Thursday, 15 February 2018

Timbucktu - Mali

Africa-Mali-Timbuktu As you can see there are many ways to spell the name of this famous city. This card is unique in all the cards that I have in my collection and the reason is??? I have not been here ! It is the only card I have of a place that I have not been. So why is it here. Well on my recent trip to Mali , my guide Abdouleye is from Timbucktu. He was a excellent guide . He was fascinated by my passion with postcards and visiting Post offices. As he would say " Ive never met someone like you Mr David " . Not the first time I have heard that. I had wanted to go the Timbucktu but due to security issues and no commercial flights it was not possible. So I seen this card and the Guide offered to mail it for me. But I know that when the situation is ok on the ground I will indeed visit.  

Here is the postmark Timbouctou dated 10 November 2017. The writing is mine , but I did not put the stamps on the card. I rarely put stamps on top of stamps unless I have no space. In Mali this is quite common as the Post offices often only have low value stamps for sale. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Bamako - Mali

Africa-Mali-Bamako My last card from Bamako . Here you see a typical scene from the city. 

Sent from the main Post Office in Bamako , the office with the Philatelic section. 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Postcards of Mali

Africa-Mali-Bamako I just love this card. I could not resist it will all the old postcards on the front. Reminds me of years ago when everyone who travelled sent postcards. Hardly anyone does.. I do as you all know.. 

The first Post office I went to in Bamako. They have very few stamps of choice. I asked for the Philatelic Office and was sent to another Post Office. In this office I was brought into a room and told the Head of the Office I wanted to buy a selection of stamps. She understood what I was asking. So she opened the great safe and there was a lot of different stamps. You can see some of these on my cards. However when I was paying she asked for more as "Philatelic Stamps" had a 25% surcharge. This was after I had stuck them on my mail.. So as you can imagine a big fuss happened. In the end they did not charge the extra. But I did give the Lady in charge a small tip, as I was afraid my mail would go into the bin.. It did not as you can see and these are the results. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Dogon Area of Mali

Africa-Mali-Bamako These houses styles are some we seen on our trip in Mali. They are in Dogon area of Mali. Loved walking in the villages with the locals. 

I posted this card in Bamako , reason being is that were I purchased the card after I left the Dogon area. Postmark is hard to read. 

Friday, 26 January 2018

Djenne - Mali

Africa-Mali-Djenne  Really enjoyed this place.. I always say it is real Africa.. It is all about the people and enjoying the real life. No tourists about when I was here. 

A limited supply of stamps , but at least the cards made there way home. Two months. The Postmark says "Postes Mali - Djenne.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Mopti - Mali

Africa-Mali-Mopti A very enjoyable town to visit. A river port where you see all the ferries and the towns they visit. The River is only active from August to December when the water is sufficient . 

This card is showing a selection of stamps that were available in the Post Office in Mopti. Hard to read anything on the Postmark. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Great Mosque of Djenne - Mali

Africa-Mali-Djenne What a wonderful place to visit. The Mud Mosque was everything that I had expected. A wonderful place to visit. A World Heritage Site .

The Post office had limited stamps in Djenne. I think the same post office has been there for years. The Postmaster was very helpful and let me go through his books of stamps so I could try and get a few different stamps. Most of the stamps the value is too low. So the 450f stamp is required down the bottom. The bottom postmark is " Postes Mali - Djenne.

Friday, 22 December 2017

International Court of Justice

Europe-International Court of Justice-The Hague  This is the building which houses this UN institution . Went to the visitors centre and watched a film about the hold complex.

The Postmark is not fully formed. But this card was posted at the Special Post Office here. It can not be accessed by the general public. The Stamps I purchase in advance from the Philatelic service of The Netherlands. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Hague

Europe-Netherlands-The Hague Here are some of the buildings you will see in The Hague. This is the city that has The Embassies . It is a very small town, so you  notice the country flags as you walk around. Very well laid out. The Seat of Government 

I purchased these particular stamps as they feature Bonobos which are endangered great Apes. They are not especially large and look like chimpanzees . I was lucky to see these on my trip to DRC. So loved these stamps. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Amsterdam - Netherlands

Europe-Netherlands-Amsterdam This is a evening scene in Amsterdam. I enjoyed this short winter break . It was cool in the evenings but a very packed city. Amsterdam is very compact and easy to get around. Did a tour on the canals and enjoyed it very much. The canals are a World Heritage Site. 

This card has a double postmark with the final one by the Irish Post Office on incoming mail. I purchased these stamps from the Philatelic service online in advance of my visit. 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

"Red Star over Russia "

Europe-United Kingdom-England-London This card is from the "Red Star over Russia " exhibition at the Tate in London. 2017 marks the centenary of the October Revolution. The Exhibition explored the way the USSR was reshaped from 1917. This card is " Emancipated Woman: Build Socialism from 1926.  A wonderful gallery to visit. 

This is the final card with the non postmarked stamps featuring ladybird books. 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov - Art Installation

Europe-United Kingdom-England-London  This card is from my visit to the Tate London exhibition . It features a installation by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov widely known as pioneers in installation art. This piece is known as " The Man who flew in Space from his apartment and was originally produced in 1985. It is currently on in London until January 2018. 

Here are more of the famous Enid Blyton books published by Ladybird. Unfortunately these stamps have no postmark not even a pen mark !! 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Tate Modern - London

Europe-United Kingdom-England-London  This is a view from the Tate Modern gallery in London. Lots of new buildings in this area. 

These stamps especially remind me of my childhood. There were the first books I read in School and can still remember the joy they brought . So delighted that Enid Blyton had been commemorated in these beautiful stamps. I have often heard of many irate stamp collectors getting mad over the way stamps are ruined by pen by the British Post Office. This the second time this has happened to me. Most of the rest of the time the stamps are not even postmarked. Certainly I can say the British Post Office is the bottom of the pile in this concern. 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Niamey - Niger

Africa-Niger-Niamey I love this card as this is the view I seen every day in Niamey. This is the river Niger and went down on a boat here and in Mali where the river runs through. Lucky enough to see Hippos on one of the trips. 

I show the whole back of the card so you can see the full postmark. Very efficient Post Office by West African standards. It was my last country to visit in Africa. So it was  a great occasion to celebrate on the last night. You will note that I am still at this time waiting on my cards from Mali which I visited before Niger.  

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Africa-Niger-Niamey This card is showing a map of Niger. Could only visit Niamey on this occasion as the rest considered not safe enough at this time. Agadez would be the place to go. On the ground all was well here and enjoyed the city .

The Main Post Office in Nimaey was very large and was the most modern of the 3 countries on this trip. Very clean inside. They even had a "Philatelic Counter" , though I suspect the lady at the counter had not served anyone in a long time. The regular counter had a better selection of stamps. No sets just lots of individual stamps. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso

Africa-Burkina Faso-Ouagadougou  This Postcard is showing the House of the People which is the Parliament Building . It was difficult in Ouagadougou to see Government buildings as some the roads were closed off , I suspect for security reasons. God this card from the local postcard sellers outside the Post Office. 

These were some more stamps I had to get from a local outside the Post Office due to it being closed for 3 days when I was here. One of the days it was due to close but my guide was surprised as to the reason. The value on the stamps are quite low compared to the cost of postage in the other countries I visited. So I wonder if it is the real cost. The man selling me the stamps told me that is the price. The stamps date from the early 1990s. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Burkina Faso

Africa-Burkina Faso-Ouagodougou This is the monument to National Heroes in the Capital city. In fact I never got to see this. I believe it is in a field . But still enjoyed my visit here. The best thing was the houses in the countryside . I will publish photos of those soon. 

For the three days in was in Ouagadougou the Post office was closed. It was a holiday on one of those days but I did not know it was closed two days after this. Either did my guide or hotel I was staying in. So was not too happy with that. I had no stamps but I was able to get a few stamps from a Postcard seller outside and these are the stamps that are used here. I did not get inside and posted them in the mailbox outside. Please they got back here. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Vermeer Exhibition in Dublin

Europe-Ireland-Dublin It is not often I put postcards up here featuring Paintings. But in June I visited a marvellous  exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland It featured works by Vermeer the famous Dutch Painter from 1632-1675. This one is one of the most famous "The Love Letter " circa 1669-70.

These stamps feature Royal sites in Ireland. From a time when we had Kings of Ireland. The one of the left "Hill of Tara" , I can even remember from my school days. 

Europe-Ireland-Dublin  Here is another and perhaps my favourite from the Exhibition. " Woman writing a letter with her Maid " circa 1670. You will note that both feature letter writing well before we had postage stamps as we know them.

Some more Royal Sites. The more famous one on the right is the Rock of Cashel which is very impressive . You can visit here on the way to County Cork 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Benidorm Spain

Europe-Spain-Benidorm My first time here for a few days break . Lovely beach and lots of nearby restaurants. Got lucky with great weather for this time of year. 

The Post office only sold stamps in packs . These came in a pack of 5. Limited choice. Single stamps were only available as labels 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tokyo Japan

Asia-Japan-Tokyo Had a stopover at Narita Airport in Tokyo on my way from Hokkaido. So could not resist sending this card from the airport . Tokyo a city I visited previously and really enjoyed it. 

This card has a Kamata postmark . Love those stamps . In Japan looks like a lot of cards are handstamped which is great to see. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Kuching Sarawak

Asia-Malaysia-Sarawak State  Here you can see the famous river in Kuching. If you stay in the Hilton Hotel you can just walk outside to hear and hop on a small boat to get to the other side. Kuching is full of charm with loads of old type Chinese stores. 

As you can see this has many stamps from the State of Sarawak. These were the only ones still on sale at the GPO in Kuching. Sending cards from here has been a bit of a rare problem for me. I never received two I had previously sent. So I especially went back to Kuching on my way to KL . I met the head Postmaster and explained that I really needed my postcards to make it home. I posted one in a post box and one I gave personally to the Postmaster. Well the one I put in the post box is the one that arrived home. No sign of the other. The Postal service is very poor . The Postcard took 2 months to make it here. This is the final card in the Malaysian State set. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

World Heritage Site - Erbil Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Middle East-Kurdistan-Erbil This is the main area in Erbil as seen from the Citadel. On the left hand side there are many shops . 

These cards took nearly three months to get here, so I had sort of given up on them. The stamps are all large size and bring me to the point that I never write the address and details until I have attached the stamps. 

Middle East-Kurdistan-Eribl This is a good photo of the Citadel. It is a World Heritage Site. I got these cards printed in India by my good post collector Jinesh. The local selection of cards available were pretty poor. 

Would love to know what the postmark says. Either way a clear date of July 23. I helped stamped many of the cards myself as I had a lot to mail for friends. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

World Heritage Site - Shiretoko

Asia-Japan-Hokkaido-Shiretoko Another view from the sea to the mountains. This is the sort of view I had on the cruise. A nice calm day at the World Heritage Site. 

These are beautiful Japanese stamps and very hard to see here. I bought them in the Central Post Office in Sapporo in Hokkaido.