Thursday, 31 December 2009

POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Kristin sent me this postcard showing views of Limburg an der Lahn, a wonderful old town with one of the best preserved medieval town centers in Germany. The small seven-towered cathedral built in the early 13th century and dedicated to St George (Dom St Georg), is picturesquely situated on a rocky site overhanging the river. The best views of the cathedral are from the Alte Lahnbrücke (Old Lahn Bridge), dating from 1315, at the edge of the old town. Limburg’s historical old town is easy to enjoy: narrow alleys are lined with half-timbered buildings dating from the 13th to 18th centuries. Many now house modern shops as well as pleasant cafés and restaurants making Limburg very much a living town.

The definitive stamp (face value 45 ¢) issued on April 7, 2005 depicts Margerite (Chrysanthemum sp.). German Post issued on July 3, 2008 two stamps of the series lighthouses (Leuchttürme) and the 55¢ stamp presents Amrum lighthouse. It is located in the island of Amrum, one of the North Frisian Islands on the North Sea coast. Officially activated on January 1, 1875, the red brick tower with two white bands is the biggest lighthouse along the North Sea coast: its height is 41.8m and rises 66m above sea level. During the summer, in the morning, the lighthouse is open to visitors who reach the top of the lighthouse climbing 295 stairs.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

COVER FROM GREECE

Rania from Greece sent me nice Greek lighthouses stamps to my thematic collection and an envelope full of stamps. On February 9, 2009, Hellenic Post issued the first commemorative stamp set of the year “Greek Actors”. The 1,00 euro stamp presents the Greek theatrical and film performer Dimitris Horn, widely regarded as the greatest Greek actor of modern times.
On February 27, 2008, Greece issued a set of ten stamps featuring landscapes of Greek islands. The lower value stamp (0,02 ) depicts a city view of Chios Island, the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea.
The Hellenic Post issued in October 2009 five stamps depicting Greek lighthouses from the islands of Syros (islet of Didymi – Giadouronissi), Andros (Tourlitis lighthouse), Chania, Paros (Korakas Lighthouse) and Kastellorizo (Strogyli Lighthouse). The stamp on the cover presents Gaiduronisi Lighthouse (built in 1834), located in Gaiduronisi Island, a very small unpopulated island in the entrance of the Port Of Hermoupolis (Syros Isl).

Sunday, 15 November 2009

POSTCARD FROM USA

This postcard came from Michigan sent by my frien James. Point Iroquois Lighthouse is located 5 miles west of Brimley, Michigan, at the entrance to the St. Mary's River from Lake Superior. Established in 1855 and operated by the Lighthouse Service (which became part of the US Coast Guard in 1939), the 65 ft (20 m) round brick white tower with lantern and gallery black continued in service until 1962. The two-floor rectangular brick house which provided living space for three lighthouse keepers, houses nowadays a museum and a gift shop.

The first class stamp issued in 2008 depicts one of the most prominent symbols of the American Revolutionary War: the Liberty Bell, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In USA this cracked bell is a familiar symbol of independence and has been described as an icon of liberty and justice. The definitive stamp “American Clock” features an artistic rendering of the dial, or face, of a banjo clock. Constructed of brass and steel in 1805, the banjo clock depicted on the stamp has a painted iron dial and a mahogany case crowned by a brass eagle. On April 28, 2009, the Postal Service reissued the Purple Heart definitive stamp with a 44-cent denomination.The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

COVER FROM SWEDEN

Sweden issued on May 14, 2009 a block with two stamps celebrating the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille. The block named “Seeing with other eyes” features a finger reading braille and the alphabet embossed in Braille. This cover was sent by Gunilla from Stockholm.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

COVER FROM SPAIN

On July 15, 2009 the Spanish Post Office issued a set of three stamps devoted to three important figures ( scientist Charles Darwin, politician Claudio Moyano and Louis Braille) on the 200 years of their birth. Nuria from Madrid sent me this cover and mint stamps of Louis Braille to my thematic collection of blind/blindness.

Monday, 20 July 2009

POSTCARD FROM USA

My friend Stan from the state of Florida sent me this nice viewcard to my collection of lighthouse postcards. Located just north of Florida, Georgia has a relatively short Atlantic coastline with six surviving historic lighthouses (3 active). The coastline is low, featuring a series of sandy islands known in Georgia as the Sea Islands. Savannah is the largest port in the state.
Sapelo Island Lighthouse is located near the southern tip of Sapelo Island, near Meridian, Georgia. It is the nation's second-oldest brick lighthouse and was built in 1820. The round brick tower (65 ft = 20 m), painted with horizontal red and white bands guided ships into the port of Darien on the Altamaha River. The lighthouse was inactive from 1905 to 1998, when it was renovated to its 1890 appearance and relit.
The Cockspur Island Light is a small lighthouse (46 ft = 14 m), round brick tower painted white, situated on an islet off Cockspur Island at the south channel of the Savannah River near Lazaretto Creek, northwest of Tybee Island, Georgia. It was built in 1848, damaged by a hurricane in 1854 and the tower was rebuilt and enlarged on the same foundation the next year. It ceased operation as an active beacon in 1909, because large vessels routed to the deep and more navigable north channel of the Savannah River.
Tybee Island Lighthouse is located on the south side of the Savannah River entrance, in Tybee Island, state of Georgia. The first lighthouse on Tybee was built in 1736, octagonal in shape (90 ft=27 m) and was constructed of wood. The tower was finally completed until 1867, reached a finished height of one hundred and fifty-four feet and was fitted with a 1st order Fresnel lens, the largest and brightest available making the light visible from almost twenty miles at sea. Rebuilt four times, the current 145 ft (44 m) black and white octagonal brick tower was finally completed in1867. Tybee Island lighthouse is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia and is still in operation.

Little Cumberland Island is the southernmost of the islands of Georgia's Atlantic Coast and Little Cumberland Light is a lighthouse on the north end of the island. The 60 ft (18 m) white round brick tower was in service until 1915 when it was deactivated. The tower was renovated in 1994-98, but it needs a more thorough restoration. A large dune protects the lighthouse from the ocean, but as a result the tower is now barely visible from the water. Little Cumberland Island is privately owned and is not open to the public.
The St. Simons Island Light is a lighthouse in Georgia, United States, on the southern tip of Saint Simons Island, marking the entrance into St. Simons Sound. The original St. Simons Island lighthouse (75 ft = 23 m) was built in 1810 and destroyed during the Civil War. The construction of a second lighthouse was completed in 1872, and the 104 ft (32 m) white round brick tower continues active shining seaward every night.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

POSTCARD FROM NORWAY

This is my first postcard received from Norway, sent by Malin. The lighthouse of Lindesnes stands on the southernmost point of the mainland of Norway. The first lighthouse in Norway was established in Lindesness on February 27, 1656, consisting of 30 tallow candles in the upper floor of a three-floor tower. The light was closed after only a few months. Two coal fires, in open grates placed directly on the ground, were lit on Feb 1, 1725. In 1822, a new lighthouse was built with a light that was fueled by gas and thirty-two years later a new lighthouse equipped with a Fresnel lens was built. In 1915, the lens was moved to a white conical new white tower (height 53 meters), with a new engine room and a fog signal. Within a year, the Lindesnes lighthouse stood much as it does today.
The lighthouse has been designated a national lighthouse museum, and hosts various exhibitions relating to the development and history of lighthouses, maritime culture, etc. The underground hall below the lighthouse houses a cinema, exhibitions and a café. The complex also comprises an information centre/shop, a restaurant and a gallery.
On April 17th, 2009 Norway’s Post Office issued a stamp to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Norway's national anthem. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson wrote the words in 1859 and Rikard Nordraak composed the music for what was to become Norway’s national anthem. The stamp features words of "Ja, vi elsker dette landet" and children's procession with flags of the country on the background.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

COVER FROM GREECE

Konstantinos from Greece sent me a cover celebrating Louis Braille bicentenary and stamps on it. Greece issued a commemorative series on March 30, 2009 celebrating Anniversaries and Events with eight stamps. We have two values on this cover: 200 years from the birth of Louis Braille (0,57euros) and National Real Estate Registry (3,00 Euros).
On 16 December, 2008 Greek Post issued a set of five stamps named Fairy Tales presenting stories of the folklore and mythology. The stamp on the cover (0,10 Euros) represents the tale of the Mermaid and Alexander the Great.
On June 20, 2008 Greece released a stamp celebrating 180 years of Hellenic Post. The stamp shows the interior of a post office agency, the logo of Greek Post and the number 180.

Official prepaid postcard celebrating the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille.




COVER FROM BELGIUM

My friend Thomas from Belgium sent me this cover with the commemorative stamp of the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille issued in February 2009. The 1 euro value brings the image of hands reading a text in braille, the portrait of Louis Braille and his name embossed on the stamp in braille alphabet.
Two definitive stamps from the series Birds complete the cover: issued on April 6, 2009 the value 27 cents depicts the bécasse des bois (Scolopax rusticola), a woodcock found in temperate woodland of Eurasia. The 23 cents value issued on March 26, 2007 features the choucas des tours (Corvus monedula), a black-plumage jackdaw.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

VACATION IN SPAIN

Dear friends,

I am in Madrid, Spain since 31 May and will spend fourteen days in the country (Barcelona, Granada and Sevilla). I will return to Brazil on June 14th, so I can not answer (send) letters until my return.
Visiting the main philatelic store of Correos de Espana and buying mint stamps from Spain and Andorra.


Visiting a stamp dealer near Plaza Mayor (Filatelica Arias) where I bought many thematic stamps to my collections.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

COVER FROM SWEDEN

Sweden issued last May 14th this nice minisheet with two stamps called "Se med andra ogon" (Through the eyes of others) celebrating Braille system and Louis Braille bicentenary of birth. The block designed by Elisabeth Bjorkbom contains two stamps, embossed braille alphabet, the image of fingers reading braille and a fingerprint postmark. Posten also issued a first day cover ( forstadagsbrev). Thanks Gunilla and Ken for the block and FDC.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

COVER AND STAMPS FROM BELARUS

On June 10, 2008 Belpost issued a set of twelve definitive stamps named “Garden Flowers” and the BYR 30 stamp represents a petunia (Petunia hybrid). The BYR 400 wolf (Canis lupus) stamp is part of the definitive series “Wild animals” issued on June 10, 2008. On March 14, 2007 Belarus issued the BYR 2000 definitive stamp “city hall of Minsk” . The BYR 3000 definitive stamp issued on December 20, 2006 depicts the city hall of Shklov.


Alexander from Minsk sent me the stamp, souvenir sheet and FDC celebrating the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille. Issued on January 4th (date of his birth) the stamp includes the portrait of the French man and hands reading a text in Braille.
The FDC postmark depicts the words "Louis Braille" in Braille.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

2009 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL

Brazilian Post issued today (April 23) the fourth stamp of the series “Diplomatic Relations”, celebrating the friendship with Lebanon. The Lebanese community in Brazil is currently the largest in the world to live outside Lebanon (USA has the second one); by the way, my great grandfather was a Lebanese immigrant.
Literature was the thematic chosen since Beirut was designated by UNESCO as 2009 World Book Capital. The stamp depicts the image of the Lebanese poet and writer Khalil Gibran (1883 – 1931) and one of his citations “Wisdom is the only wealth that tyrants can not expropriate”. Beirut is the ninth city designated as World Book Capital, following Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007) and Amsterdam (2008).

2009 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL

Brazilian Post issued on April 17th, 2009 two stamps dedicated to diplomatic relations with Thailand, reproducing singular aspects of the architecture and flora of these two countries. The “Thai stamp” depicts the Dusit Maha Prasat throne hall in Bangkok and a species of orchid called Rhynchostylis gigantean. The cruciform Dusit Maha Prasat building, built by Rama I in 1790, is one of the least altered and most elegant public buildings of the center court. Although it has been used as a residence and audience hall, its primary purpose which survives to this day is as the lying-in-state place for kings, queens and favored members of the royal family. The Rhynchostylis is also commonly called Foxtail Orchid (Orquídea Rabo de Raposa) and occurs in Thailand and other countries of Southeast.
The other stamp presents the catholic Cathedral of São Pedro de Alcântara, in Petrópolis and two native bromelias of Brazil: Aechmea distichantha and Vriesea ensiformis. Petrópolis (“City of Pedro”), also known as the” Imperial City of Brazil”, is a popular summer holiday spot where is located the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian Emperor, Pedro II. The cathedral is an 18th century French Neogothic building and was executed in stone masonry and granite ashlar. The interior Imperial Chapel adorned with Carrara marble works houses the tombstones of Emperor D. Pedro II and her wife Dona Teresa Cristina. The patron of the Cathedral is Saint Peter of Alcantara, worshiped as protector of monarchs and named by D. Pedro I patron of the Brazilian Empire.

Friday, 17 April 2009

COVER FROM NETHERLANDS

My friend Anthony from Netherlands sent me many stamps and FDC issued in 2009 celebrating the bicentenary of Louis Braille. My topical Blind stamp collection increases day by day. Thank you, pal.
The Belgium stamp celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Braille depicts a small bust of him and hands reading Braille (issued on February 21st, 2009).




On 23 January, 2009, Irish Post issued a 55c stamp to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Louis Braille. It features an eye created with a series of dots representing Braille as a system that extends the senses through the organization of a minimal form. “Eire” and “55c” are reproduced in Braille.




Slovenia Post issued on 30 January, 2009 a nice miniature sheet with an eye and Braille’s writing (the dot system alphabet) celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Braille. I am interested in the Braille First Day Cover from Slovenia.



Andorra Post also issued on 26 January 2009 its Louis Braille stamp.






Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park stamp begins a new series, which will show different aspects of nature and the seasons of the year. The Finnish stamp is a first class self-adhesive stamp with Braille lettering issued on January 22, 2009. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the third-largest national park in Finland, located in the Lapland Province.The high fells of the park are the southernmost place to see some arctic species in Finland. Most of the park consists of primeval forests and various types of muskeg.













Monday, 13 April 2009

2009 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL

Brazilian Post issued on April 4th the first stamp of a series called “Soccer Teams – Brazil towards 2014 FIFA World Cup” which celebrates the centenary of Sport Club Internacional, also known as Inter. Internacional, a Brazilian soccer team from the city of Porto Alegre, founded on April 4, 1909 plays in red shirts, so its nickname is Colorado (or the Reds). The club's most successful season was in 2006, when Internacional won the FIFA Club World Cup 2006, beating FC Barcelona, in Yokohama, Japan. The stamp shows the team’s emblem, the main trophies they have won and the phrase “Campeão de tudo” (Champion of all). Inter is the only Brazilian club to have won all the official international championships and cups a South American team can win (Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Recopa Sudamericana and FIFA Club World Cup). In the victorious Seventies, the club lived its best years in history securing three times the Brazilian Championship: 1975, 1976 and 1979.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

BRAZIL - PROTECTION OF POLAR REGIONS AND GLACIERS


The new commemorative stamp issued on March 18th is dedicated to the protection of polar areas and glaciers and mark the International Polar Year 2007-2009. Brazilian Post chose two specimens (one native from Arctic and other from Antarctic) as symbols of endangered animals caused by recent climatic changes. The Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is most common in the polar and subpolar waters of the Southern Hemisphere, along the coast of Antarctica and on most sub-Antarctic islands. Some individuals can be found on the coasts of South Africa, southern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Atlantic coast of South America. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native to the Arctic Ocean and its surrounding seas. For decades, the world's largest carnivore found on land suffered unrestricted hunting, what raised international concern for the future of the species. Nowadays, scientists list global warming as the most significant threat to the polar bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food.

Friday, 27 March 2009

POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

This postcard arrived from Germany sent by Gabriella. Construction of the neoclassicist Paulskirche (St. Paul's Church) in Frankfurt am Main started in 1789, but was completed only in 1833. It was used as a protestant church until 1848, when it became the meeting place for the Parliament (Vorparlament). From March 31 1848 until April 3, they prepared the elections for the German National Assembly, the first freely elected parliament of Germany. On May 18, 1848 the National Assembly met for the first time in the church, and was, therefore, named the Paulskirchenparlament. Until 1849, the National Assembly worked in the church to develop a constitution for a united Germany.
During World War II, allied bombings completely destroyed the Paulskirche together with most of Frankfurt's historic center. Because of its historic significance, the Paulskirche was the first building reconstructed after the war. The Paulskirche reopened on the 100th anniversary of Germany's first parliament. Today the building is only used for public functions and special events.
On July 12, 2007 German Post issued two lighthouse stamps (Leuchtturme), one of them (Hornum) is placed on the right corner of the postcard. Hornum lighthouse was built in 1907 on the island of Sylt, in northern Germany. The slim red/white tower is 17m high and stands at the southernmost point of the island on a sand dune around 30m high. A spiral staircase leads visitors to an outside walkway where they can enjoy a breathtaking view of Sylt.
Deutsche Post repeated the theme in 2008 with more two stamps: Amrum and Warnemunde lighthouses. The Amrum lighthouse is located in the southern part of the German island of Amrum, North Sea coast. The red/white tower is 41.8 meters tall and its lights reach about 23.3 nautical miles. Constructions were taken up in 1873 and finished in November 1874. The Amrum Lighthouse was officially activated on January 1, 1875 and was the first German lighthouse to be erected in Nordfriesland. In 1936, the lantern was electrified and the last keeper left the lighthouse in 1984 when the facility had become automated.

Friday, 20 March 2009

FDCs FROM CROATIA

Zeljko from Croatia sent me nice lighthouse and blind stamps (and FDCs) to my thematic collections. The cover brings two Europa stamps issued last year, following the theme "writing letters". On November 23, 1995 Croatia Post issued a stamp and FDC celebrating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute for blind children in Zagreb. The stamp depicts hands reading Braille. When reading braille, the index finger is often used and another finger is used as a guide to keep the finger on track. The FDC brings the image of Vinko Bek, a pioneer specialist in teaching the blind. Bek issued the first Croatian book with Braille characters.
Croatian Post issued on September 14th, 2007 a set of three stamps presenting lighthouses along Croatia's crystal-clear Adriatic coastline. Some of them close to 200 years old, but all still working. Savudrija is the oldest Croatian lighthouse built in 1818 on the cape Bašanija near Savudrija. It is the most northern Croatian lighthouse, situated right next to Slovenian border and only 56 km south of Italian town Trieste. It is 36 meters high and the light signal of this lighthouse spreads to the distance of 17 nautical miles (32 km). Situated a nautical mile southwest of the southern cape of Istria, Porer is actually a round-shaped rock 80 m in width, in the middle of which there is a rounded stone tower 35 m high that was built in 1833. The islet is situated 2.5 km from the mainland and the small town of Premantura. Sveti Ivan na pučini (St. John out in the sea) lighthouse is on an islet of irregular shape, built in the year 1853, with the surface of 70 x 50 meters, situated in the middle of the western coast of the Istrian peninsula in front of Rovinj. The lighthouse tower is 23 meters in height.

Croatia repeated the lighthouse thematic in 2008 with more three Adriatic lighthouses. Located at the western side of the resort island of Brijuni, about 7 km west of Pula, Pinida lighthouse is a 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the seaward side of a 2-story keeper's house. Vnetak lighthouse is a 13 m (43 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 1-story masonry keeper's house. The lighthouse is located on the Unije Island. Zaglav lighthouse is located on a small island off the west coast of Cres near Pernat. It is a 15 m (49 ft) square tower with lantern and gallery, centered on the roof of a 2-story masonry keeper's house.






Saturday, 14 March 2009

FDC AND STAMPS FROM NEPAL

Mr. Chamling from Kathmandu sent me stamps, FDC, coins and banknotes. A sample of what arrived from Nepal:
This stamp goes straight to my Blind /Blindness collection. On November 29th, 1998 Nepal issued this stamp,with the slogan ”Save Sight Prevent Blindness”: a health campaign to avoid blindness due to cataracts. Age-related cataract is responsible for 48% of world blindness, which represents about 18 million people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Cataracts are the main cause of blindness in the world, but the vast majority of cases can be treated successfully with an operation to remove the cloudy lens.
On July 7th, 2005 Nepal issued a stamp and FDC celebrating the 59th Birthday of HM King Gyanendra. He reigned as King Gyanendra from his accession in 2001 until the dissolution of the monarchy in 2008, when he became a private citizen and was stripped of his royal titles and status. On 28 May 2008, the monarchy was officially abolished in Nepal and replaced with a secular federal republic by the Constituent Assembly.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

FDC AND STAMPS FROM ALGERIA

Now is Algeria Post celebrating the bicentenary of birth of Louis Braille. The first stamp issued in Algeria this year, brings Braille’s image and the first eight letters of the alphabet and their equivalent Braille alphabet letters. Mr. Khemissi from Setif sent me the FDC, a brochure and the mint stamp. Thanks!


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

COVER AND FDC FROM CANADA

Mr. Prout, friend from Vancouver, sent me this complete thematic material to my Blind collection. On his cover, we can see three of the five self adhesive permanent stamps that Canada recently issued focusing 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paraolympic Winter Games. The stamps features five sports: curling, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, bobsleigh and ice sledge hockey.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Association for the Blind (April, 28th 2008), Canada issued the guide dog stamp, the first Canadian stamp to feature Braille. Successful guide dogs share a number of common qualities including a willingness to work, a desire to please their human companion, a quiet, calm disposition and the ability to focus no matter how distracting the environment.



The Montreal Association for the Blind, founded in 1908 by Philip Layton, educates and offers rehabilitation to the blind and visually impaired. Today, the MAB is the oldest rehabilitation centre of its kind in Canada serving people with vision loss.