sunshine, conjure a mood straight from a thousand and one nights.
Recent excavations have uncovered homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age with many references to it in the Bible.
The stamp illustrates some ruins found at the Citadel, I think.

30 p. stamp shows Karak
Karak Castle is a dark maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways. The best preserved are underground and can be reached via a massive door. More imposing than beautiful, the castle is nevertheless an impressive insight into the architectural military genius of the Crusaders.
With some care, you can walk along the crenellated top of the West Front wall and admire the sweeping view. On clear days, you can look across the Dead Sea and see all the way to the Mount of Olives bordering Jerusalem.

40 p. stamps shows Showbak
A lonely reminder of former Crusader glory is Showbak Castle. Once called "Mont Real," Showbak dates from the same turbulent period as Karak. It is perched on the side of a mountain, with a grand sweep of fruit trees below. The castle's exterior is impressive, with a foreboding gate and encircling triple wall. Despite the precautions of its builder, the fortress fell to Saladin only 75 years after it was raised. Inscriptions by his proud successors appear on the castle wall.

50 p. block shows Jerash (Hadrian´s Arch)
Located 48 km north of Amman and nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead, is the grandeur of Imperial Rome being one of the largest and most well preserved sites of Roman architecture in the World outside Italy. To this day, its paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates remain in exceptional condition. Hadrian's Arch was built in 129 AD to mark Emperor Hadrian's visit, this was intended to become the new southern gate of the city. The Crusaders described Jerash as uninhabited, and it remained abandoned until its rediscovery in 1806, when Ulrich Jasper Seetzen, a German traveler, came across and recognized a small part of the ruins. The ancient city was buried in sand, which accounts for its remarkable preservation. It has been gradually revealed through a series of excavations, which started in 1925, and continue to this day.

Title: Tourism Sites
Date of Issue: December 3, 2010
Country: Jordan
Source: http://www.jordanpost.com.jo
Denominations: 10,20,30,40 and 50 piasters

19 August 2011

Sri Lanka odd shape Lokomotive

This post is meant for Viridian´s Sunday Stamps (though it is not Sunday yet) with topic odd shaped stamps. So here we go with my favorite theme, railway stamps:

Viceroy Special Sream Train B1 251

Sri Lanka has issued five stamps this year, including the longest ever stamp of this country, to mark 25 years of service of the Viceroy luxury coal powered steam train. The 123mm long and 30mm wide stamp was issued at the Rambukkana Railway station under the patronage of Post and Telecommunication Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga and Transport Minister Kumara Welgama.

The illustrated stamps are as follows: Viceroy Special Steam Locomotive B8 240, Viceroy Special Locomotive B2 213, Sentinel Camel Steam Rail Car V2 331 and Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotive J1 220.

The MS I have received from a friend, Dr. Pulak Barua (many thanks), represents the Viceroy Luxury steam Train, popular charter operation on tracks in Sri Lanka. 

The ‘Viceroy Special’ is a 75 year old locomotive train and the only steam train still in operation in Sri Lanka. The train has two air-conditioned observation saloons furnished in period style, with 64 plush reclining seats and individual adjustable tables and a restaurant car.
The Sri Lankan Railway came into operation during the British Era in the 19th century with the main purpose of transporting commodities, especially tea from the up country plantations. It then expanded to many points in Sri Lanka and passenger transportation. The railway continues to be main transportation way until today.

‘Of the journeys to many parts of the island, passengers experience panoramic picturesque views in their 290 kilometer journey to Badulla. This steam engine ‘Viceroy Special’ was introduced as a unique tourism product 25 years ago to offer the visitors and specially tourists a true experience of a journey of colonial times with a modern and relaxing comfort. ‘Viceroy Special’ is one of the few remain steam locomotives in the world’ said Hemasiri Fernando, the Chariman of JF Tours.
The 'Viceroy Special' has come a long way making a tremendous contribution to Sri Lanka tourism with popular trips to Pinnawala, Kandy, Hill country as well as the west coast to the beach resorts. The steam – hauled train is passenger friendly to stop on request for guests to photograph scenic spots. Some even opt to take a ride in the engine driver’s cabin. 

Would be nice to take a ride.
You can watch above a video about the 25th Aniversary, though it is not in English :)
For Viridian´s theme I couldn´t resist and I had to add two nice covers, one with round-shaped stamps from Russia and one with hexagonal shaped stamps from Switzerland:

Title: Sri Lanka Viceroy Special Lokomotive

Date of Issue: February 2011
Country: Sri Lanka
Source: http://www.slpost.gov.lk
Denominations: 4x5 and 45

13 August 2011

Romania - Russia Joint Issue: Churches

After the proclamation of the Independence of Romania on May 9, 1877 and following its official recognition as one of the important powers of the time – events that propelled the Romanian nation among the modern European nations – on October 15, 1878 were established diplomatic relations with Russia. Occasioned by the celebration of 130 years since the enforcement of the diplomatic relations between Romania and the Russian Federation, Romfilatelia released a joint stamp issue in 2008, illustrating monuments included in the UNESCO’s world heritage list.

This sheet I have bought myself some time ago, and recently I have received it´s pair, thanks to Irina.

The stamp with the face value of RON 3.00 presents the image of the Sf. Gheorghe church of the Voronet Monastery.
Built in only 4 and a half months, starting from the spring to the autumn of 1488, the Sf. Gheorghe church of the Voronet Monastery is one of the most valuable establishments built by Stefan cel Mare.
The architecture of the monument is a twinship of aboriginal, Gothic, and Byzantine elements. In 1547, the exterior of the church was painted under the close supervision of the Metropolitan Bishop Grigorie Rosca. Grace to the great fresco adornishing the Western façade (Final Judgment), the Voronet Monastery is considered to be the „Sixtin Chapel of the Orient“ whereas the „Voronet Blue“ knows no counterpart anywhere in the world.
See more pictures about it here.

The stamp with the face value of RON 4.30 shows the Sf. Demetrius Cathedral in Vladimir.
Rightfully considered as one of the splendors of the city of Vladimir, the Sf. Dimitrie church was built by Prince Vsevolod III.
The exotic ornaments, the bas reliefs representing lions, centaurs, and white leopards cover the white walls of the church. The sculpted interior decorations cover biblical themes and equally Greek mythology. The central part of the church façade envisages the repeated image of King David associated, during the Middle Ages, with the celebration of beauty and harmony of the world.
More information and pictures here.

Title: Romania-Russia Joint issue: UNESCO Churches
Date of Issue: 23 June 2008
Country: Romania and Russia
Denominations: 3, 4L30 and 6x12p sheets

Traditional Festive Food Malaysia

Sunday Stamps #31 - click the link on the right sidebar to see more entries on Viridian´s blog (you can always find out something interesting here)

Malaysia Post released a stamp issue on August 10, 2010. The stamp issue on topic of traditional festive food consists of a block of 10 stamps (80s each stamp) from stamp sheet, a block of 10 stamps (60s each stamp) from stamp booklet and a miniature sheet (RM3). The design of stamps is in a format of mirror image - only for the drawing of food but the wordings are not mirror image.

Thanks to Tze Liang, I now have this wonderful booklet that I thought nice to share with you.

Malaysia is a country, comprising of various ethnic communities.These communities have their own traditional food prepared during festive season. For stamp collectors and gastronomes alike, the stamp collection and FDC feature culinary treasures served during festivities such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and festivals celebrated by the Sabah and Sarawak ethnic groups.One interesting thing that I found out on Ian´s blog is the secret code of these "mirror" stamps. It happens that the stamps depicting Malay, Sarawakian and Sabah food can be merged together to form a complete plate! Check this out here.

Title: Traditional Festive Food
Date of Issue: 10 August 2010
Country: Malaysia
Denominations: 10x60sen (booklet), 10x80sen, 3xRM1 (sheet)

24 July 2011


 This post is for Viridian´s Sunday Stamps, Theme: anything you want.

"If bees disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” (Albert Einstein)

I thought of writing about these stamps because of my son. He is almost 2 years old, and one of the other days he was looking so fascinated at these small creatures that I was really impressed and looked myself a bit closer. Since immemorial times, bees behaviour has inspired myths, legends, tales, poems and fables. At the same time the bee inspired love and was loved by both gods and human beings.

Bees have a vital role in the pollination (reproduction) of ­thousands of plants species. For 50 million years since they are present on the Earth, bees have contributed to the evolution of the vegetal kingdom, as it exists today.

minisheet of 4 stamps with illustrated attachment and gold foiling

Coming to all philatelists needs, Romfilatelia introduced into circulation the postage stamps issue “Honey Bees” in January 2010.

The European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) is shown on the stamp having a face value of ­RON 0.50. This is a bee with a special resistance to winter’s cold and an increased tendency of defense against enemies. It collects a large volume of pollen and lives longer than other bees. It also has the capacity to fly long distances. This bee lives in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, North of Switzerland, North-West of Austria, Belarus, North of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia.

The Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica) is shown on the stamp having a face value of RON 2.10. This bee spreads through North America, South America and Southern Europe. It is mild and ­produces honey in considerable amounts. It lives in large colonies needing more food resources to survive the winter.

The Slovenian honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) is shown on the stamp having a face value of RON 3.10. It is a sub-species of the European honey bee ­originating from Slovenia but it may be found in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Romania.

The Caucasian honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasica) is shown on the stamp having a face value of RON 4.30. It is a larger bee than the average; it is mild and hard working. It is usually found in the Caucasus Mountains. 

Title: Honey bees
Date of Issue: 22 January 2010
Country: Romania
Source: http://www.romfilatelia.ro
Denominations: 50b, 2L10, 3L10, 4L30

19 July 2011


Today´s surprise for me was a bunch of flowers on stamps, from a Russian friend, Alexei. You can see them below. Each flower has a greeting on it :)

Cinnabar Lily - "Our Congratulations!".
Thunderbolt Lily - "Happy Birthday!".
Stargazer Lily - "We Wish You Happiness!".
Gilded Lily - "From the Bottom of the Heart!".
Regal Lily - "We Wish You Love and Joy!".

Not much to say about flowers, but I think they are quite nice. If you want to read more about them, follow this link http://www.backyardgardener.com
I miss only their perfume...

the FDC

the Souvenir Sheet

Title: Lilies
Date of Issue: 20 February 2002
Country: Russia
Source: http://www.m-brella.be/stamps/RUSSIA/russia/2002/2002.html
Denominations: 5 x 2,50 (R)

15 July 2011


For these Sunday Viridian proposed us to write about bird stamps. 
Lately I have received a nice set and I was curious to find out more. The stamps are from Burkina Faso, formerly the French colony of Upper Volta. They achieved independence in 1960, and the name of the country was changed to Burkina Faso in 1984.

Burkina Faso is home to an impressive number of species of birds that vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Burkina Faso to raise their young, migrants who pass through Burkina Faso with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a good part of the winter in Burkina Faso to escape colder conditions up north. 
Here are four stamps from 1996 (received from Haomin Zhu). On their tabs you can also see the area where each bird can be mostly found.

They illustrate as follows:

500f Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 
Peregrine Falcons catch medium-sized birds in the air with swift, spectacular dives, called stoops. In cities they are masterful at catching pigeons. Elsewhere they feed especially on shorebirds and ducks. They often sit on high perches, waiting for the right opportunity to make their aerial assault.

750f Brown Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum)
It is a large-size fowl genus, with a body length of about 96 centimeters. The body feathers are mainly deep brown. The head and neck are splendid black, with auriculars in white clusters and silicle-shaped. The remiges are light brown. The waist and the base portion of rectrices are white. Brown-eared Pheasant inhabits in bushes with much grass or arbor areas in the woods, and lodge on frondose twig during nights. It feeds on seeds, leaf buds and burgeons of pines, rubber trees, etc. It builds nests in sunken areas between pines, birches, or bushes.

1000f Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
It is a wild goose, which is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, having a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. Its nest is usually located in an elevated area near water such as streams, lakes, ponds and sometimes on a beaver lodge. Its eggs are laid in a shallow depression lined with plant material and down. It is a migratory bird. Canada Geese flying in V-shaped formation signal the transitions into spring and autumn.

1500f Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus cripus) 
It breeds in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation. This is the largest of the pelicans, averaging 170–190 cm in length, 11–15 kg in weight and just over 3 m in wingspan. This pelican migrates short distances. In flight, it is an elegant soaring bird, with the flock moving in synchronous. This pelican eats fish and small birds.

Oficial website of the Burkina Faso Post Office: http://ecommerce.sonapost.bf/

Don´t forget to check out the other posts about BIRDS here:

Title: Endangered Birds
Date of Issue: 25 June 1996
Country: Burkina Faso
Source: wikipedia
Denominations: 500f, 750f, 1000f, 1500f

30 June 2011


This week I have received a nice set of 10 used stamps from Sumie, from Japan.
These stamps were issued by Japan in March 2008, to commemorate the Astronomical Society of Japan’s centenary. They feature Jupiter, Saturn, a Spiral Galaxy, satellite ASTRO E-II, the Hayabusa probe which rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa, the Subaru teleskope with Edge-On Galaxy, Mars and the Nobeyama radio Observatory. Below you can take a glance of the MS.

Relying on the fact that almost anyone knows something about planets, I searched a bit to know more about the other astronomical objects and tools.

Galaxies come in a variety of shapes, with the shapes depending in a way not yet completely understood on the evolution of the galaxies. More than half of all observed galaxies are spiral galaxies. 
spiral galaxy is a certain kind of galaxy, originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae and, as such, forms part of the Hubble sequence. Spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge. These are surrounded by a much fainter halo of stars, many of which reside in globular clusters. Spiral galaxies are named for the spiral structures that extend from the center into the disk. The spiral arms are sites of ongoing star formation and are brighter than the surrounding disk because of the young, hot OB stars that inhabit them.
Sometime a galaxy is turned in space so that we see it edge on.  When this happens we often also see a dark line running down the center of the galaxy.  This is a concentration of cooler interstellar dust outlined against the brighter background made by the stars that comprise the galaxy. 

Suzaku (formerly Astro-E2) is a satellite for studying X-rays emitted by stars, galaxies, and black holes. It is a joint project between Japan and the US, and was launched on July 10, 2005. For those interested in learning more about this satellite please join Suzaku Learning Center.

Hayabusa was an unmanned spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa, to Earth for further analysis. See here the Mission Profile.

Subaru Telescope is the 8.2 metre flagship telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, located at the Mauna Kea Observatory on Hawaii. Latest news here.

The Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO) is a division of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and consists of three radio instruments located in Nobeyama, a village in the Japan Alps at an elevation of 1350m. Official website here.

So here I am "lost in space" with all these galaxies, observatories and nebulae. Just wonderful. This reminds me of a song from DUNE: Million miles away from home.

Title: Centenary of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Date of Issue: 21 March 2008
Country: Japan
Denominations: 10 x 80 Japanese Yen
Source: http://www.spaceandastronomystamps.com/jpn.xhtml

24 June 2011


This week I saw Vivian´s blog and I thought it is a good idea to join the Sunday Stamps issue. So I have chosen to talk about butterflies. They are not really part of my favorite stamp themes, and at first I bought them for a friend, but I find them lovely. So here they are, flying around in my album:

The butterflies, which are members of the Order Lepidoptera, are the lively colored insects with membranous wings covered with microscopic scales. From a larva or a caterpillar stage they turn into nymphs or pupas and then into a beautiful colorful butterfly. Their life span differs from one species to another; they may live a month or a couple of months, a few hours or even a year. Depending their feeding time, they are both diurnal and nocturnal and they differ by their way of living and also by their appearance.
There are so many things there to write about, I try to focus on description and interesting facts (in italic).

The postage stamps issue which Romfilatelia introduced into circulation this year (2011), illustrates the following species: the Old World Swallowtail, the Scarce Swallowtail, the Mountain Apollo, the Peacock Butterfly, the Atlas Moth, the Morpho Butterfly and the Glasswing Butterfly. 

The Mountain Apollo (Parnassius apollo) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 0.50. It is a very beautiful species of butterfly that were once widespread all over the European and Asian meadows. Unfortunately, nowadays they’re almost extinct and very rarely seen. They inhabit territories in meadows and mountains up to 2200 metres above sea level, ranging from Europe to Central Russia. The various species of butterflies differ in their colouration and the size of the dots on their wings. Apollo’s five to eight centimeter long wings are creamy, with black and red or yellow spots. These colourful spots are intended to confuse predators, mostly birds, because the red or yellow dots hold a similarity to a mammal’s eyes, thus saving the butterfly from certain death. The small head holds a pair of eyes, as well as two long tentacles that act as smell and taste sensors. The butterfly’s chest and stomach are covered with small, white hairs. Pictures here.

The Glasswing Butterfly (Greta oto) is illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of lei 0.60. It was named this way by the first entomologists who described it in honor of the great Swedish-born American actress, Greta Garbo 
The butterfly has transparent wings, the fine veins on its wings making it look like colored glass. It can be found in the area between Mexico and the other Central America states.  Glasswing butterflies lay their eggs on a toxic group of plants in the Cestrum genus, or nightshade family, which provide the eggs and larvae with alkaloids that ward away predators, due to the bad taste.

The Morpho Butterfly (Morpho nestira) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 2.40. It is a large butterfly, its wingspan being of about 180 mm. The adults feed during the day on the juice of plants and fruits, while the larvae feed on plants and only during night time. It can be found mainly in Central and Southern America.  the entire blue morpho life cycle lasts only 115 days.

The Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 3.00. Its wingspan is of 70-90 mm. It can be found over a large area from Western Europe to Japan.  

The Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 4.50. It is considered to be the largest butterfly of the Saturnidae Family, having a wingspan of 270-280 mm. It can be found in Southern Asia and Isles of Indonesia.  Atlas moths are predominantly tawny to maroon in colour with roughly triangular, diaphanous "eyes" on both forewing and hindwing, bordered in black. The purpose of these dramatic, gossamer portals is not clear, but they are thought to play a role in predator avoidance. Their bodies are hairy and disproportionately small compared to their wings. Neither sex possess fully formed mouthparts and therefore do not feed; throughout their 1–2-week adult life they survive entirely on larval fat reserves that they build up while they are caterpillars

The Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 5.00 and is part of the Nymphalidae Family. It is a large, diurnal butterfly which has a “peacock eye” pattern on both wings. The specialists consider it to be the most beautiful butterfly in Romania. I have seen myself many of these in childhood. The butterfly has cryptic undersides with flashy eye-spots above and can also make an audible sound by rubbing its wings together, presumably as anti-predator measures

Title: BUTTERFLIESThe Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is illustrated on the postage stamp of the perforated souvenir sheet with the face value of lei 8.10. Its wingspan is of 70-90 mm. The larvae of this butterfly live on fruit trees. More pictures here

I don´t have the FDC, but they look interesting too:

Following the link below you will find more posts about Summer on stamps, and maybe more butterflies :)

Date of Issue: 12 April 2011
Country: Romania
Denominations: 0,5L, 0,6L, 2,4L, 3L, 4,5L, 5L and SS 8,1L
Source: www.romfilatelia.ro

17 June 2011


I received a very beautiful set of stamps from Akin, Turkey. They illustrate, very nicely, important Turkish railway stations, both interior and exterior views and an express train.

Turkey's largest and most magnificent railway station, Haydarpasa, shown on the first stamp, was built in the early 20th century by the German architects Otto Ritter and Helmuth Cuno. A monument to the close Turkish - German relations of the time, the station was built in neo-renaissance style and has an U-plan. The inauguration ceremony took place on 19 August 1908, just after the proclamation of the Second Constitution

Foto by Arthur Eades
The facade is covered in textured sandstone, and the main facade overlooking Kadikoy Bay rests on a foundation of 1100 timber piles. The steep pitched roof is slated, and the interior is decorated with trailing foliage cartouches and garlands, and stained glass window. The ceiling of the circular room at the base of the southeast tower has ribbed vaults, and the upper landings have groin vaults. Flights of marble steps lead up from the quay to the monumental facade flanked by circular turrets with conical roofs, clock tower rising in the form of a crest at the centre, baroque decoration, balconies, molded cornices, and pilasters.

This splendid station building welcomes those arriving in Istanbul from Anatolia by train, and is the last sight of this enchanting city for those leaving with a mixture of emotions. Since 1908 Haydarpasa Station has witnessed many memorable events, both tragic and joyful. During World War I troops boarded trains for the front from here, many never to return, and in 1917 it was badly damaged in a bomb attack. Exuberant crowds welcomed Mustafa Kemal Atatürk here on many occasions when he arrived from Ankara.

Once upon a time, passengers of the Orient Express arriving at Istanbul from Europe and those who wanted to continue towards Baghdad, had to take a boat across the Bosphorus and board a train from Haydarpasa station.
Although with the increase in road transport and the advent of motorways Haydarpasa Station has lost its former importance, this magnificent building is still a landmark on the Asian shore of the city.

Want to make a virtual tour, click here.

Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal (TurkishSirkeci Garı), illustrated on the second stamp, is Istanbul's terminus for trains from Edirne and Europe. 
This is where the famed Orient Express ended its run from Paris, at the 19th-century Orientalist station near Seraglio Point beneath the walls of Topkapı Palace, right next to Eminönü, its ferry docks, and Galata Bridge.

File:Bahnhofsfront-Istanbul-Sirkeci retouched.jpg
The original front of the station (wikipedia)

The construction of the terminal building began on February 11, 1888. The terminus, which was initially named "Müşir Ahmet Paşa Station", was opened on November 3, 1890, replacing the temporary one. The architect of the project was August Jachmund, a Prussian who was sent to Istanbul by the German government in order to study Ottoman architecture. The terminal building which rises on an area of 1,200 m2 (13,000 sq ft) is one of the most famous examples of European Orientalism, and has influenced the designs of other architects. The building was also modern, having gas lighting and heating in winter.

The terminal restaurant became a meeting point for journalists, writers and other prominent people from the media in the 1950s and 1960s. The same restaurant, today called "Orient Express", is a popular spot among tourists.

The current station is preserved in its original state, but the areas around the terminal building have largely changed since 1890.

Several trains still run between Sirkeci and Edirne each day, and one, the Bosphorus Express, heads off toEastern Europe, but the best train out of Sirkeci is the Dostluk/Filia Express to Thessaloniki, Greece.

You may take a virtual tour, click here.

Date of Issue: 15 October 2008
Country: Turkey
Denominations: 0,65+10 and 0,80+10
Source: www.filateli.gov.tr

05 June 2011


Since the dawn of time, we’ve looked to the sky for hints of our cosmic roots—our place in time and space. The celestial jewels above have been an oracle for religions, a muse for poets and a compass for explorers. They continue to form the basis of our calendars, our clocks and our seasons. Our modern world is clearly indebted to the contributions of the world’s astronomers.

On April 2, 2009 Canada Post issued two domestic rate (54-cent) stamps to celebrate 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy and recognize the significant role that Canadians have played in uncovering the mysteries of outer space.

Each stamp pairs an important Canadian observatory with a nebula. 

One stamp features the National Research Council’s Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) in Saanich, BC. Completed in 1918, the DAO was the first Canadian observatory of international calibre and, for a brief period, it was the largest operating telescope in the world. It is pictured before the Horsehead Nebula, an evocative cloud of cold gas and dust silhouetted against bright, swirling gases in the constellation of Orion. View short film here: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/tours/tour-orion/

The dark molecular cloud, roughly 1,500 light years distant, is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against another, brighter nebula IC434. The prominent horse head portion of the nebula is really just part of a larger cloud of dust which can be seen extending toward the bottom of the picture.

The other stamp features the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). This world-class 3.6 metre telescope is located atop the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano rising 4,200 metres above the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1979, the highly-successful CFHT is Canada’s first partnership in an international observatory, in this case between the University of Hawaii, France’s Centre national de la recherche scientifique, and the National Research Council of Canada. The observatory is featured before the Eagle Nebula, a massive tower of cold gas and dust shaped like a mythical beast in the constellation of Serpens. The Eagle Nebula is a region of our galaxy where stars are currently forming out of dusty hydrogen gas. Ultraviolet light from newly-formed stars in the vicinity of the nebula is pumping energy into these gas clouds, causing them to glow in visible light. Find out more about its colours here: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/eagle.php

and a short movie with facts here:


These stamps are also included in the MS I have received from Kimberly.

In the background you can see the Carina Nebula. A Bok globule nicknamed the "caterpillar" appears in the middle upper part. Its glowing edge indicates that it is being photoionized by the hottest stars in the cluster. It has been hypothesized that stars may form inside such dusty cocoons

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) is the only international Mauna Kea observatory belonging to Hawai`i as well as to its two other international partners, Canada and France. CFHT played a leading role in establishing Mauna Kea as one of the best astronomical sites in the world. Canada's participation in the CFHT project has also been a very important step in the development of the Canadian astronomical community and placed Canada at the forefront of the international scene.

More astronomical images by CFHT can be found at: www.cfht.hawaii.edu/HawaiianStarlight/HawaiianStarlight.html

Date of Issue: 2 April 2009
Country: Canada
Denominations: 2 x 54 cents

Source: http://www.canadapost.ca