Sunday, 31 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

This postcard arrived from the Balearic Island of Mallorca sent by Jose and shows two lighthouses: the old and inactive and the new and active Sa Creu Lighthouses.
Located on a promontory on the east side of the harbor entrance at Port de Sóller, the 9 m (30 ft) round unpainted stone tower was built in 1864. It did not take much to see that occasional hurricane winds and huge waves would cause intense tremors in the building and the lighthouse would be completely enveloped in the spray caused by the columns of waves which could reach altitudes of over 15 meters above its cupola.  Plans were made in 1923 for a new tower on a nearby point and it was completed in 1932. But the new lighthouse did not start operating until 6 June, 1945.The new 13 m (43 ft) round masonry tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands, has a 2-story modern keeper's house nearby.

Correos de España issued on September 3th, 2010 a set of three 0,78 € stamps devoted to the important environmental topic of renewable energies. Biomass is organic matter used as a fuel, especially in the generation of electricity. There are various types of biomass depending on where it comes from: Natural biomass, produced by nature with no human interference; residual biomass generated by agriculture, stockbreeding, the agro alimentary and wood industries and purpose-grown biomass for fuel. The stamp features a crop transformed into fuel.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

 Le Four Lighthouse (Phare Le Four) is located on a wave swept rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Argenton, in Bretagne in north-western France. Built between 1869 and 1874, it was lit on March 15th, 1874 marking the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. The 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower was hit by a Portuguese ship, the “Esprosende” on November 14th, 1917 and needed extensive repair. Rebuilt between 1920 and 1922 the lighthouse is still active and accessible only by boat.
French Post issued on September 13, 2010 a self-adhesive stamp – validity world 20g presenting the famous Eiffel Tower. Thank you, Louise.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM PORTUGAL

 Aveiro Lighthouse, also known as Barra Light, is a 62 m (203 ft) round stone tower that rises from the center of a 2-story keeper's house and is the tallest Portuguese lighthouse. The lighthouse was built between 1885 and 1893 and is located on the south side of the entrance to the Aveiro River, in Barra, the seaside neighborhood of Aveiro. The tower is unusual in having an elevator, installed in 1958, that rises through the middle of a 291-steps spiral stairway. Automated in 1990 the tower is open to the public by arrangement.
Portugal issued on July 1st, 2010 a fauna series called “Marine Invertebrates from the Azores” consisting of four stamps and two souvenir sheet. The € 0, 80 stamp presents the echinoderm red starfish (Ophidiaster ophidianus). Thank you, Sofia.

Monday, 25 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM RUSSIA

Vasilievsky Island is the largest island in the Neva River delta near the Gulf of Finland, in St. Petersburg, Russia.  One of the distinctive features of St.Petersburg skyline, the imposing 32 meters high (104ft) Rostral Columns were designed in 1810 by the French architect Thomas de Thomon and inaugurated as lighthouses one year later. The two beautiful ornate red columns were built in front of the Old Stock Exchange building, as the symbol of the naval supremacy of the Russian Empire and in honor of the Russian fleet victories. The columns are decorated according to the Roman tradition with protruding six ships’ prows (“rostra” in Latin) and images of anchors. In the 19th century the oil lamps in these gigantic lighthouses were replaced by gas torches and still lit on ceremonic occasions, for instance for Navy days and other water festivals.
Russia Post issued on June 18th, 2010 a souvenir sheet with three stamps celebrating the 300th anniversary of foundation of Tsarskoe Selo, the former Russian residence of the imperial family near St. Petersburg. The 15.00RUB stamp presents the Egyptian Gates, structures erected in 1827-32 and covered with hieroglyphics that leads to the imperial palace. The 2009 Europa stamp issued on May 5th, 2009 depicts the space and a telescope. Russia and the Soviet Union (USSR) conducted pioneering events in space exploration (the dog Laika, Yuri Gagarin, first space station...) and the Soviet and Russian space stamps are among my favourites. Thanks, Kate for the nice postcard and stamps.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

Portocolom is a small port on Majorca's southeast coast in Spain and the harbor is nearly enclosed by a rocky peninsula. Located at the tip of the peninsula the lighthouse in Portocolom is called Far de Sa Punta de Ses Crestes and was built in 1863 by Emili Pou. In 1918 the tower was raised 6.5m in order to reach a greater geographical range. In 1965 the signal was electrified and the height of the tower was increased again:  the current 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands and adjacent to a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse emits two white flashes every 10 seconds and the signal range extends to 10 nautical miles. 
Correos de España issued on February 20th, 2009 a set of four stamps called “Renewable energies” and the postcard brings the 0, 78€ stamp devoted to geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is obtained by tapping the heat of the earth, usually from kilometers deep into the Earth's crust. This energy takes the form of hot steam or hot water mixed with chemicals that come out as hot springs or geysers. The hot water or heat can arise naturally or be artificially pumped. Iceland is the main producer in Europe of geothermal energy.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORWAY

Lista Lighthouse is the last lighthouse in Norway before the North Sea, near to the southernmost point of Norway. Lit is located about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of Vestbygd, a village in the municipality of Farsund. The first light station was established in the prominent cape in November 1836. The actual 34 m (112 ft) round granite tower was built in 1853 and its light reaches 17.5 nautical miles out to sea. A well-preserved 2-story keeper's house, a fog signal house and garage flank the unpainted dark gray stone tower. Approximately 60.000 visitors come to Lista Lighthouse all the year round, where the attractions include an information centre, a meteorological and an ornithological station, art exhibitions and small concerts. The tower is open daily over the Easter weekend and in June, July, and August.
Astronomy was the theme for 2009 Europa stamps, which also marked the International Year of Astronomy. This NOK 12.00 stamp issued on June 12, 2009 shows an image of the Moon. The average distance from the Moon to the Earth is 384,400 km. It is always the same side of the Moon that faces the Earth. Real meteorite dust has been sprinkled beside the country name on the stamp. Meteorites are about 4.6 million years old, much older than the oldest rocks that have been found on Earth.
The Kr 1.00 definitive stamp shows the posthorn, an important part of the postman’s equipment in the olden days. The mail carrier blew his posthorn to warn people to get out of the way as the mail coach approached. The posthorn was also handy to have if the mail carrier needed help, was waylaid or was involved in an accident. On approaching the farm where he planned to rest, the mail carrier would blow his horn to tell the farmer to prepare food and a bed for him. The posthorn was at that time and it was a familiar symbol representing status. Architect Andreas Friedrich Wilhelm von Hanno was responsible for the design of Norway’s first posthorn stamps, which saw the light of day in 1872. Norway’s posthorn stamps are therefore the world’s longest-running definitive series.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

The Ludington Lighthouse is a 57 ft (17.5 m) square pyramidal steel tower located at the end of the breakwater in Ludington, Michigan. The building was mounted on a prow-shaped concrete base designed to break the force of storm waves. The first wood tower was established in 1871 at the end of the south breakwater, but the present light was first lit in 1924 at the north breakwater and it is presently operational. The white tower with a black lantern was automated in 1972 and the Fresnel lens was removed from the lantern in October 1995.  It was replaced by a Tidelands Signal 300 mm acrylic optic. In 2006, the Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse was opened to the public for the first time in its history. The lighthouse is open to the public a few days each summer in calm weather for climbing tours.
On May 16, 2008, the Postal Service issued a 94–cent, definitive stamp, St. John, US Virgin Islands. This stamp is part of the Scenic American Landscapes series. It features a photograph of Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park on the northern coast of St. John. Thank you, Patrick.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM POLAND

The Stilo Lighthouse is located atop a hill (45 m above sea level) about 800 m (1/2 mi) from the seashore, not far from the hamlet of Stilo, and 7 km (4.5 mi) east of Łeba, on the Baltic coast of Poland. The 33.5 m (110 ft) 16-sided cast iron tower was built in 1904 by German engineers and put into operation in 1906. The tricolored lighthouse is attached to a 3-story brick keeper's house and 1-story brick generator and equipment house. The ten storeys of the tower are reached by means of a right-hand spiral staircase (122 steps) and three mobile phone antennae were installed in the lower gallery in April 2000. This beautiful cast iron lighthouse survived both world wars almost intact and looks today, after some repairs and conservation work, much as it did when it was built.
Polish Post issued on May 29th, 2006 four lighthouse stamps and the postcard brings two of them: the lighthouse in Stilo, and the lighthouse in Krynica Morska.

Friday, 8 October 2010

COVER AND FDCs FROM POLAND

Two nice stamps issued in 2009 illustrate the cover sent by Paul, a new friend from Poland. The 1,95 zł stamp features the cherry (Cerasus avium), a popular and worldwide appreciated sweet fruit, cultivated mainly in Europe and in the United States. The stamp is part of the series “Flowers and Fruits” issued on August 5th. The 1,55 zł Christmas stamp issued on November 27th brings the image of angels singing Christmas carols in the background of the Christmas tree. 
In 2006 the Polish Post has issued the first part of the stamp series with lighthouses of the Polish seacoast. These two wonderful FDC present the four stamps of this collection issued in the Hel Post Office, on June 15th, 2007. Both envelopes show a typical lighthouse 1000 watts electric bulb. In Polish, a lighthouse is a "sea lantern," latarnia morska, plural latarnie morskie.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

Cap de Formentor is a spectacular bluff, located on the northernmost point of the Spanish Island Majorca and forms the eastern end of Formentor peninsula. A rather dramatic but extremely panoramic road climbs steeply uphill affording sensational views of the countryside below, bay and beaches. The imposing  22 m (72 ft) round masonry tower, attached to a 1-story keeper's house stands at the end of the road: Cap Formentor Lighthouse. The construction of this lighthouse was the most complicated one in all of the islands. The main problem was to transport materials by sea and after that by mule on a crooked trail. The lighthouse was first lit in 1863, converted to electric power in 1962 and today it operates on solar power.
Correos de España issued on February 16th, 2007 two self adhesive stamps of the series “Sciences of the Earth and the Universe”. The 0,30 € stamp is devoted to Basic Cartography and the 0,78 € issue presents the Radio Telescope of the Astronomic Centre of Yebes (Guadalajara). Thank you, José.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM DENMARK

My Portuguese friend João Miguel, who lived and studied in Denmark, sent me this Danish lighthouse to my collection. Obrigado, thanks! The Limfjord in Denmark is a network of broad sounds and narrow channels that extends all the way across the northern end of Jylland (Jutland), connecting the North Sea at Thyborøn to the Kattegat at Hals. It is approximately 180 kilometers long and of an irregular shape with several bays, narrowings, and islands.
The Grisetåodde Lighthouse is located on a spit of land marking the east entrance to the Oddesund strait in Oddesund Syd. Built in 1909, the 8 m (26 ft) round cast iron tower painted with red and white horizontal bands is still active nowadays.
The postcard brings a postal label issued for the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. EY2010 is an European Union's initiative to raise public awareness about these issues and renew the political commitment of EU State Members to combat poverty and social exclusion.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

Donaghadee is a small town and quiet seaside resort in County Down, Northern Ireland, situated on the east coast, about 18 miles (29 km) from Belfast. Donaghadee is probably best known for its lighthouse and harbour. The tower was built in 1836 of cut limestone, fluted, and in its early days was unpainted in natural grey colour. Today the 16 m (53 ft) tower, including the lantern and dome, is painted white with a black plinth.
A serious fire damaged the optic and lantern on the 12th May 1900 and a temporary light had to be shown whilst a new optic was obtained and the damaged lantern repaired. This was completed by September of the same year. In October 1934 the light was the first in Ireland to be converted to electric power.


The Royal Mail issued on August 19th, 2010 a romantic series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the building of British Rail’s last ever steam locomotive, the 9F Class “Evening Star”. The six stamps feature photographies of lovely engines of the golden age of steam.

The 67p stamp shows the LNER (London North East Region) Class A1 locomotive, ‘Royal Lancer’ photographed in 1929. Thank you, Crystal.

Monday, 4 October 2010

COVER FROM SWEDEN AND GERMAN LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARDS

My Swedish postcard trade partner Mirian sent me two lighthouse cards from a trip to Germany.
Sweden Post issued on January 29th, 2009 a six-stamp series named Cult Cars presenting popular cars from the 1940s - 1960s in Sweden, USA and Europe.
The Volvo PV 444 was the big people’s car in Sweden in the 1940s and ‘50s, and almost 200,000 were manufactured in total. The 4-cylinder engine car laid the foundation for Volvo’s growth as a car producer and was made from 1947 to 1965.
In 1955 French Citroën introduced the new model DS, known as ‘The Toad’ in Sweden! The executive car was known for its aerodynamic futuristic body design and innovative technology, including a hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension. The car was produced between 1955 and 1975 and the car on the stamp is from circa 1957.
The Coupé de Ville was introduced by Cadillac late in the 1949 as a closed, two-door coupé. It was one of the company's most popular models and redesigned several times until the discontinuation of the model in 1993. 1950s models with their rear section with impressive fins are probably the best-known versions of the car. Models from this era have commonly appeared in movies and music videos.
Hiddensee is a barrier island in the Baltic Sea, located west of Rügen on the German coast. The famous Dornbusch Lighthouse is built on a 72m high hill covered with thorn bushes, for which the light is named. The original tower was a round brick building built in 1888, but it was strengthened with a concrete jacket in 1927 and got the present 12-sided outer wall. The 28 m (92 ft) round masonry tower, painted white with its red lantern roof is a landmark on the northern end of the island. After the German reunification, the tower was restored and opened it to the public in 1994.
Cape Arkona is the most prominent and dangerous cape on Germany's Baltic coast, located on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Here are located two of the most beautiful lighthouses of the Baltic Sea. The oldest tower was inaugurated in 1828: a 21 m (69 ft) square 3-stage brick tower. It became inactive in 1902, when the new tower was built side by side. The 35m (115ft) conical brick tower with double gallery is still active.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ITALY

Giovanni sent me my fourth lighthouse postcard from Sardegna (Sardinia) island.
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is the largest city on the island. It is a thriving and modern city located just a short distance from some of the most mesmerising beaches in Europe. Calamosca is a popular and fabulous beach in Cagliari and place of the traditional Faro di Sant'Elia (Sant’Elia Lighthouse). The 21 m (69 ft) round masonry tower painted with black and white horizontal bands is attached to a 2-story masonry keeper's house. It stands on a promontory on the southeast side of the city, at the end of the Via Faro. The lighthouse was built in 1860 near a late medieval watch tower.
Poste Italiane issued on June 21, 2008 a € 1.50 stamp celebrating Giacomo Puccini on the 150th anniversary of his birth. The stamp features a portrait of the composer Puccini, a treble clef and the title “La Bohème”, his famous opera in four acts first performed in 1896 in Turin.